Category Archives: Work

Leaving Westwood

Well, at least here, I’ve checked out my last book, called the book vendors, emailed a few teachers, said bye to the students, and shed a few tears.

I’ve said to a few people that working here has changed my life and I mean it… the students have expanded my heart and the faculty and program chairs have taught me the importance of being on a team. They had a lot of sweet words (and a gift basket!) for me — but the experience is going to be what I really walk away with.

My work family of awesome, crazy people can not be duplicated. They asked me to not forget them, and it was a silly request—because it would be impossible to do. I’ll be one of them forever.

And now, I leave for the next chapterĀ  — more books to recommend, reference questions to answer, and lessons to be learned.


There are three things you should know before we go any further (and further and farther we will go).

First, I’m now married. Sure, those of you that follow me on Facebook already know this. But for the few people that are pressing on in life sans Facebook (good for you!) but that also read this very neglected blog, I feel like you should know that I tied the knot. Michael—the MADman I’ve been dating for the past 3 years—asked me to marry him in November and by the end of the month we were hitched at the courthouse. I’m incredibly happy and maybe slightly annoying. But I’m still me—just amplified and more me than ever.

Second, I have to rename this blog one more time. Because yes, that very same month of November, the MADman and I bought a house in Decatur. So I’m Ponce no more. I’m toying with names for the blog and may go to something more regional than specific. Don’t hold your breath. I have so many changes coming up it will make your head spin.

Third, and a big one, is that I’m leaving my current job by the end of the month and will, at long last, begin my dream of being a public librarian. Specifically, I’ll be a public reference librarian for Atlanta Fulton Public Library System. To say that the move is bitter sweet is speaking the truth; but it is much sweeter the closer I get to my leaving. The students and faculty will be sorely missed. But the lessons they have all taught me I’ll carry with me wherever I go. Like words, some things mark you for life.

All three of the above changes will be repeated themes in the days ahead. Send me some light and guidance while I navigate the new terrain of my life.

MLK day

Just pointing out how much I love the fact that MLK day has transitioned into a day of community activity and service. I mean, sure, everyone wants just a day off — but the impact of getting out and working for an organization or event that helps those in your community speaks more to the message that (perhaps) Martin Luther King Jr. would advocate. (I only say perhaps because I didn’t know the man. But have you heard anything he said? Read any of his speeches? Well, I think we can all make the leap that he would love the fact we celebrate his life by participating in his dream.)

Unfortunately I have to work. So please, if you can, get out there and pick up trash in front of your home (wear gloves) or take something useful to a shelter. Or go the extra mile and participate in an event and be part of a team. However big or small, it may have the potential to positively change a moment in someone’s life — or just make it look better when people walk by. And if you live in Atlanta, I can’t think of anything better than going to visit the King Center and get a glimpse of the past, present and hopeful future. Tell me all about it, because I have not been (yet).

Me? I’m taking a box of books to a book drop after work and have 2 bags of clothes to drop off. No, it’s not a lot, but it is what I’ve got planned for today. Hoping for more in the weeks to come. As I commented to a friend’s blog earlier, I need to redirect some of my energies to my dear hometown. There is a lot here that needs some healing.


Happy March everyone! It’s overcast and cold as the dickens, but that is OK because it’s March, it’s Friday and all of that must be good.

So far 2013 has been less the year of the snake and more of the year of work. I’ve been kept busy in the library. The normal bits, of course, APA help, research, book ordering, answering life’s mysteries — you know — being a librarian. But the things that have kept me hopping the most are my additional duties of being the “champion” of the online students and tutorial. (Side note: Have I told you that I literally do have the title of “Flex Champion” that indicates nothing about muscle, but really lets the ground students who take online classes know that I’m their go-to-gal. The title is hysterical and does warrant some raised eyebrows. I find myself letting the students know that I will not flex for them — no, not ever.) Those two roles rolled onto my main gig are keeping me off the streets (or the net) and busy.

Beyond work, what can I say? Life is beautiful. Like I said, it’s March, it’s Friday . . . what more do you want? This month I am in a writing challange that I am a bit nervous about (it’s about quantity and not quality though, so I have that going for me). I’m back to trying to run — should be fun to move as soon as I see the sun again. And, there is a small amount of me trying to learn the guitar. (Hope you all have the cliche of old dogs and new tricks going through your head. Music ability at my age is tough people!)Tonight may find me involved with puppets of the Edgar Allen Poe kind. Let’s hope that is some weird magic and not just awkward pauses.

Happy weekend and 2013 everyone!

Savior at 70

The old man turned 70 on April 3rd and this weekend we will celebrate this milestone of time at the Mentone Springs Hotel — a building he began saving in 1980. Lots of friends and family are going to gather and eat cake — there may even be singing and poetry recitals. There will definitely be music provided by our longtime friend Terry with Critter on the fiddle.

So, along with all the well-deserved celebrating, some funny things have happened along the way. One being that it was recommended to have a write up in the local paper talking about the “savior” of the Mentone Springs turning 70. Naturally this cracks me up. We’ve always joked about dad’s Jesus complex and how he is adamant that he can fix anything. I’ve seen him jack up an old hotel with railroad jacks, blow torch tar to stop rain from seeping, prop a sagging floor up while the people above were dancing on it, move earth to make a pond more scenic—the whole time arguing with anyone that tells him it can’t be done. His response to that limited thinking has always been “bullshit”. And then he proves them wrong — almost every time. So now he gets to be called savior. I protest the usage of the word, but not the gist behind it.

Job well done papasahn. Just don’t let it go to your head.

Delicate December

Maybe I should have made that querulous December? Yet when I think of December, I think of Erin McKeown’s lovely song. You should all google it. Or here, try this to hear or read the lyrics below.

Delicate December
Let’s remember
When we were tall
And we can pretend it’s just summer
We’re neither spring nor fall
Would you want my number?
Were I someone
You didn’t know at all
Special for December
Let’s pretend we’re
All for one

I know, it’s not the same
What’s said is said and won’t be said again

Delicate December
Let’s be tender
Slow down time to a crawl
Nothing’s temperamental
If we’re gentle
Hands up!
Let’s call it a draw
Elegant and simple
Sentiment means
Letting go and letting fall
Special for December
Let’s pretend we’re
All for one, one for all

Anyway, clearly it’s been an eternity. I missed out on the chance to discuss ageism with Kimbre. You all I’m sure are relieved you’ve not had to hear me complain about work, preparing for our school’s graduation, and all the pitfalls of the past 6 months. There have been some seriously blissful moments though. But I guess they’ll stay with me. However, even though I don’t do resolutions — I do know I need to write more and definitely share more. So we’ll see how disciplined I will be about it.

Wishing everyone peace and joy. I can’t wait to see what 2011 brings!

last post in privacy

There are things we expect at the work place — minor grudges, relative conviviality, coffee, small talk, occasional eye rolls. But personally, I expect a certain amount of respect and support. As the only librarian, I stay busy enough working on the things covered in my job description. Naturally, and I suspect this is true for most librarians and educators, the service you provide starts to spread to other areas. Currently I’m in charge coordinating tutoring, signing students up for Smarthinking, being the default APA specialist. With all of these additions to my work load, a ton of student data flows across my desk.

That is one of the reasons why I’ve pushed for having my own office, or at least my own desk (with locking drawers). Since we expanded the space, now would be the ideal time to create that area. Unfortunately, the powers that be want me front and center. And finally the network is fixed enough so that I will move back to that very public space. That area where a student struggles to find voice to explain what their problems are in math or English. That area where no real work is accomplished because as soon as I’m out there a million people start asking questions.

So this is what I’m doing with these last few minutes of privacy. Posting. It’s well-directed and justified frustration. Thankfully giving voice to it takes some of the sting of incompetency out of the equation.

Support those that need it — even when it’s difficult.

chirp scratch bzzz

It’s been over a month! There has been company (all of it fantastic). Cheryl, Michelle, Will, and Shane. Shelby came but stayed elsewhere. I ate, I shopped, I talked. For an introvert like me, it was still a great time and not even really an effort.

Work is a bit different. The learning commons (aka library) is being expanded (yay!) but that means that myself and the students are a bit displaced during the construction. It also has brought on the temporary office in the Academic Affairs suite which means my boss is right next door and definitely not letting me rest. So work is work. The students still keep it interesting. I still love my job. But let me say right now, I’m due a looonnnng vacation. If anyone stumbles on this from Westwood, please be warned.I’ll disappear but give warning and will return.

That’s my life. But not all of it. There are birds out (late night ones even) that seem to remind me there are trees around in this old town of mine. The cats are scratching from the heat. And I’ve heard my first cicada (or is it a very distressed cricket?) bzzing out in the plaza. Oh! And I have an opossum that likes to stroll in the courtyard once the heat has ebbed. In short, summertime in the city lends itself to the strange habits of forced nature. Personally, I sort of love it.

ALA is coming up. Hoping to see lots of librarian people there. Very excited. Lots to look forward to, but for now, a bit of sleep.

And I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention helping nature post the oil catastrophe. Not only do I have a soft spot (read fierce love) for nature, but my years on the bay taught me there is nothing more lovely that the flight of pelicans etching and mirowing the coast. Here are a few links for you to consider:

Oil spill relief EDF

Greater Good

I’ve not researched these but do the leg work. If any of you are lucky enough to spare some change, consider it.

I’ll try not to be more than a month.

Today (and yesterday and all the others)

Today is a busy day.

They all are.

Thus the silence and absence that should never be taken as a sign of apathy or slight. I still love you all.

It’s just that I’ve suddenly found myself teaching the research paper English class and have lots of students and they need lots of help and yes, the blog has been put on the back burner. My writing has been placed next to it. Let’s hope nothing burns up back there.

But I’m here. And busy. Today and yesterday and tomorrow too. Not forever, just for now.

Happy teachers day, teachers! In lieu of minor glimpses into my life, a Margaret Atwood poem:

You Begin
You begin this way:
this is your hand,
this is your eye,
that is a fish, blue and flat
on the paper, almost
the shape of an eye.
This is your mouth, this is an O
or a moon, whichever
you like. This is yellow.

Outside the window
is the rain, green
because it is summer, and beyond that
the trees and then the world,
which is round and has only
the colors of these nine crayons.

This is the world, which is fuller
and more difficult to learn than I have said.
You are right to smudge it that way
with the red and then
the orange: the world burns.

Once you have learned these words
you will learn that there are more
words than you can ever learn.
The word hand floats above your hand
like a small cloud over a lake.
The word hand anchors
your hand to this table,
your hand is a warm stone
I hold between two words.

This is your hand, these are my hands, this is the world,
which is round but not flat and has more colors
than we can see.

It begins, it has an end,
this is what you will
come back to, this is your hand.

Hot plates, sweet tea and diamonds

On the drive up to Mentone to celebrate my dad’s 69th birthday, cherry and pear blossoms were blowing across my windshield. All the new green slowly spread up the hills and naturally, again, I had the thought that I live in the most beautiful region in the world. I do.

And, once again, upon entering my parent’s new digs, I had the thought “they are crazy”. I mean that in the best way possible. But mom is cooking on a hot plate, their shower is smaller than mom’s former refrigerator, etc. Still, they look remarkably happy and dad has another project and mom is on the mountain and, well, let’s face it — that’s their bliss and it’s beautiful. Makes the rest of us look like lackluster lumps; but that’s our fault.

I slept the whole night through Saturday. I think that’s the first time I’ve done that this millenium. Feels like an accomplishment. Sunday I woke to the smell of bacon cooking (and everyone should wake to that smell once a month). Mom then went on to prepare beef bourguignon for Easter’s meal (and yes, she did it solely on a small hot plate, with a rusted iron pot and water that took forever to boil). Take that Julia Child’s. Naturally, it was delicious over noodles and with sweet tea. It’s good to be only 2 hours away.

And today, in ten minutes to be exact, the Braves walk out on my favorite stretch of green — Turner Field. Of course, I have to work and will miss their opening game — sigh. It’s good to be Spring though.