Paula Garrett

Another Take On Independence

Jul 4, 2017

When I told a friend I was writing about freedom for this 4th of July Perspective, she said it was funny I should mention this on June 19th.

As an African American, she recognizes this date as Independence Day -- the day in 1865 when word of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation that put an end to slavery reached the last outpost of Texas.

I'm proud to live in the Land of Lincoln, but I'm enraged and disgusted by the so-called leaders of our country who model racism and embolden acts of hatred.

A Different Kind Of Graduation

May 30, 2017

It’s graduation season, and the anticipation is palpable at the high school where I’m the librarian. Our seniors have been marking the countdown with giant numbers they’ve suspended over the second-story balcony.

Caps and gowns have been delivered; yearbooks are being signed; and our printers are overflowing with final papers.

A few weeks ago I told a class of seniors my news: After 16 school years, at least at this institution, I’ll be graduating with them – and that I, too, have a bad case of “senioritis” in anticipation of my retirement.

When Art Unites, It's Amazing

Apr 25, 2017

Record Store Day was this past Saturday, and it prompted a flashback to the ’70s when I'd head to my local record store to buy an album every other Friday.  That was payday – with an actual check I had to take to the bank to cash.

A big part of the pleasure was browsing the cover art, which – more than once – was the deciding factor in my selection. In fact, I think the exposure to art that my record store trips provided was almost as significant to my aesthetic stimulation as the music itself.

Tributes In A Faraway Land

Mar 28, 2017

“Kia Ora.” The flight attendant used this Maori greeting as we approached the islands of New Zealand. My vacation had begun, and I’d escaped to the “land of the long white cloud,” Aoteaora.

The rain cleared, and a spectacular specimen of that cloud formation stretched endlessly over the harbor in Wellington, the capital city at the bottom of the North Island. I took it as a welcome, and it turned out to be a harbinger of good weather for the trip.

Job Exchanges Can Open The World

Feb 28, 2017

Ever thought of swapping your identity with someone else? Job exchanges are one way, and luckily, I’ve been able to do two in my career.

Both were in Australia: the first in the capital, Canberra, and the second in Sydney. I spent six months each time taking on the life of my exchange partner and experiencing the world from a whole new perspective -- something that seems massively appealing these days.