Quantae res vitae placent, tanto beatior eris.‏

These words, although not in Latin, were said to me by my father when I was 8 years old. He was taking a nap, and NASCAR was on TV. I asked him several times to change the channel because the cars were just going around and around in circles. It was boring, and besides, I wanted him to wake up and watch TV with me. He said to me half asleep, “Emmy, darling, the more things in life you like, the happier you will be.” He didn’t mean to make a philosophical statement, but I thought about it for the rest of my life.

I do believe that this is the secret to success in life, in business and in relationships. If you can find something to like about a person, product, service, work, or job, you will be more engaged in it. When people are engaged, they perform better and are happier. When they are happier, they attract others to them, and they in turn become more successful. People who want to believe are attracted to believers, people who want to be happy are attracted to happy people.

Artists and teachers show us how to find the beauty that is in things which we would probably otherwise overlook. Actively looking for beauty and meaning, or just actively looking for things to like, is my personal secret to happiness.

I studied several years of Latin and ancient Greek in college and graduate school, along with a few years of graduate coursework English Literature, Art History, Medieval History and Philosophy. My three literary idols are Donna Tartt, J. K. Rowling and Iris Murdoch. I especially like British novelists, the Catholic (and Anglo-Catholic) literary tradition founded in classics and philosophy.

In addition to Classical Languages, I also studied computer languages–the dead languages of C++, Perl, SQL and VB. Now I am dating myself, but Perl was the programming language of librarians and linguists before Java blew it away. I especially liked Perl because it was designed to manipulate and analyze textual data. Perl came in very handy as a Systems Librarian, since large open platform systems were written in it. I’m still a web person, and often use inline HTML and JavaScript to get around the constraints of a CMS (where I have no access to the CSS), but CMS platforms and APIs have made it relatively easy to create and manage large responsive websites and web services. 

I have been a Librarian at Texas Southern University for six years, where I get to wear many hats, have access to many wonderful scholarly databases, and get to interact with many inspiring students and faculty. I teach Information Literacy courses for the Library Learning Center and World Literature (the classics) in the English Department. 

I live in Houston with my husband, two boys, two dogs and a cat. If you want to know more about me, you can always email me at elibrarian [at] hotmail [dot] com.

EmilyPortraitFinalsmbright