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. It is my orientation to the world. 

Good artists and teachers show us how to find the beauty that is in things which we would otherwise overlook. Actively looking for beauty and meaning, or just looking for things to like (what is good about it), is sometimes hard, but it is my personal secret to happiness and teaching. 

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. I also taught Latin and Art at a private Catholic school in Houston where I developed a graduated curriculum for Classical and ecclesiastic Latin. I especially like British novelists, the Catholic (and Anglo-Catholic) literary tradition founded in classics and philosophy. My three literary idols are Donna Tartt, J. K. Rowling and Iris Murdoch. At one time, I was very passionate about John Milton and also, oddly enough, the spiritual Contemptus Mundi traditions in Western literature. I love early 20th century children’s fantasy illustrators (part of my book collection): Sidney Sime, Harry Clarke, Edmund Dulac, Kay Nielsen, Arthur Rackham, N.C. Wyeth, Bernie Fuchs, and many others. History of printing, especially prints and illustration, have been long interests, along with anti-modernist art and design movements, like the  Pre-Raphaelites and Arts and Crafts Movement.

In addition to Classical Languages, I also studied computer programming languages–the now dead languages of C++, Perl, SQL and VB. Perl was the programming language of librarians, linguists and poets (“Perl poets”) before Java blew it away. Perl had its own geek following, especially among librarians. Unlike number crunching C++, Perl was designed to manipulate textual data. For me, Perl also came in very handy as a Systems Librarian, since large open platform library systems were written in it and it was a requirement to bed effective as a Systems Librarian back in the day. I’m still very much a web person, and often use inline HTML and JavaScript to work around the constraints of a CMS.

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.