About *cough* *cough* *choke* years ago, I graduated from Kent State University with a degree in psychology. It was an exhilarating time in my life and some of my best memories came during the days leading up to graduation. I didn’t put my degree to use for long before marrying, having kids and stepping out of the work force, though one could argue the degree helps with three kids and a husband LOL. Personally, I think I need more help than any of them, but I digress.
Earlier this year, in preparation for the release of Death by Chocolate, I spent some time ruminating on how I turned from career-minded, psychology student to novelist, and I came across a program through Kent State University Libraries called Kent Reads. Immediately, I was home. I contacted the witty and fabulous, Diane Sperko, Communications Director, and we talked about bookish things. I fell in love with her, the enthusiasm oozing from the KSU Library under the hand of Dean Jim Bracken, and the Kent Reads concept. I nearly fell off my chair when I was invited to be a featured speaker for the program.
On Wednesday this week, I had an incredible lunch at Kent ‘s Schwebel Room (Mmmmm), followed by an opportunity to give a little piece of me back to the establishment who taught me so many things about myself. Like, how much I love people, even when they’re unlovable. How a smile, even if forced, can make you happier. How feeding a black squirrel can result in the stalking of you by 100 more all the way across campus. How bad I suck at Spanish. How much I love to read, and THAT is how I ended up writing. In many ways, I can thank Kent and their amazing staff for encouraging me to write 5,000 papers LOL, teaching me how to improve on each effort and giving me the confidence to keep trying.
I had a handful of people who stayed to listen Wednesday while I rambled and wiped my sweaty palms on my dress. Many others paused and kept moving, because that’s college life. Busy. Busy. Busy. ANd there was an drool-worthy display of cupcakes to get your attention if the lady on the mic didn’t LOL.
It was an amazing experience. I officially love this program. I hope many other universities across the country have or will start similar programs. And I can’t wait to go back. What a great way to showcase the love of books, the power of words and the joy or reading.
Thank you so much KSU for all you’ve done for me and so many others.
Big Blue and gold hugs!
Dean Bracken & Me! (I?) Us? We! … I’m a writer LOL