First off, I think it is mandatory for everyone to know that even though my name is Ariel I have absolutely no swimming, singing or seductress mermaid capabilities; but what I do have is an intense passion for serving local communities.
During high school I was the dork that was seen walking directly from school to the library every single day to either read, volunteer or chat up the librarians that I adored. I started going to the library so often that I was eventually offered the position as a library trustee by Peggy, the library director. Being the youngest trustee on the committee, it was my job to bridge the divide between the young generation and the old. Ultimately I had to stimulate the local youth’s interest in the library, (a task that is easier said than done). There have been many times that I have chased my peers down the school hallways trying to convince them to come volunteer at the library on their free time. I’ve only had one success by using that approach but it hardly counts since it was my high school boyfriend. But, looking back, I’d continue to chase down student after student even if only one of them started going to the library, because I see the profound impact that the library has had on my life.
The library nurtured my love of reading and volunteerism in a way I would have never expected. It was within those walls that I read Sylvia Plath’s novel The Bell Jar and her other poetic works such as “Lady Lazarus,” a poem that inspired me so much that I have the last stanza tattooed on the inside of my left arm. The importance of both of those works in my life will be explained further in a future blog post (stay tuned).
Since coming to Binghamton for college, the library has served as a tether, keeping me connected to my hometown community. Whenever I return home for the holidays the librarians are usually the first people to know that I’m back home, even before the rest of my family. Right now the librarians are still calling my phone, probably because I took out ten books and forgot to return them.
When I heard of the Binghamton Poetry Project and their impact on the local community I was determined to become a part of their team. I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to work with a program that cared so deeply about the creative potential of their community. I hope to meet all of you during my time as an intern with the Binghamton Poetry Project and I hope our meetings are just as meaningful to you as they will be to me. Being that I am only 18, you will teach me infinitely more than I could possibly teach you and I hope to truly make the best of such a great opportunity.
See you soon,