Busy People

What is it they say about busy people?  If you want to get a job done, give it to a busy person.  That is one saying that I have taken to heart as I find myself overwhelmed with work these days.  While teaching and grading papers take up a great deal of my time, catching up on reading (currently re-reading the iconic The Catcher in the Rye), writing and revising for the textbook, and of course, taking care of my granddaughter, Zoey (more fun than work!), are also priorities.  And yet, somehow, I feel guilty that I am not starting another novel, or perhaps a few more poems?  But enough about me….I want to thank some other busy people who despite their ambitious schedules have managed to give just a little bit more.

My dear friend, Helena Swanicke, with whom I collaborated on two successful college textbooks, is currently pursuing a Doctor of Letters Degree at Drew University, and is about to embark on a hefty dissertation on feminism in film.  Did I mention she also teaches a full schedule at the community college?  Among these duties, her assiduous exercise which keeps her so fit, and a full calendar of events, she is currently writing an answer key for the text and helping me plan Volume 3.  Helena, I don’t say it very often, but thanks for all your hard work, but mostly thanks for being such a good friend.

Not to be outdone, my friend and colleague, Iris Ramer packs a vibrant schedule into her week.  A fulltime college ESL professor who also has a Doctor of Letter Degree, Iris is always teaching an extra class or two in the evenings, is a frequent speaker at conferences, and has a handful of various business ventures on tap.  And yet, Iris has a contagious enthusiasm, never saying no to a new project, always ready to accompany a friend when needed.  Iris, I am more grateful than words can express.

Let me also take this opportunity to announce that on Sunday, October 21 at 7pm, I will be presenting my book, My Mother’s Shoes, and signing books at the Renaissance community clubhouse, 101 Medici Ave, Monroe Twp, NJ 08831.  Renaissance is  right off of Rt 33, about 2 miles from Exit 8 of the turnpike.  The following week, on Saturday, October 27, I will be conducting two writing workshops at my own Middlesex County College.  More info to come!

Until then, stay busy!



About shirleywachtel

Shirley Russak Wachtel is the author of The Story of Blima—A Holocaust Survivor (publ.2005), a novel which recounts the early years of her mother, Betty Weisstuch Russak. The novel s listed as a recommended novel by the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education. Wachtel is the author of several children's books, including a series of interactive mysteries, Charlie Wonder, Chef-Detective (2005), which includes several recipes; Brad Sureshot, Coach-Detective (2007) which details basketball skills; and Howie Rocket, World-Traveler-Detective (2009) which has handy foreign language phrases. In The Mellow Light (2009) is her first book of poetry. She is a professor of English at Middlesex County College in New Jersey. In addition, Wachtel is the co-author of Spotlight on Reading (2011), a textbook for college-level students. A mother of three sons, she resides with her husband, Arthur, in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Initially written as a doctoral dissertation for her Doctor of Letters Degree from Drew University, My Mother's Shoes , says Wachtel, is not just the novel of her life, it is the novel of her heart.
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