|Marie Cullis is our new Acquisitions Associate|
1. What is the last book you read?
I am usually reading several books at once, but one that I recently finished was 100 Heartbeats: The Race to Save Earth's Most Endangered Species by Jeff Corwin. This book was incredible but depressing, regarding the state of endangered species. But Jeff Corwin offered hope at every turn – there are individuals, organizations, zoos, aquariums, and movements around the world trying to preserve these threatened animals. That hope is what made me love the book so much.
2. Favorite thing to do in Chattanooga?
My favorite thing to do in Chattanooga is spending time outdoors – we have a ton of parks, playgrounds, and outdoor areas such as the Riverwalk.
3. What is the last picture you took with your phone?
The answer to this is almost always: my son. I take a lot of pictures of him.
4. Favorite local restaurant?
My number one favorite place is Alleia on East Main Street. But I can only afford to go on special occasions!
5. What advice do you have for students?
Find a way to avoid debt, especially for school. There are so many resources out there now to help students with finances and tuition. Use the internet and find ways to pay for school without student loans as much as you can.
6. What do you like to do in your free time?
I actually have very little free time by the time I work, take care of my family, dog, and house. The free time I do have is mostly spent playing, reading, or doing art projects with my 5-year-old son. We have a lot of fun together! But I do make time for myself to read every night, usually non-fiction. I also have a blog about environmentalism that I plan to keep growing. I have a small garden in which I’m growing herbs, vegetables, and flowers. And I’m always working on a personal digitization project. Whether it’s scanning family photos or my child’s art (he produces a lot), I like to make books or family films from them. Those are all a lot of work but fulfilling in the end. Last year I was able hear my grandparent’s voices for the first time (I’d never met them) after having some old recordings transferred to digital format.
7. What was one of your most memorable vacation?
One of my most memorable vacations was our trip last year to Emerald Isle, North Carolina. My best friend lives there and we were able to visit her for a week! An island located in the Southern Outer Banks, Emerald Isle is small, quaint, and gorgeous. We spent lots of time on the beach just playing in the sand and water. We saw lots of wildlife including a sea turtle; visited the North Carolina Aquarium; played mini golf; and ate local fish. We took our son fishing off the pier and he insisted we clean and cook his catch, so we did! That was pretty cool and something he still talks about. We visited a small remote island accessible only by boat and saw wild horses. My friend’s house also had a crow’s nest and we sat up there in the mornings with coffee and in the evenings with wine and listened to the waves crashing on the beach.
8. Who has the best cup of coffee in Chattanooga?
The Spot on Main Street is my favorite coffee shop because it’s comfortable and artsy. It’s an old building with lots of character, comfortable couches, and they feature local art as well as local musicians. In fact, I first learned about this place because my friend had an art show there! Besides coffee, they also offer beer, sweet drinks (my son loves the Cotton Candy drink), and food. It’s just a cool place.
9. What’s your favorite holiday?
That’s tied for Halloween and Christmas! Those holidays are so much fun and full of giving.
10. Tell us something that people may not know about you.
I pick up litter often. I like to walk a lot and everywhere I go I see too much trash. Plastic bottles and wrappers end up in our river, which make it to the ocean in just a couple of weeks. I even joined an organization called Litterati who developed an app to photograph, geotag, and document other data about collected trash. You take a photo with your phone, add tags, and the app records the location. Then you dispose of the trash properly. Users around the world have collected and documented more than 3.1 million pieces!