Thank you, Michelle!
Stay tuned every Tuesday to read about the other amazing folks who have become part of the DRC team.
Name: Michelle Martin White
How long on the DRC Board and responsibilities?
18 days and counting! I represent a parental perspective.
Why do you serve on the DRC Board?
I was invited to serve, but there seemed to be a genuine need and I thought I might have some useful skills and insights from my current place of employment and prior board service with another organization. While that part of my answer sounds rather boring, the reason I accepted the offer was because I have seen the changes in my daughter and another family member since attending DRC, and I firmly believe in the mission. Most people who know me know I'm not a fan of traditional public education, and the last decade and a half of increased focus on testing and “teacher evaluations” have done nothing to raise its esteem. I'm fond of saying that the only thing high school taught me was how to scan text and regurgitate my teachers' thoughts, and I was disappointed that an impersonal system decided my fate as a “college-tracked” student who was not allowed (yes, you read that correctly) to explore vocational education or engage my interests in carpentry and auto mechanics. I want better for my daughter, and DRC has proven an ideal mechanism for her personal passions and pursuits.
What do you do for a living?
My union title is Office Assistant 1 (Keyboarding), but in reality I serve as the office manager, website and database administrator for CLEAR, a division of GrACE at SUNY Potsdam. I recently redesigned our non-credit program catalog and have done sporadic graphic design for my office on an as-needed basis. Through my current position I have experience in payroll, procurement and accounts receivable, financial tracking and reporting, manual writing, and staff training, but I have also worked in shipping, receiving, inventory control, and chiropractic office management.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?
I've always had a love affair with Ireland, although I think it stems from growing up with the romantic idea that my family is of Irish descent – a perception that is only marginally true: we are predominantly French Canadian with a dash of German and a single Irish ancestor thrown in for kicks and giggles. Regardless, Ireland has always commanded a special place in my daydreams. However, I am not one for tourism; ideally I would spend a month or two rambling through the countryside and getting acquainted with the colorful locals of a quaint little village (which might or might not be located near the sea).
What are your hobbies and interests?
Anything creative; I tend to be more of a jack-of-all-trades and master of none because I enjoy learning new art and craft techniques, but usually implement them once and then move on. I enjoy using InDesign and Corel Suite to do basic graphic design work, and I also enjoy the “nit picky” technical aspects of creating web pages. I've always been what one of my professors called a cereal box reader, in that if there's text I'm reading it – even if it's just the “Maximum Occupancy” sign in the room. I enjoy nature and animals, and have a particular soft spot for horses.
What are you the most proud of?
Helping my daughter to become an independent, thoughtful young woman who has the courage to set her anxieties aside and experience new things and people in unfamiliar environments (something it took me decades to accomplish myself!).
Name the last three books you have read.
As any parent of a horse lover will tell you, all money goes to horse-related things, so there's not a lot left over for books (and I am a terrible library patron, with perpetually overdue books, so for the sake of other patrons I rarely check anything out anymore). Therefore, I usually resort to downloading free books to my tablet. Since I am a cereal box reader (see reference above), I can usually find something passable (if not memorable) to read; the last two books I read were one about an infant kidnapping and the aftermath during the years until the child was recovered (alive), and one that I thought was a mystery but turned out to be a non-typical romance. They sufficed until I can get my hands on tomes by my current favorites, Michelle (Sagara) West and Charles de Lint.
I am also a long-running subscriber to Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, and I adore short stories because I can read them over and over again (something I have only done with three novels, ever: Watership Down, The Talisman [which I generally only read because dear Wolf is tugging at my heart strings], and A Prayer for Owen Meany).
Name the last three movies you have watched.
Again, “free streaming” internet is my friend and Netflix and I have spent many a cozy evening together. The last three full-length movies I've watched were 300, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and a documentary about unusual shark attacks on humans in southern Africa. I tend to watch “tv” only at night before bed, so most often I opt for series episodes. My favorites are true crime documentaries and the rare actually-good-and-not-sensationalized paranormal series.