Monday, August 23, 2010

Confucius and Career Change

Charlotte Canelli is the Library Director in Norwood. Read her entire column in the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin this week.


Change has been no stranger to my life. Before the age of seven I had moved four times and across the country from Boston to San Francisco. In over fifty years I have called more than two countries, five states and twenty towns my home.

Adapting has been fairly easy most of the time but sometimes more difficult. I never did fall in love with Texas, or Connecticut for that matter. The notable fact is, however, that I have survived all of it and have come out stronger on the other side.

Pulled kicking and screaming as teenagers my children have since told me that moving them during those delicate formative years was one of the best things that happened to them.

Attributed to no one in particular is this quote: “If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.”

Charlotte Canelli is library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Exercising Made Easier

April Cushing is the Adult Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood. Read April's entire column this week in the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Full text:

I started this exercise program purely by accident. I was happily pursing my sedentary lifestyle, browsing at the shop where my daughter works in Westwood, when hard-bodied Brenda walked in and invited me to join her workout class. I’m not sure if it was the fact that a) it was free; b) I get winded climbing the single flight of stairs to my comfy chair at the Norwood Library Reference Desk; or c) I’m really bad at saying no, but I agreed. Reluctantly.

At 6 p.m., the temperature a balmy 91, I arrived at the high school track with a pair of weights and a water bottle. I didn’t know quite where to go so I approached a group of fit looking females and asked if they were waiting for Brenda. Nope. I assumed class was probably cancelled due to the heat when I saw her speeding around the track. Darn.

To the beat of the boombox we squatted, kicked, lunged, and tore up and down the bleachers, leaving no muscle group unmolested. Then the C-word reared its ugly head. You know, the core, which I didn’t even know I had 10 years ago. Just when I figured it couldn’t get any worse I heard the three words that have pierced the hearts of mankind for millennia: take a lap. I thought I felt raindrops—yes!!—but it was only sweat. Whose, I’m not sure.

But back to Brenda. My 20-year-old has adopted her friend’s maternal parent as her other mother. I used to feel funny about this because shouldn’t Belle be cooking with me, even though I don’t technically, um, cook? I mean, I like to read cookbooks and drool over the pictures… Brenda has not only born five offspring but still wears skinny jeans, which she sometimes passes on to Belle. The only genes my daughter and I share are the ones I gave her at birth. But Brenda’s impressive wardrobe and workout ethic aside, she’s really quite nice. Plus she got me off my butt and back on (the) track, which is even more remarkable.

Meanwhile, back at boot camp, I was lumbering around the football field for the third time when I heard a youth coach yell “Crunches! 10s-20s-30s! Use your abs, not your hips!” I have no clue what that means but any exercise you can do lying down can’t be all bad. I actually enjoy breaking a good sweat--after the fact. Then I can almost justify splurging on a hot fudge sundae at The Ice Jack or The Sugar Cone.

To prolong my endorphin surge--and since my car was in the shop--I trudged the two miles home after class. You, however, can experience this vicariously and with a lot less effort simply by checking out The Long Walk Home by Will North at your local library.

I also do hot (Bikram) yoga once a week, or more often when my 10-pack of pre-paid discounted classes is due to expire. If struggling to keep your sweaty palms from slipping in 100-degree heat doing downward-facing dog or trying to tune out the guy snoring on the next mat during corpse pose doesn’t do it for you, try yoga at home with one of these DVDs: Biggest Loser: the Workout, Weight Loss Yoga, Yoga to the Rescue: for Back Pain, or Get Moving, to name a few. And if duck walking with a stretchy band around your ankles in public isn’t your bag either, you can look as silly as you please in the privacy of your own abode with Safe and Fit: Total Body Workout.

Luckily we have plenty of books on the subject if you’re more of an armchair exerciser. You know who you are. Yoga for Pain Relief, Yoga for Stuttering, Yoga and the Wisdom of Menopause, Yoga for Computer Users, Yoga for Arthritis: there’s something for everyone. Fear and Yoga in New Jersey, a collection of humorous stories by Debra Galant, is particularly painless, and you don’t even need to live in the Garden State to enjoy it.

A well-meaning 24-year-old gave me this unsolicited bit of advice recently: Frowning at my derriere encased in a modest black bathing suit, she said, “You could, um, lift those up by doing half an hour on the Stairmaster a few times a week, you know, Mom.”

Why, thanks hon. I have a perfectly good set of stairs I could pound if I was serious about minimizing the gluteus maximus. Or I could just check out another classic DVD, Great Buns & Thighs: Step Workout.

I haven’t had the pleasure myself, but a few of the library staff swear by kettlebells. A kettlebell resembles a large grapefruit with a handle and provides a total body aerobic workout, unlike traditional weight lifting which targets specific areas. The Norwood Library, coincidentally, has three such DVDs you can borrow on your way to becoming cut, jacked or ripped. The minute I’m ready to move beyond mountain pose or my personal favorite, child pose, I plan to preview Kettlebell Goddess Workout just to see what happens.

With all these fabulous fitness resources at our fingertips, and with a healthy dose of discipline, we can all look and feel like a million bucks. So swing by the library soon for some serious inspiration.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Facing the Future with Facebook

Charlotte Canelli is the Library Director in Norwood. Read her entire column in the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin next week.

Every so often I stumble across my personal “archives.” Translated that means, of course, the cartons of “stuff” that I’ve been moving from home to home over last half century.

Inside one worn cardboard box, under the high school term paper on Jonathan Swift and tucked behind a scrapbook or two, you’ll find a diary. The year was 1965 and I was in the eighth grade.

The first entry was written around the first of January 1965 and I had just seen the Beatles movie “A Hard Day’s Night” (released in 1964.)

“I LOVE Paul!” I was 13 and I had fallen hard for the cutest of the four Beatles.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Light from Within

Charlotte Canelli is the Library Director in Norwood. Read her entire column in the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin next week.


Each day diffuse and perfect light enters these gracious rooms through those amazing windows. They are reminders to us that public institutions such as libraries begin as testaments to the strength and character of the community that builds them. Germaine Greer wrote that “libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit; reminders of order, calm and continuity.” Norwood’s strength and character can be found in its gorgeous and uplifting public library with its architectural splendors of both grace, order and continuity.

Read more of the Handbook of the new Boston Public Library compiled by Herbert Small, Curtis and Company, Boston, MA, 1895.

Find out more about the Arts and Crafts Movement at Wikipedia.

Read more about printers' marks in the booklet
Printers' Marks: A Chapter in the History of Typography
by William Robert, George Bell and Sons, 1893.

Read a brief description of the Morrill Memorial Library on the library website.