By Shane McCauley
On one of the countless rainy days the Boston area endured this spring, I sat down to conference with my advisor, Ms. Brooks, like I do during most weeks. The only difference was that this time, I would be asking her questions, instead of vice versa. The LLC, which was typically becoming emptier by the day, was packed with loud middle schoolers attempting to stay dry and finish their homework before the bell rang for A Block. Still, I had many questions to ask her, and we were able to tune out the loud chatters of students.
Ms. Brooks, the BB&N Middle School’s librarian, is retiring this Spring. She has been working at the MS since 2005, when most current students in 7th or 8th grade were born. Ms. Brooks is among two other people leaving the MS this year, and has said that she is devastated to leave such a splendid school.
One of the things Ms. Brooks will miss most about the Middle School is the community; both the students and the faculty. She loves to see the students everyday, and especially loves helping people with research and community service within the school. However, she is also excited to have more time to do the things that she loves once she has retired, such as yoga and meditation. And according to her, she definitely will not miss the numerous meetings she is required to attend.
Before working at BB&N, Ms. Brooks had worked many different jobs. She was a librarian at different (public) schools, a counselor, worked at a women’s health clinic, and at an interfaith program for high school students. More recently, she has worked in hypnosis, and had mainly helped people lose weight or quit bad habits like smoking and nail biting. Ms. Brooks said it was a very relaxing job for her because she helped other people become relaxed, as well.
As most people know, Ms. Brooks is very interested in reading, as most librarians are. She loves to learn about different cultures other than her own and people from those cultures. “I love how easy it is to learn about other people and other places by reading books,” she stated during our interview. She was shell-shocked when asked about a book that everyone should read, and could not choose. But one of her recent favorites is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak; a book about a young girl living in Germany in World War II who uses books as consolation. Generally, Ms. Brooks loves books that allow the reader to learn about other cultures, which is one of the reasons she picked Darius The Great Is Not Okay, set in Iran, as one of the options for the school-wide Read-A-Thon competition which was held earlier this spring.
Since Ms. Brooks is a veteran of the BB&N Middle School community, I asked her for some words she wanted to share with the school. Although it is a question which can hardly be fit into a few words, she did come up with an answer: “Be true to yourself, stand up for your principles, follow your passions, when in doubt, eat chocolate, and KEEP ON READING!”