To Mary Ellen

Mary Ellen's departing is a great sadness,
But thoughts of her leave us with gladness
Her smile, her willingness to tackle any task,
Sometimes almost without needing to ask,
The color and flair that decorated days
In numerous big and little ways.

Most of us shun doing organization;
On the first floor we found our salvation.
A reception? "Don't worry! It's done!"
Not just meat and cheese and a bun,
"Should food be Italian or perhaps French?
Projector wobbly? Hand me a wrench!"

Then there are the multitudinous rules,
Those juicy administrative jewels,
That drag us freedom-loving academics
Into fussing, fuming and polemics.
Mary Ellen soothes, solutions does beget,
And assures that regulations are all met.

Mary Ellen's also a great editorial assistant,
Organized, timely and properly insistent
In soliciting reviews and editor's reactions,
Then sending many papers in correct directions.
How will we get along without you when you go?
It's a reason to stay in contact; we'll let you know!

Donata Oertel
June 2002

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