How long have you worked as the receptionist at the reception and information office in the Music Building? I've been here for 19 years. Having been here a long time really helps. Not only do I know what might be going on right now, I know who used to be here and what used to happen, which can be really invaluable information. With your office located in a high-traffic area on the main floor, you probably don't miss much, do you? It's the hub. The faculty mailroom is here. One of my main duties is to distribute mail for all of the music school - not just for this building, but for Smith Hall and the Music Annex as well. In addition to mail distribution, what else are you responsible for? I work with staff in the rest of the building, and I supervise student employees. We generally have about 10 students who cover the whole day. We field calls and decide where to transfer them. I have the main phone for the building. Anything that has to do with music comes to my phone. Working the front line, no doubt, can be challenging. Do you ever get stumped? We really get some interesting questions. The other day, for example, someone called looking for "Tom" - no last name, just Tom. It turned out to be Tom Bourcier in the dance department. As it happened, I know him because my son - a jazz drummer - has played in a group with him. The trick to being a good receptionist is knowing who to ask. Even if you don't know the answer, you can find it if you know how to ask the right person. Part of this job is being an investigator. What do you enjoy most about your job? Working with the students and faculty - helping them. One of the best parts of my job is that I have so much contact with the students. In fact, I'm their extended mother. The student who's here with me now just said, "Yes, that's true - I called you last night at home!" What kinds of advice do they seek from you? It encompasses everything - problems with classes, personal problems. The one who's here now says I'm also a matchmaker. I get so many wedding invitations. I have such a close relationship with some of the students ... I get all this confidential information about the romances. I feel like I've been in on it from the beginning, so it's only natural for me to go to the wedding. It's your job to know which faculty or student ensemble is playing when and where. At the end of the day, do you ever return to campus to attend these concerts and events? One of the things I enjoy is there's always so much going on musically, of course. I love all kinds of music - especially jazz. The first thing I ever went to when I started working here was a trombone recital for a grad student. I hadn't been to one before. Since then, I've been to everything imaginable. I've been to voice recitals, piano recitals, opera. I love to go to opera. I used to go to every student's recital, but I can't do that anymore. There are too many. Do you have a musical background yourself? I'm a frustrated musician. When I was in high school I was very active in school choir, active in shows they put on, and I took piano lessons for five or six years. I wanted to be a voice major, but I was so shy at the time. I was frightened to death to audition, so I just went into regular education. I didn't graduate; I quit after a year because I met my husband going to school here. In those days, you didn't stay in school when you got married. Since you've worked in the School of Music, have you ever been tempted to return to school to study music? I took private lessons from a student here. And one student who used to work for me was a harpist, so I even took harp lessons. When she graduated, that ended. I did sing with the Oratorio Society for a while, too. But that got to be too much since I also work at Channel 3 two nights a week as the receptionist and switchboard operator. My husband can't figure out why I don't want to answer the phone at home. One more question that everyone probably asks: What is that unusual instrument that hangs on the wall over your desk? It's a polkulele. I used to live in Chicago, and there was a chain up there called Polk Brothers. They gave it away at the store when you bought an appliance. When I started working here, I thought I needed something on the wall so I brought it in. My kids had played with it over the years and the strings had been broken, but the school's instrument repair person fixed it up. It's fooled some of the musicologists here. The funniest thing, though, was one time a student came in and said, "You've got a polkulele!" I couldn't believe he knew what it was.