Pursuits

Bennett Point Garden

My garden on Bennett Point

For most of my four decades in the work world, I was employed by not-for-profit education institutions in traditional and nontraditional settings. Though I initially trained to be an elementary (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and dance (University of North Carolina) teacher, my broader interest is nontraditional education. This led me to obtain a master’s degree in adult education from the University of Michigan and eventually to my first professional job in the field as the Volunteer Program Coordinator of the Denver Free University. In the late 70’s, returning to my home town, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, I became a Research Assistant in the President’s office of the University of North Carolina System. Thirteen years later, in the early 90’s, I left that job to complete a master’s degree in landscape architecture, following my passion for gardening and design.

In 1997 combining all of my interests and experiences, I became the Executive Director of Adkins Arboretum, a 400-acre native garden on preserve on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. With modest resources, it took a great deal of blood, sweat and tears (sheer tenacity) and a vision to move the Arboretum from a stalled, funky, backwater waiting-to-happen place to a vibrant arts and cultural center in a still quite rural, outpost of the mid-Atlantic.

After almost two decades, unexpectedly, I lost that job and found myself working at home. Thus the launch of this website/blog, Working At Home, as the vehicle for organizing my pursuits, current works in progress.

Our beloved local band, The Pam Ortiz Band, sings these lyrics that best describe my new Working At Home life.

Walk the Dog

by Pam Ortiz

Rolled out of bed, slipped into my clogs
Head downstairs time to walk the dog
Walk the dog, walk the dog
The first thing that I do is walk the dog.

Used to have a good job, lived high off the hog
Now all I do is walk the dog
Walk the dog, walk the dog
All I have to do is walk the dog.

Don’t need a paycheck, don’t need a boss
I get my compensation when he shakes paws
Walk the dog, walk the dog
Best job I’ve ever hard, walk the dog.

When I retire you won’t be able to tell
I’ll do what I do that I do so well
Walk the dog, walk the dog
You know I do it well, I walk the dog.

I can do anything, you know I can’t fail
As long as I can get him to wag his tail
Walk the dog, walk the dog
There’s nothing I can’t do, walk the dog.