Well, today is the last day at hastac.org for our beloved Anna Rose Beck, executive assistant extraordinaire. Anna has worked at the central administrative offices of HASTAC for two and a half years. She started as an intern, soon after she graduated from Duke as a Biomedical Engineering major (our toughest major and she was a stellar student). But instead of pursuing the logical BME career, Anna decided to pursue her passion: she is a brilliant singer-songwriter.
She worked at HASTAC by day and performed at many local music venues by night and on weekends. During her time at HASTAC, she helped to organize my 79-site tour for Now You See It and, at venue after venue, organizers would say, "Do you realize what an amazing assistant you have?" And I would say, yes, I do. We all do. She contributed hugely to HASTAC's efficiency, our intellectual agenda, our technology, and our look. We operate (practicing what we preach!) by "collaboration by difference" so lots of meetings include everyone giving input, and her ideas helped propel us forward. It was an intense, responsible, detail-oriented job that also included "big think" about HASTAC's future and Anna did all this while also maintaining her independent singer-songwriter career, the photograph of Dylan on her homepage and in her office, even as she kept up with the steady stream of HASTAC email and everything else. It was an astonishing juggling act but not one that allowed her to move very far beyond Durham.
Durham is one of the country’s indie music hotspots and Anna is a hit in our area . . . but it is now time for her to hit the road.
We sent her off with a new guitar strap and with a necklace filled with totems to accompany her on what we know will be an amazing journey, wherever it leads. There’s a feather (every great journey needs flight), a butterfly, a tiny (playable!) harmonica, and a brass guitar pick inscribed with her favorite Bob Dylan lyric: “Don’t think twice, it’s alright.”
No regrets. We will miss you hugely, Anna. We’ll miss your energy, your intelligence, your wit, your artistry, your laugh, your calm, your spirit. We’re glad that we’ll be with you wherever you go.
Anna’s parting shot is a comic she drew (at our request!) of hastac.org. We hope to animate it one day:
And Anna left us all with copies of her latest CD as a going away present and you can listen to her music too, on her website: http://annarosebeck.com/
Bye, Anna, we’ll miss you. We’re proud of you for following your dreams. May they all come true!