Getting to know… Nanette Marie Hatzes

Age: I’m two 31-year-olds

Lives: Gettysburg

From: Olney, Md.

Educated at: I have spent a lot of time as a student. I have a BFA in art and photography, a Master’s Degree in Special Education, and a PhD in Educational Psychology

Family: My big fat Greek and French family includes my husband, Max, daughter, Corinne and grandchildren Maida and Toofie. Then there are the hundred others too numerous to list.

Job: I retired from teaching a few years ago and am now a full-time artist, although I have no idea if I qualify for that title.

Job’s reward: First there is nothing, and then there is something. The reward is in the doing of it. It’s also nice to sell a piece now and then.

What I hated about my job as Director of the Learning Center at Shippensburg University? I can honestly say that there was nothing to hate there. I loved the students, faculty, and staff.

What I hate about being an artist? How can anyone hate being an artist?

Very first job was: I was a “bun girl” at the Olney Inn.

Favorite food: Everything, as long as it isn’t okra.

Pets: Kaia, our blue tick coon hound.

Hero: I have an amazing family. They are all heroes. When one flags, the others rally. My younger sister lost her son in Afghanistan, leaving behind a wife and three children under the age of 2 ½. At this point in her life she is fighting lung cancer, yet she lives her life without bitterness, regret, or anger. She is a fountain of gratitude, and we go to her to splash around.

Hobbies: Do artists have hobbies? For fun I sprinkle art around town – small drawings, mostly. Perhaps you’ve seen them around. If you like one, take one.

Pet peeves: Dog owners who don’t pick up after doing their business.

Collects: Oddballs and Creatives. People who help me see things in different ways.

Best friend: My husband, Max. And Brydie.

Would like to have witnessed what event in history: The Big Bang

Your scariest moment: In June 2001, I boarded a flight from Portland, Maine to Logan, overruling my intensely negative gut reaction to a group of men who boarded the same flight. After 9/11, they showed security footage of the terrorists passing through security. Same guys. Turns out they were doing practice runs. My instincts were right.

Your first memory: I kid you not. I am about three years old and am sitting in a sandbox behind the house and a gigantic Toucan landed next to me. I am willing to concede that it was a figment of my imagination, but still and all ... it was weird and certainly memorable.

Trait inherited from parents: My parents liked people. They took in people who needed a place for long periods of time. My parents hosted the first couch surfers. My mother said this about strangers: “Don’t be afraid of people you don’t know. After about ten minutes, they’ll be your friend.”

Piece of advice that you live by: Do what you love and the money will follow.

Who needs a hug? Who doesn’t? I just loved that “free hugs” campaign.

Favorite reading/author: Doris Lessing.

Favorite spot on earth: Burundi.

Website you visit most: The Moth. I love stories.

Would like concert tickets to see: Jane Siberry, Arvo Part, and The Horseflies.

One bad habit: Not thinking before I speak. Poor filtering.

3 items on your bucket list: Visit Bhutan, build a teeny tiny house and live in it, find a cure for what ails me.

Five minutes with: Siddhartha Gautama

What skill or lesson would you like to learn? Astral projection

What would people find surprising about you? Sometimes I draw with my eyes closed.

What would make this world a better place? Giving until it hurts

What is the best piece of news you received lately that you would like to share? It is predicted that an asteroid will probably hit the earth on my 83rd birthday. I had a dream about it and it wasn’t that bad.

How would you like to be remembered? As the Goddess Maker.

- By Alex J. Hayes, Times Managing Editor

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