My favorite Harvard student

Tonight I met up with Salena Sullivan, a sophomore at Harvard. Roanoke readers may remember my story on her last year — she was raised by a single mom and by her community librarian, the fabulous Carla Lewis.

We met for coffee and then she came home for an impromptu dinner, followed by an outing to Trader Joe’s. Our girl at Harvard, as the regulars at the Gainsboro library like to call her, is doing quite well, thank you. She’s gotten used to earning the occasional BIMG_0593, but overall, I’d say she owns the place.

She gave me course advice, told me where to get the free shuttle from the Radcliffe quad to the yard and advised me to “get a grip” on the number of courses I’m planning to shop. “That many? Really?”

Salena will be reshelving books, etc., for her work-study job at Widener, the main library on campus, where I’ve reserved a carrel on the sixth floor, thinking the top floor would be warmer in the colder months. “Yeah, right,” she said.

It’s great to have a young mentor like Salena here. She’s even offered to house- and Lucky-sit for us!

Photo by Kyle Green/The Roanoke Times

Photo by Kyle Green/The Roanoke Times

When Salena told the people at the library she got into Harvard, old men set down the newspapers they were reading and wept. Librarian Carla Lewis, her mentor, screamed.

Leave a comment


  1. Kurt

     /  September 2, 2009

    What a wonderful circle you’ve got!

  2. meg

     /  September 2, 2009

    Aw, yay! 🙂

    (Also: Here’s the link, dear:

    • bethmacy

       /  September 2, 2009

      thanks, meggy! sure miss you here… i was just thinking about you today… (wonder what meg would think about THAT?!)

  3. fraught

     /  September 8, 2009

    Wonderful story, and just as good the second time around. How fun to reconnect with her, on campus!!

    And it’s nice to know that it’s not just all the rest of us who can’t ever, EVER find anything with a search on

    • bethmacy

       /  September 16, 2009

      Thanks so much for the nice note, Amy. Hope all’s well in the ‘Noke!

  4. This blog rocks! I gotta say, that I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read.. ..


  5. Awwww Salena. She and my son attended high school together and are friends. I always thought she was such a special girl. Magical when she danced. I made it all the way to this post from your latest without having to comment but couldn’t stop myself when the tears started to roll. Thank you.

    • bethmacy

       /  October 10, 2009

      Awww back at you, Lisa. Thanks for the sweet note. I saw Salena again just last weekend, and she’s doing really great!
      All best and thanks for reading! Beth

  6. Shelly Maycock

     /  October 15, 2009

    Sniff~~I love your blog, woman! Good luck to you and Serena @midsemester! Hang in there!


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