A Message From The President

January, 2013

New Beginnings: 

Tech toys filled many homes this holiday and while these were often the gift most requested by children and adolescents, others were given to family and friends on the other side of the great technology divide.   While businesses look to technology to reduce costs and improve efficiency, that is not what drove these diverse tech gems into their glittered wrappings.

For my mom, who suffers from macular degeneration, the gift technology this year was a platform that lights from three sides and magnifies anything put on its surface on to a TV screen. She had set January 1 as the day she would give up her NY Times subscription which has been a 60 or 70 year addiction.  The print is simply too small to read efficiently and the papers pile up as she struggles to go through them (she would never consider tossing an unread paper). And it is the paper – the actual paper, in its familiar format that she loves.    Although her beloved NY Times will be in its familiar format, it will be projected on an electronic screen to enable her to view it.  I hope this accommodation will cajole her into using the Internet for more than just shopping and email.  Not because it is more efficient or saves on newspapers, but because it will allow for broader exploration.

I have great hopes for this gift, given with anticipation that this piece of technology will open doors, not just frustrations, to information, entertainment, amusements, hobbies and ideas. It is the multi dimensional aspect that on-line exploration brings that is most appealing to me. That I can jump from one idea to another, reverse course, and follow a tangent to an unexpected, previously unexplored, concept or connection – pure joy!

This year the Athena newsletter will in some ways track my mother’s experience with the NY Times. Rather than sending out an email with the newsletter as an attachment, Eleanor will send out a link to the Athena website and the newsletter. While the newsletter will still be there in its familiar format, our hope is that once there, you will explore the site and all the content that we cannot possibly put in a newsletter.  And then take it one step further and begin adding content to the website so that it reflects the richness of our membership.   My hope is not that the website will make us more efficient, but that it will help us to be more connected and provide links to committees, ideas, articles, events and information that will bring us joy.

Speaking of of joy, the holiday season was thoroughly celebrated on Sunday at the home of Linda Saul-Sena and husband Mark.  Their beautiful home, so rich in art and history, opened to lush gardens, relaxing music and spectacular weather. The hospitality committee, led by Yvonne Fry and Jeanette Fenton, coordinated the eclectic menu and event details so seamlessly that the result was a warm and intimate gathering of about 120 Athena friends. Thank you!

Wishing you all a healthy, prosperous, and joyful new year.