Retired educator joins Patch as a Snellville life columnist. Say "Hey Y'all," that's the name of her column, to Marlene.
I’m Marlene Ratledge Buchanan, and I hope to provide you with entertainment and knowledge about Snellville and this area. It is a great place to live.
I will be writing a few columns for Snellville.Patch.com. I was told to focus this first column on myself as a mean of introduction. Do you remember when you were in elementary school and you had to write about yourself? “What do I say?” You think as you stare blankly at the paper or “Should I tell that?” with a fearful look over your shoulder. (My Mama checked my homework!!!)
Well, that is where I am right now. Staring at this computer screen wishing for inspiration.
I have lived in the Snellville area for more than 40 years and married a man who was born in the granite house next to Snellville United Methodist Church. Back then, you birthed those young’uns at home and hoped the doctor would get there in time. I am from Atlanta. I came home from college one day and found our house in East Atlanta empty. My parents had run away from home to Snellville.
We have been married 35 years and have one son, who has special needs and as a result attended the special education programs in several Gwinnett County schools, graduating from South Gwinnett High School. My 93-year-old mother (aka mama) is with us and out works me every day in the yard. I am sure you will hear more about the adventures that the four of us have had.
I am an old school teacher. I started teaching art at Duluth High School in 1972. I moved to Parkview High School in the fall of 1978 and remained as a counselor for 24 years. I retired in 2002 and was enticed to Central Gwinnett High School to work as a counselor for students either in special education or who needed academic support. In all, I have logged nearly 35 years in education. I fully retired from Gwinnett County Public Schools in 2007. And yes, I miss it. My husband was a counselor at South Gwinnett High School for 34 years before retiring.
I thought when I retired I would have all this time to get things done. I have to tell you, there is no extra time. I am constantly busy, but I don’t seem to accomplish all that much. I have a “to do list” that continues to grow and I strike off only a few tasks. Occasionally, I will write something down that I am about to do—just so I can mark through it. Have you done that? You just need to know that you accomplished one thing.
Back to why I was asked to write for Snellville.patch.com. Being older than dirt and my husband being raised here we know a lot of people. With both of us in the school system we have taught a lot of people. We are involved with the Snellville Historical Society, and I am a member of the Designing Grandmothers of Snellville, a nonprofit organization that raises money for the research of children’s disease. CURE Childhood Cancer is our national charity. Because of our son’s handicaps we have researched and participated in a lot of support and therapies for him. We have become unofficial advocates for special needs children, providing information and guidance to families.
I look forward to my work with Snellville.Patch.com, and hope you find my articles enjoyable and informative