My Story

My name is Maryellen Smolka and as I stated before – this “blog stuff” is very new to me. So where to begin?  I am 54 years old, married and have three children.  All boys – 29, 24 and 19 years of age.  The oldest is a teacher and knows absolutely everything (he will let you know that very early in a meeting with him), my middle son works with me at the City University of New York at the College of Staten Island campus. My baby boy is attending SUNY Colbleskill and his plan is to work in environmental science.  My fourth son (husband) and I own a small business for the past 30 years in the auto repair industry. I am a sign language interpreter and a Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) provider for deaf and hard of hearing students in the postsecondary setting.  I absolutely love my work!  I began taking online classed in 2000 and found that I very much enjoy working online for most classes. My quest for a degree began in 2003.  My career does not require a degree but it seems that in order to gain the respect of my administration – that is the path to take. I secretly think that I will respect myself a lot more as well!

I am enrolled in Digital Storytelling this semester with the hopes that I will gain the ability to create stories that will attract the population of “differently abled” students that I work with at the university.  My students are visual learners so my goal is to acquire skills that will bring stories to life utilizing visual (as opposed to auditory) tools. I am very excited about this class and hope to gain new friends and skills!


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