If you’ve visited or called the FIU Theatre office in the last two decades, chances are you know Marianna Murray. For the last 22 years, Marianna has served as the department’s Office Coordinator, running a busy office and helping faculty, students, and guests with a smile on her face and a calming presence that would rival any Buddhist monk. Today is her final day before she begins the next exciting stage of her life – retirement. It’s a bittersweet day for us at FIU Theatre as we send her off with hearts full of love and gratitude. But we didn’t want to let her go without getting her in the hot seat for a game of 7 Questions. She did not disappoint.
1. What are you most looking forward to doing on your first day of retirement?
I’m gonna make a cup of coffee, I’m gonna go into the backyard, I’m gonna put my feet up, and I’m gonna think about my next move.
2. What advice do you have for a new student at FIU Theatre?
Little things that seem major today, tomorrow it’ll be just a memory. Just be motivated and follow your dreams.
3. Is there something about you that would surprise your colleagues and our students to know?
I’m a very artistic person. I haven’t shared that too much. When I was younger, my mother was an artist. We were always painting, drawing, creating. I spent three years in intensive commercial art classes. At one time I sold and airbrushed t-shirts and used to sell my own clothes and embroider. I used to create crafts and sell those too. Now it’s kind of evolved into photography. Also plants. When I was young I could never grow anything, but once I got older I just let the plants live. I wasn’t watering them 20 times a day and constantly cutting them and moving them from the sun to the shade, the house to the outside. Once I became more relaxed, the plants started growing.
4. Do you remember your first day on the job?
I remember Phillip Church walked in and asked for a guillotine! I thought, “what the heck? What did I get myself into?” And then I realized that what he wanted was a paper cutter.
5. If you could go back in time and say anything to yourself on that first day what would it be?
I wish I could’ve been a little more relaxed and let myself come out to everyone more. Because in the very beginning I didn’t. In the very beginning I wasn’t as relaxed as I am now. Before I started here I was in a very strict environment in other jobs, where people acted differently. Where it was more business-like. Here it was more relaxed, it wasn’t as tense. So I spent 5-6 years in the office afraid to come out. I’d tell myself to relax probably. Relax and go out the first day and say hi to everybody.
6. If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?
It would be my mother, my grandmother, my great grandmother. I would like to hear about their struggles. I really admire them. I know they had it a lot harder than I did. I would like to hear about their journey from Ireland. I have a lot of admiration for the women in my life and women in general who have overcome struggles.
7. What will you miss the least?
This’ll be the first time in my life that I don’t have a boss.