Memoirs with Melissa

Melissa

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Name: Melissa Rothermel
Location: Las Vegas
Occupation: Writer, editor and media relations professional
Short bio: I’m a proud Las Vegas native. I work at a small marketing firm in Henderson, Nev., and my fiancé and I also established an editing firm called Edited by a Pro. I’m a fiancée, daughter and friend, a 2nd degree black belt, a volunteer, and a (very) amateur photographer. For fun, I enjoy traveling (when funds allow) and trying new things. Recently I celebrated the loss of 23 pounds, and I hope to continue becoming healthier and more fit every day.

1. What is your passion and how did you discover it? I’m still looking for my passion. (No one’s perfect.) I can say that I quite enjoy writing and am an anal-retentive editor. Editing is more of a compulsion, really, as I mentally edit any website, sign, billboard or menu I come across. So there’s that. 

2. What defines you? If people think of me, I would like them to think “genuine.” Someone who, when asked for an opinion, tells the truth regardless of whether it’s what people want to hear; someone who will offer up compliments only when they are warranted; someone who “calls ‘em as I see ‘em” but doesn’t push opinions and views on others.

3. What’s the greatest gift (material or otherwise) you’ve been given? The gift of life. Life has so much to offer: love, education, travel, passion, companionship, experiences, opportunities, activities. I can easily spend my whole life learning and sampling and attempting and visiting and never experience all the world has to offer. But I’ll certainly do my best to do as much as my income allows!

4. What would you like your legacy to be? I’m not interested in leaving a legacy. I want to live the best life I can while I’m here. When I die, I hope those who knew me think of me from time to time and laugh about all the good times we had. In theory, close friends and relatives will appreciate my amateur photography skills and mount a photo of mine in their homes. And, ideally, one of my next of kin will decide to plot out a family tree so those who come know where they came from.

5. As Scott Ginsberg asks in “Get Them to Come to You,” If everyone in the world did what you said, what would that look like? My boss posed this question to me (and to the rest of my co-workers) after reading it in Ginsberg’s book. I feel a person’s answer to such a question is telling and worth hearing.

While I certainly wouldn’t presume to know how people worldwide should best live their lives, I would have a few requests:

Everyone would have manners and be respectful of themselves and others. They would say “please” and “thank you.” Drivers would learn how to use a turn signal and, when they used it, other drivers would actually let them in. People would have patience – with others and with unfortunate situations – and those who throw a fit over every little thing wouldn’t be rewarded. Finally, people would take responsibility for their own actions instead of blaming others for their problems.

6. What’s your favorite thing about your community/country? My favorite thing about Las Vegas is the opportunities it provides. I love to try new things – new sports, new ways to exercise, new activities, new places to visit, new foods, etc. I’ll try anything once. There are many things I know I’d enjoy that I can’t afford, but, since Las Vegas is still in a deep recession, many businesses are heavily discounting their products and services to the point that I can treat myself to fun things from time to time.

I also enjoy understanding the community in a way that most people don’t. I’m of a rare bread called a “Las Vegas native,” and, unlike many, I love it. While most newcomers say there’s no community in Las Vegas, I disagree. Any situation is what you make of it, and becoming a part of your community is no different. Outsiders might think Las Vegas is a big, transient city where no one knows your name, but we locals think of it as a just small town – a place in which you can’t go anywhere without running into someone you know.

7. How has your community/country influenced your life? Created opportunities or challenges for you? While I’m lucky to have been born in America, I’m afraid I don’t take advantage of all our country has to offer. I was raised to get good grades, take honors classes, graduate from high school, go to college (and graduate in four years), and get a job, and that’s exactly what I’ve done. I’ve done nothing less than expected but, unfortunately, nothing more. I feel that enjoying the comforts of life that most middle class Americans take for granted has made me complacent.

8. What is the biggest challenge facing your community? Currently, it’s the economy. While the downturn in the economy touched most of the world in one way or another, it’s brought Las Vegas to its knees. Las Vegas was doomed from the start, considering it (like Detroit) relied heavily on just one industry to support the local economy. That, alone, is a recipe for disaster. The effect was only compounded considering that industry is gaming/tourism, which relies on a good economy that supplies most with discretionary income they’re only too ready to part with.

A close runner up is our education system, which, last I heard, is 51st in the nation (D.C. included, obviously). To diversify its economy, a community must have an educated workforce to offer businesses looking to relocate or expand. While Southern Nevada has many intelligent and educated people, we aren’t winning many awards for our students’ academic performances. This isn’t because we don’t have good teachers; rather, I believe this issue ties back to the fact that Southern Nevada relies heavily on the gaming industry to provide well-paying jobs. As long as young people in our state feel they could make more money working at a casino (and, sadly, they’re correct in that assumption) than taking the “traditional” college degree followed by a rewarding/well-paying job route, they won’t find reason to make an effort in school. When recessions like the one we’re in come along and the hotel/casinos conduct massive layoffs, people who have taken this route don’t have a lot of alternative job options.

9. What’s your favorite place in the world? Why? I haven’t found that place yet. Other than Las Vegas, I quite like Roatan, Honduras.

Written by Melissa

September 22, 2010 at 6:09 am

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