Chapel The Hot Tea Queen

Chapel The Hot Tea Queen

Meet Chapel Cowden, our new Instruction Librarian in Health/Sciences. Depending on where you tend to hang out in the library, you’ve either caught Chapel on the first floor at the reference and circulation desks, or on the second floor in Special Collections. If you found her on the third floor, we disavow all knowledge. Needless to say – she’s been a library mainstay for years, and now she’s tackling a new role. But we digress. Let’s get this Q&A train rolling.

Third best childhood memory?
Eating the amazing fresh produce that my mom grew in our garden. Third worst memory: having to pick the okra from the garden. That stuff hurts!

Whose fictional TV character’s life would you like to inhabit for a year and why?
It’s really hard to pick just one but I’m going to go with Chris Stevens (John Corbett) from Northern Exposure. A philosophical, anti-establishment disc jockey, ordained minister, convicted felon, armchair physicist, artist, and poet, Chris is a bundle of contradictions, but always so comfortable with himself and his surroundings, and always inquisitive. He’s quite content to live in a little Airstream trailer, creating art and digging on the Aurora Borealis, with whoever happens to be passing by at the time. What an interesting life…and who wouldn’t want to live in the fictional town of Cicely, Alaska in all its weird glory?

Here’s a little sample of Chris: “There’s a dark side to each and every human soul. We wish we were Obi-Wan Kenobi, and for the most part we are, but there’s a little Darth Vader in all of us. Thing is, this ain’t no either-or proposition. We’re talking about dialectics, the good and the bad merging into us. You can run but you can’t hide. My experience? Face the darkness. Stare it down. Own it. As brother Nietzsche said, being human is a complicated gig. So give that ol’ dark night of the soul a hug. Howl the eternal yes!

Name one random fact about Tennessee you feel underappreciated.
Oak Ridge, the secret city created in the 1940s, was instrumental in the development of the atomic bomb. Today it holds the Spallation Neutron Source and some of the world’s most powerful scientific supercomputers, including the world’s top supercomputer, Titan. [Ok, these may not be totally underappreciated, but I’m really obsessed with Oak Ridge National Labs since my visit there a couple of years ago.]


Truly, what is the most comfortable footwear?
I wear my New Balance trail runner minimalists any time I get a chance. The best of going barefoot without all the pesky sharp objects embedded in your feet!

What are your hiking essentials?
Oh, the usuals: water, granola, toilet paper, a 14” kukri machete…

Describe your ideal weekend, using only lyrics from Beck songs.
I got nothing to do, nowhere to go
Let the window down
Let the weight of the world Drift away

Which president would you have preferred to be a member of the Secret Service for and why?
That’s classified information.

What’s an idiosyncratic eating ritual you have?
Buttering every single bit of space on the top of my toast. Unbuttered corners represent a wasted opportunity.

What is your favorite highly specific word?

If you came up with your own sport, what would you call it and how would the winner be determined?
Is alligator “wrasslin” already a legitimate sport? What about lion or porcupine “wrasslin”? Winner determined by a 3-count pin. Winner eats loser?

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