Shy Girl Blogs

Guess what!

Posted on: 11/05/2011

The Internet is a punk! Which is why I did not post last night!

I have failed NaBloPoMo in less than a WEEK, and it is YOUR FAULT, Internet. I leave it to your conscience. Go to your room and think about what you’ve done.

Also! I woke up yesterday, and again this morning, feeling like someone had beat the ever-loving snot out of me. My whole body aches for no apparent reason! Isn’t that fun! And seriously, I have not pushed anything heavier than a Walmart buggy or lifted anything heavier than my laptop. (Although, it is a heavy laptop. I’m just saying.) I sound like a groaning octogenarian every time I slowly lift my creaking, cracking body out of a chair! Yay!

Can you get high off Tylenol?! I might be figuring out the answer to that question right now!

On the upside, Daylight Savings ends tonight! Which means I get to sleep in tomorrow and feel like I’m running late everywhere I go for the next week! Wheeeeeeeee!

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Hi, I’m Leslie, and I’m a procrastinator.

Of all the stupid things I do … and I do a lot of stupid things … procrastinating is the one thing I do not understand and do not see the point in doing. And yet I do it.

Case in point: today I had two different assignments I could work on. (reference: yay!) (cataloging: boo!) Neither is the longest assignment I’ve been given this semester. I didn’t get a sub call for today so I was home alone, except for the Cheese Puff (that would be the puppy, Queso. Queso … Cheese Puff … see what we did there?) I do my best work when the house is empty and I can turn up the music as loud as it goes. So, conditions were right. Group members were waiting on my answers for one of the assignments, and we’re having a meeting about it tomorrow. So what do I do?

I mop the floor. I unload, reload, and start the dishwasher. I clean the remnants of Sister’s Halloween costume off the kitchen table. I bathe the puppy. I make lunch plans with a friend.

I do this even though I know, I know, that when a due date is looming and I do nothing about it, it worries me to death. All I can think about is the assignment and how I’m not doing the assignment and how I should be doing the assignment. I feel guilty for doing whatever I’m doing that is not the assignment. I lie awake at night thinking about how I didn’t do the assignment today and I really need to do it tomorrow, no seriously, I really do. I plan my entire day around the assignment and schedule time in which to do it and write myself notes in all caps in my planner.

Just sitting down and doing the darn thing is much better for my mental health than putting it off, clearly, and yet I continue to put things off. Whenever I’m faced with something I don’t want to do, my first reaction is to want to dive into bed, hide my head under the pillow and hope it will go away. Even though yes, I know, it won’t go away if I hide from it.

Fooling people into thinking I’m a grown up is really exhausting, you guys.

Why no, I’m not writing today’s post during an online class, why do you ask?

Listen, Wednesdays are busy, okay? And I’m still getting used to the whole “posting every day” idea. But I refuse to let NaBloPoMo kick my butt this early! Blerg, as Liz Lemon might say.

(Am I watching too much 30 Rock? Nevahhhh!)

Anyway, give me a break. We’re doing group presentations in class tonight, and my group isn’t presenting. After I post this, I may very well move on to FarmVille, and I have the knitting project I began last night right here ready to go, too. (I’m making a Ravenclaw scarf! It’s going to be SUPER cute.) Show me someone who claims they don’t multi-task during online class, and I’ll show you someone who lies like a rug.

Anyway! Uh. I need to sit down and make a list of NaBloPoMo post topics. And probably go ahead and write a bunch for scheduled posting. Thanksgiving break got a little hairy last year, if I recall. But! This year I have a pretty pretty pink iPad. Her name is Minnie. She’s sparkly. So what I’m saying is I should have more access than I did, and maybe that will help me not to miss a day.

Well, the first presentation is starting and I should be a good classmate and go watch the slides. I suppose. Peace out!

So, it’s November again! That fact just sort of smacked me in the face a little while ago, as I sit here among my flannel sheets watching season 1 of 30 Rock on Netflix and eating fun size Snickers I snitched from my sister’s candy bag. (What? She has braces, she can’t eat them! I’m doing it to help her out!) So, in spite of the fact that library school is slowly chewing up my brain and spitting it back out, I am gearing up to wade into NaBloPoMo. It was a struggle last year to come up with something every day … and that’s why it didn’t happen … but it was fun too! So I’m trying it again! Although some days you may get a tirade about cataloging and my crazy, nitpicky professor thereof and unenlightened fools who think librarians’ sole function is to know where all the books are.

*seethe*

That last one can really get me going.

I’m dealing with a little residual Halloween-flavored crank today, anyway. I handed out candy at my church’s Trunk or Treat last night (so fun, I love handing out candy!), but it brought me face-to-face with some Halloween pet peeves – that I didn’t even realize I had. It was a night of real self-discovery.

Number one: teenagers who can still legitimately trick-or-treat (barely) but don’t even bother to put forth 5 minutes’ worth of effort. We had teenagers taller than me in everyday clothes lumbering through the line with limp Walmart bags. Really, guys? Do you feel no shame? Taking candy from adorable 3-year-olds in their princess and fireman costumes? If you’re going to trick-or-treat, at least own that crap and wear a ridiculous costume. We’ll all have more fun.

Number two: grown adults trick-or-treating without even a baby in tow. Really? Sad. … Not to mention illegal.

Number three: parents taking their infants trick-or-treating. First of all, if you do/have done this, no condemnation from me. I can appreciate a baby in a fuzzy skunk costume as much as anyone. And if you also have older kids, obviously you get a pass. All I’m saying is, y’all I saw last night collecting a pillowcase full of candy “for the baby?” You get major side-eye. I know who that candy is really for, okay.

Ahh! Now that’s out of my system, I feel so much better. Blogging really is better than therapy, y’all. And so begins NaBloPoMo! Stay tuned.

That day.

Posted on: 09/11/2011

You know the one. Every generation has one, that day, the one you can ask about and no one needs to know which day you mean. For our generation, it’s 9/11.

I think about it every year on the anniversary, I’m always aware of it, but this year it’s different: this is the tenth anniversary. I was only thirteen years old in 2001. In some ways it seems like it happened just yesterday; in others it seems like it was ages ago. In any case, I remember that day.

It was a Tuesday, an ordinary one. I don’t recall any drama that morning, so I’m fairly certain we all woke up on time and got to school and work when we were supposed to. I think I was wearing one of those Old Navy flag shirts, although I don’t remember for sure. It was my 8th-grade year. Right around this time, exactly ten years ago, I was sitting in my language arts classroom. The teacher, Mr. West, was one of my favorites. It was right around 9 AM, and our teacher’s daughter, who also went to our school, came to the door and said a plane had just hit the World Trade Center. Mr. West didn’t believe her, insisted that couldn’t have happened. He stopped what he was doing and turned on the TV, and there it was. He didn’t even have to change the channel to find it. According to this site, the first plane had hit at 8:46 and the second at 9:02; we heard the news and tuned in sometime shortly after 9:02. For some reason I remember looking at the clock, but I can’t recall exactly what time it said.

We all just sat and stared at the TV. You could have heard a pin drop in that classroom; I doubt it’s been that quiet either before or since. It’s hard to put into words what I was thinking and feeling at that point. No one seemed to know exactly what had happened, or why, and at first I believe I was thinking oh no, what a horrible accident. Of course, it didn’t take long before all the newspeople began talking about terrorists. This may have been the first time I’d really heard of a terrorist, but I didn’t need to ask anyone what it meant.

At first, I watched all of this – footage of smoke billowing over the New York City skyline, people wandering around covered in dust and soot, papers flying through the air, planes buried halfway in the sides of the towers – with a kind of detached sorrow, similar to what you might feel when you drive past a wreck on the road. You can see something bad has happened, you feel sorry for those involved and hope they’re okay, but it usually doesn’t touch you too deeply. That’s how I felt at first. As we continued to watch, however – as the first tower collapsed, as we heard about other hijackings, about the plane hitting the Pentagon, rumors of more targets – that detached sorrow became a very real, deep horror. I couldn’t believe what was happening, and I certainly couldn’t process it all. Before we left that class, our teacher turned off the TV for a moment to speak to us. He seemed just as shaken as I was, as I’m sure we all were. He told us not to worry and assured us that we were safe. I didn’t really feel that was true.

The rest of the day we moved around the school as usual, but there was nothing usual about it. Every classroom had the door open and the TV turned to the news, and I vividly remember the silence. Everywhere you went, it was so quiet. Even the cafeteria had a hush over it, as if we were afraid to be too loud even when we could. No class took place that day; one teacher (a social studies guy that was pretty much universally disliked already) made us turn off the TV while he taught, but none of us heard a word. We were just angry at him for making us miss out on what was happening and eager to get into the next class to see what was going on.

I always walked to my mom’s office after school. It was only a couple blocks away, and in my small town I was never scared. That day, I was. I think I half expected to look up and see planes flying low overhead. I practically ran down the sidewalk, and when I reached Mom’s office I burst through the door and gasped out, “Did you hear?” Of course she had; no one could have made it that far through the day without hearing. That evening my family went to my aunt’s house where we all sat – my parents and I, my little sister, my aunt, uncle and baby cousin, and my grandparents – and kept watching the news. I think we all wanted to be together. That’s all we did for weeks after, watch the news. I’d never been interested in the news before in my life, and now I couldn’t get enough of it. I don’t remember how long it took us to go back to watching anything else, but it was a long time.

The Internet will most likely be inundated with people’s memories and stories today, to the point where I’m sure some will be really tired of hearing about it. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of hearing the stories, and I think if we ever stop telling them, we’ll be doing a disservice to ourselves and to those we lost. Everyone who was old enough to have a memory of that day has a valuable story to share; none of those memories are mundane or commonplace. Where were you? What is your story of that day?

I was just linked to a fabulous article on Facebook, from The Atlantic: “What People Don’t Get About Working In A Library.” (Apparently this is part of a larger article or series pointing out things about many careers that people don’t know or don’t understand. I only read the part Relevant To My Interests.)

At orientation last month, we got to hear from a panel of practitioners in the information science field. What impressed upon me the most were some words from a school librarian; she said that the most important thing for us to do is advocate for ourselves, our field and our jobs. As most people probably know, government funding for public libraries is in danger and in this age of Google, people are often questioning whether libraries and, by default, librarians are even relevant and necessary anymore. I can promise you, they are! People have no idea what is really available to them at the library, and our job is to get that information out there.

You can read the whole article here, but these are my favorite bits (especially the last quote!):

“We are not mere cart pushers, let me assure you. This job requires a Masters degree for a reason.”

“I am an aggregator, a citation machine, a curator, a specialist in whatever it is you want to know about.”

“I use Google, and I like Google, but no, not everything is available on the Web for free.”

Ahem. Well. It’s been a while. Hi, how are you. I’m a bit rusty.

I’m not even going to start about how I’m totally going to blog more, no really, I mean it this time, because we all know how that one works out for me. Although I’ll be here come hell or high water for NaBloPoMo, I will promise you that. I am spending a lot more time in front of the ol’ laptop these days, for what it’s worth, so you can make of that what you will.

Well, I have officially started grad school! (And it’s eating my brain, as you have probably discovered if you’re my friend on Facebook.) I’ve been in class for about three weeks or so, and my mind, she has been blown. I was really intimidated after my first class met – most people in my program are significantly older than me, and I came away from the class meeting feeling like they were all smarter than me and how could they possibly accept me into this program, I’m not smart enough, I can’t do this! But that feeling didn’t last too long, thankfully. There are only a handful of us who went into the program straight out of undergrad; one of my professors said she thinks it’s because the information science field is a career change later in life for a lot of people. Anyway, it was pretty intimidating, and it’s definitely odd to feel like the “child” of the class!

My classes are all online, which is very cool – and the main reason I’m now in front of the computer so much! We have synchronous classes, which at first I didn’t think I’d like. We all log in to our class space at specified times, and we can hear our professor lecture and see their slides. We have buttons for raising our hand, agreeing and disagreeing, etc., and there’s a space for text chat where we can all discuss things. And although our classes are 2 hours and 40 minutes long, each, they are very rarely boring and I usually come away excited and with a feeling of ahh, these are my people!

(Am I making you want to barf yet?)

So far this semester I have a pretty good routine, although technically I have 3 part-time jobs (if you count school as a job, which, in my house, we do). Here’s the craziest part: I’m teaching a class. If you know me at all you’ve probably heard me vehemently insist that I do not want to be a teacher, no I don’t, don’t even go there. And here I am, making lesson plans and lecturing (sort of. I try to get the students to talk back!). I teach a basic level writing class for international students at the university where I got my bachelor’s. I have students from Brazil and Chile, and they’re very nice and very smart students with very shaky English. It’s a struggle to understand them sometimes but we all manage to get our points across, and we usually have a good laugh about it. And as if that wasn’t enough, I’m also signed up to substitute teach at my high school. (Glutton for punishment, me? No, why do you ask?) I haven’t got a call yet, but I expect they’ll probably start rolling in soon as cold and flu season arrives. I’m hoping sub days will be good opportunies to dig through the mountains of reading I have for my own classes, as long as I don’t get stuck in a room full of absolute heathens. Ha.

One last thing, I wanted to share my glee and delight over a new toy I’ve recently discovered. Have you heard of Pinterest? If you’re looking for a time-suck, ladies and gentlemen, look no further. On Pinterest you make pinboards, and anything you find on the Internet that inspires you in some way, you pin them to the board. I have boards for outfits I like, crafts and holiday decorations I’d like to make, new recipes, my dream kitchen, and stuff I’d like to put in my future theoretical office. Go have a look around, and if you want to join yourself let me know and I’ll send you an invite! (You have to be invited by someone, or you can sign up at the site itself and be put on an invite waiting list.) Go on, it’s fuuuun.

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