I forgot about this yesterday, but that was my 3-year anniversary here at Carleton. By no coincidence whatsoever, it was also the 3-year anniversary of the day I started considering myself a librarian.
When I originally took this job, I secretly promised myself I could have another job after I’d stayed here for four years. I was terrified and lonely and felt under-qualified, but I knew I could stick almost anything out for four years. After all, college had been scary, but I’d made it through. Grad school had been scary, but four years later I’d finished a couple degrees. My secret plans have been foiled, though, because the people here are so great and the stuff I get to do here is so amazing that I’ve decided four years isn’t nearly enough. So if they’ll have me, I’d like to stay for a few more, please.
After CIL, I rented a car and drove down to Bluefield, West Virginia, to be in my best friend’s wedding. She made a beautiful bride. I think all brides should have red hair.
Now they’re on their honeymoon and I’m back home getting ready for the evening reference shift. I must say, I’m having a harder than normal time making the transition back to everyday life after more than a week of travel, conferences, more travel, wedding stuff, and even more travel. But I’ve got to get my head on straight soon because the next few weeks are going to be incredibly full.
I looked up and instantly got shy when I saw Cindi pointing her camera at me. But somehow she managed to snap a picture of me that I love. You can see all the other stunning portraits she took in her CIL 2008 photo set.
This week was pretty incredibly stressful, the kind of week that makes me set my sights on the weekend and promise myself that I’ll be able to spend most of one whole day just curled up on the couch Continuous Partial Attentioning myself through movies, a book, and my friend the internet.
In fact, nearly every Saturday I try to take the day to recharge my spent batteries. I don’t have to talk to anyone if I don’t want to, and I don’t have to do anything if I don’t want to. It’s a Do Nothing day. If I’m to be a happy and productive member of society, I need these Do Nothing days, and I need them every single weekend.
But alas, just because I need them doesn’t make them possible. It was a sad day when I agreed to direct the campus handbell choir because they rehearse on Saturdays, but usually a 2-hour interruption of nothingness won’t kill the effects of the rest of the nothingness. And fairly frequently I’ll work on projects that I just can’t get done while I’m at work, but that don’t take a whole lot of brain power. But I try to think of these as minor interruptions of the Do Nothing day. The day still exists, it’s just spiced up a little.
Unfortunately for me, today I’ll be squeezing all the important weekend tasks into my Do Nothing day (handbell rehearsal, dishes, meal planning for next week, grocery shopping, laundry, paying bills, … you know the kinds of things) because tomorrow will be full of choir rehearsal and choir performance from 7am to 11, and Sunday reference from 1 to 10pm. I could almost cry.
Some people have expressed an interest in looking over my shoulder while I learn Japanese via Rosetta Stone. With that in mind (and because I really didn’t have enough blogs yet, it seems), I’ve started a new blog just for that. That way, those of you who find it amusing or interesting can follow along, but the rest of you can stay here with my more library-centric musings.
Here’s the first post from the new blog, and the last one that will be posted here.
On Sunday, I cracked open my brand new goody box of Rosetta Stone materials and got ready to learn Japanese. Of course, first I had to figure out which of the two CDs needed installing first, and how not to blow my ear drums out with the headphone volume, and how to make Vista play nice with the Rosetta Stone application. I also thought I might read the user manual, since I want to do this right, but I realized that I’m just not a manual reader at heart and gave up after flipping past most of the first 10 pages.
Finally, everything was in tip top shape, I’d regained my hearing after an initial misunderstanding with my volume controls, and it was time to begin. Only I didn’t. I cleaned up my kitchen instead, wondering all the while why I was nervous about this. That done I… no, I didn’t get started. I called home and caught up with family news for a while instead. But by this time the sun had set and I was in serious danger of not meeting my own goal of getting started over the weekend, so I screwed up my courage, sat down at the computer, and began lesson one.
I quickly realized I’d have to get over my analytical “must know why things work” mentality. Presented with “Teeburu no shita ni ira otokonoko” there were just so many questions! Why is the “boy” at the end of the sentence, when I’m pretty sure the picture meant that the boy is under the table (and no, the boy was not drunk, he was playing under the table)? Are there cases in this language like there are in French? What if he “was” under the table? Is “to be” irregular in Japanese just like it is in other languages? Do nouns decline? If “to be” is irregular, how am I ever going to learn it based on these pictures? What if I forget these vocabulary words?
Clearly I’m having trouble sitting back and trusting Rosetta Stone to do it’s thing. I will work on trusting it. When it gets to be too much, I’ll reach for my dictionary and look up a couple of the words to see what they mean in a dictionary-type way, but every once in a while I’ll try to just let things flow. After all, this program has a pretty good reputation. Maybe I shouldn’t second-guess it too much.