Sunday, May 10, 2009

Purpose Statement

This quarter features more of those "Why am I doing this??" moments than the previous two. First quarter I was too overwhelmed to really think about what was going on and last quarter was a rather relaxing stroll through reference and statistics. LIS 530 is proving to be challenging - mostly the thrilling sort of challenging with spikes of the terrible challenging that makes me anxious and unable to sleep. Some of this is surely latent gifted child syndrome ("Everything was easy and perfect when I was 11 and, despite my brains, I can't figure out why it isn't now!"). Some of this is that the professor for 530 intends us to struggle, to not dance straight into perfect quiz scores. I appreciate this on an intellectual level and am left kicking my feet and pouting on a five-year-old level.

While finishing a paper, working on a quiz, and trying to plan out the next step of another major project, I kept thinking about all of the other things I could be doing at that exact moment if I wasn't in school. A late weekday afternoon featured running, reading novels, knitting, bringing the house up to a state slightly above hovel, and fencing. When I wasn't in school I had vacation time and money to spend to go on vacation. I didn't have to worry about tuition rates, Internet outages, or due dates.

Oh, due dates. My eternal nemesis. How many hours did I spend avoiding you with the vain idea that I "produce better when I'm under the gun." Now that I am officially too old to pull an all nighter, I hate due dates even more because I have to work ahead of them. I am much, much better at organizing my time than I was as an undergraduate or in my first grad program, but I still find myself overwhelmed. All I do is school and I'm terrified that in the future all I'll be able to do is work. Is this something I love enough to want to do it all the time? Most days, yes. I am a big fat nerd about most of this stuff and love when I can see what I've learned playing out at work. I know that what I want to do won't necessarily take the absorbing fanaticism that an English PhD would have required (unless I manage to become that cataloguer). Is this what a career means? Will I have to live and breathe it or is it that I have a tendency to live and breathe whatever my goal of the moment is? My history shows an ability to hyper focus with abandon...

I'm not sure, and I have a lesson plan to write and 8 readings on indexing and cataloging to get to...

Saturday, May 02, 2009


Since LIS 530 tried (and failed!) to completely destroy me, and because today features some Portland gray and continual reminders of my favorite graduating seniors, I present a list of what remains awesome:

*Maria'n'Stephen'n'Phoebe'n'Alicia'n'Jennifier(x2)'n'Claire(x2) - the best iSchoolers around

*Charles Ammi Cutter - librarian, cataloger, badass


*Barnaby Rudge (I honestly didn't think I would be loving this as much as I am)

*Possibility of visiting EDDS in August and the sticky horrible beautiful mess that is a New York summer

*Boston holding it at 3-3 after going into triple overtime AGAIN

*The Triangle Offense


*The bus mall returning to 5th and 6th

*Three day weekends

*Going to the eye doctor on Monday (which means Health Care)

*New student supervisors to train (though I will miss my girls like whoa)

*The rain that washed away whatever it was that sent me into a Benedryl induced coma yesterday

*Sarah Waters at Powell's on Monday

*The Customer Service lady at Toyota Financial

*That boy who hangs out with me


So FRBR, ARCS, MARC, IFLA, dc:, 4MAT and the Portland NAC have eaten my brain and my time. I haven't had the time to create a coherent, non-work related thought in forever.

Well, except about Phil Jackson.

Growing up, the only professional sport my father seemed to care about was hockey (we watched the Super Bowl too, but only because it featured Buffalo wings). Though my father and I were both born on Long Island*, we loved and cherished the New York Rangers. I will never forget that magical season when Messier, Graves, and Richter broke the curse (especially since I spent years being furious at my father for not taking me to the victory parade).

Over ten years later, I find myself living with a man who adores not the blood, speed, and beer of the NHL, but rather the narcissistic drama of the NBA. My father loathed professional basketball, so it was never on home. Until I met AK, my knowledge of the NBA began and ended with Pat Riley's pompadour. With great pleasure, he patiently explained the rudiments of the game during the Laker's failed attempt to take the Championship from the Pistons. He waxed poetically on the tactics, the rhythm, the movement. And then he wised up and just handed me Phil's book, Sacred Hoops and I was hooked.

I don't want this to be an essay on "How a girl learned to accept her husband's interest in sports, even though sports are icky", because that's a patently untrue assertion. Sports are for anyone, both in terms of who can compete and who can watch. The four greatest baseball fanatics I know are women (just as the biggest romantic I know is a man). It's for everyone. Period. Besides, I've always enjoyed watched professional sports because it provides all I want in entertainment: drama, complexity, and an excuse to yell at the screen. Perfection.

So even though I won't get the chance to see the Blazers take on Phil in the Rose Garden, I'll still be watching... if only to watch Kobe pitch a fit like the brat that he is.

*This is important, because New York has two other teams: the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Islanders. Once a coworker had Rangers' tickets he wasn't going to use and didn't think to pass them on to my Dad because he assumed my Dad was an Islanders fan. Heartbreak. Also, we hate the Devils and the Penguins.