Maybe I'm tired of school and all the stupid hoops they make you jump through.  Either way, it's rant time.

Follow the Cut for Rantage )
Well, I'm in the Utah Library Association newsletter, at least.  Check it out!

Pic Below the Cut )

I know my updating has been sparse of late. I blame it on the fact that I can't post from work (a combination of being too busy and I would feel bad about doing that stuff while I'm on the clock). But I have a few things to write about and here they are in no particular order -

- Radio Free Skaro (though Traveling the Vortex scooped them on this) announced that The Caves of Androzani Special Edition will be released in North America on February 14!!  As a HUGE 5th Doctor fan, this is very exciting news to me.  I've been chomping at the bit for this one and Resurrection of the Daleks to be released over here, as those Revisitation sets have already been available in the UK for quite some time.

- I recently started back in to The Wheel of Time series that I gave up on back in high school.  I read the first seven of those books and enjoyed them quite a bit back then, but I had no idea where he was going with this and it just seemed to go on and on and on with no resolution in sight.  So, I resolved to set them aside and  and come back to them when the series was finished (or at least close to being done).  Well, since Robert Jordan passed away in 2007 and Brandon Sanderson took over to round out the series, i figured it was time to get back into it.  Though I'm going to audiobook route on this go-round.  Thanks to an hour-long commute to work (which I don't compain about since I actually don't mind the drive so much), it's a good way to go.  Plus, the library has all of them on audiobook and I've pretty much stopped buying all my books because Ican get them for free at work, so I can burn them onto my iPod and listen to them that way.  I think it's great!

- Work is... work.  I shouldn't say it that way - it's one of the best jobs I've ever had!  Probably another reason I haven't been posting on LJ - I don't have anything that's annoying me (wow - that's pretty sad when the only things worth blogging about are things that piss me off.  I ought to blog about good things too!)  I work in a freaking library, for goodness sake!  I get to see all the new books coming in and preview them (briefly) as I'm checking them in!  The other day I had a morning shift at one library and an evening shift at another one, so I just hung around reading at yet another library in the branch during the interim hours before I had to go back to work again.  You know you have a great job when you like spending your off-time there hanging out.  Plus, I get to know where everything is and I know the staff and they know me.  Of course, it'll be great when I'm working full-time at one branch (preferably as a librarian rather than a clerk), but I'll take what I can get for now.  The Salt Lake City system has a few job openings for library assistant (which has the duties of a librarian and a clerk rolled into one - pretty decent entry-level job that isn't a substitute), so I've applied there.  Even though I love working at Salt Lake County, I'll happily go work for the City if they'll take me (a great job, plus higher pay and benefits.  Sure, why not?)

- I am thisclose to being done with school.  And, boy howdy, do they make you earn it!  I have to put together a portfolio website (which is much better than writing a thesis that no one will ever read other than me and my professors) and I have to outline theories of library services.  Which is pretty stupid because library services is all about practicality.  I have a patron with a question, I help them with their question, we find what the patron is looking for and all is well.  I'm not going to sit back and contemplate the theory behind the service I'm rendering while I'm rendering it.  Maybe other, more intellectually snobby people do but that's a pain in the butt as far as I'm concerned.  And I highly doubt the public gives a flying ant fart about the theory of library services.  Sheesh... this is why I've had it with academia.  Anyway...

- My fantasy football team hasn't done so great this year, but I should be improving now that I have much of my fall semester behind me and I can turn my attention to more fun things.  I'm just in a league with my family and some friends - it's not like any of us has money in this thing.  I mean, I follow the NFL fairly well (better than most people I know), but I sometimes don't know which players I should put in.  My brother finally had to tell me I had one of the best running backs in the NFL on my bench and I could have been winning more if I'd put him in my starting lineup.  Well, of course I would figure it out the week the Bills have a bye.  Oh well - I don't think I have to play my obnoxious little cousin again.  He gloats so bad when he wins - it's miserable (and he's only thirteen - but he's been insufferable since he could talk.  He cheers for the Patriots, if that gives you any idea how big of a turd he can be).

All in all - I've been doing quite well.  Can't complain too much.  I feel like my life is coming together and I really don't have anything to be worried about.  I mean, I love what I'm doing, I don't have to deal with anybody I don't want to and I pretty much keep to myself and I'm happy about it.

(and hopefully I'll post again soon.  I have been check my flist on a regular basis - I just don't post stuff here very much.  And that's kind of sad).

 I've been chatting back and forth with my classmates who are going to Serbia with me next month on our study abroad trip - this is starting to be more real.  Especially since we're probably going to go a few days early and sightsee in another European city (because, honestly, am I ever going to have this chance again?)  I think - THINK, mind you - that we will be going to London (as long as it's still standing by the time we get there).  If not London, then maybe Paris or Vienna (but I am soooo crossing my fingers that the other two who are going decide on London).

While I am super-excited, I am also dead nervous about it.  I am soooo not a world traveler and I have no idea how to handle things like should I carry cash or credit cards?  Should I even take my debit card?  I already know this is going to be expensive (luckily the school has some grant money available for us).  What about my cell phone - how much is a call from my phone to my classmates' phone going to be if we're both in the same country?  Will I have access to laundry facilities or should I just pack enough clean clothes for the whole time I'm in Europe?  What if I get lost?

I think I'll be fine and I'll have a great time once I get there - it's just all the anticipation and preparation that's driving me crazy.  Going on a mission was so much easier because the mission office took care of travel arrangements and having someone meet you at the airport and you're traveling with a big group already.  Plus, I stayed in the US, so changing money and worrying about debit cards wasn't an issue.  Organizing a trip on your own is so much tougher.

Have any of you gone on international trips?  Can you please lend a globetrotting greenie some useful advice?  I promise I'll post interesting pictures when I get back.
So... I tried to post from my phone while I was at the Utah Library Association conference earlier today.  And I have discovered that my post never appeared.  I swear I hit the "Submit" button... but alas - nothing.

In an effort to actually post something here that's useful and not just the usual fandom stuff like I have been lately, here are some of the highlights from today:

- Teen Authors Panel - There were actually two of these and none of the other offered workshops tickled my fancy, so I stayed for both.  And it was GLORIOUS!  One thing I struggle with is speaking up to strangers, especially in professional settings.  When I think "OMG - this could influence my career, thus affecting my entire LIFE!" my brain goes stupid and I just can't talk.  But at this panel, I got up the gumption to raise my hand and ask intelligent questions of the authors.  I even gave some of them my business card with my book review blog on it (cjsbookshelf.blogspot.com) and told them I'd be interested in reviewing their books (maybe I'll get emails from their editors - one of the authors asked me if I did author interviews - which would be AWESOME to actually do).  I had never heard of any of these authors before, but they had some cool stuff.  One of the authors was a Sheila Nielson from the Provo City Library who wrote a book called "Forbidden Sea" after a bunch of girls in her library said they wanted mermaid books and she just didn't have them.  Two of the authors co-wrote a book called "Blogs of Wrath," which sounded fun.  The one book I did buy at the conference was "I Kissed a Zombie and I Like It" by Adam Selzer.  He was hilarious - I wanted to buy more of his stuff and have him sign it, but I resisted and just bought the one.

- Morning Business Meeting - I snuck in for that little nugget of joy at 8:00 this morning (considering I had to get up by 6:30 just to get ready and be there... oy...)  It was mostly awards and junk, but one thing that happened gave me a glimmer of hope for myself.  One of the presenters in the meeting was plugging the Mountain West something-or-other academic history library.  Before she came up, she was sitting next to a guy who just graduated from library school and was looking for a job in an academic library.  So while she was up at the podium, she pointed this guy out and then pointed out one of the seasoned historical librarians (who had just been awarded Librarian of the Year) and told the two of them to talk after the meeting.  It was meant as an example of networking and it just imbued me with the thought of "I can do this!"  And the people I talked to today were so nice and excited to hear that I was new in the library field, so that was encouraging.  It's good to know that the kinds of people you want to work for are friendly and won't eat you if you misspeak or something.

- President's Reception - Oh, this was fun!  They had door prizes and snacks and lots of exhibitors with TONS of free stuff!  I actually won a signed copy of "Write More Good" by the people from @FakeAPStylebook.  The funny thing is that I'm staying with one of my classmates and she is good friends with one of the authors of that book.  We actually were talking about that book last night before bed because I'd picked up her copy and was flipping through it.  It's funny.  A little crass, but I got a good laugh out of it (I'm turning into a heathen, aren't I?)

Tomorrow is when most of the workshops are.  And there are some pretty good ones to go to, so I'm excited about it.  Oh, and I also sent my resume to the Salt Lake City Library for one of their Library Assistant positions - fingers crossed!! (please, please, please)
I'm working on a program plan for my Young Adult Library Services class.  I'm supposed to plan and put together a program (though the rest of the world would refer to it as an activity) geared toward young adult patrons.  I got the idea to do a March Madness-type tournament a la [livejournal.com profile] f_march_madness , but with books instead of fandom characters.  Plus, the library at the middle school close to where I live did a similar "Battle of the Books" thing, so I figured it would be okay.

So, I'm just plugging along writing up my idea - even created a mock-up of a bracket and came up with categories and points systems and everything.  Things are looking up (which is good because this assignment's due TONIGHT).  Until I realized that the term "Office Pool" might make people think of gambling and parents would get upset about that.  Even though I wouldn't charge anybody to participate in this activity and anyone who wanted to could turn in a predictions bracket.  I changed "Office Pool" to "Predictions Round,' so maybe that will make it okay?  It's just for fun anyway.  Good grief - I've never put money down on the actual March Madness tournament or any other kind of sporting event, so I just don't think of these things.  Any kind of guessing about sports, etc. is purely for my own enjoyment.

Sad thing is this is the last MAJOR ASSIGNMENT I have this semester.  I don't really want to be stressing about this too much.
This morning I had a meeting with the assistant manager of the library where I'm going to be doing a practicum this summer.  The way she talked to me and asked me about my goals and what-not, I almost thought she was ready to hire me (oh, how glorious that would be!)  Even so, she mentioned that the Salt Lake County Library system is going to have three new libraries open in the new year or so and they're going to have piles and piles of new positions soon - many of which are the kinds of positions that are very relevant to my interests (teens and children's services and what-have-you).

It doesn't mean anything (yet), but I'm taking it as a good sign.  Especially where I will be unemployed come the end of May. *fingers crossed*

In the meantime, I am SUPER STOKED to be starting this practicum - you have no idea.  The more I see and the more I talk to people, I'm convinced that this is what I want to do (which is a good thing, seeing as how I'm more than halfway done with my degree).  The staff at the library as really nice and awesome and they were all doing cartwheels (well - sort of) when I introduced myself and told them who I was.

This is going to be fun :)
Yesterday the school went to the Pioneer Theatre Company's production of "The Diary of Anne Frank" as part of their English class and since I'm their on-site teacher-type-person, I went with them.  I got to see a fantastic play, hung out with my awesome students and the school district said it'd be okay if I was paid for the full day instead of just my usual half (since I didn't get home until 11:30, I'd say that's more than fair).

However, while I was on the bus with everyone, I checked Facebook on my phone and found this little gem waiting to send me into a fangirl spiral of OMG-ness:



And through the magic of technology, I captured and now share my priceless reaction with you now:

Photobucket

Well.  Something like that.

Like I said before, I got home at, basically the crack of midnight. I had enough composure to let the dog in the house (she was waiting so patiently for me too - it was adorable), get into my PJs and flop into bed.

This morning, I left for work and I took the dog outside. When I came home, the poor thing could hardly move. She was shaking really bad and she just wasn't as peppy as she usually is (you should see how crazy she was when I came home last night. Like I said - adorable). She drank some milk (which I later found out is not really good for dogs - hey, I'm not a vet!), but she just wouldn't move very much and I started to get scared. I called my dad and told him what was going on and he said I should bring her in to the vet (a friendly reminder: I live 90 miles away from town. Getting anywhere substantial involves at least an hour and a half drive in the car). So, I call work in a frenzy telling them what's going on - my boss is uber-understanding and tells me that he'll take care of getting me a sub for tomorrow (that's the nice thing about everyone out here being ranchers - when you have a sick animal, you get that creature the help it needs ASAP), I pack up my stuff for the weekend since I was planning a small vacation anyway, load up the car and head out.

The good news is that my dog perked up a bit by the time we got to the vet's office. He checked her out anyway and said she had a pancreatic inflammation and he could take care of it. He gave her a couple shots (poor girl is still mad at me, I think) and some medicine for later. She does look tons better now, so I'm glad that I brought her in.

However, this little side-trip threw a monster of a monkey wrench into my life.  I have a HUGE research paper due on Sunday that I *cough* haven't really started... *cough, cough* and I'd planned on really getting going on it today.  Friday and Saturday I'm going to spend at K's house - I got tickets for the Saturday Morning Session of General Conference for us both to go - I'm still going, but I'll just be spending the Afternoon Session doing homework and not really paying attention like I usually do.  AND I have a class weekend next week that I have to prepare for (and this is for my other class - not the one I'm writing the paper for).

Oh, did I mention we have Region Drama competition next week and I'm the drama coach? (How, how, how did I - of all people - become a high school drama coach?  Not that I don't enjoy it - I'm just wondering out loud to myself).  Plus, I'm getting my sister's baby shower all arranged for next month AND I'm getting ready for the ULA conference in May AND I'm meeting with the librarian I'm doing my practicum with next week?

Umm... so, yeah... if you need me, call on April 11.  I might have time to squeeze you in.
Sunday night - Mom and my sisters have gone back to town, so it's just me, Dad and the dog hanging out with no football to watch, but plenty of homeworky-type things to do.  Am I doing any of it?  Oh, heavens no!  But I am blogging a list.  And what a list it is -

- Mom and I had a nice chat about things and that was good.  She's a bit happier, which I think is fantastic - been planning a few things for herself that have nothing to do with certain unpleasant things that usually bring her down.  We talked about the baby shower I'm throwing for my sister in May and I'm excited to for that.  Not just the party, but the fact that I'm going to be an aunt and I'll have a little one to spoil greatly and have fun with without actually being the parent (still don't know if it's a niece or nephew yet.  Sis and Bro-in-Law know, but they aren't telling anyone right now.  Should I be running a betting pool?)

- Like I've said recently, it's really nice to throw things away.  We've been cleaning things that have been in storage since we moved nine years ago.  Most of that stuff was stuff that, at the time, I couldn't bear to part with.  But now, I'm happily throwing things out in the trash and in the burning barrel and watching it go up in smoke.  It feels like a metaphor almost.  I'm getting rid of old crap that was weighing me down and now I have room for things in my life that are new and wonderful without worrying if they'll fit in with the old stuff I had hanging around before.  I have so many ideas and fun things I want to do - I don't want to feel beholden to the past as though I owed it something (that was profound and deep, actually).

- I really, really, REALLY like cinnamon gummy candy.  These cinnamon Easter bunnies are the best!

- I bought a plastic needlework thread organizer box for all my stray cross-stitching floss.  I'm starting to feel like a real cross-stitcher-person-thing!  It's just so relaxing to me and I love it.  Though, I need to find something to do with all my cross-stitching projects when they're finished.  Gifts, I suppose.  I'll see how this works out.

- I have so much to be happy about right now.  I'm right in the thick of my Master's degree, I'm going to do a practicum this summer, I'm finally getting to move out of my parent's house(!), I'm in a fandom that I completely adore and I find things to be absolutely giddy about at the drop of a hat.  And I'm in a job that I love that will help lead to other good things that I just can't wait for!


I want to do a video with this song. I just need the right inspiration. Hm...

I have an assignment due in two weeks that requires I interview a collection development librarian and write up a report about it.  We worked on an acceptable list of interview questions during our last class weekend and I'm sitting here getting ready for the interview tomorrow.  As I'm perusing the list, I realize that as we got to the end of the brainstorming of questions, we were getting exceedingly creative.  Questions such as "What circumstances was your collection development policy designed to accommodate?" start creeping into the equation.  Honestly - what day-to-day working librarian is going to have that on their mind?  (That's what you get from a room full of graduate students, I suppose).

Other than that, I'm having a really good evening.  I'm figuring out what my big research paper is going to be on for my management class (which is a relief because I really hate this class - if it wasn't required, I wouldn't be taking it at all) and the topic is actually relevant to my interests (by and large, management is NOT on my list of top ten things I want to learn about.  I hate being in charge and I try to avoid any situations where I might be put in charge of something.  Doesn't always happen, but there you go).  Plus, I watched last night's "Mike and Molly" on my DVR from last night - that was probably the funniest episode so far.  I love, love, LOVE Carl's grandma!  And this time, instead of Mike seeking her wit and wisdom, Molly was the one receiving Nana's sassy sarcasm (and Molly ends up dishing it right back, so it works out fabulously.  Forget Molly's stoner sister and horny mother - I want more scenes with Molly and Nana!)

All in all, a pleasant night.  :)


That video makes me squee so happily. I don't even know why.

It's been a busy weekend, to be sure. So, I'll just hit the highlights and move on with my life.

- My extended family is nuts. Not in the literal committed-and-on-meds way - just a little odder than most people are. I had to drive my (much older) cousin home to Salt Lake over the weekend - the poor guy is so shy. He doesn't say "Boo!" without apologizing profusely, which is okay, I guess, until you've heard it fifty times. But he wanted relationship advice from me (he's 15 years older than me) and in asking for my help, we ventured into the mystical land of TMI and Brain Bleach... do I want to deal with this? Heavens no! Sheesh - I've never had a relationship of my own (nor do I want on). Why am I being asked to fix someone else's problems? -_-'

'kay, that's over - NEXT!

- I. LOVE. STUDYING. LIBRARY. SCIENCE. Laugh if you must, but this weekend I went up to Salt Lake to meet up with my MLS Cohort buddies and enjoy a full weekend of discussing collection development. Beyond getting all this new information so I can be a good librarian when I get to that point, I just love being around my classmates and colleagues. Maybe it's because I had a real downer week (the kids at school were being little twerps and I'll just leave it at that), but it felt good to get away and do something that makes me feel good.  I honestly can't wait to do my practicum this summer.

- While I was up north, my dad had me move some of my stuff that's been in storage since we moved nine years ago. We'd had it stored at this old house my parents own but are now selling (which, why we didn't sell it years ago is beyond me, but I'm not the one calling the shots). But since I don't have my own place to move all my stuff to, it just moved into another storage area (into a friend of mine's garage - I'm going to be living with her this summer anyway). Most of my stuff ended up getting thrown out because I didn't need it or because of mice (yeah...), so I actually have less stuff than I thought I did.

- Here's a funny story - for my class weekends, we meet in a small-ish library in Salt Lake City down the road from the University of Utah. It's right next to a Barnes and Noble, which does not help my finances at all. I'd arrived at the library early on Friday night, so I thought I'd go browse B&N to see if they had anything good. I ended up in the DVD section, perusing their Doctor Who DVDs to see if there was something I really wanted that 2Entertain wasn't planning a Revisitation version of later. Turned out they had the Black Guardian Trilogy at a decent enough price, so I bought that. The guy at the counter noticed what I was buying and actually seemed impressed that I was buying a Doctor Who boxed set and he started asked me who my favorite Doctor was - I replied that I really didn't have a favorite yet (well, I do, but I haven't seen them all yet, so I'm reserving judgment), but I'd been on a Peter Davison kick lately (hence, my purchase) and I really liked both David Tennant and Matt Smith. I think the guy thought it was cool that there was a 20-something girl in Utah that actually knew what Doctor Who was - even enough to buy some of the Classic series on DVD (or maybe I'm just giving myself gratuitous pats on the back).

As I left the store, I had to get on the escalator down and I noticed a guy walk in with either his wife or girlfriend. This guy had a black t-shirt on with white lettering in the shape of a TARDIS that said "Bow Ties are Cool" and a white image of a bow tie above that. I wanted to yell out "Nice shirt!" to the guy, but he'd passed by the time I got to the bottom of the escalator (plus, I'm a little shy about yelling out in a crowded store - and I try not to get too over-zealous about my love of all things Who, especially in public. I don't do well with awkwardness). But seriously - how cool is it that I encountered not just one, but TWO people who seemed to know what Doctor Who was and even were fans of it? 'Course, I was in Barnes and Noble, which I lovingly refer to as "The Geek Store" but it just made my heart happy ^_^

Cheers!
Class this weekend and I'm getting plenty of great information, but one question still lingers (and has been voiced by one of my classmates) -

How am I going to remember all this stuff when I actually need it?

:/
A few things this evening -

1. Jerry Sloan, who has coached the Utah Jazz since forever, resigned today (see what happens when I abandon the internet for a day?) Coach Sloan was one of the classiest, hard working coaches in any sport ever and I'm going to miss him a lot.  Another piece of my childhood passes on.

     1a. You know, this is one of the moments that it really pisses me off that Sloan never won Coach of the Year (even though there were a few times that it should have been his).  But he never was bitter about it - so I guess I shouldn't be either.

      1b. Same goes with the Finals.  As they say - we was robbed (I'm really bad at letting things go - so's my mom.  It's a family trait, I suppose).

2. I missed last week's "The Big Bang Theory," so I caught up today on the DVR.  I almost got a little teary-eyed with Sheldon's performance as his mom bidding little "Shelly" good-bye as he departs to the 23rd century with Spock. *tear*

    2a. But what in the name of Captain James Tiberius Kirk was up with this week's episode and Leonard re-enacting "The Graduate?"  Has Leonard taken up the role of slut boy nerd or something?  Weird...

3. I had two of the biggest book orders come in the last few weeks (I still have about five more books to catalog).  And there is some dang good stuff in there.  Expect reviews.

4. Watching "CSI" - Nick Stokes is too gorgeous for words.

5. Just got an announcement from my YA services class - now I get to learn how to write a paper in report form.  Yeeeeeeeeaaaahh...


This is just a fun commercial and I think it deserves to be spread far and wide.

Super Bowl goodness - yay!  I enjoyed myself.  It helped that I didn't care who won (and I didn't notice Christina Aguliera (however you spell her name) flubbing the National Anthem - maybe I'm bad American or something... Honestly, after all the pre-game festivities and what-have-you, I was ready to get going with the game).  The ads were okay.  Nothing really stood out - it was all Super Bowl quality stuff (really, I think the only way a Super Bowl ad could get noticed is if it were your basic run-of-the-mill regular season ad.  I could have done without all the shameless Glee promos, though.  Seriously - I do not understand the draw of that show.  Is it just the music?  Because the characters are so... WB (or CW, if you like).  Really, since "24" was canceled, I don't watch Fox TV shows anymore.  They all just seem so shallow and pointless (that being said - I probably would enjoy "House" just because Hugh Laurie is amazingly funny and sarcastic, but I'm not much for squicky medical dramas).

What else - had a great class weekend.  Lots of things got done - I feel really good about my chosen field (which, a year into my master's program, is a very good thing).  My adviser is working on finding a library to host me in my practicum this summer, which is exciting.  I'm going to the Utah Library Association conference in May and I can't wait!  But this is a really good story - I was going to ask my classmates if any of them wanted to go in on a hotel room, just to make the cost more reasonable (I'm poor and a little bit cheap at the moment) and three people offered to have me stay at their houses!  Plus, there's one lady who's a substitute for the Salt Lake County Library, which would be a great entry-level way for me to eventually get a full-time job.  I asked her how she got on there and she told me (she's got kids at home, so she's not going to be doing full-time stuff anytime soon) - then, she said that if a position opened up, I could use her as a reference!  I've got some really great classmates. :)

Also - some of my students might go do Region Drama competition in April, which I sort of volunteered to be their coach (still knowing next-to-nothing about drama - beyond having participated in one drama competition when I was in high school, plus directing the Christmas play).  It'll be fun... but piled on top of everything else I'm doing this semester (did I also mention I'm planning a baby shower for my sister in May? - yeah, we'll see how my sanity holds up.  But really, I'd rather be busy than bored out of my skull like I was last summer.  Last summer was pretty crappy (other than being introduced to a certain science-fiction series we all know and love - oh, guess what!  I got a TARDIS USB hub from ThinkGeek! It's sitting on my desk now looking so awesome and I love it!)

Last week I also got released from the Relief Society presidency.  They didn't have us in for too long, but the other counselor went on a mission and the secretary's getting ready to go and the president's been having family issues she's dealing with... which meant I was more or less running the branch Relief Society for two months.  I didn't mind - but I live clear in the heck far away from the rest of the branch, which was really hard for me to do anything.  So, the branch presidency reorganized the Relief Society and I am currently without a calling.  Well, that's not entirely true - I was told they have something for me to do, but nothing's official yet.  Stay tuned for further updates.

I have so much homework to do... except I have at least two teeth that are giving me so much pain and anguish right now.  I have a dentist appointment in a few weeks (after I get paid and have a day off from work), until then, Motrin is my friend.  I'm just lucky this goes in spurts - I won't feel anything for a while, then it'll just start this shooting pain through my head and giving me a headache.  Oy...
Remember that lovely blog post I posted about Mockingjay?  The one for my YA lit class?  Yeah, somebody else read that book too...

Imma go cry now...

It's not really a bad thing that someone else read it.  While we are discouraged from reading the same book as someone else, it's not against the rules or anything (we're supposed to note what book we're going to read next, but I guess somewhere either me or the other lady missed the signals.  Probably me).  I just don't like feeling like an idiot ('specially since the other MJ blog post had this Big Bold Notice proclaiming "Didn't see nothin'!!!!" before she started her review).

headflop

Guess I'll just have to pay better attention next time :/
(I've wanted to review these books for so long.  And I'll probably add more here since it's a less-formal venue than the blog for my class).

Title -
Mockingjay

Author -
Suzanne Collins

ISBN:
0439023513

Publisher -
Scholastic

Date of Publication -
August 2010

Reading Level -
13 and up

Genre -
Science Fiction

Keywords -
Science-Fiction, Action/Adventure, Dystopian Future, War, Government, Entertainment, Family, Interpersonal Relationships, Mental Health

Spoilery Comments Here )
Next Up: "Powder Monkey" by Paul Dowswell
Just a quick check-in today.

I finally got an email back from the Books Inside people (after almost a week), but the guy said that he'd been out of internet commission for a few days (I can understand that).  So, I guess this is finally going to happen!  I love it when things actually come to fruition after lots and lots of talk.

(May I make a note here - this entire endeavor took less than a month to develop, orchestrate and execute.  I think there are a few business-types out there that can take a lesson from my experience.  I'm not naming names, but from the times I've observed business deals - whether real estate or otherwise - takes months and even years to go through, I've just decided that stuff gets taken to ridiculous levels of ridiculous-ness and I say to heck with it).

Also, yesterday I got talking with my cousin-in-law, who was recently elected to the school board (in the same district I work in - full disclosure).  We were just talking about random things with school and such when he mentioned the superintendent of the district had asked if I would be interested doing the Alternative Route to Licensure (which I've mentioned before) because it's possible the principal out here may be retiring soon... maybe.  Possibly.  Actually, nobody knows.  I don't even think the principal knows what he's doing yet, but evidently the district's thinking about the future (which is their job).  Nothing's set in stone yet - it's just an idea (one that's floated in my direction before).  But it means that the super is starting to look for someone to take over and be in charge out here and I guess I'm a pretty good candidate at this point (btw - ARL also gives you your M.Ed, which is what you need if you're going to be a principal.  I think).

This looks great - on the surface.  But it also means that I would be IN CHARGE of everything out here - and I don't know how I feel about that.  I would much rather get my feet wet and ease myself into it before taking on the entire universe.  And I've also decided that I hate being in charge.  When I say "I hate being in charge," I mean like in managerial-type positions.  There are some things I don't mind spearheading (like the school play or the yearbook).  What's funny is that I just barely started taking a Library Administration class (it's required - I probably wouldn't have taken it otherwise), but that has nothing to do with this train of thought.

See, I really hate it when I think I know what I'm going to do, then something comes along that seems perfectly viable and it has a better chance of actually happening... but it's the complete opposite of what I had planned to do in the first place.  But it's as close to a sure thing as I can have at this point.  I dunno... I seriously have no clue what I'm going to do right now.  But truly, I don't need to know what I'm going to do because I'm doing all I can possibly be doing right now in my life.

And that's the most frustrating thing of all.
My graduate classes started up again last week.




Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox Extension

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox Extension

Seriously - I'm stoked. I've got three classes this semester instead of my usual two, so I'm going to be busier than usual. But it's a good kind of busy.

My first assignment is a reflection of myself in the program so far. It's supposed to be kind of informal - no real page limit. It's billed as a chance for me to look at how far I've come and what I still want to learn. Which is nice to start off the semester with a little fluffy assignment - just to get myself back in the groove of working, but it's not enough to send my brain into over-fried-overdrive.

But... (yes, there's always a "but," coming, isn't there?)

When I start to actually writing this reflection, I can't help but get into the high-stilted, beat-around-the-bush, take-a-million-years-to-say-hello, writing style that I inevitably land in when I write for a class. I can be informal and relaxed on my blog - even with a SERIOUS BUSINESS topic - but sitting down to pen any kind of academic writing turns me into Wordy Wanda.

For example, this is an actual excerpt from the rough draft of my reflection:

"I find that kids who are good at academics, sports and/or arts get lots of recognition and encouragement for their talents, as well they should. But I’ve noticed that kids who have less-traditional talents, such as construction, welding, family-consumer sciences or other so-called vocational fields, get less encouragement – they may not see their interests as something practical in life."

Mmm 'kay - so, what I was trying to say is that there are kids with talents that almost always get recognized while there are kids with other talents that are just as good that sometimes get overlooked. Sort of like "You want to be a cook for a living? Why?" Part of what I want to do is encourage kids with those "secondary" talents to work at it and develop where their interests lie and never mind what chess club, piano lesson or dance class they're signed up for this week. But I can't say it like that in my academic writing because... I really don't know why.

I hate, hate, HATE when I want to just write one sentence or phrase and it turns into a long wordy piece of crap. One thing that I can't stand about writing business emails for my dad is that I think the people he's writing to must be idiots because he's had to tell them THE SAME STINKING THING at least three or four times, just with different wording. Good grief, how many different ways are there to spell "cat" before you realize he's talking about a small household pet that sheds all over the furniture but is still pretty good at catching mice? (that's a metaphor, JSYK) Personally, I just want to shoot them one line - "Can you please lend us this much money? Our credentials are attached. Many thank yous" - and be done with it (given, I left out the gratuitous butt-kissing these emails often include, which I'd be happy dispensing with altogether).

So, back to my writing assignment - I should just go back and rewrite it. I'm no where near being done, but what I have is crap. Make no mistake - the ideas are fine, it's the execution of the idea that sucks. At least I have until Friday to finish.
I really should find reason to post more often.

We just came back from the Delta boys' basketball game - talk about nostalgia!  I haven't been to the Palladium since before my mission (and that was my brother's senior year - he's been out of high school almost three years now).  It was an intense game - double overtime.  I think our boys could have pulled it out, but they got called for a ticky-tack traveling and made some goofy passes.  But it was fun anyway.

Today also marks halfway done with the school year (for the kids, anyway).  They sure do leave things to the last minute (oy...) - I'm going to be punching in final scores all weekend to get things done in time for next week.

The principal called me in his office yesterday - just to chat about how things are going, nothing serious.  He wondered if I would like to give teaching a try and do the alternative route to licensure.  I thought about it... for all of two minutes.  I really don't want to teach - there's too much stress involved.  It would be nice being at a small(ish) school, but I would likely get a job at a bigger school where it's harder to keep track of the students.  Plus, you know there are always going to be those kids that give you a hard time over the fact they haven't turned in their work and they want to make a big stink about having a bad grade.  And I have to do MORE school and incur MORE debt.  No thank you.  I think I will stick to being the librarian - still has its own set of challenges, but I think I'd prefer dealing with those.

Also - I'm trying to find this picture of me from when I was five years old (a certain one, mind you.  I didn't just wake up with a craving).  When I was five, I found this pair of red plastic glasses rims - probably from a pair of kiddie sunglasses with the lenses removed.  I started wearing them because I thought they made me look smarter (I kid you not).  I think I even wore them to school a few times.  There's a picture of me playing outside with my sister and I have them on and I look adorable.  I want to find it just because I want proof that I wore "brainy specs" before I even knew what the heck they were (I was destined for geekdom from the start - it was inevitable).

I should go to bed now.  The thing about double overtime games is that you get home much later than you intended (and cheering at basketball games is very exhausting).

Oh ... by the way - GO PACKERS! (my team's out of the playoffs, so I have to cheer for somebody.  I'll also be happy with the Steelers if they get through.)
I'm sitting here waiting for my family to get home from town and reading my flist and thinking "Gosh, a lot of people have their '2010 Year in Review' things going."  So, I get to thinking about how 2010 was for me - and this is what I came up with:

Cut for length and sentimentality - but it's important to me, anyway.

Time falls away, but these small hours still remain )

So - to everyone who made it this far through my ramblings: congratulations. I wish I had a medal to give you. If you didn't read it, that's fine too. But everyone have a happy and wonderful 2011!

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jenny_wildcat

December 2011

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