Longing for Sunny Skies

On Saturday, we were blanketed with about two feet of snow. It took days for things to clear and, now, instead of pristine white, we’re left with partially melted piles of grayish sludge. Even though I love my office window, when I look outside, all I see is icy gray, murky skies, and barren trees. It’s dispiriting.

Plus, this has been an exhausting week.

Work has been especially busy, not helped by having no less than 5 hours of meetings a day. It’s so hard to get things done when all of your usual time is taken away. Plus, weird things seemed to crop up more than usual. I ended up declining a meeting yesterday with the note, “Things have gotten progressively more strange and I need to be at my desk.”

Plus, I haven’t slept well, so I’m physically exhausted, too.

It’s hard to be optimistic during weeks like this one, hard to see that they’re not always like this. It’s so hard not to be dragged down by all of the gray and murkiness and frustration.

Beach ReadingSo to remind myself that there is something better, I think of days like the ones we had in Puerto Rico, days filled with abundant sunshine, good food (not pictured), feet in the sand, The Dude, reading, crashing waves, and endless blue skies.

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Paging, or The Great Book Hunt

It’s the first week of classes and things are absolutely crazy. I mean, they always are, so I shouldn’t be surprised, but this semester seems especially bad. Maybe it’s because we’re in the midst of a number of intense projects? Or, maybe it’s because our staffing levels seem especially up-in-the-air? Or, maybe it’s just extra crazy.

Whatever the reason, I’ve been running around a lot more than usual. One of the things I’ve needed to do is get the paging done. What’s paging you ask? Well, my friends, it’s a bit like a treasure hunt: In the library, the pager is the person who looks at all of the requests for books/loanable items (in our case, from other libraries, not our own patrons), finds them in the stacks, and sends them where they need to do.

Some people really hate paging, but I kind of enjoy it. I like having the opportunity to get up from my desk and do something that doesn’t require much thought beyond, “Oh, hey! This is how the alphabet and call numbers work!” I like the satisfaction that comes with finding books that have been misplaced. And, I really like having the chance to explore our (admittedly great) collection.

 

Books and Tsums

Library books, personal book, and Disney Tsum Tsums make for great table decorations.

Our library collections are a great perk of working at the college. At any given time, I have between 10 and 20 books checked out. Most of them, to The Dude’s chagrin, are sitting on our coffee table. At least The Dude arranged them nicely the last time he cleaned?

With the way things are looking,  I’ll probably have to page again tomorrow. Oh well, it’s a nice break from the monotony of my usual managerial work. Plus, I may find a new book or three…

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Light and Dark

Sometimes, I use part of my lunch break to take a short walk around campus. It’s nice to get out of my (currently windowless) office and into the fresh air. It’s particularly nice on days like today when my walk in was all steel gray skies, humidity, and spitting rain. Walking by one of the arches, I was struck by the juxtaposition of darkness and light as I went to walk through the arch and back onto the campus proper.

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Peeking Through the Arch

This picture makes me think about education, formal or informal, in the simplest and most ideal sense: walking from the darkness of ignorance and incomprehension into the light of knowledge and know-how. I like the idea of education being a threshold, where you can choose to expand your knowledge in a certain area or remain limited and turn back, ready to focus your attention elsewhere.

You know it’s finals time when…

I work at a local college and interact with students on a daily basis. Here are 10 surefire signs that it’s finals time:

Athena

Athena and her offerings

  1. The main library is open 24 hours and staffed by my student workers. They leave notes for me and each other.
  2. A very tired looking student bursts into tears because she can’t find her favorite pencil.
  3. The Athena statue looks ready to crumble under the weight of all of the offerings.
  4. It’s normal to see a student walk into the library wearing pajamas, a tiara, and a blanket tied around her like a cape.
  5. I see a young man eating some sort of wrap in the main floor computer lab (with about half of it left). There are signs on every table stating that food isn’t permitted in this area of the library. We make eye contact and as he sees me start to walk over, he stuffs the entire rest of the wrap in his mouth. All I can think is, “Touché, sir, touché.”
  6. I often can’t see the circulation students that are hidden behind mounds of returned books.
  7. My office gets decorated. Really, really decorated.
  8. Students can be found sleeping all over the library. When they’re found in the middle of the floor, most people just step over them.
  9. Library loaner laptops become an especially hot commodity. There’s often at least one student waiting at the Help Desk for the next one to be available.
  10. Cookies are delivered at all hours. Seriously. All. Hours.

Courage, dear hearts, the end is near. And, done is very, very good.