Meaning must be imposed by learning by experience

The past few weeks have been fun, busy, exciting, stressful… Let me count the ways:

Earlier in the month, I worked my first shift at the co-op. I opted to do a receiving shift, wherein I arrive at the store before it opens to receive shipments, arrange and display produce, label produce, and check prices. Other than the basic duties outlined in the job description, I didn’t know what to expect. Turns out, it was really fun! Because the store was closed, it was easy to get work done but also to get to know the other members working with me. It was a good group of people and I look forward to my recurring Saturday morning shift. I’ve also been shopping at the co-op more frequently and eating a lot of delicious fruit and veggies. (Part of the reason I like my shift is that I get to shop after I’m finished, right as the store is opening and the produce shelves are still stocked!)

The following day, June 3, I participated in the Tour de Brooklyn. It was a 20-mile bike tour through my home borough with over 2,000 other cyclists. Needless to say, it was crowded and there was a lot of stopping and waiting. I managed to be caught on camera before the start, though! Crews from the local newschannel NY1 were there, covering the tour, and I can be seen in the background, fixing my hair, at about the 0:45 mark. It’s a low-quality video and you can barely even make me out but I’m there! I can now say I was on TV. Hehe.

On June 8, I gave a presentation at SUNYLA 2012: Fashioning the Library of the Future. I talked about my project creating library video tutorials while I was employed at Lehman College. I had a good turnout and thought my session went really well, with a lot of input & discussion from the audience. For those who are interested, my slides are available on the conference website or by following this link directly: From backstage to center stage: Librarians as actors in video tutorials (PPT).

While all this was happening, though, I was also nervously preparing for a job interview. I was selected to be interviewed for a new position, Instruction Librarian, at my current place of employment. This is a huge deal as this is an exciting opportunity for me to work at a college I like with colleagues I admire doing work I find incredibly interesting, challenging, and rewarding. I was interviewed by a committee of my library coworkers yesterday and hope to move on to Phase II of the interview (wherein I give a short presentation, on a topic yet to be determined, to my colleagues in the department) in the coming weeks.

Since interviewing is stressful, I took the day off and, because it was absurdly hot (95°F!), spent it eating ice cream, napping with my cat, and then going to see the New York premier of Sleepwalk With Me at the BAMcinemaFest with Alex. It turned out that our seats were kind of amazing–if all we wanted to see were Ira Glass and Mike Birbiglia talking about the movie. (In the photo on the left, Alex and I are in the second row right in front of the podium. I’m behind the girl in the pink-ish top at Ira’s feet.) However, they were very unfortunate for watching a movie because we were so close and so far off to one side. I spent the evening craning my neck and seeing distorted images projected on the screen. But! It was a fun movie and a great experience nevertheless. I’ve been a fan of Mike Birbiglia the comedian for a while now… and now I consider myself a fan of Mike Birbiglia the film writer, director, and actor, too. (Oh! And while waiting to get into the theater, I spotted a familiar face but couldn’t quite place him. Later figured out that it was John Mulaney. Makes me wonder how many other comedians, actors, and celebrities were at the premier that I just didn’t notice. I’m bad at spotting famous folks.)

I’ll be back in the BAM opera house next week for Radiolab Live: In the Dark. I hope our seats are better, although it’s all so relative, it’s hard to know what to expect ahead of time.

And the world looks just the same

I’ve been jonesing for a new bike. Despite how much I love my current one, I find myself wishing it was lighter, faster, better. I test drove a road bike — —with drop-down handlebars — for the first time —back in September and was pleasantly surprised by the bike’s geometry. The position that bike had me sitting in was new and took some adjusting but it wasn’t uncomfortable. In fact, I grew to quite like it by the time I had to return the bike back to the shop. It made me feel fast.

Most new bikes I’ve seen have aluminum frames but I’m more interested in a steel frame. Yes, it’s a little heavier but, generally, I think the benefits outweigh the negatives. (But you can read more about that on the interwebs…) There are few steel frames with good components (Shimano 105 or better) out there that won’t break the bank. The one I’m currently interested in (despite its Tiagra components) is the Salsa Casseroll:


I’ve been drooling over this bike for months now and never purchased it because it’s quite the investment. Considering I’ve only been working part-time since September, I haven’t felt I could afford such a luxurious bike. However! I’ll be starting full-time (albeit temporary) work January 2 so I’ve been revisiting the idea of getting a new bike. The library is only 3 miles away and easily accessible by bike… This is one of those purchases that will definitely have a return on investment. (A fellow Brooklyn bike commuter recently calculated that he saved $549 over 8 months by riding his bike to work. At that rate, I’d have the bike paid for in about 1.5 years.)

So as I’ve been toying with the idea of purchasing this bad boy, I learn that my boyfriend wants to get it for me as a holiday (and birthday and next winter holiday and next birthday…) present. Looks like I’m getting this bike after all :)

My lips are sealed

Now that my living situation is somewhat under control (I’ll be moving on September 1!), I’m starting to worry about the new job.  And it’s not even the job itself that’s worrying me!  I met with my supervisor yesterday so he could tell me about some of the projects with which I will be involved and I’m incredibly excited to get started.  So that’s not it at all.  Rather, I’m worrying about my office.  I mean, I’ll have an office!  With a desk and a window (maybe)!  What do I do with all that space?  What do I need to make the most of my time in there?

I’ve been looking online to see what other professionals keep in their offices.  Based on a couple of blog entries I’ve found, I’m compiling a hefty list of things that I think I’ll keep in/around my desk.  Aside from the standard office artillery (staplers, pens, highlighters, scissors, etc.), here’s what [I think] I need:

  • Headphones (big ‘uns!)
  • Headset w/microphone (for videoconferencing and tutorial-creating)
  • Lamp
  • Visitor’s chair
  • Fan
  • Space heater (because every library office is freezing, especially in the summers)
  • iPhone/iPod charger
  • Shawl (’cause, honestly, I get cold after sitting still for hours at a time)
  • Houseplant(s) (even though I’m awful at keeping them alive, I think it’s important to have something green in the office)
  • Bulletin board & pins (or white board & markers — whichever the college provides, really)
  • Toys & trinkets (for distraction purposes)
  • Personal items (photos, inspirational notes, posters, etc.)

Of course, I’m also thinking of having an “emergency drawer” because I was incredibly grateful when my supervisor at my previous job had a spare pair of pantyhose for me to wear to an interview when my pantyhose ripped.  In this drawer, I will keep:

  • Eating utensils:
    • Spoon / fork / knife
    • Chopsticks
    • Plate(s)
    • Bowl(s)
    • Cup(s)
  • Pantyhose
  • Spare clothing:
    • 1 pair of socks
    • 1 shirt
    • 1 sweater/cardigan
    • 1 pair of shoes
    • 1 pair of slacks
    • 1 skirt
    • 1 blazer/jacket
  • Sewing kit
  • Umbrella
  • Spare sunglasses
  • Mints / gum
  • Lint brush
  • Hair brush / comb
  • Hair elastics / pins
  • Mirror
  • Lip balm
  • Excedrin / OTC painkillers
  • Band-Aids
  • Cough drops
  • Baby wipes
  • Tissues & napkins
  • Hand lotion
  • Snacks:
    • Nuts
    • Dried fruit
    • Chocolate
    • CLIF bars
    • Cookies / candies
    • Tea bags
  • Reusable shopping bag
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tide stain pen
  • Flashlight
  • Toolkit (screwdrivers, pliers, etc.)
  • Petty cash & change

Am I missing anything crucial?  What does an academic librarian (whose responsibilities include coordination of the e-book program and creation of instructional modules on the web, as well as reference, instruction, and collection development) keep in/on/near her desk?

I kinda hate that I’m worrying about this but it’s there and it’s real and I’m trying to deal with it the only way I know how: by making lists.  I mean, clearly, I will not be hauling boxes of this stuff with me on Wednesday (first day! eek!) but, instead, acquiring these things over the weeks and months that I’m on the job… However, it helps me to write this down so I can clear my head for the next paranoid OCD adventure :)