Good developments in my life: I’ve given notice at both my menial labor jobs, and found a new corporate one that is somewhat library related. I’m mainly excited to utilize the cute outfit section of my closet that’s gone untouched for the last 6+ months.
Even better, I’ve discovered Uriah Heep. They sing of wizards, birds of prey, and rainbow demons. They are my new style icons, musical inspirations and life gurus:
The spring semester has started as of yesterday, I’m hosting my book group tonight (the book is Tipping the Velvet, by Sarah Waters), and if I’m going to be doing any blogging this afternoon, it should be for the library blog that I’ve been neglecting.
Despite all the stuff I should be doing, all I want to do is relax. I have two part-time jobs (one every weekday morning for about an hour and a half, and the other three days a week, 4 hours each day) and they are exhausting. They are both working for women with disabilities, and though one is more personal care and the other more cooking/cleaning, they are both physically demanding. It’s hard to come home from making chicken enchiladas and mopping someone else’s floor and want to cook myself dinner and clean my own house.
I also have to get up at 5am Monday through Friday for the morning job. Occasionally earlier. This morning I popped out of bed (for some reason I have no problem getting up – it’s the late afternoon that kills me) at 4:45am.
I’m happy to be able to eke out a modest living. I’m equally happy that I have a spouse who toils away at a teaching job that offers health care so that I can do part-time gigs while I work my way through graduate school. And finally, I’m happy to have the opportunity to work for two very nice women (both around my age) and to get the chance to learn a thing or two about what it’s like to have a disability.
It’s been a long time since I’ve done non-desk work, and while I’m grateful for any time spent away from my computer, I feel like all over muscle fatigue trumps eye and wrist fatigue. All I’m saying is, I’m tired.
This summer has been full of ups and downs, but was helped along by the awesome opportunity to spend almost two months in Montana hanging out with in-laws, helping out around the house (as various health crises occured), going backpacking and visiting friends.
Things kicked off in California with a super fun weekend of celebration at the wedding of one of my best friends. All the beauty and good feelings made me want to go back to being engaged and having a whole wedding ahead of me to plan. Perhaps this is because my wedding was over a year ago, and I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be planning.
In Montana, Ted and the dogs and I spent a total of 6 nights in the backcountry, on two different trips. One to the Crazies, and the other to the Beartooth wilderness:
It was a blast to camp at 10,000 feet, and a total kick to have the pooches along. They loooved the tent.
And we put them to work, of course:
I also got to make a visit to my father-in-law’s farm, where he grows native grass seed and keeps his two horses (that’s me, riding Trooper and leading Jewel):
I even managed to finish 3 courses for library school this summer – one in Perl programming (I earned that A-, lemme tell you), an independent research project about emerging careers in library science, and a class about ‘picture books for older readers.’ We’re starting the 2-day drive back to Oakland on Sunday, and fall classes start on Monday. And after months of loafing around, it’s finally time to start looking for a job… if one exists.
I complained earlier about only being able to enroll in one class this summer. $1400 is a LOT to pay for one class, especially when you can take up to six credits (i.e. two classes) for that amount. Well, I got moved off of a waitlist for a class this morning, so I am now taking a class about genres and topics in youth literature. Honestly, it wasnt my first choice (or second or third) as I’m leaning more toward the digital archives/academic library side of things, but I’m really interested in devling into modern youth lit. Books were such a big part of my life when I was a kid, probably a lot more so than they are now, seeing as I wasn’t using the internet back then. The only drawback is a mandatory web class every Sunday night. I guess we’ll just have to schedule those camping trips in Montana around them.
Today was it was about as hot as it gets in the East Bay, which is around 90 degrees. I’m spoiled by the weather the rest of the year in Oakland (I strongly believe that 75 degrees is the warmest it can get while still being civilized) and I abhor turning on the AC in my car. It’s actually a continuous source of marital strife, believe it or not.
In the midst of this sticky, three-shower day, I met up with my strategic planning group for my Information Organizations and Management class at a cute cafe in Alameda with a patio out back. This was our fourth in-person meeting, and turned out to be a nearly three-hour session to wrap up our 28-page plan and 24-slide Power Point. Luckily we are all on the same page, so to speak, when it comes to being anal retentive about formatting, so none of us minded going through both documents, page by page, aligning bullet points and making sure punctuation was consistent. This must be a common trait among future librarians, because I run across this kind of manic perfectionism a lot in my fellow classmates. We’re not snobs; we just prefer to be correct.
Now that we’ve turned in our strategic plan and I’ve presented on my research paper for another class, it’s smooth sailing for the last few weeks of the semester. I have a twelve-page final for my Info Retrieval class, but that kind of thing is just a matter of doing the reading and coming up with some thoughts about it. I have to finish my 20-page research paper, but luckily I was so freaked out about preparing for the oral presentation aspect of it that I’ve practically written the entire thing already. After that I have one more eight-page paper, and I’m done with my first semester of library school! I’m looking forward to learning some Perl this summer in my Advanced Information Tools class. We’ll see if this English major has a tech side.
I was a little pissed at first that I could only register for one class this summer (due to budget issues, they are offering very few classes). However, I realized that this will be the first summer in FOREVER that Ted and I have both had ‘off.’ After my friend Anna’s wedding in July I’ll be joining Ted in Montana for a few weeks. Hopefully we’ll get to take the dogs on a backpacking trip. Maude’s already got one of these, and she’s dying to pack it with kibble:
At the very least, we’ll have to use it on a hike in one of the many unbelievably scenic locations minutes from my in-laws’ home. Yes, due to unemployment, this will be a ‘real’ summer for me, almost like the early teenage summers before I started working summer jobs. I plan to read, possibly get my old video camera back in commission and make some movies, and get in amazing shape. Hopefully in Montana I can trade my hand weights in for hikes, swimming, backpacking and trail running.
The company I used to work for has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This means that I get a lot of notices in the mail these days (I’m considered a “creditor,” since they didn’t pay me the last two months I worked there). I also got a FedEx package the other day with about five pounds of legal documents. I feel bad for my former boss and the other founders, but would rather just be rid of the whole ugly mess. The daily collection calls (since my name was on the company bank account) are pretty awesome too.
Another disappointment: summer registration for library school. Due to funding cuts (it’s a state school, I should’ve seen this coming) there were a ridiculously small amount of classes offered this summer, and I was only able to register for one. I’ve been pretty balls-to-the-wall with graduate school so far, and I had planned to take three classes this summer. Instead, I’ll be paying eight hundred or so odd dollars* for three credits, and it means that there’s no way I’ll graduate by August 2010, unless I take on a ridiculous course load for the next three semesters.
To sum up: I don’t have a job, and the thing I’m doing *instead* of working (i.e. SCHOOL) is kind of falling through this summer as well. If I wasn’t committed to going to Montana this summer for at least three weeks, I’d consider braving the job market, but there’s probably nothing available anyway. I guess it’s time for some ‘self-directed’ activities and education this summer – i.e. reading blogs, hanging around the house feeling poor, and making occasional bank-breaking trips to Target.
*Um, make that $1370 for one class. I forgot about all the bullshit fees like childcare and transportation and other things I will never benefit from. You can take up to six credits (i.e. two classes) for $1370, whereas more than six credits will cost you around $2500. Ugh, money.
Apparently there was a meeting at work yesterday (I only go in Tuesdays/Thursdays, and it was unnanounced, so I missed it) where some recent events affecting the company were discussed, and my boss essentially said he had no idea when/if funding would come through. December 15th was our last regular paycheck, and we’ve been paid once since then. So yeah, we haven’t been paid in a long while, and we probably won’t be paid in the foreseeable future. Why we haven’t all been fired (why ANY of us haven’t been fired) and instead made to suffer a long slow death of halved pay followed by missing paychecks, is a question I often ponder. Certainly enough of my co-workers have taken the hint and found employment elsewhere. I should probably go ahead and file for unemployment, as I’m effectively jobless.
The good part is, I can focus a lot of time on school work, which, in the fifth week of the program, is starting to become a major part of my life. This weekend I have a group project and a six-page paper due, in addition to the billions of pages of reading and research I ought to catch up on. The good news is, I am totally into it. One of my assignments had me visiting two different libraries to compare services, facilities, etc. Since I’ve started this program, every time I visit a library, I am reminded of how much I love libraries and how excited I am by the idea of working in one. Now if I could just find a part-time library job while I’m in school… Eh, who am I kidding… I’m just crossing my fingers that the petsitting gig I applied for comes through.