4/01/2014

In Spite of the Date, I Have Legit News


Remember the nomination I mentioned here (good item #2), and the application I slaved away on?

I have been selected!

The letter says that there were something like three dozen or so applicants (they can take only 21), and they made the choices blind (numbered the applications) and scored with a rubric.  And I was ranked among the top 21!  How awesome is that???

Yeah, it probably doesn't hurt that I'm above the average age for "newish" librarians.  But hey, that probably means nighttimes at the hotel during the summer workshop could be fun times.

So tonight I signed all my paperwork and sent it in, and the next step is about a month from now.  There's a "meet your mentor" event.  I can hardly wait.

Especially after getting a dose of this all morning.  I have been praying so I guess it could have been way worse (like all day).

It's nice to be able to talk (and think) about good things for a change.

 

  

3/30/2014

Not Alone Series: Deal Breakers


O.K., so I have been lurking at a few "single Catholic gal" blogs for several months now, and I thought I'd start joining in by linking up in their "Not Alone Series" which is hosted by two very nice bloggers, Jen and Morgan.

Their theme for this past week was Deal Breakers, and by coincidence I ran into one of mine when one of my many Older Patron Fans at the public library offered to fix me up with one of her kids.

What I didn't mention was that she was Jewish.  Not surprising to me because she said she used to live in my hometown which has a huge Jewish population.  But interesting that she still wanted to set me up without asking first if I was Jewish. Maybe it didn't matter. Which is very cool.

I didn't have a problem with her son's not being Catholic.  (Especially when I am about to gain a non-Catholic brother-in-law, who am I to say where a person can or cannot find love?)  Sure, a difference of religion will not be easy to manage in a relationship and a marriage, but it doesn't spell doom.

Not being into religion at all, or having a real problem with it, would be a deal breaker for me.  Even if at the outset he said, "Yeah, I don't really get it, but you go ahead and believe what you want," a discomfort and/or resentment can grow, on both sides.  It creates a separation.  My faith informs my way of life, so if you don't get why I am the way I am, or why I do the things I do, that's a problem.  Plus I would get tired of attending religious events alone all the time. Especially if I had to take the children. 

Which brings me to another deal breaker.  As I said in my previous post, the older patron lady told me her son didn't want children.  I'm not sure if I understood because she was rambling so fast but she might have been telling me it had broken up his marriage (!) and the ex-wife had remarried and had kids now.  Unless she was talking about a daughter.  It was confusing.  But anyway, I told her I was a solid Catholic girl, so oh well.

Look, even if I get married ten years from now and can't bear children, I will be open to children.  And sure, I don't know if it will be feasible to adopt or foster for us, but the openness has to be there.  At the very least, I've got four nephews (a godson among them now) and a niece counting on it.  I work with children on a daily basis, for pete's sake.  

And along the same lines, not to offend anyone and I promise I am not judging because it's a private matter, but wanting to use contraception would be a deal breaker for me.  The one ex-boyfriend started getting very interested when he heard a rumor that the Vatican was contemplating allowing condom use to prevent the spread of HIV in Africa.  (Never happened.)  

I don't know what he thought that would mean for us who live in North America, but it gave me pause.  It's just not in keeping with how I feel about my health and my relationship with my husband.  I'm glad I didn't marry him because he seemed to believe children would steal my love from him and we'd all use up his hard-earned money.  I'm serious.  (Hilarious side note, he's married now and has children. I can only hope that he found someone who helped him deal with all those money, love, and sex hang-ups, but I wasn't going to compromise my values.)

If I may expand on that previous deal breaker, I think just looking for loopholes to suit yourself is a deal breaker.  I have a strong love of justice (hellooo, LIBRA) and I think letting stuff slide because it's not convenient to your lifestyle isn't cool.  I'm not talking about just the big stuff, either.  You shouldn't "borrow" the WiFi from your neighbors because they were "dumb enough" to leave it unlocked and "deserve" to have others use it without paying.  Or leave work fifteen minutes early on a regular basis because no one notices (or you THINK no one notices).  That kind of thing.  I just don't go for that.


All righty, then--I hope this piece came off more as a reflection of who I am and what I need, and not as a big judgmental piece.  Oh, and one final thing: If you don't have a soft spot for cartoons (not that you have to be a full-on brony), forget it!

I mean, some of the cleverest things and greatest pieces of wisdom are found in cartoons.  Right? 



3/24/2014

Coming Back: The Good, the Bad, and the Very Weird

Whew! It has been a crazy, crazy month. Here's what has been going on:

THE GOOD:
  • Had a great time with YS and housemate of YS.  The bridal expo was fun and it was neat to see what caught her fancy.  More on that very soon.
  • I was nominated to apply for a spot in a pilot program called the Emerging Leaders Academy.  Despite being dead sick with a cold all last weekend, I worked through the fever and got my essay written, and pulled together the application.  I think this might be the thing that helps me figure out where I'm going and what I'm doing.
  • My middle school kids did great at their big reading event, in spite of having to go about a month earlier than usual.  They were adequately humbled by what they didn't know and boosted by what they did.  And they BEHAVED and represented school well, thanks be to God.
  • The 2014 Newbery Medal winner, Flora & Ulysses, is wonderful. There haven't been great ones on the whole for the last 10-15 years IMHO (exceptions: Dead End in Norvelt, When You Reach Me, and The Tale of Despereaux which is by the same author as Flora). This one is sweet, funny in the right places, and touching.  Also not a million pages long.  Blows the others out of the water.  READ IT. ENJOY IT. YOU'RE WELCOME. Special thanks to LibraryElf for handing to me right off her department's desk.

THE BAD:
  •  See horrible cold, mentioned above.  I think I just got run-down from all the stuff going on.
  • A week of standardized testing really messes up your lesson plans and leads to anarchy in the classrooms (no homework, lots of movie-watching).  Two fifth graders get to stay inside during recess tomorrow to mull over their poor choices and write up a recipe for doing better.
  • Why won't The Cat let me sleep???

THE VERY WEIRD:
  • The driver of the bus that took us to the reading competition was an older man who talked like a born-again Christian and said he homeschooled his five (now adult) children on his own after being widowed. (Definitely someone safe to transport kids.)
  • I can't believe this week I will be testifying at a hearing.  There's a first time for everything, I guess.  School was surprisingly kind and said they'd put my time out down as Jury Duty. 
  • I try not to be distracted by other people at Mass, but this week I went to the well-off parish near me and this teenager was wearing camouflage tights. As pants. She had a hoodie on top but it wasn't long enough to cover her (not small) tush.  I can't believe Mom, who was next to her in the pew, let her out of the house in that (especially to go to church), but maybe she was picking her battles.
  • The senior patrons at the public library love me.  I don't know why this is, but my guess is I have more patience helping them with their iPads/Kindles/Rocket launchers than their children who handed them these things for Christmas/Hanukkah.  Today I had my first "Are you married? Can I set you up with my son?" inquiry.  Then my future MIL (not) admitted he didn't want children. Well, it was nice talking to her, anyway.

It has seemed as if I've been going non-stop, but there have been moments of cat-on-lap, and I did manage to finish two library books (one good, one meh).  Still, I'm looking forward to Easter when things will slow down.  

A little.  

Possibly.

 

3/08/2014

Totally Screwed up My Work Schedule, But--


--Younger Sister is here this weekend, yay!  I had a very kind co-worker at the public library switch weekends with me (she needed a different weekend, too) so even though it was all a mess this morning it worked out.  (That LibraryElf is so understanding, too.)  Oh well, who needs income, anyway, right?  (Oh, right--me.  Well, better later than not at all.)

It is a sunny 48 degrees outside, I have to sing for Mass tonight, and we are going to a bridal expo thingy with Mom tomorrow.  So there will be a post up at SOSOB finally after so long.

Other stuff going on with work and librarian-ing, so I will have much to report.  

As soon as I can sort it all out!

 

 

3/03/2014

The Car Is Fixed and Other Wild Things


  • Even though I felt more sure of driving in the snow in the Unsexy Station Wagon (sorry, Mom, but it just IS) than I would've in a rental last week, I was very happy to get my car back, driver's side door fixed.  And just in time for driving on slushy roads even after a two-hour school delay this morning.
  • The mission to ease the Early Morning Cat Yowling is not succeeding yet.  I spoke a few weeks ago with a reputable animal communicator (yes, I am at my wits' end) who said that not only is her eyesight going (that made me cry) but also between the hyperthyroidism and the medication for the hyperthyroidism, she gets very disoriented.  She wakes up in the middle of the night and doesn't know where she is or how much time has passed.  Recommendation is for more light at night, possibly at floor level. Still figuring that out.
  • The Cat had two very bad mornings today and yesterday.  It might have been the approaching (non-) storm and/or the fact that the organizer lady was here Saturday night.  Also, she seemed to be stuck in a loop where she thought she needed water but had just had some, and just sat at the kitchen sink and cried.  I was so tired by the time I got to school that I kept forgetting it was only Monday.  Some days it really is like living with a little old lady in a fur coat.
  • I received a subpoena to testify in the preliminary hearing against the public library problem person.  It's at the end of the month and I guess I have to take personal time from school to do it.  Crazy.
     
  • I watched most of the Oscars but faded at about 10:30.  Pharrell was fun, even if his hat seemed to grow larger as the number went on.  Oh, and I thought that Liza joke was MEAN.  (I still think she and Lorna Luft are beautiful women.)  I didn't see any of the major nominees so it didn't mean much to me--except that I need to catch up!
  • I recently borrowed this book on being single from the library (this is why self-checkout exists) and am working up a post on it.  I liked it overall, political pronouncements aside.
  • Is anyone watching the final season of How I Met Your Mother?  I am dying to discuss.
     

2/23/2014

What to Do When the Abuse of Power Comes Whipping Through the Library


The administrator who drives me crazy with her micro-managing was at it again this week.  (Probably because her temporary gig as a senior admin ended with the return of that person, and the intensity hadn't died down yet.)

Thursday morning--already running on adrenaline because the primary grades' show was premiering that afternoon--she pounced on me in the library during my prep time.  

At 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, after an all-day back-and-forth email saga about one student who didn't have all the information about accessing textbooks online outside of school, after I explained I did not have (and was not keeper of) the login info for each subject's textbook--and in fact I was NOT the person who created and shared the initial Google spreadsheet doc set up for the kids to fill in that information for themselves, her response was "the student needs to go to each teacher and get the information."  

Which is what I had told ALL the students in September when they made their own copies of the doc.  Most of them at the very least had started typing in what they already knew.  O.K., fine, my work here is done, I thought that Wednesday afternoon, and went home fairly happy.

But NO.  For some reason, the following morning she consulted with the tech coordinator who WAS the creator of the doc--who told her the same things I did--she still didn't get it and came roaring over to the library, all wound up.

"You should have made sure they all did it.  This is your baby."


Wait, my what!?  


Oh, the eff it is, lady.  Don't you even dare tell me what my "baby" is.  You may have forced me to teach computer classes, but that doesn't make them my "baby."  I hate that expression, but if there's anything that's my baby in my job, that's the library.  And because you don't know anything about me outside of here, you don't know that my writing would be above all that.  And speaking of possessives and work, I'm pretty sure my co-faculty would think I'm stepping on their toes demanding all the information that's really between them and their students.  I don't need to be involved in any of that.

All those thoughts ran through my head at the same time I'm trying to control my face so my eyes don't bug out.  I had to think of a way to respond like a good little soldier.  So I said I'd talk to the student about getting the spreadsheet filled in.  That's the best I could get out while my trying to keep my head from exploding.

But after she flounced away, my head was pounding and my fury was aflame.  I may have used very bad words when my co-librarian asked what was up.  Those feelings stayed with me all day, and I went home and curled up on the sofa with the cat on my lap.  I just wanted to block out everything and everyone from that day.

The worst part was, while I'm standing out in the cold drizzle the following morning (as is my duty to see that the arriving students make it to the door O.K.), she walks up to me and starts talking about how excited she is that it's Friday and so on.  I had the sourest feeling inside as I listened to her go on about how her family is currently the stop for their parish's traveling shrine for Our Lady of Guadalupe.  It feels horrible to want to claw someone's eyes out as they're talking about the Blessed Mother who is one of my greatest spiritual confidantes among saints and holy people.  But I did want to.  Very badly.  It seems so ridiculous that someone who claims to love Jesus so much also loves to be so condescending to me.  So I plastered a smile on my face and just waited for it all to be over.


All that absurdity and anger was rolling around in my head as I sat in Mass this morning, and then the homily started.  About today's readings which remind us we are temples of the Holy Spirit, and that we are to pray for those who persecute us.  So I decided I needed to do better in the face of this adversity.  I'm going to pray for this person that bugs me so badly that I can't stand it.  I will pray for her.  Every day, one Hail Mary.  And ask Our Lady of Guadalupe to make it all better.


And keep me out of trouble for now.

  

       

2/16/2014

The Only "Woo-Woo Stuff" I Believe in

If you've been following the blog for a while, you might have seen me mention Mercury Retrograde at least once (or several times).  It's pretty much the only "woo-woo" kind of thing I put stock in.  

O.K., maybe the "full moon makes the library patrons crazy" thing, too.

You might have noticed I didn't post much during December.  Part of it was that I worked nineteen days straight--two weekends in a row at the public library in addition to two full weeks of school.  I didn't even get the usual half-day leading into Christmas vacation from school, as we went all the way to the Friday before.  

The first weekend at the public library I'd taken as a favor to another reference librarian who had relatives coming in from out of town earlier than expected.  It snowed that Saturday, and because it wasn't in my power to close early, I had a white-knuckle, white-out drive home in the dark.  Not fun.

But that was mild compared to the following weekend.


The next Saturday, about an hour before closing, there was an incident.  I'll spare you the details but a guy did something pervy (involving saliva) to a female patron who was minding her own business seated at a computer.  The guy left before the police could get to the library (stuck down the street dealing with Christmas shoplifters at a store).  And I spent two hours with the police and had to go to the station to give a statement.  It was going to be difficult to catch the guy because we don't have security cameras and I wasn't close enough to describe him in great detail, but we all did the best we could and our director commended the staff on how we handled the situation.

I did have a little fun the next day when an officer came by to check in, and upon seeing the officer engaged in a conversation with me, a mildly irritating patron who had been attempting to boss me around suddenly turned into a pussycat--ha ha!  But overall, the experience left me completely drained and not very interested in celebrating Christmas.  Really terrible timing, not that there's a good time for something horrible like that to happen.


So why am I talking about this now?


Because I found out this weekend that they caught the guy. Specifically, the patron--God bless her, she's a nice person and very cool for not avoiding the library afterwards--happened to be at the library the other day and that jerk came back in.  She followed him out to the parking lot and got a good look at his license plate to report it to the police.


Mercury retrograde often has you revisiting things from the past--sometimes good (like resolving a previous problem situation) and sometimes bad (running into a ex).  

I'm glad it was the former with this case.