Monthly Archives: July 2011

The Jolly Librarian Considers Television Shows that Should Be on the Air– But Aren’t

Each summer, the networks announce the new television shows for fall. And there is always a gaping hole in the various lineups: the lack of librarians. So the Jolly Librarian would like to make a few suggestions to remedy this situation. In no particular order, here are some shows she would like to see on TV:

  • CSI: The Library— An intrepid group of librarians examine papers and documents for plagiarism and shoddy research in the never-ending quest to provide citizens with the best information possible. This does not go over well with politicians and business conglomerates willing to use any tactic available to shut them down.
  • Konan the Librarian (thanks to Nancy Nolan for this)–In the age of barbarians, there is one lone librarian who is trying to conserve this new thing called knowledge. She must contend with barbarians who would rather use the stone tablets for battle  than literacy.
  • The New England Patriots–A quirky group of librarians trade quips, insults, and double entendres as they battle bumbling federal agents who are trying to obtain the reading histories of the patrons.
  • Survivor: Library Style— Young, attractive people are forced to dress up in sensible shoes, tweed skirts, and khakis and must either have buzz cuts or hair pulled back in buns. They are then forced to endure various sorts of trials, such as finding information without using Google, shelving books according to the Library of  Congress, or hunting down the lizard that has somehow made its home in the printer paper stacks. Judged by the Jolly Librarian and rotating celebrity guests, the loser will be sent away with the words, “X, you are no librarian. Take off your reading glasses and go home.”
  • The Researcher: In a future when aliens have not only conquered the world but shut off humans’ access to electronic information, a lone librarian who remembers how to use card catalogs and indices holds the secret to humanity’s rescue. Unfortunately, she has spent the last twenty years in an asylum for believing that paper still has a place in the world. She distrusts both humans and aliens, and it’s never quite clear what side she’s on.
I can’t believe with plots like these, some smart network won’t see its way to make sure that, next year, we not only have librarians to watch on television, but our choice of librarians.
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Library Life Listers: It’s Time to Start Anew!

While our individual life lists will continue (well, except for Emily), we are ending the weekly blogging of our updates. Starting fall semester, we’ll start a new project, which, we hope, will involve many parts of the College. But keep working on your own life lists, and, if you didn’t take this opportunity to start one, do so. It really is fun.

So here are the last lists:

Allison:

translate the book of Esther

work toward solving the problem of homelessness in Nashville

write some things I’m proud of

I’m still working on the same project, but I don’t even remember how much I accomplished this week.

become more fluent in Spanish

I went to Spanish-speaking church Sunday evening, and I held a few short conversations in Spanish.

give my best to the ESL classes I help teach

I taught the first half of Sunday afternoon’s class, and it went pretty well.

 

When I first made out my life list at the beginning of the year, I had “stay at the top of my linguistics class” on the list. I wound up dropping the class and ditching that life list item, but when I was studying for my latest Praxis exam, my linguistics textbook turned out to be quite helpful!

 

Not on my list but fun: this weekend I planted more flowers and herbs and entertained some unexpected guests.

Emily:

Learn French : Considering taking a class in the fall. I can say this now that we’re done life listing knowing there will be no repercussions when I fail.

Go to France (or, more realistically, Quebec) : Depends on the exchange rate.

Read less tripe, more classics: I think I read approximately 2.5 classics while Life Listing.

Acquire and watch Mad Men Season 4 (preferably, at the same time as MFJ in order to facilitate more meaningful show analysis) : done

Grow vegetable garden and herb garden : done

Share wealth of vegetables, some in the form of pies: Perhaps I’ll bake a cucumber pie tonight. (Jolly Librarian comment: please don’t share.)

Cook dinner for friends (more often) : I did this a few times with varying levels of success.

Paint the dining room/paint shelves : 50% done

Construct a blue bottle tree: Painted a coffee table instead.

 

Jolly Librarian:

This week, I completed memorizing the countries of the world, for no good reason other than I found a good website. Still, this motivated me to learn more about our world. The first two on my list: India and China.

Writing: Yesterday, I wrote the 400th entry of The Jolly Librarian. We celebrated by staff members telling me that they couldn’t believe it since they’d only read five or six at the most. I went to the writing group with another chapter.

Learning French: After reading Emily’s entry today, I remembered that I’d joined Yabla a month ago to practice my French. Now I must find that UserID.

Weight Loss Challenge: Am still stuck on Week 5 of the Couch to 5K program. But did lose a pound last week.

 

Pam:

With this being our last writing, I would like to say that it has been a lot of fun. It’s been good to keep tabs and set goals –not that I’ve set a path to the goals, always, but …it does help to keep one mindful. Thanks to everyone who cared enough to read.

Letter writing

Let myself down by not writing to mom :-/

Performing

  • No shows planned; unfortunately. Just lack of motivation as a solo artist… Plan to jam with my buddy, Melissa tonight. Yay!

Walking

  • Forget about it.

Reading

  1. Loving  Margaret Atwood book, The Year of the Flood.
  2. The Fabric of Space and Time is so unbelievably deep, yet fascinating. It should only take me a year to get through it .

Weight 128

  •  Forget about it.

Farmer Gadd Chronicles

  1. Have harvested big tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, currant tomatoes (tiny),
  1. Threw out all of my cabbages except for 6 out of 21 –of which I managed to harvest as fist size heads. Have no idea why they all turned black. Never did see anything much on them.??
  2. Picked 1 – yes, 1 okra. More are hopefully on the way.  (Charles informed me he was looking for a recipe that called for 1 okra…hee)
  3. Watermelons and cantaloupes are growing .
  4. Yellow squash are amazing and blooming and beautiful.
  5. Green peppers are small but beautiful, as well as cayennes and jalapenos!

Keep house organized

Forget about it.

OTHER LIFE GOALS:

  • Learn to Scuba Dive
  • Go to Hawaii with my mom
  • Hike some on the Appalachian trail
  • Go canoeing this summer ACCOMPLISHED!
  • Go kayaking this summer
  • Go fishing and camping this summer in NC under the stars
  • Set up telescope
  • Make my office into a teaching studio ACCOMPLISHED
  • Visit the pyramids and Egypt
  • Tour the Holy Land via a cruise!
  • Visit Machu Pichu

Sally:

My leg continues to get stronger each day.  I am now able to stand up to pedal uphill.

Cars still make me nervous. I am working on getting funding for a greenway connector/fitness park in Mt. Juliet to help make it safer for people to use active transportation to get to destinations.

I will always continue to promote TEL and MERLOT. I actually created and Voki about MERLOT.

I am still working on the student portal for MERLOT. The new TBR elearning website does have a mobile app resource bank for finding good apps.  Check it out.  You can also submit apps for review. I also want to do a MERLOT workshop, mobile app workshop and a TEL workshop for students in the fall.

I will be submitting my Pre-Conference “Cycling for Libraries” session proposal and a proposal for a session called: “MERLOT 101 for Librarians” soon for the 2012 TLA conference.

New things I have learned:

Today, July 27, in 1940 Bugs Bunny made his first appearance on television. (Learned that from the train conductor this morning.)

Every second, 48 hours’ worth of video is uploaded to YouTube. That adds up to nearly 8 years of content daily!

A dragonfly can fly about 36 miles an hour.

The famous classical composer, Claude Debussy, using the pseudonym Monsieur Croche, wrote articles criticizing the cultural life of his time. Monsieur Croche is French for Mr. Eighth Note, or Mr. Quaver. The articles, which originally appeared in Paris journals, were later published in a book Monsieur Croche: The Dilettante Hater.

The Tucker Sedan, the futuristic 1948 car had a center headlight that turned with the steering wheel. The swiveling “Cyclops eye” center beam enabled the motorist to see what lay ahead in the direction the car would be traveling.

Oklahoma has more man-made lakes than any other state. It has more than 200—created by building dams across streams. Its only natural lakes are shallow playas and oxbows.

Bill Clinton’s Secret Service code name was shared by TV’s fictional president Josiah “Jed” Bartlet in The West Wing.  The borrowed code name was Eagle. For a brief period during the course of the popular dramatic series (1999–2006), Bartlet’s code name was changed to Liberty.

The Chicago White Sox were once issued Bermuda shorts and knee socks to wear on hot summer days. They wore them only once. In August 1976, owner Bill Veeck’s wife designed the uniform.

 

 

 

Life Lessons from the Library: Provide Context, Please.

The other day as I was leaving the library, a student walked by, waved, and said happily, “You found it.”

I nodded, although I had no idea what we were discussing. I have found that nodding with a vaguely approving look on my face often gets me out of these sorts of situations. But clearly she wanted more.

So I was forced to admit my ignorance. “Found what?” I asked.

She stared at me in disbelief. “The book that’s on my account. I knew I’d turned it in. And someone in the library found it yesterday.”  She was clearly amazed that this had not been weighing on me.

I smiled back and said, “That’s great news. Glad we could correct the mistake.” And we parted friends.

But the incident made me think of the times that I am ‘ambushed’ by people who provide little or no context for their questions or statements.  And I have  to wonder why that is. I could think that it’s because folks have such a strong belief in my ability to remember things, but if they’ve known me for more than five minutes, that can’t be it. Another reason may be that most of us are so self-absorbed, we can’t really believe that our problems aren’t on the forefront of everyone’s mind.

But not providing a context, especially for a question, makes miscommunication that much easier and has the added liability of making the receiver of such a question irritated.

For example, let’s say you appear at the door of my office. I look up from my computer where I’m working on a report.

“Did you get an answer?” you ask.

Now my mind has to shuffle through the various projects that need answers. Is it a purchasing problem? Is there a Testing Center dilemma? Did we get the budget transfer for the Learning Center? You get the picture. So I answer with a less-than-elegant, “What?”

But let’s back up and redo our example with context:

You appear at my door.

I look up from typing.

“Hi,” you say, “did you get an answer from the business office about the sole source form?”

“Yes. We need one. I’m working on it now.”

See, life is much easier.

Unfortunately, there are so many ways  for communication to go awry. So let’s eliminate one of them. Just provide a basic context for your listener. Trust me. It’s much appreciated.

Monday Motivator: Admit Your Age

Recently, I read about a woman who admits that she always tells her age, and it bugs her friends. But here’s why she does it: A couple of decades ago, she watched a friend die of AIDS in his twenties. Since then, she often thinks of him when she’s asked to give her age. She thinks of the ages he never got to be, and in honor and memory of him, she tries to appreciate every one.

This idea seems appropriate right now as two stories circulate in the media. There is the horror of young people being shot down at a camp in Norway. Then there is the sadness of singer Amy Winehouse’s death. The two events have little in common except that they both resulted in untimely deaths of people whose potential the world will now never know. The young people were mowed down in the name of a twisted ideology full of fear and hate. Winehouse apparently died from an addiction that she couldn’t beat despite so many resources available to her.

In  our culture, we are so obsessed with being young and, failing that, looking young, we forget how fortunate we are to be alive and well. Worrying about gray hair probably means we’re not worrying about famine, war, natural disasters, drug addiction, etc. In the scheme of things, it’s a pretty small problem to have.

So the next time you’re asked your age, admit it proudly in honor of those who will never get the chance to worry about wrinkles and saggy skin.

 

The Jolly Librarian Takes on Geography

I must admit that geography is not my strongest subject. I have nothing against it, and, in a perfect world, I would be able to rattle off countries, capitals, and GNPs with the best of them. Unfortunately, I was born a little directionally challenged. For the first eight years of my life, I was constantly embarrassed in class for not knowing my right from my left. My mother, realizing it was never going to be instinctual with me, finally just told me to look at my birthmark on my right hand as a guide. This helped, although you’d be surprised how much glancing at your hand can slow you down in an aerobics class.

Logically, I suppose, I was also confused by north, south, east, and west. And to be honest, I was never quite sure why I needed to know these things since I grew up at a time when there were such things as street signs to guide me where I needed to go. Still, I was always running into people who liked to give directions with such phrases as, “Head out west. . .”

And to make things worse, I’m not a visual learner. I could rattle off the states in alphabetical order. But give me a blank map and have me fill them in, I was lost and still am. So early on, I decided geography was not for me. And besides being made fun of for not knowing what states were on what side of the Mississippi River (a topic that, surprisingly, infrequently appears in daily conversation), I did fine.

But then the other night, I was watching a news show that did a basic summary of events in East Africa. Now I had heard of some of these countries, but I didn’t know that they were in East Africa. To be honest, I’m not sure that I ever thought about they’re being an East Africa. But the show made me look at my globe, and I was chagrined to realize that I couldn’t name half of Africa’s countries. So I made an effort to learn them. Having done that, I’ve determined to be able to name all the countries of the world.

This is not an easy task for several reasons. One, just after I started learning them, a new country popped up, South Sudan. I’ve also learned that several countries that I learned as a child no longer exist but have been replaced by countries that are very hard to spell. There are also many, many small islands that seem to qualify as countries. Finally, according to several online sources, there isn’t even universal agreement about how many countries there are.

But just when I was about to give up in despair, I ran across this nifty website that turns the project into a game. And how could I, the Jolly Librarian, resist?

Can You Name the Countries of the World? provides you with a map and a fifteen-minute time limit. You  type in the countries’ names and then watch them flow to their place on the map. You must spell them correctly, which is still a problem for me with the Post-Soviet bloc countries. And I type them in alphabetically instead of regionally. There are still a few times when I watch in awe as a country I thought was in Africa flies its way to the South Pacific part of the map. At the end, it shows you the ones you missed in red. I am actually learning the countries. At last count, I was up to 151.

One final warning. It’s addictive. I showed it to two colleagues. What followed was frantic typing by later exclamations of “Barbados! How could I have forgotten Barbados? I once went on vacation there!”

 

 

Library Life Listers: And the Lists Go On . . .

Sometimes I think it’s not that I’m failing in my life list items, it’s that I put the wrong items on there. For example, if I’d placed “sleeping through 3 alarms at least 5 days a week,” I’d be feeling quite successful now.  As you can probably surmise, I am not feeling great about my summer accomplishments. I thought I’d be more motivated this summer; instead, I have been distinctly sloth-like in almost areas of my life. But maybe my colleagues are doing better. Let’s check the lists.

Allison:

Translate the book of Esther:

Work toward solving the problem of homelessness in Nashville:

After weeks of driving around without any cash, I withdrew some small bills last night so I can get back to supporting The Contributor.

Write some things I’m proud of:

I’ve been spending some time writing (or editing) almost every day.

Become more fluent in Spanish:

Listened to a couple episodes of Coffee Break Spanish.

Give my best to the ESL classes I help teach:

My co-teacher taught this past week, so I enjoyed a break.

 

Emily:

Learn French: I failed to mention I quit my French lesson about a month ago.

Cook a new dish/pie each week: Made cucumber, mint, basil soup with excess of cucumbers and herbs. Soup just isn’t meant to be cold.

Drive across country: Decided driving to the beach was more apropos.

Grow vegetable garden and herb garden: Cucumbers? Anyone….anyone….  (Emily has become attached to her cucumbers. Let her tell you in her own words!)

Jolly Librarian:

Weight Loss Challenge: Lost one pound last week. This was an inexplicable miracle.

Socialize: Went downtown with friends for dinner and music. Remembered why I don’t go downtown that often. Ate a thousand-calorie brownie sundae, which makes the weight loss even more inexplicable.

Writing: Had a great idea for a story. But can’t make it work.  I am now five pages in and have not even gotten to the image that inspired the story in the first place.

Reading: Finished reading another book this week. Am on track.

Pam:

Letter writing

Bought a little necklace to send my mom and got out a card to write her. Plan to over the weekend.

Performing

  • Show in NC was a bit difficult as we were up high overlooking a balcony railing to the listeners below—and it was very dark! We did a lot of laughing as well as picking and singing. Overall, we had a great time. No upcoming shows at this point…

Walking

  • I planned to begin a walking regime when I returned from NC but got sick. My plans are still in my head. Time to hit the pavement—come Monday July 25, 2011.

Reading

  1. Started new Margaret Atwood book, The Year of the Flood. Have begun a 2nd book that Charles found for me about the fabric of space and time. I shall keep you’all posted, as I know each of you is chomping at the bit and wanting to borrow it when I get done!

Weight 128

  • Weighed at the doctor today. New weight 141. Time to get slimming. Carbohydrates have been at an all-time high. I find them comforting and easy at-hand foods when you’re hungry (and when I’m hungry J ) MUST, simply MUST, find a balanced food plan. Does ANYONE know of one?

Farmer Gadd Chronicles

  • Have been picking cherry tomatoes and currant tomatoes (tiny, cute ones) EVERY day, and now the Roma tomatoes are coming in. I’m so excited. Plants are really taking off since feeding them 2 weeks ago. Green beans are beautiful, and I’ve been eating them raw in the evenings with other veggies (peppers, lettuce), etc. If you want to eat more nutritiously, grow your own easy foodstuff!

Keep house organized

Amazing what it will do for your mind to keep your house straightened. I’ve FINALLY gotten in the habit of keeping it ‘picked up’!

OTHER LIFE GOALS:

  • Learn to Scuba Dive
  • Go to Hawaii with my mom
  • Hike some on the Appalachian trail
  • Go canoeing this summer ACCOMPLISHED!
  • Go kayaking this summer
  • Go fishing and camping this summer in NC under the stars
  • Set up telescope
  • Make my office into a teaching studio ACCOMPLISHED
  • Visit the pyramids and Egypt
  • Tour the Holy Land via a cruise!
  • Visit Machu Pichu

Sally:

My leg still continues to get stronger. (I got to ride a BMW bicycle while in California. It was part of the hotel we were staying in for the Emerging Technology Conference. It was a really nice bike!)

I learned a lot about technology at the conference.  The most important is that TBR is keeping MERLOT.  MERLOT is more important than ever because of the fact that educators can share resources around the world.  I shared MERLOT with a student waiting for the CAL Train.  My two presentations that I did went pretty well.  I liked doing the poster session better because it as one-on-one teaching.  More like being a librarian.  I am going to put a MERLOT tab in all my LibGuides.  I also learned about 2 apps that allow Flash to be played on the iPad: iSwifter and Puffin.  Tennessee is leading the way in mobile educational technology.  Check out the new TBR elearning initiative website. Here is my Content Builder and SoftChalk Poster Session.  There is now a template in Content Builder for adding good educational apps to MERLOT, called “Teaching with Mobile Apps”.

I also continue to tell everybody about TEL.

I am still working on my Cycling for Libraries pre-conference idea for TLA next year.

 

 

Life Lessons from the Library: Choosing is Hard but Rarely Irreversible

If a man wants to read good books, he must make a point of avoiding bad ones; for life is short, and time and energy limited. Schopenhauer

No one would argue with Schopenhauer here. We are all quite aware that life is short. The problem is knowing the difference between the good and the bad. In books and just about everything else.

In the library, we see the difficulty in making choices each day. Students are often afraid to choose a topic for their research paper, worried that once they’ve declared the topic, they will be stuck with few resources or end up with nothing to write. They are also afraid to choose a major: “What if I decide to change from English to engineering and then all those lit credits will go to waste or I’ll have to take another math?”

As someone who has always had a hard time making choices, I am quite sympathetic to students’ frustrations. After all, some of us were brought up with the idea that if we choose wisely the first time, then we won’t be wasting our time or spending time in remorse over bad decisions. The thought of having to start over means failure in our minds.

I still remember the first time someone challenged that idea for me. I was talking with a friend about a decision she was contemplating. I don’t remember now what it was, but I do remember that I thought she was not as scared as she should be. “So what if it doesn’t work out?” I asked, hoping to nudge her into a more logical frame of mind.

She looked at me and shrugged. “Then it doesn’t.”

“But what will you do then?” I asked.

She grinned and listed various options still open, including returning to college.

“But you’ll practically have to start over!” I said.

“So I’ll start over.”

It was then that I realized that I (and my other fearful friends) had made a crucial mistake in our reasoning. We had seen that making the wrong choice could have dire consequences. But we had failed to see that making no choice also had dire consequences and was in itself  a choice. We also failed to see making a bad choice was rarely permanent.

I’m not advocating making life-changing decisions without thought. In fact, I’ve written before about the decision-making process, and I’m a big fan of that process. But being paralyzed by fear into not making choices at all is much more of risk with many more sad consequences attached. After all, life is limited, and I think most of us would prefer to remember things that failed than day after day of sameness with no chances taken.

Monday Motivator: See Your Friends

In this month’s Real Simple, the article “5 Ways to Be a Better Friend” ends with advice from a nine-year-old: “Grown-ups should work harder on seeing their friends.  . . .Adults have to make an effort to see each other, and sometimes they don’t do that enough.”

This is one smart kid. We often make a huge mistake regarding friendships as adults. We think that they should be low-maintenance, that it won’t matter if we don’t see people for months at a time. After all, everyone’s busy. We think that any friend will understand that we have to put our jobs, our families, etc. first. We promise we’ll get in touch next week or the next or the next. And suddenly, months have gone by.

And perhaps this attitude is one of the reasons why so many adults claim to be lonely. Friendships are like any other relationship; they have to be nurtured.  Even when there are good reasons, no one likes to feel forgotten. Even the most patient of people will give up after months of  neglect.

And we are the big losers. Friendships benefit us in a myriad of ways. Friends add joy to our lives:

  • They share the chocolate brownie sundae that you shouldn’t eat but really want.
  • They drop you off at the airport and pick you up again.
  • They hold you when you’ve been dumped.
  • They laugh at your bad Jane Austen jokes.
  • They go to sappy movies and plays when your significant other refuses.
  • They loan you money when your Starbucks card is out of cash.
Note: None of these things is life or death. But for most of us, life just wouldn’t be as much fun without our friends.
So if you’ve unintentionally been AWOL from a friendship lately, take time this week to reconnect.

The Jolly Librarian Ponders Absences

When the Jolly Librarian took the job as Dean of Learning Resources, she knew several things:

  • She would never get rich.
  • She’d have a staff often described as “eccentric” by other departments on campus.
  • She would now have to put in more hours on campus than when she was a faculty member.
  • She’d occasionally be yelled at by irate students.

But the positives more than compensated:

  • Getting to work with books everyday
  • Working with students more individually.
  • Making decisions that would help students when faced with academic troubles.
  • And did I mention getting to work with books everyday?

Besides, I was from the English department; I was used to the eccentric, quirky, and just plain weird. (You know who you are!)

And for the most part, the great parts of my job have been what I imagined, and bad parts don’t come up that often. But there was one thing for which I had not prepared myself: dealing with sick leave and time off.

Back when I was coordinator in the English department and made out schedules, a friend warned me that this would be the hardest part of the job. “Your job is to make sure the classes all have teachers. But for faculty, that individual schedule is their life for four months. And they’re not going to be happy to have you play with it.”  And she was right. But in the library, I couldn’t imagine it would be much of an issue. After all, we all worked the same number of hours per week, and virtual hours were not a part of the schedule. But just to be safe, I developed a series of guidelines about vacation time.

But I soon learned that an eccentric staff was also eccentric about things like office hours and leave time. It’s not that they ignored the rules; it’s just they often simply forgot that I had made any.

So things like this would happen:

I’d approve two people vacation time. Talking to a third, I mentioned that she might need to be available to cover the desk.

Wide-eyed, she said, “Don’t you remember that I’m away at a conference the whole week?”

Standing by the office calendar, I look at it. “You’re not on here.”

She agreed, “No, I’m not.”

“Why not?”

Gently, she says, “Well, you signed the approval form a month or so back.”

“But,” I sputtered, “you’re still supposed to put it on the calendar. You can’t depend on my memory of everyone’s schedule.”

Smiling (she never stops smiling), she agrees.

Then there is the indecisive person. I always feel that this person has taken more vacation days than she has because we seem to be in constant discussion about them. 

Two weeks ago, she was going out of state and couldn’t decide whether to take two days off, or take one day off and then work on following Friday. After hand-wringing and much thought, she decided to do the latter. I planned the schedule around that. On Thursday night, at 8 p.m. as we were closing, she appeared at my door. “I really don’t want to come in tomorrow. I think I’ll take the day after all.”

Then there are the TMI folks. I have a no details policy when it comes to calling in sick.  And some folks  have that down to a science. Charles, for example. Whether he has a cold, stomach virus, or broken leg, his sick-leave call is the same, “It’s Charles. I’m sick. Bye bye.” And that works just fine.

But others go into such graphic detail that I too feel sick after hearing the message. And one sends emails to the entire staff throughout the day, so we can suffer vicariously with her through stomach cramps and mucous issues.

Of course, I suppose there is the other end of the spectrum. When Sally was hit by a car while riding her bicycle home on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, we found out she’d broken her leg by a laconic email several days later after she was let out of the hospital.  

What I have not admitted until now, though, is that there is some justice in my suffering through these eccentric views of absences because I too am a little wishy-washy when it comes to time off. More than once, I’ve asked my boss for a week off and then added that I might come in if “there are rainy days, or the gym is closed, or I get bored or . . .” 

So I suppose it’s only justice that the eccentric boss gets an eccentric staff. And I’m sure every time I point to an empty date on the calendar and wearily ask, “Why didn’t  you write it down?”, somewhere every boss I’ve ever had suddenly has an odd sense of retribution.

The Library Life Listers: Moving On. Slowly.

If life lists were the stuff that sit coms were made out of, our little group here already has the cast ready. There are Allison and Sally, who set goals and proceed on them each week. There’s Pam who makes progress but is constantly finding something new to add to the list. There’s me, the Jolly Librarian, who must confess that I didn’t share some of my life list items, deeming them too personal for public consumption. (Yes, our loyal five readers, you are a public.) Then there is Emily. Emily is not a natural joiner, but she is so good-natured that she collapsed under peer pressure. And her slightly cynical view is always refreshing. Among us, we manage to make some progress each week.

Here are this week’s updates:

Allison:

translate the book of Esther

work toward solving the problem of homelessness in Nashville

write some things I’m proud of

Edited a poem yesterday. Still working on the third draft of the larger piece. I put in a few productive hours last night.

become more fluent in Spanish

Listened to some Coffee Break Spanish this week. I conversed in Spanish with some students after ESL class and went to Spanish-speaking church Sunday evening.

give my best to the ESL classes I help teach

Sunday’s class went well! Using new vocabulary, we discussed the characters of the story we were reading and translating.

Emily:

Grow vegetables and share harvest:

Shared cucumbers. Made cucumber sorbet. (The Jolly Librarian has once again been the recipient of a cucumber gift J.  I am also glad I was not a recipient of excess cucumber sorbet!)

Cucumber Sorbet Recipe:

  1. Harvest excess of cucumbers and mint
  2. Puree
  3. Freeze
  4. Regret

Jolly Librarian:

Summer Weight-loss Challenge:

With summer being half-over, I have lost one pound and am 9 pounds from my goal. I now have only two jumpers and two skirts that fit me, so I am grateful I am on a four-day modified contract this summer. While I have not given up hope that I will lose the other nine pounds, so far, the other two members and I would have a midterm grade of “F” if this were a course.

Writing:

My characters are misbehaving. I have a plot I need them to follow, and they are refusing by being very boring and tedious every time I write.

Reading:

Read two books last week. I am ahead of my goal of reading 70 this year.

Pam:

Letter writing

No letter this week – just too busy in prep for the NC upcoming show.

Performing

  • Absolute cram in intense rehearsal for the NC gig, which created a great amount of pressure – but learning new material was so good for me on a musical level of growth. It made me want to book more gigs. Bring on the challenge! J

Walking

  • Must find funds to join a gym – be it the Sportsplex for swimming, or more appealing would be the YMCA. The yearly rate and monthly fee are so high, I could buy my own pool –which, quite frankly, is appealing! But, then I couldn’t afford the upkeep of that either (or the pool guard I’d have to keep on guard to keep the snakes and frogs out)! Just not interested in hitting the pavement upon rising in the morning…what’s a girl to do? Any suggestions from the peanut gallery? (Everyone except Jolly Librarian, that is, who apparently has NO successful solutions to how to lose weight)… (The Jolly Librarian is not amused! JL)

Reading

  1. Started new Margaret Atwood book, The Year of the Flood.

Weight 128

  • Very happy to announce that I am once again in the 130’s. I’m seriously contemplating a goal of 125 for the ideal body weight of my 5’4” stature. I felt great at that time in my life. We shall see…

Farmer Gadd chronicles

  • Plants have deepened in their green color after last week’s feeding. I am amazed at the doubling in size! Tomatoes are ripening. Cabbages are a disaster, however, due to what, I cannot figure out. No sign of critters, but they are blackened and full of holes. A few seem to be okay.

Keep house organized

I am a queen of an orderly house! Praise the Lord, I’ve DONE IT!!! Finally ORGANIZED MY OFFICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! —thus, one goal was successful!!! (Applause!!!!! JL)

OTHER LIFE GOALS:

  • Learn to Scuba Dive
  • Go to Hawaii with my mom
  • Hike some on the Appalachian trail
  • Go fishing and camping this summer in NC under the stars
  • Set up telescope.
  • Make my office into a teaching studio
  • Visit the pyramids and Egypt
  • Tour the Holy Land via a cruise!
  • Visit Machu Pichu

 

Sally is in California this week at a Merlot conference.