Archive for May, 2010

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so maybe my Mom was right back in high school

May 26, 2010

My main energies right now seem focused on going through the routines, trying not to disappoint too many people/demands/responsibilities/etc all with really just wanting to get to the end of June.  While it pains me to admit it (and opens an opportunity for my Mom to tell me a resounding “I told you so!”) I think there is definitely a connection between the state of my room and my overall mood.  For example my room was a complete disaster for most of the past few months, not dirty or anything, just displaying the results of my floor as desk/organizational space/closet/bookshelf method.  In a fit of frustration two weeks ago, I finally cleaned it; sorted through the clothes, returned the piles of library books, shuffled the papers into new and more discrete piles, organized the shoes (which I insist on discarding right in front of my door every night), vacuumed the carpet.  But now once again I am back in existing mode, which means the piles are creeping back out, the shoes clogging the doorway, and the basket of clean clothes sits neglected.

However when I say there is a connection between my mood and my room, I think the former is more of the cause than the latter.  Being busy doesn’t tend to agree with me.  I already have a strong tendency to low-key activities, spending time with only those I already know, retreat and escape (be it books or absorbing new television shows), so when you significantly lessen my free time, the first things to fly out the window are social activities, exercise, playing games with my housemates, photography, and keeping my room in some semblance of order.  Part of me placates myself with the idea that this is temporary, my class ends on June 28th and work finishes June 11th.  Surely when free time returns, my inclination to do much beyond the bare minimum of living will return.

But at the same time I know this is a pretty lame excuse, especially when you throw in the idea that life will probably only get fuller as I get older.  If I think working full time and part time grad school is bad, I should probably try raising children, getting married, having a job with more responsibilities, or any number of possible “grown-up” scenarios.  All this said, I don’t know that I am making any resounding declarations of intent or setting myself some new goals, but just that I think I need to be a bit more mindful of the longer-term results of how I spend my time.  Despite the appeal of just watching another episode of Bones (my current favorite show ever!) before bed, maybe I need to persuade myself to choose something else, even if that is finally putting away my clean laundry.

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I may never actually blog about just one thing ever again

May 12, 2010

A fascinating concept gleaned from reading a chapter in a curriculum textbook last night

The major four areas of study in elementary and high school education are science, math, social studies and language art, a fact that I was familiar with prior to my reading for class.  However the author pointed out that their importance is connected to three underlying questions that humans spend most of their lives looking for.  Science and Math, at their core, are searches for truth.  What is factual? What is false? How do these ideas work together to create larger patterns?  Social Studies is the quest for goodness.  What is right and wrong?  How do we evaluate our actions in larger contexts?  And third, Language Arts is the search for beauty.  What resonates with people?  Why do some works last for many years and others not?  How do we define appeal?

So last semester I wrote this paper

Jess reminded me at break today that I really should post my final paper for my Library 2.0 class.  As my long-suffering editor in chief, I figure I should listen to her.  This paper is based on my reading of a book “This Book is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All!”, which was a great book for me to read at this point in my library school journey.  Full of inspirational and very very quirky people, the book tells how librarians are doing unusual, but highly valued work all over the world. So if you are interested in reading my paper, you can see the abstract here.  Or read the whole thing through this pdf link:

Exploring Librarian 2.0: How the Work of Librarians is Evolving to Meet Users’ Needs

Happy Belated Mother’s Day

This past weekend, the whole family got together to celebrate two birthdays and Mother’s Day.  Starting with an amazing lasagna meal (made by my Mom) and ending with an afternoon at Chicago Botanic Garden it was a great time.  On Saturday night we ate at this amazing Persian restaurant down on Clark and yammered on for quite a while.  Charletta asked us all a good question, What traits did we get from our mother?  Now at first this was a bit of a difficult question, seeing as I tend to see my DNA as a pretty even blend of my parents.  However with a little thinking, here are a few of my answers.

  • Love of reading – While my Dad likes to read too, he tends to more of the physics books or non-fiction books about the genetic components of religious/spiritual belief.  It is definitely my Mom that gave me my voracious love of books (mainly novels).  So many of the pivotal books of my childhood were connected to her: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, Little House on the Praire, numerous picture books and Little Women.  Also I am pretty sure it is Mom who blessed both Tim and I with the ability to be so absorbed in our books that we could only be pried out of them with shouted offers of money.
  • Creative bent – I am not someone who sees themselves as a writer or an artist, but I have a strong interest in creative pursuit.  Ranging from poetry to photography, I have dabbled in lots of art/writing endeavors over the years and trace this directly to my Mom.  Just in case you didn’t know, my Mom is a talented fraktur artist, which is a form of old style calligraphy and illustration.  While I don’t have the patience fraktur takes, I have always admired this use of my Mom’s creativity.
  • We kind of look alike – In high school I was in the chorus of Fiddler on the Roof, which involved wearing conservative dress and our hair in buns.  According to my aunt, I looked like a carbon copy of my Mom in high school.  See what I mean –
  • Feminist leanings – Growing up I never really thought of my mom as a strong advocate for women, however two stories often remind me of how much I owe her for my strong belief in women’s equality.  The first was when my Mom took a position as Sunday School Superintendent at our conservative Mennonite Church, despite the fact that this was a controversial occurrence and resulted in several members leaving the church.  The second was when our family moved from PA to IN so my Mom could get her Masters at AMBS.  While moving a family half-way across the country to support a woman’s career choices, may not seem that radical, it was pretty influential to 10 year old me.

Also in case you are interested, here are the other photos from the weekend.

True story, my family watched the annual Men in Kilts contest at the Celtic Fair and we totally picked our favorites and everything.