Terra firma Floridiana

December 20, 2006

I’ve been back in Florida three days now, and despite the general lack of homework (not complete, however, as profs for two of my classes for next semester have already emailed syllabi, so I guess I could be getting a headstart) I still feel a bit like I’m on the treadmill. Most of this has to do with the relentless need to shop, which is more nerve wracking than normal because this year occasions lots of new people in my life and who knows what to get new people at the last minute. Also, who knows what the appropriate budget is? Note to self: start shopping earlier next year so the perfect quirky gifts can be found for all via the Internet, and when you see something just buy it.

Other parts of the treadmill feeling have to do with the post-writing workshop blitz reawakening of the feeling that I am indeed going to be looking for a job in a library someday, and I might need to spend some time making sure I am kicking ass in that department. So onwards and upwards with information systems design and trying to understand the machinery of it all. One good development in this area: I have managed to wrangle my way out of my Special Collections placement next semester and into assisting the manager of digital collections develop RSS feeds for the library website and possibly creating a social software hub. So pumped! I’m knocking on woods that this is the sliver of an opportunity that I will be able to leverage into genuine skills to go on a genuine resume. Ever since meeting with my library’s systems librarian, my hope that I too might be able to break into systems sans undergrad degree in computer science has been renewed. She was a sociology major undergrad and got recruited into systems on the basis of being able to fix the printer when it jammed. That, I can do, and perhaps I can continue to try and educate myself via things like the W3 Schools website.

Another part of the recommended self-education process has been to join Second Life. I’ve been reading about it on library blogs for the better part of the last year, and apparently the librarians are out in force in virtual universe. If any of you are hip, look up Solidarity Fitzgerald next time you’re logged in. If you have no idea what I am talking about, that is probably better for you. Spending multiple hours strolling around, talking to strangers, and trying to move between large pillars, all in pixelated form, has a tendency to make me feel like I have crossed a line into true nerdom. Not sure how I feel about this, but anything for my library.

Things are slowing down in some areas, however. Monday, I was greeted by an almost completely deserted place of employment, and that has been a major plus of the week. I do love the thrill of finals week and seeing every single study carrel occupied, but there is a selfish part of myself that also loves the emptiness of break and the feeling that the library is a supercool club just for me where I can find any book I want to without having to wade through frantic group projects and step over laptop cords everywhere. The workload has been light and our days have been mostly spent eating and exchanging gifts.

My reading and netflix viewing are also going rather slowly. Finished The Emperor’s Children and The Worst Hard Time during my various travels, and started Alice Munro’s memoir. It didn’t take on the first try, however, and now I am deeply engrossed in Richard Ford’s The Sportswriter. That’s the first book in the trilogy that ends with this year’s The Lay of the Land. Speaking of Ford, I think I am going to forgo netflix viewing for one more night and go directly to bed and keep reading.

That’s kind of a boring snapshot into the current life of me, but it belies the many potential blog topics that have run through my head in the past few days. I try to jot them down, but then I end up with pockets full of notes and no energy left at the end of the day to remember what I was thinking when I scribbled on them. These topics have included: ditching cable, the pro’s and the con’s; the Web 2.0 concept of “beta forever” + Wired’s new editorial tenet that “process is content“= either extreme laziness and the downfall of Western creativity or a whole new age of what passes for good writing–which?; what is up with this buzz about Australia deciding that linking can constitute copyright infringement?;  and finally, was The Emperor’s Children really a good book?

So many projects, so little useful concentration. Priorities. Who has them straight?

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