Published in: on February 14, 2010 at 3:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Exhaustion

Moving is hell. I have lived in a little apartment in which over five years time I’ve stocked remarkably well with treasure. I love going to estate sales, yard sales, thrift stores, craigslist–there’s always fabulous things awaiting discovery. For me, there was too much, so I went through and got rid of so many things…cassettes, VHS tapes, and unsentimental things…but it was not enough. Since this move I have so many boxes to go through that it makes me question the logic of becoming sentimental about ‘things’.

I have been applying for work overseas; this, not the move, is what prompted the purging. If I land a federal position, it is likely moving costs will be paid, but I probably won’t have the space with which to move all of my items, so I’d begun thinking about what I could keep and what had to go. Camping was great when I lived in the desert, but I don’t enjoy it here in the NW–and I want the convenience of facilities, so my tent, tarps, and air mattresses were sold for a song.  I thought I had a good amount of treasure relinquished, but I was wrong. I have soooo much yet to organize which makes me wonder how to pare down what I have.

While studying library science I built a collection of books. I bought six bookshelves from Ikea while on a weekend trip to visit the Land Clan. My friend Mike Hohn helped me turn my bookcases in stacks; we put the bookcases back-to-back and Mike’s idea was to put a piece of wood over the top to secure the shelves for safety. I began collecting arts and crafts books, cookbooks, and old children’s books. I like making cards and gift tags and found I enjoyed using images from old books in my artwork. While having my own stacks did come with bragging rights, library school changed how I collected books and I decided I would much rather look for information online than in books–which disappointed me; it was something I’d argued against in library school, and now I could see the convenience of it.

Now that everything has been moved, I’m resting. I am evaluating what stays and what I’m truly attached to. I have offered my daughter a good deal; she can sell/trade my cd collection as long as she first rips all of the discs to my computer. I have decided to purchase a small external hard drive to back up my files and to make my music purchases online via the iTunes store or similar method. I still have a record player and I haven’t given up my records. I’m not sure I can–I have the first Beatles, the first Stones, a Chubby Checker with stickers!!–they’re in rotten condition, but they’re sentimental–my mom taught me how to ‘mashed potato’ and ‘swim’ to these oldies, and I remember her dance lessons fondly every time I hear Len Barry or The Animals.

I have been applying for jobs in the federal system for nearly a year. I have had two interviews to date and both have been over the phone, from supervisory librarians in Germany. During my first interview I was anxious about being on the phone too long because she called me from overseas–so I kept my answers terse–not the best way to interview. The second interview came too quickly for me to properly prepare–for my first interview I had a handful of index cards with questions and comments; not so for the second. See, I check my email from my phone, and I’d done so when I woke at 6: 30 on July 2nd, which is my big brother’s birthday, and this year he turned 40!! (go Joe!!) I saw I had an email asking when I was able to interview and I enthusiastically replied fully expecting to repeat the process of preparation and willing myself not to worry about the expense of an overseas call. Within 20 minutes my phone was ringing and I realized I was about to interview for a job I really, really wanted without the preparation I’d have preferred. I felt like there were moments I was clear and times when I could have been more succinct in my answers; it’s difficult to interview when one hasn’t had their morning dose of caffeine. I wrote a follow-up email and asked several questions which the supervisory librarian graciously answered. I wasn’t selected for the position and I have been too distracted by the rigors of the move to feel the disappointment that is there.

I graduated in December of 2008 with a Masters of Library Science degree, my concentration is working with youth in an international setting. I have applied for so many jobs only to hear I need experience–professional experience. I find this exasperating. I have volunteered for the public library and covered a wide variety of tasks in that setting; helping patrons navigate the OPAC, find items on the shelf, place holds, use online tutoring properly (not to ask the tutor “why did the chicken cross the road”), collected a wide variety of patron art and poetry for eventual inclusion in a collection, processed holds, and worked one-on-one with patrons to help improve their reading and English pronunciation skills. I have also been responsible for the management of two school libraries, although the title of “clerk” is woefully inadequate in conveying the duties involved in running a school library.

I’m not going to continue ranting about this. I am one in a cohort of graduates who are having a difficult time putting our degree to work. The process of transitioning to a professional work environment is taking much longer than any of us had expected. I have found it equally disappointing and exciting–there is so much opportunity and I believe that the right placement will occur for me, for all of us, just not within the timeline we’d all like. Keeping busy because of this move has been a blessing; it has shown me how much work I’ve yet to do if I really want to simplify as well as the amount of time it will take to accomplish such a task.

I have also been thinking of the upcoming school year. I mentioned to my Principal that it’s a shame our electronic subscriptions to United Streaming and Renaissance Learning go largely unused due to the fact that teachers are too busy to teach themselves how to use these complex databases. I have found the online guides helpful and at times confusing and thought I could make guides that suited the needs of the teachers, so my Principal signed me up to present in two weeks at a back-to-school function. I am excited to have the opportunity to present but also wish I was presenting as a librarian, not as an office assistant–I’m ready for my piece of the pie. This is an opportunity to share the skills I developed in graduate school. I can submit my how-to guides with cover letters and resumes as I apply. I will blog about them when they are complete. Plenty to keep me busy. Chin up and all that. Thank you for reading my blog.

Published in: on August 16, 2009 at 9:53 pm  Leave a Comment