Friday, January 23, 2009

This is the job I want:

Here is a job description for a Virtual Librarian in Boise. Too bad I’m not qualified—this is pretty much exactly what I want to do.

The IDLA Virtual Librarian is responsible for the researching, compiling, organizing and formatting of educational digital resources. This position will maintain and update a vast database of digital media resources in an efficient and organized manner that will be utilized by in-house and statewide stakeholders. The Virtual Librarian will also provide training, reference, and instruction on using and retrieving available resources.

Experience and Training
Bachelors Degree in Library Science or technology-related field
Minimum of 2 years experience as a librarian or related field

Masters Degree in Library Science from an ALA accredited institution
3+ years of experience as a librarian or equivalent
Additional training or certification relevant to position

This is so what I want to do after I go to librarian school.  Did I mention this is in Boise?  And that it STARTS at $50K?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The best phrase in the English language

...has got to be "President Obama."

It keeps taking me by surprise--a moment where I realize the world really can be the place that, for the last 8 years, we could only imagine.  I feel a little leap in my chest, like when you wake up at 4:30 in the morning and realize it's Saturday so the alarm won't be going off in an hour and you can roll over and go back to sleep.

What impresses me most is the sheer number of people who share this feeling and who are also willing to answer Obama's call to service.  It feels like the trend toward apathy and inaction may be breaking down.  Today, a local paint store donated paint and supplies to repaint an elementary school.  Dozens of volunteers have signed up to help paint this weekend at USA Service, a site designed by the Obama team to connect volunteers with projects in their communities.

I think the Rude Pundit today put it best:

"If you think about it, this was what this America was poised to become after September 11, 2001, had the former administration decided to harness the power of unity. But, then again, it was never very good with alternative forms of energy."

This is exactly what we should have been doing after 9/11, and what were we asked to do instead?  Shop.  Go back to being good little consumers so we can keep playing this neverending game of money and politics.

I feel so much better now.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A different kind of patriotism

Those of you who know me would probably not use the word "patriotic" when asked to describe me. I don't say the pledge, or, if I do, it's just so my students will do it so I don't have to. I don't wear anything red, white, and blue--ever (it's tacky, no matter how much you love America). I don't have a flag, look forward to the fourth of July strictly for the blowing up of stuff, and only care about Veterans' Day because it means I don't have to go to work.

But lately I have been getting all sappy. First, the plane crash in the Hudson river last week made me all "Go America!" because we can sure do infrastructure. There may be problems with our government, but it is directly responsible for enacting the systems that keep us safe on a daily basis. It's like someone has child-proofed the entire country. I am still amazed that on September 11, only three-thousand-something people lost their lives, when places like Turkey or India can have earthquakes or mudslides that kill ten thousand. Then today, on the way to my test, NPR broadcast the entirety of Martin Luther King's speech on the national mall in 1963, pointing out how fitting it was that, the day after what would have been King's 80th birthday, Obama will take the oath of office.

(I still can't believe he's going to be president. It's like what I imagined democracy was supposed to be like back when I took government my senior year.)

Even better than my sappy feelings of goose-bumpiness and gushing, teeny-bopperish rhetoric about coming changes is seeing other people who are this excited, too.

In which I enumerate my awesomeness

I took the GRE today, and I was really nervous because I needed a decent score for U of A (not to mention that I base 80% of my self-worth on standardized test scores).  Not only have I not taken a high-stakes, thinking person's test in quite some time (about 10 years), I started to think that my brain is atrophying the longer I go without college (about 4 years).  I especially loathed the math portion of the test because it made me realize that, except for balancing my checkbook and calculating grades (besides, the computer does most of both of these tasks) I just don't think in numbers anymore.

Am I missing out?  Really, I nearly had a panic attack when I forgot how to find the perimeter of a circle, and then I had to multiply square roots of things and find the greatest common factor for 3 to the 100th power and 3 to the 97th power.  It's not that I can't reason my way through these problems, most of the time, it's just that the foundation--all the geometric theorems, the formulas for finding out things, the rules for multiplying numbers with exponents--those things are all rusted and shoved into the very back of my brain where all the other stuff from my sophomore year of high school lives.  But do I really need these things, except if I need to take another test sometime?  Is my daily life really less for not knowing?  Weigh in on this, readers, and I will start thinking about math again.

Anyway, I kicked so much ass on the verbal part of the test--700 out of a possible 800.  I'm glad I looked through that section of my GRE guide because I was able to recognize some of the tricks and traps on the test.  In math, I got a 660, which gives me a total score that is plenty good for an MLS program, but not good enough for engineering school.  I think my essays were decent, too, but again, I'm just not writing like that anymore now that I am not in school.  And the experimental portion of my test was a second essay (I was hoping for more vocabulary questions), so I had to write 3 total.  My brain is exhausted.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Better, thanks

I've been taking Wellbutrin for about ten days now, and I'm feeling a lot happier.

And, well...


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Suck on this, fucktards!

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?

Although the site says that 390% of the pages on the internet have swearing, so I'm not sure I trust the math whiz that cooked this one up.

Monday, January 12, 2009

GRE Jitters

I sometimes really thrive on living life at the last minute.  I am taking the GRE a week from today, and I have't taken a test that was both difficult and important in about 10 years. (I took the Praxis II, which was important since a non-passing score meant no teaching license, but it was not difficult in the least, except not being able to leave or read a book when I was done.)

I decided, for sure, about a week ago that I really did want a Master's, so I found a school I could afford, filled out the online application, requested information on financial aid, ordered transcripts from UNLV, and registered for the GRE.  All in one night.

The next opportunity for taking the test on a non-school day would have been late February, way later than I wanted to do.  I want my score as soon as possible so I can do a retake if I need to, or just walk around feeling good about my score for that much longer.  Which means Monday.

I tell myself it's not a dumb decision to prepare in only 7 days.  After all, even if I signed up 6 months in advance, I doubt I'd start working on test prep until about a week before.  Example: I was engaged for a year and a half.  I started trying on dresses 4 days before the wedding.  

But I'm still nervous, and excited, and know this kind of pressure pushes me to do my best.  It's been a long, long time since I've felt like this.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Writing on the Wall

It's starting to look as though it might be time to pull up the stakes here.  Yesterday, our governor proposed cutting teachers' salaries by 6%.  Combined with the 4% cost-of-living increase that won't be coming this year, that's an effective 10% salary cut next year.  Hell, they're even talking about cutting salaries for THIS year.  As in, the one we're having now.  The one we signed a contract for in August.

Because, God forbid, we make it more costly for businesses to relocate to Nevada, or institute even a fraction of a percent state income tax, or require user fees to participate in competitive sports.  Not to mention rewriting overtime rules for school district and other public employees.

I signed up for the GRE in two weeks.  I'm applying for admission to the Masters of Library and Information Sciences program online at University of Alabama,where I can learn to say "shhhhhhhh"  for only $275 a credit hour.  Some of the programs I looked at, like Rutgers, cost for a semester what I'll pay for the whole degree, or just about the same amount as I'm paying on my student loans right now.  It will be so exciting to pay cash for a semester of school!  I don't think I have ever done that before.

I've been poking around shopping for jobs and houses.  Barring amazing and astounding developments at Tyson's job (possibly involving a move to Florida for a few years--in which case I can be a Gator for $200 a credit hour), we basically have narrowed things down to:

  • Missoula, Montana.  We have several friends, including a family with teenage kids (and horses!), that have moved there in the last year.  U of Montana campus.  Mountains.
  • Idaho Falls, Idaho.  IF reminds me a little bit of home, if Lubbock were Mormon instead of Baptist and three hours from Yellowstone.   Bonus=affordable houses made of brick and U of Idaho down the road in Pocatello.
  • Spokane, Washington.  Forty-five minutes and $100,000 away from Coeurd'Alane.  Cheap houses.  Snow.  According to the salary schedule I found at the school district website, I'd be making about $5000 more there, plus a $1400 stipend each November to employees with a Master's.

So my work is cut out for me the next few weeks: cramming for the test, tracking down transcripts, asking for letters of recommendation.  In addition to regular work, coordinating and implementing a new program for next year (which I'll do regardless of my being here or no) and managing my seratonin levels like a diabetic watches his insulin.  I can't very well get any of this done if it's hard getting out of bed in the morning.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Dead Computer

The fan on my laptop stopped working, so the engine wouldn't even turn over.  Sorry, Target card, I missed that payment.  I couldn't get to my login information in time.  It would be no problem at all to move all of my settings to Tyson's computer with the miracle of Transfer Wizard or whatever Vista calls it, but my hard drive has been turned into a slave drive and I can't install the program.  And I didn't export my bookmarks before my computer died, so I'm having to find them again manually.

Ugh.  I think I'm done for a while today.