Tag Archives: homework

march is not a terrible month

It was my birthday last week though I didn’t do anything special for it. Earlier in the week I went to see Fred Penner perform at UBC. I went with library school classmates and afterwards Jamie and Nicholle got him to sign their ukeleles. I didn’t join in the picture taking because I’ve seen Fred Penner in enough situations over the years where he’s just another guy (high school, Quinzmas, church) that treating him like a celebrity seemed weird.

Getting close to being done my homework for the term. My best assignment is undoubtedly my book trailer (see above) but I’ve had a few other things to finish as well. I saw a sentence on my Twitterfeed the other day saying “If you aren’t doing something you love, you’re wasting your time” In no way did I feel I was wasting my time making that video. The rest of my homework is not quite so inspiring.

I’ve applied for a job in New York to be a librarian at DC Comics, which would be crazy neat. It’d be a special library where I’d help research the first appearance of minor characters and do interlibrary loans with the studios in Burbank. It’d be a bit different from being a teen librarian but it’d be all sorts of cool. Probably won’t get it, but would have kicked myself for ages if I hadn’t applied.

And it gave me a reason to talk to people at the comic publisher booths when Jamie and I head down to Emerald City Comic Con in a couple of weeks. I wonder what kind of library a place like Oni or Dark Horse has, and how they get used. I’m the kind of person who can’t just go up to people and start talking, but having a real question I’d like to answer will be a way to kick myself into it.

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plastic people buckling their swashes

I have had a busy weekend making stuff, which is a pretty good way to spend my time, even if it is technically for homework.

I’m doing a video booktalk/trailer for an excellent YA pirate novel (A.S. King’s The Dust of 100 Dogs), and I own a bunch of pirate Lego, so using that Lego to illustrate the trailer seemed like a great idea. A few weeks ago I supplemented my Lego collection with extra hairpieces and some less masculine torsos and I was good to go.

Now, everybody in class has to make a video, but you can also just do a video booktalk. Getting out the Lego and building sets and taking umpty million macro shots isn’t a course requirement. But I’ve realized this term that what I’m really excited about in librarianship is doing cool stuff with young people. Playing with Lego and making something cool to show people is something I’d actually like to do professionally (and doing media-creation YA programs is something libraries can get into). This was completely the kind of project I can get lost in. If only all homework was like this (I’m sorry to my friends in cataloguing this term).

As of now I’ve got 30 pictures for my 90 second trailer and I’ve figured out exactly what gaps need filling. I need to do at least one more action sequence, a leaving home sequence that’ll recall the one already shot in the other timeline and a handful more Lego dogs (so I can turn them into 100).

I also appear to have left my phone in my jacket pocket with the ringer off since Friday night and never even thought about looking for it, so engrossed was I in Lego. Apologies to the person who tried to call me.

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leap-day eve resolutions

This afternoon I baked cookies. I got a recipe from the internet and bought as many baking ingredients as I could carry home (I didn’t have things like flour, sugar or baking powder until today) and then mixed them up and baked them. Woo.


Part of doing that baking was obligation. In our 6-9pm Children’s Literature class on Wednesdays people generally bring food to keep our blood sugar up, and I’d volunteered for tomorrow. But more generally, I have to do these things sometimes to remember that I can and kind of enjoy turning ingredients into finished products.

I was thinking about that after reading Jessie Thorn’s big thing on being successful doing what you love that was making its way around the intertubes yesterday.

I spent my reading week getting schoolwork out of the way so now I’ve only got a very manageable amount of that left to do before the term is done. My summer is going to have some classes and lots of conferences and interviews and writing for this big IFLA project I’m working on, but nothing terribly overwhelming on the schoolfront. (Aileen notes that really, none of my schoolwork should be overwhelming, and as always I have to agree. It’s not like I’m doing theoretical physics that undermines our understanding of the universe over here.)

Having the school stuff pretty much handled means its time to make cool things. Sometimes those things may be cookies. Most times those things will be word-based. I’m going to make some comics. One of the school things I have left to do is to create a book trailer. I have ideas for that, and if it goes well it might lead to more video-type projects.

No more laziness. Or at least, laziness only in measured doses.

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the difference a phone call makes

My weekend was spent working on an annotated bibliography, a topic briefing, and reading. There was reading involved in the first two parts as well, but well, yeah. Yesterday I took a break from my indoorsyness and went for a walk down to the water to watch the seaplanes land and take off again. I enjoy how Canadian that feels, with the mountains and the water and the trees, right here in the city.

My weekend was also kind of crappy with my lack of being called about the most recent student librarian gig I’d applied for. On the posting it said the interviews were going to be today, so when I didn’t hear anything by 5pm on Friday I figured that was yet another job missed somehow. I dwelt on what I could possibly have done to make my application better, brooded on the possibilities of ever finding a job when I graduate without recent library experience, and generally buried my head in books.

And then this morning I got a call saying I’ve got an interview tomorrow. So that’s all right then. I still might not get the job, but I’ve got a chance. A little bit of income, and the experience in a university library setting, would be so very excellent.

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the studenty life

Today I gathered texts for assignments all day. Woo. Our management class has its first assignment due in a couple of weeks, and that requires a whole hell of a lot of books on management and economics and libraries to be annotated for a bibliography. Don’t you wish you were in library school?

Doing this kind of thing is much easier than I imagine it used to be when you couldn’t lie in bed with your laptop all day, reserving books from all over the area to be delivered to places conducive to being picked up, or just getting the documents loaded onto your computer. I did go out to the VPL to grab a stack of books. Just for the thrill of going to the library and hurting my shoulder by overloading my bag.

And I did laundry and bought groceries. Wee. Exciting. Aren’t you glad I’m writing about this?

So many of my classmates seem so much more busy than me. All with their multiple jobs and things. I’ve just got my classes and the assignments, which I might as well do now since maybe I’ll be getting a job at some point to cut into my schoolwork time. This term I don’t have any pressing reason to get my school stuff done early, but I’ve kind of gotten the habit started so it seems better to be working on that stuff than not. It’s basically procrastination from writing or thinking about the future to be working on homework.

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luncheons not truncheons

It is my final week at work and it seems we’ll be having many a lunch. Last Thursday Holly and Edmund and Rob and I went for Thai food around the corner (since Holly was on her way to New Zealand the next day). That was pleasant enough. The food at the Thai place is a lot sweeter and not nearly so spicy as better Thai food, but still. We never did get to go out bushwalking, what with Holly’s schedule at Patisse occupying her so much of her weekend time here.

Then Holly went to Christchurch on Friday. I spent my weekend doing homework, watching movies, eating the last of the food in our cupboards (I didn’t want to buy any groceries this week, but ended up getting some ice cream today), and thinking about buying a pair of shoes.

I also sold Holly’s bike and the rental agent came by to show the apartment to a prospective renter. He’s such a slippery guy. He came in pointing and concern-trolling about how the place looked. There was a bit of mold on one of the walls that is nothing resembling our fault, but he tsk tsked and said when we do the final inspection on Friday he hopes it’ll be cleaned up. He could of course quote a price on getting it cleaned professionally… Fucking guy. Peter is going to move into our rooms and wants our double mattress, the one we found on the street. He’s also going to look after some of our stuff between me leaving on the 2nd and us heading back to the North on the 19th. Hooray for Peter.

Yesterday Edmund and Rob and I went up the Sydney Tower for lunch in the revolving restaurant. It was excellent. The place was filled with old people, and the elevators seemed in poor condition, but we watched the city rotate slowly beneath us for an hour. We could see all the way out to the Blue Mountains and Manly and the airport as well as peer down and marvel at the cranes and window washing apparatus so many tall buildings have as part of their superstructure. The vegetarian options were probably the best I’ve had at a buffet like that. Baba Ganoush and bread, loads of good salads, Indianish and Chinese dishes, all in all pretty decent.

Friday will be my last day at work. I’ve got the apartment inspection in the morning and have to get on a plane at around 6:30pm. And then I’ll be joining Holly in a life of vagabondery for a while. I never feel as much like myself as when I’m on a train or a bus or other conveyance. It’s going to be a good December.

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library niches / distractions / poem

I finally got the work I wanted to get done this weekend done today. Which is fine. Monday is still part of my weekend in this term’s schedule. But I can’t help thinking that all of this schoolwork is distraction from doing the stuff I should be working on. I don’t know. I feel like things are going along, like they’re working, but that in the end I’m working towards something I am not sure if I want.

I mean, yeah, I want to be a comics librarian, but what is that going to look like? It’s not the same thing as wanting to work at a university, or even be a YA librarian. There can’t be that many jobs that would be for me (which is part of why I’m so excited to do my practicum at the Schulz Library, it being pretty much my dream job). But if those jobs are even fewer and further between than regular library jobs then maybe I’ve got to be making that job myself.

One way I could see doing that would be to turn Librarianaut into something like Fleen. But while Fleen is journalism about webcomics, I could make a library for digital comics. Not just a directory but a research tool. Last week there were a pile of interesting reference pictures flying around Twitter from comics people. What happens when we collect those tools somewhere and make them useful for people who didn’t see them on twitter? That’s what a librarian is supposed to do. Improve society by giving people informational tools. I could do that for my niche (if indie digital comics can be considered my niche). I think I could.

This is what I’m thinking about tonight. I want to use these skills to make something. The way Holly makes poetry.

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playing my sabbath away

Today has been such a nice day. I got my paper for my Instructional Role class finished last night, so today was a day of rest. And by rest I mean games. There’s a game store, Strategies, a walkable distance from my house here and on Friday when it was so beautiful in the afternoon I headed down there and picked up the new Space Hulk card game.

I love Space Hulk a healthy amount. The actual board/miniatures game is one of my favourite games ever, because of its incessant against-all-odds drama. The card game captures a good amount of that in a more abstract manner. You’re still controlling a squad of armoured marines in a derelict space ship filled with aliens that’ll claw you to pieces at a moment’s notice. But there’s no map, just areas you travel through, with terrain for genestealers to spawn in.

The main reason I picked it up was because it can be played with 1-6 people and it’s cooperative. When we play regular Space Hulk one person is the Genestealers and it’s always kind of a hard thing because you sort of instinctively root for the humans. In the card game all the humans are a team against the cruel cards of fate. It works pretty well. I’ve played solitaire twice now to get a handle on the rules and one game was very quick and deadly to me (100% mortality in the third room), but I achieved victory in the other one.

The other part of my day was spent painting Blood Bowl figures. Well, they’re actually a Celt warband, but I didn’t give them any weapons and posed them like football players. They were much cheaper than actual Blood Bowl figs. I’d put these guys together months ago when I was making Sean’s wedding present, but hadn’t gotten around to painting them. But Strategies is having a Blood Bowl tournament in a couple of weeks. If my homework stays on schedule I might be able to go play. It’s been years since I played Blood Bowl so I want to be ready.

Now I get to laze away my evening and count my weekend a success.

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little skinny dynamo

The new term has begun for real and I finished two assignments this weekend. One’s a little cataloguing thing that was actually pretty fun and useful, and the other is for my Community-Led Libraries class, which is only due in February. I discovered last term when I was prepping for my China trip that I like getting on top of things early and getting shit out of the way. This term I’m trying to organize things so that when Holly comes in February I have to do as little homework as possible while she’s here. At this point if all goes to schedule I think I’ll just have stuff to do for my online Info Policy class.

But on Friday I went to see the Oh Wells at the Biltmore. I really liked them when I saw them compete in Shindig back in November or whenever it was. I think they ended up winning it. And they were good on Friday. The other bands were okay, but the kinds of music I’d need to listen to the CDs a bunch of times before I’d like it. I usually need to parse the words in songs before I can really like something. Except if I accept beforehand that it’s in another language (see Sigur Ros) or practically nonsense (see Deerhoof).

On Saturday Kerry and Alex had a casino party which was fun. I lost all my fake money and didn’t win the prize, but I had an epically creepy run at Small Stakes Go Fish (every time you have to Go Fish you put $10 in the kitty, which was won by the person with the most pairs at the end). There were eight people playing and I asked the right people for the right cards at least seven times in a row before having to fish. And it was early in the round too, so it’s not like I was remembering what people had.

Yesterday I read and relaxed. Today I’ve been prepping for my job interview on Thursday and doing some research for a cool Co-Op opportunity in Australia. SQL queries are easier than I’d expected. I’m also working on a volunteer project that used to have a terrible name, but is now known as NetworkEd UBC, so that’s kind of fun. I’m trying to embrace my identity as a blogging-type library person, but I think this job I’m interviewing for is less about the actual blogging, and more coordinating, which would probably be good for me. We’ll see.

I’m also hoping to find some time in the next couple of weeks to paint up my Blood Bowl team because there’s a tournament at a local game store in a couple of weeks. It’s been too long since I’ve painted.

I’m also spending a lot of time on Skype, hanging out with Holly. I love that we can just turn on our computers and both go about our business (she has more business to go about since she can only get online at the bakery, where there are often customers demanding her attention) and chat when there’re spare moments. It’s not like it’s some big special thing, just life and a bit of connection. Long-distance sucks for relationships, but this is a pretty decent time in history to be doing it, all things considered.

So yes, that’s my recent activity log. A bit more than one thing a day.

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sex drugs and spoken word

I don’t think I’ve been this blah about returning home in a long time. It’s not like I was out of money. Longer visas than a month are possible. And I wasn’t sick of hanging out with Holly. Ha. But still, here I am. Far away.

We spent New Year’s Eve with our friends Michelle & James in Chengdu. We had dinner at their apartment (which thankfully had the heat on) with a couple of their friends and then went out. There was a Euro techno-style DJ at the place we went, who seemed very good technically, and if I was into that kind of music I probably would have really liked it. There was another foreigner in a red track jacket who was hanging around the DJ a lot, kind of being nosy, like a small dog that wants to see what’s going on. Red jacket was given the chance to spin a few records and well, yeah, it was obvious he’s not super experienced. He fumbled around a bit, not matching things up quite right. But the music he was using was way more to my taste than the first guy. If I saw Red Jacket a year from now I’d probably like him a lot more. But I didn’t see him in the future. I saw him four days ago at the beginning of 2011 when he still sucked.

The male female ratio in our group was skimpy on the estrogenous, and became moreso when Holly and I left around 2 (because Holly’s 1/3 of the female contingent was much more significant than my 1/12 of the male). The first cabdriver wanted to charge us 50Y for a 20Y ride. We were already sitting in the back seat and when he told Holly that the apartment was too far away we got out again to get into the cab behind him. (The second didn’t try anything funny.) The next day James had a theory that that first cabdriver was actually off-duty and just looking for someone the right amount of drunk for something like that to work. And maybe he did. There were a lot of people in that bar.

New Year’s Day we spent reading on the couches of James & Michelle’s. Then we watched Moon. I love that movie so much. And then Holly and I went to the good Turkish restaurant, where the food wasn’t quite as good as the last time we had it, back in the summer, the night before we left for Winnipeg.

And that’s part of the blahness. Last time we parted Holly was heading back to see her family so she was excited. And I was about to move to Vancouver so I had distraction aplenty. This time I just came back to take more courses, which is less new and exciting. Especially since I was prepared at some level to be a library school dropout. Not a really prominent level, obviously. I worry about my inability to make the grand over-the-top gesture of throwing away a career(ish) for love. I mean, it’s probably for the best. Especially when Holly gets here for good, but now at the beginning of the term it just feels crappy.

Anyway, once assignments start piling up, it should be a little distracting, right? At least enough for the next six weeks.

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