Sunday, November 11, 2012

People are often unreasonable and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you.
Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
-Mother Teresa

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hello friends,
This blog has been inconspicuous lately, I know- I'm sorry. I am still here, and I promise to post when I can, but I am insurmountably buried by life, grad school, and work- in that order. I started my first semester of graduate school and I'm not going to lie to you- it's expensive, I'm intimidated, and I am buried in school work. But I am also excited, unstoppable, and on my way...I am going to kick the arse of grad school and I am going to find my place in this profession. I promise.
In the meantime, I have a million things to talk about here and no time to do it. I promise to try and tell you all about it when I can. For now, here is a link to an amazing article about libraries in our changing society- 'The Bookless Library' written by David A. Bell for The New Republic. For those of you with no time to read it (I understand) here are a few of my favorite parts:

This part makes me nauseous; it is one scenario the author runs through as our society and economy changes. (Please vote, regardless of your political affiliation, please take an interest in how our country is run):

"One nightmare scenario is all too easy to imagine. The year is 2033, and the Third Great Recession has just struck. Although voters have finally turned the Tea Party out of office in Washington, the financial situation remains dire across the country. New York City in particular faces skyrocketing deficits as a result of the most recent Wall Street wipeout, and the bankruptcy of Goldman Chase. In City Hall, a newly elected mayor casts a covetous glance at the grand main branch of the New York Public Library. Think how much money the city could save by selling it, along with the thirty remaining branch libraries scattered throughout the five boroughs. After strenuous negotiations, the mayor announces a deal with Googlezon, under which the company will make fifty electronic copies of any book in its database available at any one time to city residents, for two-week free rentals on the reading device of their choice. Two years later, where the main branch library once stood, the mayor proudly cuts the ribbon at the opening of the Bryant Park Mall. As for the services once performed by actual librarians, these have now been replaced by a cloud software package, with customer service representatives standing by online in case of technical difficulties (most of them physically located in suburban Manila)."

This part makes me happy, and makes me eager to find my place in the library world:

"Libraries are also sources of crucial expertise. Librarians do not just maintain physical collections of books. Among other things, they guide readers, maintain catalogues, develop access portals for electronic sources, organize special programs and exhibitions, oversee special collections, and make acquisition decisions. The fact that more and more acquisition decisions now involve a question of which databases to subscribe to, rather than which physical books and journals to buy, does not make these functions any less important. To the contrary: the digital landscape is wild and wooly, and it is crucial to have well-trained, well-informed librarians on hand to figure out which content to spend scarce subscription dollars on, and how to guide readers through it."

The rest of the article is yours to read, or not read- whatever strikes your fancy, but I suggest reading it and would love to discuss it with you. Until next time faithful readers...adios!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Hiking- Best Present Ever!

Nature, the gentlest mother,
Impatient of no child,
The feeblest or the waywardest, -
Her admonition mild...

-Emily Dickinson-

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The hardest working muscle in the human body...

The last few weeks I have found myself dealing with something I wasn't ready for. My son started tackle football practice- and no, I know that would be hard enough for some moms, but that wasn't what caught me off guard. I was ready- I went through a lot of questions before letting him sign up. What are the risks? What are the benefits? Is he ready? Is he old enough to handle the responsibility? What if he gets hurt? Why does he want to play- does he want to play for himself or is someone pressuring him? That last one is a big one for me- we love football but I do not want him to play for anyone other than himself. We talked about it often and we talked about it thoroughly.

He's almost 13 and he is not the type of kid that just jumps into things. He has been talking about it for a while now, and I knew that he would not want to sign up until he felt ready- he just has that type of personality. So I have had some time to get used to the idea. I've done the research, read the articles about kids playing tackle- I am educated on concussions and injury etiquette, I have weighed the pros and cons and decided the experience could be incredibly rewarding- plus, he loves football. Aside from being active and gaining physical strength, I think he will respond positively to the team mentality. Developing a relationship with his teammates and his coaches is something I can see being very beneficial to him. I am always receptive to things that will help him grow as a person and will offer a way for him to build self confidence through his achievements.

He has been talking to some of his flag football teammates about the challenges of tackle football, and I have spoken with the handful of moms I know who have kids who play. We both know how tough the first season is. I have been talking to him for a few weeks about the conditioning, the drills, the running- basically the physicality of the sport. He is in average almost 13 year-old shape- he plays some sports and is relatively active, but we knew it would be a challenge.
I have a few cardinal rules in my house, and two of the most important are do what makes you happy and give 110%. I reiterated that to him on the days leading up to the first practice- just don't give up, go slow if you have to but don't give up. Give everything you have.

So the first day of practice came and he was stoked. Just a little nervous (compared to my nervous texts to friends that I might throw up). As I watched his teammates show up I was more than a little surprised at how old the kids looked to me, when in reality they are all within probably 9 months of his age. These kids looked big, more mature, and a lot of them already knew each other- probably 80% of them have played tackle before. Eek- I was a little intimidated, but my son wasn't so I didn't say a word.

I find my place off the field with the parents and sit and watch. It was tough- they ran more than I think my kid has ever run in his life. They did drills he has never done before, pushed him to his limits- and you know what? He never once gave up. Not once. He hit the wall, clambered over it, and kept trucking. By the end of practice he was mentally and physically exhausted. The next practice- same thing: he gave everything he had. The first practice with pads that they could tackle each other he got laid out and it shocked him- but he recovered and got right back in line. His coaches and teammates are completely amazing and encouraging, and I can actually see the change in him every time he walks off the field. Over the last few weeks I have watched him struggle and push through; get nervous/excited/intimidated and push through it.

So- ok, here is the part that I wasn't prepared for. Watching him do this- really give everything he has, I have seen him realize what is necessary to accomplish this goal of his. He realizes it is going to be harder than he had anticipated and it frustrates him, but he pushes through to the end. I don't really know how to explain how it feels- like I am watching a little piece of his childhood float away. (And that's ok- not easy, but a fact of life right? They have to grow up sometime.) It got to me- watching him these last few weeks I see a young man and I am hella proud (and yeah, a little teary eyed).

Parenting is the ultimate endurance test- the limitless strength training exercise that requires incredible conditioning for your heart. As a parent your heart swells, cracks, bends, breaks- - sometimes all at the same time. You have to be quick, agile, and ready to adapt. To watch your kids make and achieve their own goals is amazing- the feeling of pride is so immense it is almost indescribable. I am so proud of my kid, the Squid. By the time he is grown my heart will have run marathons- - triathlons- - probably taken 1st in a couple of Ironman's.

Since I have been so stressed out the last few weeks over all of this, and since I am a single mom and I needed a good laugh after trying to find all of the required equipment, straps, pants, pads, etc. I decided to turn to my (pretend) friends in the NFL for advice to get me through this tackle football business. (Pretend) NFL what-now, you ask? (This is of course inspired by two hilarious blogs- the feminist Ryan Gosling and Hey Girl! Check them out- I guarantee you will laugh.) Just making these made me laugh.

So here is my athletic support group...

Ok, I didn't include this last pic so A.J. Hawk (linebacker for the Green Bay Packers) could give me advice, but more so everyone can see how awesome he is. After this last season ended he cut his hair and donated it to wigs for kids. I love when guys do this (disclaimer: I love when anyone does this, not just guys). He has actually started a program with his wife called 'Hawk's Locks for Kids'. I have been growing my hair out for a while now (dye free, per the donation instructions) and I am totally looking into this when I am ready to lop it off. A.J. Hawk is way involved with kids and giving back to his community (just what I love to see in a football player). So huzzah to you A.J. Hawk.

Just a little update: I mentioned in an earlier post that we were taking up running, and a few people have asked me how that is going. Since the squid is in football practice he does most of his running there, but he does still go out with me from time to time. I am currently jogging about 2.5 miles in thirty minutes- and I love it. Now whenever I want to be lazy and not exercise, I think 'How are you going to encourage him to push and give everything he has while you sit on your butt?' - - It totally works.

So here we go- this is week #3 of practice, we have a scrimmage tomorrow, and the first game is next Friday... Go Sun Devils!


Monday, April 2, 2012

Quit talking about it and let's BE about it!
- Rob Dyrdek

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The countdown begins...

"Success supposes endeavor." -Jane Austen

That is kind of my personal mantra... it means you can't succeed without trying... you can't win if you don't play... it just reminds me to push myself, to be fearless, and to always try my best.

As promised, I am now telling you...I am studying to be a librarian! I was accepted as a graduate student at the School of Information Resources and Library Sciences at the University of Arizona! I will be focusing my studies toward medical and university librarianship, because my professional experience in the medical world and internship in a university library will be crucial in finding a job after I am done with school.

My classes start in June when I get to go down to Tucson and stay for a week long introductory class on the U of A campus, and the rest of the program is completed online. I am really stoked about it- I will get to stay in a dorm on campus. Having completed college as an adult I didn't have the same 'college life' experience like you have as a kid right out of high school. (No Deltas, no togas- I still had to pay my bills, be a single mom, work full time, etc- I had a lot of responsibilities- I was already a 'grown up' when I started back to school). It is never too late to finish school, but it a lot of hard work (my favorite kind).

I have been fortunate enough to complete most of my education through online classes, allowing me to still work full time and not to take any time away from my kiddo (just giving me a crazed addiction to coffee and a lot of late nights). Every semester I did make it a point to take at least one class on campus in the interest of feeling some kind of connection to the college experience. All in all it was totally successful, I was able to participate in some really fun things- (like editing for the campus magazine and throwing a release party for the edition I worked on - so rad)
- - sorry, I digress- -
What I am saying is that I am grateful to have been able to make school work around my schedule, since I don't have the ability to work my schedule around school, you dig?

Taking classes online would not have been my first choice, but without it as a choice I wouldn't have been able to achieve what I have educationally. It's funny- as I work toward becoming a librarian it is the digital world that is changing my career path so drastically and will probably determine where I am employed when I am done with school. I like to think of my experience within the digital system as a total asset- because I have seen it both as a student (or user) and now I will see it as a professional.

For now I am preparing to start back to school, and still searching for scholarships. It will all work out. I also joined the CABL- the Central Arizona Biomedical Libraries association, and I get to go hang out with the librarian at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center next week. I have been told that developing a strong professional network within the world of libraries is crucial to professional development, so I am planting those seeds now - - - grow baby, grow.

I will use this blog as a resource while I am in school- posting about my experiences as a student along with all the other things going on in my life. I have checked out a couple of really awesome librarian blogs, Librarian by Day and Librarian Avengers being my favorites, and I kind of hope to follow in their footsteps...blogging about my life and my career while retaining my original blogging intentions. Those two blogs have been really inspirational to me while I have been researching the career path, and I hope to be equally as supportive. Maybe somebody out there is facing the same naysayers and pressures that I have had in making this decision and they need a friendly face? Well here I am fellow aspiring-librarians (and the people who love them), here to offer my experiences as support to you, and also inspire you to be environmentally aware and active with the kids in your life.

So here we go readers...t-minus 3 months and change until school starts.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

"Love is a promise, love is a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear."

- John Lennon

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence."
-Abigail Adams-

That pic right there is a small peek into my future. It is the postage receipt for my application to the Master's program at U of A- the School of Information Resources and Library Science. I received a confirmation e-mail today: my application is complete and has been sent to the admissions review board. The review can take up to three weeks. Fingers crossed.

For now I will tell you- I want to be a librarian.

Sometime in the next three weeks I will tell you (power of positive thinking)-
I am studying to be a librarian.

And in two years I will tell you- I am a librarian.

I am reserving the last statement for when I get a job as a librarian- not for after I finish my Master's degree- because when I make that statement, it will be followed by me telling you how much I love my job. And yes, I know it will be challenging to find a job in this economy and in a digital world- but that job is out there and I am going to get it. I am- just you wait and see.

For now, while the admissions board at U of A decides my fate, I am on the hunt for scholarship money. Over the last few months I have been agonizing over how to pay for graduate school, and whether or not I could afford it. Do I really want that kind of a student loan looming over me? In this economy?
Finally the question changed to, do I really want to let money stand in the way of something I know will be the perfect career for me? The career that will show my son that hard work pays off and exemplify to him that loving what you do makes all the difference?

Eh, what's a few thousand dollars debt in the face of those questions? Gulp...

Really what it comes down to is this- am I going to let money stand in the way of my dreams, or am I am going to work around it and make it happen?

I am going to make it happen.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dear NFL Sundays...

Ach. The Pack is out of the playoffs. I am battling the oddest feeling…one I have never felt before. I used to scoff at other people who took football so much to heart that they felt like crying when their teams were knocked out of the playoffs or lost the super bowl. But yeah man, I am totally sad.

Let’s rewind just a bit here, and let me tell you that this time last year you would not have heard those words come out of my mouth. I have never paid serious attention to football before this season. And yes, there are those of you who will say that I am just watching because the scenery is oh-so-good. I am not going to lie to you and say that Clay Matthews and Aaron Rodgers aren’t mighty fine to look at. But alas, like always (you should know me better)- there is a bigger picture for me when it comes to football, and I am not just here to tell you about my crazy crush on Clay Matthews.

Football has been in the background all my life- we’ll call it a major part of my life’s soundtrack. My family ardently loves the Dallas Cowboys- and any real, longtime cowboys fan knows how ardent that can be and it probably gives you an idea of what I learned to accept as normal fanfare (by this I mean defending your team to endless taunts and talking some serious crap)(and humility- the cowboys lost, a lot). I grew up with two older brothers and a single mom, and our mom would cart us to watch games at her friends houses all the time. I learned a few things from this- I seriously love the fanfare of football, and I love loyal fans (even if I don’t like your team, I love your loyalty). I love the camaraderie and solidarity of football fans. But I never really got into the game while my mom and brothers did- yelling at the T.V., talking stats, and making predictions. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, this was something the three of them had (and still have) in common that I was just a bystander to. Then a few years ago my son started really getting into football too- I mean really getting into it, all of a sudden he was talking football-ese to my mom and my brothers. He has always been in some kind of sport, but I kind of considered it to be an extra-curricular thing- now I had this growing athlete who couldn't wait to watch and play football all the time. I thought it was cool, but just kind of let it be their thing.

So what changed?

It was kind of a perfect storm- it started at the gym. I can’t really stand to watch a lot of T.V. anymore. I rarely watch anything other than movies or the occasional T.V. show. So last summer I started watching ESPN at the gym because it was the only channel they offered that didn’t make me want to bang my head against the wall. I started getting into it, and it really got me thinking about athleticism in general. I have never been athletic. I love hiking, and I used to ride horses, but I have always been a more cerebral kind of person. I never really played any kind of organized sport. So being (oy) out of shape and hitting the gym regularly I started to see inspiration in watching these football players on ESPN. I am inspired by their strength. I want to be strong.

So then I started watching the preseason games. And when the season started my work started a weekly football pool, so I joined that too. Every week my mom, my son and I would make our picks- and though we never won, we totally loved it. Every week we would watch our teams (we both love the Chargers- but my son loves the Bears and I love the Packers) and before long I started to realize what this common interest was doing for us. We bond over a lot of things, but this time it was different. It was his interest first and he knows a lot about it, so I am always asking him questions and I know he totally loves it. During the games before I would almost always be reading (or doing homework while I was in school) - - we were in the same room but on different planets. As my son gets older (he is 12 now) our relationship has started to change a little bit, and I think football has come along at a great moment. Inevitably there are going to be times as he enters his teen years that he and I won’t see eye to eye, and I love that I found one more thing to bond over.

Reflecting on it like this I love that I can see that it was an interest he chose on his own- that kind of stuff is important to me. Now that I look at my mom and my brothers in this light, I can see what it did (and does) for them too. It doesn’t replace anything that is missing, but it gives us all a common interest. It's fun, and we love it.

It has given me some great opportunities to teach my son about conduct and good sportsmanship. We talk about the players and their public positions as role models, and how they use their positions for good. (Man, if you want a great story of how powerful a player can be as a role model- and incidentally a fierce single mom, huzzah Tricia Matthews- read/watch this story) My son is aware of which ones are out there helping in their communities, raising money for charity, and generally doing good. He also knows which ones aren’t- which ones are in trouble with the law or whatnot, and I use those ones as examples too- they are conversation starters that turn into good lessons.

~As the single mom of a son I am always conscious of positive male role models.~

So I love watching guys like Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the Pack who have demonstrated SO many examples of good sportsmanlike qualities this season. I love watching Rodgers’ mom on ESPN say that he just wants to be a good man. I love watching the sportscasters on ESPN talk about what an awesome guy Philip Rivers is, or how much money they all raise for charities.

And I found another great resource for volunteer opportunities- NFL Play 60 is an awesome program that encourage kids to get off their duffs and get active- not only in their everyday lives, but also in their community. Pop on their website and put in your zip code to find some great stuff near you. Last weekend we volunteered at the Arizona Disabled Sports ‘Run, Walk, and Roll’. It was something I found on the Play 60 website, and it was beyond awesome to see my kid out there cheering on all of the athletes that participated. Play 60 is an awesome program- one that we have taken to heart in my house both as volunteers and as we have gotten more active together- together being the operative word. We are hiking and biking more, playing more, and have decided to start running. He plays on a flag-football team and will start tackle football this year. We will see how I handle someone tackling him, but in the meantime we are both inspired to get strong.

So here it is sports-fans. I love the NFL and I am here to pledge my loyalty to my own teams. All season I have been shy about it- I have said I am really just a fan of a few awesome guys on the team, and didn’t want to look like I was jumping on the Packers bandwagon. But I am ready to declare it now. I will always love the Chargers, because San Diego is my hometown, but man, I love the Green Bay Packers. Go Pack go. I can’t wait until next season.