Day#1: Don’t get overwhelmed, don’t get overwhelmed, don’t get overwhelmed

Day 1 – University Library

What better beginning for a placement in your Uni library than forgetting your student card and having to ask the private guard to let you in? To quote Tina Turner, simply the best-

Anyhoo, let’s glean over this insignificant instance of my perennial social awkwardness and talk business: how not to get overwhelmed by a humongous amount of information you’re trying to stuff in your brain on your first day.

Basically we didn’t get to do any actual work today, but the introductory part was more than enough to give me a solemn headache. Library management system aside (seriously, why the hell do they still include obsolete functions on those things?), trying to memorise all the different kinds of memberships will be daunting to say the least and I do hope to understand the people that will come up, or I will have to take into serious consideration moving further south and away from Glaswegian accent.

I did enjoy the whole “let’s sit with the librarians in the back” thing, to be completely fair, but I won’t admit I had a light skip in my walk at the end of the day. Manoeuvring the trolleys has probably been the best fun ever, especially trying not to run over students and having zero wiggling space between chairs and shelves.

That’s why I felt like rewarding myself with Sainsbury’s brownies, even though I’m still firmly convinced they put either heroine or cocaine in those little bastards. Can’t explain how addicting they are any other way.

Editing Wikipedia While In Library School

Originally posted on hls:

Are you a Wikibrarian? I recently became one—a librarian who edits Wikipedia (“the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit”)—and I have found the experience rewarding in the extreme. I have even stumbled into a role as an embedded consultant, helping faculty teach undergrads how to write Wikipedia articles on gender history, on which improvements are urgently needed. So what are the benefits to becoming a Wikibrarian while in library school?

Wikipedia is legit

My role as a Wikibrarian is possible because Wikipedia has become increasingly “legit” among the more open-minded educators and information professionals. Wikipedia’s rigor and quality have come a long way from Steve Carell’s classic deadpan in The Office a few years ago. Now Harvard University’s rare books library is recruiting a Wikipedian in Residence! Best uses of Wikipedia are to find background information, bibliographies, topic ideas, quick facts, and keywords. Selective editing, conflict of interest, copied and pasted text, and other…

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Guest Blog: Five Key Life Lessons from Ralph Waldo Emerson

Originally posted on Interesting Literature:

By Meg Lago

Emerson has always been one of my favorite writers.  Not only do I love him because he was an avid drinker, but I think his most famous quotes, for a lack of a better word, transcend the decades and are extremely applicable to most of life’s stages.

As a young woman working in the corporate world, I thought that taking some of these and applying them to a millennial perspective would be enjoyable, and also demonstrate that even crazy woodland people can give sound advice once and a while (You hear that, mom?!).

Here are some of Ralph Waldo’s best quotes and how they apply to a millennial’s life:

Emerson‘A friend is one before whom I may think aloud.’

I’m a twenty-four year old girl; my verbal filter is at a minimum.  I need a circle of people I trust so that when I say that I’d…

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Procrastination 1thousand-O-1

As the deadline to the last piece of coursework I’ll ever have to write in my entire life – unless I will be naive enough to go to school again after my postgraduate degree – creeps closer and closer, I’m realising how much of a pro at procrastination I’ve become with years of hardcore training and a lot of dedication to the cause of wasting time when you should be instead spending it wisely and productively, as my favourite flatmate always says when she’s inflicting her opinions on Facebook. All those articles on how to be successful, how to be productive, how to break through – well you get the picture.

The closest I’ve got to publishing something on those lines was a post suggesting how to find your favourite poet.

How likely it is to actually wake up and have a plan, not just for the day, for years ahead of you! Decades even! Notwithstanding my slight anxiety disorder, periodically resurfacing to haunt me until the time someone comes up who has brain tumor or some sort of crippling condition he/she faces with a smile on his/her face, my other new talent is NOT making plans lately.

I don’t even know if I’ll ever manage to get a credit card, with this newfound ability in just taking life as it is and burying any concern I might have about my future in the deepest recesses of my brain. Because let’s face it, everytime I sort of daydreamed about something it never happened, or it happened to somebody else (hence that feeling of seeing other people living your life. Not very nice). Which doesn’t really help me love humanity more.

I know I’m up to some good old fashioned time wasting when I use that playlist, the one I name “running” because I was daft enough to think I’d actually go running everyday and get fit. It’s superloud and will positively kill every ounce of concentration you might have, but it’s really good when you want to let your mind wander while your body is doing something else. Like cleaning, cooking or, er, running. To my credit, I did go running. Those 5 minutes will keep me up for at least another six months.

So here I am, wasting time even in my job searches. Serious jobs for grown ups? Like the ones that’ll get you mortgages, rent money, possibly some savings for rainy days? Na, I’ll just go record a demo for voice overs, since I bet there’s a crying need for my voice somewhere.

Horrifying as it was to hear my voice enthusiastically reading aloud a bank’s ad, I do have to say it was rather fun, especially when the super-duper posh Mac crashed and for once it wasn’t me fighting with a machine. I can’t think of nothing more embarrassing of always being the one who gets paper stuck in the photocopier or in the printer every single time at a workplace. Luckly I’m handy enough by now and I generally fix that unseen, but more than often somebody will be there to shoot me a look of pity and chivalrously un-stuck the paper.

Three coffees and five hundred twenty-seven words not related to an assignment due in three days later, I’d better actually write something. Just to have a Guilt-free Zombie Jesus Day tomorrow. I’ll just read that brilliant post on why Harry Potter would have been better off with Cho Chang, before I actually start finishing my school work.

Also. Change of soundtrack might be wise.

Looking for jobs and finding the wrong ones

So. Job hunting. A royal pain in the arse no one ever enjoys, unless you have masochistic tendencies and you just love filling in forms that are all suspisciously similar to one another, but then again you have to fashion ad hoc answers for each and every of them. And also, read endless About Uses and Our Valueses and Our Historys in order to pretend you had an eye on that specific company since primary school, because you were just dying to serve faux Italian food in a poor imitation of an Italian restaurant that suddenly mushroomed into a nation-wide chain of stores. Which are all my favourite place to eat of course.

Then there’s the trying to turn to your advantage every single thing you’ve done since you were allowed to use grown ups stuff like pens, scissors and credit cards – every single thing. Including that bloody awful poster for a student association that was thankfully covered by other equally dire posters in a matter of days, lovingly scrubbing soil off books (hoping your hands won’t explode with the combination of dust, powder and latex gloves), and of course every single Facebook page you created with 50+ subscribers (half of whom will probably be closely related to you and joining out of pity).

Those banjo classes will look soooo good on my CV

I have to say I still think my best application so far has been for a position as waitress. Easy peasy? Yes. Harmless? Yes. Surprising? Oh, yes.

The fact that no references of experience were required should’ve started me thinking probably, but the hell with it! I just applied, and was duly delighted when a new email *dinged* in my inbox after a few hours. They were probably stunned by my CV and all those amazing skills, and me gushing over my love for customer service of course.

My having a vagina and a pair of boobs was probably the best business card ever in that particular case – since , and here I quote, “There will be a set uniform for all hostesses, and although it hasn’t been completely selected yet, it will be an underwear set of bra and pants. It won’t be skimpy, you will be covered”

  

Just how can a set of bra and pants NOT be skimpy I wonder? My other thought was trying to start a career as a respected librarian, with a dark past as waitress-slash-stripper pretty much like Catherine Willows in CSI, minus a deaf boss possibly. Now that would be one hell of a TV show.

The you realise that you agreed five weeks of unpaid work some time ago, essentially you had lost all hopes of actually getting paid for your time and were just looking for stuff to buff up your CV. And all your plans of applying for that lovely position as sales assistant at Paperchase suddenly collapsed, because in fairness who’s going to wait a whole month before you’re actually available for working?

Oh, wait, if you could just adjust everyone else’s schedule to mine, that would be fabby, I’m available 5.30 to 6.00 and on weekends!

Anyhoo, let’s try and have a more positive outlook on life (or +ve, as my career adviser jotted down on my CV), and also let’s try to find a way to stick this gif

in a post about that time when I inadvertently walked into the kitchen to be greeted by my favourite flatmate frying pepperoni in a pan that could possibly be made into diamonds with the adequate amount of heat and pressure, and, once more with feeling, with the windows carefully shut and all sources of fresh air blocked, judging by the smell and a fog that scarily reminded me of the Necromancer (I might’ve heard some Black Speech being spoken in the middle of it).

Waiting waiting waiting…and even more waiting

God knows what possessed me when I booked a 7AM flight to Rome. It’s all fun and games, until you realise that if you want to check-in a bag you have to be there at least 40 minutes before they start boarding the plane. Which, in my case, means at least two hours in advance, since I recently discovered through an attentive and through diagnose via Google and Yahoo! Answers that I’m slightly OCD and I probably have a burgeoning anxiety disorder.

So today (or tonight?) I dragged myself out of bed at an ungodly hour to catch a bus to the airport, the fun part being that when I got at the bus stop the fact that the bus would not be there until at least 40 minutes hit me. It was basically one of those awkward moments when you stand in a soft drizzle at 3.50 in the morning (or in the night?) with the only company of a couple of seagulls that keep flying around weirdly in tune with what you’re listening to (Sherlock‘s soundtrack, in my case) and of course…the killer cabbie.

Nothing’s creepier that standing in a shady street behind a train station at , again, fucking 4AM, and all of a sudden becoming aware of a cab parked just a few feet away from the bus stop. It is probably very innocent, and it does make sense that a cabbie might choose a train-slash-bus station to wait for customers, but it’s still super creepy.That feeling of being watched. The headlights going off when the soft purr of the engine dies, and you can only make out a faint outline of somebody lying over the wheel, staring? You try to look casual, sitting on your suitcase, which is just the ideal size for resting comfortably on top of it.

People get out of the train station, backpacks and long hair, merrily chattering away as they walk past the bus stop towards that black car. Did they call it? Are they going to get in? No, they walk past the cab as well, uphill towards the University, they probably just came back from a weekend somewhere out of town.

The cab is still there, waiting. You are still there, still waiting. You look up hopefully when a pair of strong headlights show up over the top of the hill, the bus is coming!, you think. But it’s out of service this one, “sorry”. Sorry my ass, you think, as you glance nervously back to the place where the cab is still parked, just as the engine goes on again, the lights blinding you as they brush over the street when the car starts from the edge/sidewalk and creeps slowly towards the bus stop, where you’re still waiting.

Downhill it goes, past you, past the stop, past the crossroad and on into the night. And you stand there, still waiting.

…So, this wee writing exercise out of the blue apparently came out of nowhere, or out of the waiting – I reckon it’ll be just another scrap of paper (screen?) where I laid some jumbled up words and that it’ll be treasured by scholars and academics when I’ll die poor, obscure and little BUT leaving a heap of worthy stories and writings that will make people think back to me and my wondrous talent. Or it will be just another post rocketing around the internet for as long as I’ll care to keep a blog and actually write stuff into it instead of forwarding other people’s work. But I like to think I’m a little bit more mature than that now.

Yeah, thank you for your input John