Wednesday, June 30, 2010

As promised...

As promised, this post contains the video of our book cart drill team routine!

Well, it was meant to contain the video, but I'm afraid all I can give you is a link to the video of the competition.

This is the video taken by a "Gett Down with your Funky Shelf" fan (a.k.a. the husband of one of the women on the team.

This video was taken by Demco (I think), the sponsor of the event.

As you saw in the last post, I am wearing a pink shirt and grey leggings. In the first video, unfortunately, you can see a lot of close up of me. My costume is now cleaned and put away in a dark corner of my closet, never to see the light of day again. Never, that is, until Halloween when we perform in the Halloween parade. Oh help.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

6th Annual Book Cart Drill Team World Championship Winners!

Okay okay! I'm long over-due for a post. I know. But see, I put a picture up! That should make you all very happy. This is Liz and I after winning the beautiful bronze book cart award at the 6th Annual Book Cart Drill Team World Championship. (I kid you not. That is the name of the competition.) Everybody see the ginormous bow in my hair? And the plastic bangles? And what about the super cool yellow fishnet, fingerless gloves? Yeah I know. I'm pretty awesome. Don't worry. We can still be friends.

Sunday was a super amazing day--but oh so long! I crashed (almost) as soon as I got home that night. Then I remembered I had to go to work the next day. Ugh. I crashed after I got home from work Monday too. I took a nap. On the floor. Anyway...Liz had asked me to go to the gym with her, but she canceled because she too was exhausted. (As a note, she invited me again tonight, but I was just waking up from another nap--not on the floor this time--when she asked to meet. I love me some naps...) I did, however, do some yoga before heading to bed.
I'm so out of practice! I will do a little more tonight, even though I'll probably only last about 10 minutes! Some of those poses are just so demanding!
I've been in Gettysburg for almost a full month now. Can you believe it? It feels like moving day were yesterday...though I'm really glad it wasn't! I'm still getting used to the apartment.
Not sure which dirt is mine or which was left, which noises are old noises and which are new, was that stain always there? I still feel a little behind the learning curve when it comes to tasks in the library and co-workers names. I know it will come in time and things are going really well already. I just hate being the new guy.
This post feels a little disjointed to me and on a normal day I would scrap the whole thing and try again tomorrow. I'm keeping it for a few reasons. One: It's been a bit since my last post. The natives often get restless and yell when there hasn't been a new post. Two: I may not look like it or act like it, but I'm too much of a perfectionist. I think introducing a few of my mistakes, a few less than thought out posts, will humble me a little bit. And if the pictures don't do it for me, this will.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Button maker, Extraordinaire

Over the past few days, I have become an expert at button making. That's right--button making. When you all ask me how work is going, I don't know what to say. I have been working on my finding aid for a special collection I'm working on, but with my supervisor being sick these last few days, progress has slowed to an almost imperceptible crawl. Also known as a stop. Today, however, I got to perfect my button making skills. And, if I do say so myself, I'm pretty good! It took me awhile to catch on at the beginning. Miranda showed me how to do it last Friday, going slow for the first two steps, then (accidentally?) speeding up for the rest of the process. As she showed me the finished product I said, "I hope there are printed instructions for this thing too!" There were, and she showed me how to do it again. I produced maybe three good buttons that day, one of which I think ended up in the Director's office. This makes me smile when I think of it, because I was (and to a certain extent, still am) frightened of her. There was nothing about her to make me scared; it was the overwhelming fear of not measuring up to the Big Boss. However, as I took my peace offering of 80s themed buttons, I discovered we were both Anglophiles. This clinched it for me. Before I knew it, we were talking about the joys of England (my love) and Australia(her love) in a conversation that surpassed the depth of a first conversation, which is what it was.

Yesterday, Kate and I made buttons. Mostly, it was because we were bored :) What with Karen, my supervisor, not being in and NOT having Book Cart Drill Team practice (who knew I would miss it?) we were ready for a change of scenery. Once you get the hang of it, you really can make a button in a minute, which is the company's tag line, though they spell it "minit." That bothered Kate. But not me. (Okay, so maybe it bothers me a little...) Frankly, I didn't care what it was called or how they spelled it. the whole processes was soothing. Insert disc. Put image face up on top of disc. Place plastic Mylar cover over image. Lock into place with gold ring. Flip. Grey disc. Green plug. Press down hard, but even. Pop. Remove both grey & green parts. Flip. Press down with red plug. Flip. Put the back in. Put green plug in. Put in button press and smoosh it down. Remove perfect button. I think it was having something "perfect" to show for all the work. Every now and again, when you pressed on the green, no matter how careful you were something went off center and the plastic cover didn't turn out so pretty. Sometimes, everything goes right, but when the button comes out of the press, there is a portion of the button where the plastic didn't get folded right. Some of these were salvageable. Many others weren't.

There is something about this process that I love. But now, as I write these words, I can't help but see a parable in the job of making a button. Sometimes, no matter what we do, things don't turn out right. Sometimes they do. Sometimes it looks like nothing good could come of a situation, but in the end there is a beautiful outcome that we couldn't have predicted. When the bad buttons came out of the press, I made sure I worked harder and more carefully on the next one. Sometimes this still didn't work. But after string of bad buttons, that good button makes you feel like you've accomplished something. Like all the time you put into the duds, you're patience and attentiveness to detail helped you form a better button. One bad situation will show us where we need to be more careful next time. And when the next time comes, hopefully we can make a better button.

In the course of one hour today, I made 150 buttons. While I was busy being the button making queen, one of the reference librarians comes out of her office and starts talking. Two seconds into this, I realize she is taking to me. I start to pay attention. "Cathy said she would be in to see me at 3.30 but she never showed. If she comes in, tell her I'm in the stacks." I told her I would. As soon as she left, I quickly got up and went to one of the women I've gotten to know fairly well. I bent down close and asked in a conspiratorial whisper, "Do I know Cathy?" Thankfully she didn't laugh (or did she? I don't remember. I think I would have. I'm smiling about it now, anyway) She told me who she was and that, yes, I had seen her earlier that day. I returned to my button making, slightly deflated. I can make buttons like nobody's business, but it looks like I need a little bit more practice with getting to know my co-workers!
Last practice for Book Cart Drill Team tomorrow, complete with costumes and an audience. Maybe I'll post the video when we get back from conference :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mail, dinner and a new Sunday school class

I'm going to try to get a quick blog post up whilst I have some internet access here at the apartment. Sometimes it doesn't last long! (You should just see the funny way I'm sitting at the table just so I don't have to move my laptop in case that should knock the signal out!)
Second week of work is shaping up pretty well. I just finished all my reading for special collections. Karen and I will go down to the extra storage shelves on the bottom floor of the library and pick out a "cool" job for me. I am a little apprehensive about this, but over all excited to get out of my second floor closet, I mean office :) Speaking of my office, I now possess a Gettysburg College email address, network log-on information and an account on CNAV (where the timesheets live!). The only thing left is pictures and a photo ID. Maybe by the end of the week...
I got my second piece of mail today--a DVD that I ordered last Monday. I'm super excited (it's the movie "Possession") and to celebrate I am making spaghetti and meat sauce. Well, I'm making the pasta and heating up the meat sauce. The cool thing about dinner is I didn't have to buy any of it! My dear friend packed a care package for me last weekend when I went home. I was blown away by her kindness and care for me. I guess I take people for granted when I see them every day. I'll add that to the list of things I need to work on.
Another thing I've been meaning to work on is my Bible reading and study habits. They have been horrible. I will admit freely, but with shame. I thought now that I was "away" I would magically find the discipline to do it and be glad to do it. Week one passed with no such plan in place. I started a new Sunday School this past week at my dear church, FBC. Monday, for some reason, I didn't get a chance to look at the first weeks "homework." I made the choice to do it last night and WOW! I am really loving this new plan! (It helps that I have a teacher who is excited about the lessons!) But really. Yesterday, I looked up a bunch of verses about Galilee and the important things that happened in Jesus' life there. I was blown away! I'm sure I knew it in listening to stories, but I actively was tracking important events--calling of the first disciples, Jesus' baptism, the prediction of his death AND resurrection, where Mary heard she would carry Messiah, where Jesus grew up , the place he would go after his resurrection. I think it was then that I realized studying my bible means more than just reading the passage for the day. I'm actually excited to see what "new" things I can learn. And now, because I know it's something I need to be doing and want to be doing, I'm asking myself "Okay, after shopping but before dinner can I make time?" and not just figuring I'll get to it "later."
Dinner is ready and I am hungry!
~Luke 12:41 Peter asked, "Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?"
~Matthew 13:9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Weekend catch-up & Sunday joy

I meant to blog last Thursday. Honest I did. There hasn't been too much happening during the week. I'm at the library all day, but since we have mold in the Special Collections I am just hanging out on the second floor. I mean, I'm doing work. Of course I'm doing work! I'm finishing up an online workshop on archiving and then I'm reading a book called "Keeping Archives," which is about keeping archives. (Sorry...had to. Oh and it is also and Australian book, so I get to see lots of "organised" and "analysing" which makes me smile on the inside.)
Book cart drill team practice again today. Everything is coming together nicely. I promise as soon as convention is over, I will post the youtube video of our routine here.
Since it was Sonya's birthday this weekend, I made the drive home Friday night to spend the weekend with my family. It was a totally hectic weekend! But hectic in a good way. I got to spend time with my family, watch movies with my sisters, hang out with my friend (who packed me the BEST care package ever! Mini-oreos and extra cheddar goldfish!), shop with my mom (on a Sunday!) and hang out with my dad. Perhaps best of all, I got to see my church family (both related and non-related family). I know I've only been "gone" for a week, but I missed them. I miss Christian fellowship. I didn't realise how much until Sunday morning came. (And can I just say to those people who say "Oh, I don't need to go to church. I'll just read my bible, pray and worship by myself. Jesus can teach me that way.": HOGWASH! There is scripture to back me up, but I won't put it here. There is nothing like spending time with God's people. Watching people who have had a rough few days (or weeks or months) worshiping beside you, worshiping with all their might because they need to hear from God makes me so thankful I found a church like FBC. [ok. rant is over now...]). I got to spend time with some of the graduating high school seniors last night. What touched me most about this bunch of students was their burning desire for a continued closeness with God. I'm sure somewhere in their heads, they want to do well academically, make friends and achieve great things at their school. But more than that, the thing they verbalized, was their desire to find groups on campus, friends or clubs, that would help them stay focused on God and on His plan for their lives. I'm not ashamed--I cried when I heard it all. Many youth group kids come to me like I am the keeper of knowledge. Now, I want to point them to the graduating seniors. "Do you hear what they are asking for? To be always close and closer to God as they grow up," I will ask them. "Do what they do. Put that desire first. Everything else will fall into place if loving, honoring, and following God is the first desire of your heart."
It was so hard to me to leave after the little ceremony we had for the seniors last night. I suppose it's what comes from living at home during school. I see so many people I want to talk with, catch up with, laugh with--just be with. But I can't because I have to drive 2 hours back to Gettysburg. Maybe I'm whining just a little bit. Someone reminded me of this last night: You are where God wants you to be. I can't believe I had forgotten that. Heck, I WANTED this position! I prayed for it. I should be glad to be here. I AM where God wants me to be right now. I need to stop thinking, "boy things were so great back in Egypt..." I can *almost* understand those Israelites thoughts. Need to keep myself out of the wilderness!
In other (happier) news, I brought another box of books home this weekend. AND I got Vol. 3 of the Letters of C.S. Lewis. It is so super cool. I can't wait to start them! That box, however, is still in my car. That will be the first thing I do when I'm done with work today. And then I'll organize my bookshelf all over again... :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

First day of work and book cart drill team practice

I survived my first day of internship! Yay! It was so crazy! First, I met with the woman who hired me. We went over an internship binder full of information about my first day, first week and other things like time sheets, voice mail and email access. Then I got the grand tour of the library where I met all the staff members. Now I love small town-y-ness. I picked Alvernia because it was a small school. I was used to small. Gettysburg Library is HUGE! Seriously. I will get lost at least once a day. I was up on the fourth floor (I think) where special collections is housed talking with Karen, the special collection librarian. When we were done talking I asked, "Can you tell me how to get back down to Kate? I'm not sure exactly where she is from here..." Slightly embarrassing, but truthful.
From 11 to 12pm I had book cart drill team practice. I was not sure what to expect for this thing, but I was NOT expecting the level of intensity that was my first day of practice! This is serious business. Go google it. They have videos posted from past conferences. It is total madness...I'm really dreading the 2 hour practice that is planned for tomorrow...yikes!
After practice, Meggan took Kate, Jessica and me out for lunch at The Pub in the square. It was super yummy food, really great fries. Oh, I also got a campus tour. Again, very so much bigger than Alvernia!
I have a meeting over my lunch tomorrow (don't I sound fancy?!) and book cart drill team practice. The really good news is that I get to work on my archives workshop while I'm at the library. I was also given about 6 chapters to read in a book about archiving. Hm, does that sound like fun reading to anyone?!?!
I have a few odds and ends to take care of tonight. Stomping on the floor will be one of them if the bass/drum combo (plus vocals!) doesn't stop practicing by 10pm! Oh, the joy of neighbors...