Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First week in User Services/ Reference & FYE

This week, though only Tuesday, has been full of craziness! So much so that I probably won't get a decent blog post in. I promise I meant to do a full on Monday night (my first day in new departments AND a day that I stayed an extra hour helping students do research because they came to the desk close to the end of my shift...) but by the time I got home, I was so tired I crashed! Today/ tonight we had a session for first years to help familiarize them with the library and how things work. I left the library around 8.30p. So yeah, it's been busy.
I'm not sure when I can even promise a proper update! I have FYE Wednesday and Thursday night of this week, then going home for the weekend to help big sister move. Crazy week followed by crazy weekend! Hopefully by Sunday I can get some rest and do a full update for you.
I will say this: I'm really excited to be in Gettysburg, to be at Musselman Library and to be learning under such a great group of librarians. Far and above anything I ever imagined. Some of it is out of my comfort zone, yes. I would normally protest that. Like talking to a bunch of students. Ew. (Haha. Not really "Ew." just too many undergrad presentation flashbacks!) But why not? Why not try something new? I think it will turn out that I'm not too terrible at presentations/ group talks and that I just nee more practice.
You learn something new about yourself every single day.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

c is for cleaning all saturday long...

Classes at Gettysburg start this coming Monday and part of me is glad I don't have to go! (To class that is. I still have to go to work...) Yes, some of me misses class & learning things, but the other part of me is glad to have my after-work times an evenings free to do whatever I want. For the last few weeks, "whatever I want" was watching Seasons 1-3 of Gilmore Girls. I know, big plans. Last week while indulging in one of these nights (Season 3, the one with the Dean&Jess fight over Rory), the guys below me decided to have a pretty loud band practice. Well, not just that night. It's been happening a few times a week ever since I moved in. I usually don't mind too much, but sometimes they really are quite a bother. I mean drums, electric guitar, bass, amps and mics--it gets really REALLY loud. Like so loud it vibrates the floor. Concert loud. Well anyway, last week while watch GG and listening to band practice, I thought I heard a knock. Of course, it's so loud, what with my show on and band practice, I dismissed it. However, the knocker was persistent and tried again. I wasn't expecting anyone nor could I imagine who it could be. I looked out the window as a cop walked out of the foyer to my building! Oops! I guess I should have actually gone to see who it was! Anyway, they went around the corner to the guys apartment and knocked on their door until they answered. All I can say is, after that, it was a quite night in Gettysburg! They've kept it down mostly since then. Though when I started this post, I was being serenaded, rather loudly, by band practice. Though now it is quiet. Maybe they only needed to practice one song? Here's to hoping!
On the weekends I get to travel home, all of my cleaning gets postponed. Pushed back. Ok, pretty much ignored. So today was super cleaning day. I think I finally got caught up. I hope. I will now live in one room for the rest of the week so as not to dirty the cleanness! (No, Mom. I'm just kidding. That would be plain silly...)
When I'm not watching movies or cleaning (ha!), I'm reading. A lot. This past week I think I read 4 books start to finish, and I just finished a book I started a few weeks ago. It's really nice to be able to read whatever I want, whenever I want with no deadline or class pressure. Having the staff privilege of getting books check out for a semester at a time (the books I got today? Not due until February 24, 2011. 2011! Oh yeah!) is quite nice too.
Tomorrow I'll head to Hanover Valley for church. Not quite the same as my beloved FBC, but a nice community just the same.
Hmm, band practice is still going on, 20 minutes later. I really hope someone calls the cops on them again. Maybe I will this time...
...don't worry. Just kidding.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Three months and counting...

Greetings, dear readers. I call you dear because I am hoping I still have your love and devotion even after not posting for almost a month. Pretty pretty please?
The last few weeks have been filled with scanning for special collections. Mindless scanning. So much scanning that I think the computer screen is giving me a headache. This week, however, all of that changed. I was on reference desk training for four days this week. Basically, I learned that I knew nothing about reference materials, in print or online. I'm not even sure how I made it through undergraduate! The things I knew (or thought I knew) barely scratch the surface of the materials available out there--if the price is right, of course. The availability of all these different research materials makes me want to completely re-research my senior thesis. I'm actually seriously considering this. (Those of you who remember the hell that was my senior thesis research & writing saga, please talk me out of it!!!)
Monday is my first day in Reference and User Services. Reference includes a shift at the desk just about every day of the week, plus FYE (First Year Experience) events next week and the odd project here and there. My very first is to make a poster for our Browsing Room, which I will probably print Monday. User Services includes ILL (Inter-library loan) and Circulation. I think. I was actually just made aware that I would be in User Services an hour before I left work today. The shift is coming at a really good time for me. Even though I am Anti-Change Girl (don't be fooled, the super hero costume is so worth it), I've kind of been itching for a change of pace.
I've been in Gettysburg for about 3 months now. In London, I was on my own (with a roommate) for only 2 months. That I can handle. There is something about slightly past that 2 month mark that makes me sit back and say, "
Hmm...I don't think I can treat this like a vacation any more. This is life and I should probably do something with it." I must say, easier said than done.
The time here hasn't been without excitement, however. Two weeks ago, I had a bat in my apartment. How's that for excitement? I think it's enough for a really long time. Anyway,
I was just minding my own business, washing the dishes, when I see this shadow out of the corner of my eye. I let it go, because you know sometimes those freaky stink bugs fly around a light a cast shadows when you aren't really expecting them to be around. But then it happened again. The third time I saw the shadow, I looked back. And screamed like a tiny little girl. The shadow that wasn't a stink bug was a bat! Every time it came into the kitchen, I screamed. (Yeah, I know it didn't help anything. But in the moment, it felt really good.) Every time it left, I stopped. I wanted to call someone--anyone & everyone! How does one get rid of a bat? What do you do?? My cell phone was on the table, but I would have had to walk right into the flight path to get to it. So I sank onto the floor and waited for a break. I finally got my phone & called my house. My dear sister didn't have too much advice, except to open all the windows so it could fly out. Wonderful idea--except my windows don't stay open unless something is propping it up. And I currently have screens in all of them...so that would have taken ages. The next call was to my father, who was the sweetest, kindest man ever at that moment. I think he laughed a little at the situation, but since I was so freaked out, he toned it down a bit. He suggested closing all the doors in the apartment to get it trapped somewhere. After closing all the doors in my house, especially the one to the bedroom, I had to look for the dumb thing. I finally found him in the bathroom. I was totally ready to just give him the bathroom (with the shower, clothes, face wash, contact stuff, hair stuff, etc.) and go get new stuff at the store. My dad, being the gem he is (really), was even in favor of this for me. My mom, on the other hand, was all "Go in there and kill it. You don't have the money to buy all that stuff." Very practical, my mother. Not particularly sympathetic when I needed her to be, but there you go. It took me 3 hours, from first sighting to dead bat in a bag, but I finally got up the courage to go in the bathroom and try to kill it. I had a plan, carefully talked out and organized by my mother, father & myself, but thankfully I didn't need it. I walked, er, skulked into the bathroom with a broom as my weapon. I knocked it off the window sash and it just fell. It didn't fly or try to escape. My super heated bathroom must have given it heat stroke! I was able to sleep in my bed after a shower that night...though I was really skittish and slept with a blanket all around me, just in case, even though it was like 90 degrees out. Now, I still am wary going into a room in my apartment. I turn the light on and wait a few moments before going into it, just in case. Now, weeks later, the wary bit has worn off some. Typing all of this out makes me remember and bring back some of the weird fear, but I'm hoping that will all go away soon.
I hope that has caught you up sufficiently, dear readers. I promise to update more often.
Next time, I'll tell you about the night the cops shut down band practice in the apartment next to mine.
Life in Gettysburg is, at least, never completely boring!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Death Comes in Threes...I hope

Five months ago, I sat with my youth group as we mourned the loss of one of our own. Loosing a peer hits hard. Two weeks ago, I sat in my apartment crying over the loss of a member of my church family. He was a daddy, a husband, a friend. I called my dad that day, just so I could hear his voice. That night, I thought, "Dear God, I hope death doesn't come in threes, because I just can't bear the loss of another friend." Yesterday, I got the news I didn't want to hear: death number three. He wasn't even a year old, sick from birth. I'm not a mom, don't have children--but this loss hit me just as hard.
Today, as with most days at work, I've been listening to some Matt Chandler sermons from a few years ago. He's in Ecclesiastes, which is really great for feeling good about enjoying life, right? Wrong. Even through that difficult book, Matt speaks truth about what God thinks of me and God's purpose for me in suffering. It doesn't make the pain go away. I go from laughing to crying to sobbing in seconds these past few days. But the reminder that God is in every part of my life is like a hug from a friend.
I'm trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be learning from all of this pain, and I can't help but wonder, "What can I learn from losing a father and a baby that I can't by losing a teenage boy?"
Death is no respecter of person, age, or situation in life. I know that. But I wish it would pick on another person. I'm afraid that the next loss won't hurt as badly, that I won't care as much. I scared that I might lose whatever feeling I have left.

Faith is believing that God is here, and that Everything comes from His hands, even sorrow.
We want to believe that God gives us all the candy and that the devil's there to take it. But that's not the devil I read in Scripture. He's no bishop that can float about the board as he pleases; he's a pawn that always needs permission. So, has God caused your sorrow? No. Has He allowed it? Yeah, the full brunt of it and has not abandoned you to endure it alone. Nor is this about His wrath towards you but His mercy, that your suffering just might be the mercy of God for you.“Why? How could He allow...? What kind of God would allow...?” A God who loves you so much that He refuses to let you become Verruca Salt. (That's the “I want the golden goose” girl from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”) Maybe because He does not desire that you be this anemic, weak, spoiled, self-righteous believer in self.
Maybe because the only way to convert and remold is to hammer and hurt.

~Matt Chandler~

If death does come in fives however, as I've
also heard , I've got that one covered too. Five deaths in 10 months time. I am REALLY ready for some good times...