Monthly Archives: January 2011


Today is the unofficial last day of winter break for me. I slept in instead of showering before heading to the library to volunteer this morning. Oops. I was able to shower as soon as I got home, and tomorrow marks the first day of the 6AM wake-up, so it’s ok. After almost 20 straight years of being a student I have finally learned that I can’t concentrate on work at night. The thought of shoveling dinner into my mouth while reading PDFs or discussion forums is so depressing to me. So I’m vowing to get my work done before dinner whenever possible (excluding class meetings). I have no problem waking up early, so why not? I was inspired in part by this guy whose study schedule was featured on one of my favorite blogs, Study Hacks. He’s pre-med and manages to finish studying by 5:30PM every day. Pretty impressive!

I did a test-run of my new study schedule yesterday. This is what 6AM looks like:

sun rising over my neighbors' houses

Good thing it’s pretty. By the end of the day I still hadn’t finished what I wanted to. I was frequently distracted by YouTube*, which is probably testament to a larger problem: senioritis. Resulting in lack of focus. I was in a sour mood by bedtime. Must learn to focus, and must find motivation. Must do this soon: my new internship starts tomorrow. I’m feeling less nervous and more excited about it these days. In fact, I’m feeling a little better already. May 17th, here I come!

*Here’s one of the culprits for your enjoyment. Stars – “Elevator Love Letter”

Now back to work.

1. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I wish my teachers assigned this book when I was a senior in high school (some parents can’t allow their nearly-adult kids to learn about racism, rape, and teen pregnancy). I was so impressed by Maya Angelou’s ability to observe and remember the details of her life as a young girl, as a student, as an older sister, as an African American living in pre-Civil Rights Era Arkansas, and as a resident of WWII-era San Francisco, and weave them into a poetic autobiography in which every passage is meaningful.

I didn’t really plan it, but I’m also glad to have read this over the MLK Jr. holiday. Reading a book set mostly in the South and rife with depictions of civil injustices tends to give more meaning to the holiday, you know?

Maybe steak is my calling

It’s been warm here. I grabbed the opportunity and grilled a flank steak on the barbecue.

flank steak and knife

I’m pretty proud of it. And I’m drooling again.

Break’s almost over

Before winter break began I made a list of everything I wanted to do before January 26, 2011, the beginning of what will probably be the most stressful semester of library school. The following are items that I actually completed or worked on:

Read for fun! I have a list of 175 books to read. OK, that was misleading. I have a list of 175 books to read total, not just during winter break. I read On the Road, finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and started I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Next up: Just Kids by Patti Smith (thanks Santa).
Go to the gym at least 3x a week. I’m surprised I’ve managed to stick with this one, but I’m so glad I did. Working out has become a habit for me and I have a feeling I will need its benefits during the upcoming semester. I hope to write more about this in an upcoming post that is not to be mistaken for medical advice.
Make cookies and share them with people. Everything I baked is in my holiday baking post. When I started amping up my workouts I naturally stopped baking. I miss it, but I don’t need the temptation of a tiny 90 calorie peanut butter cookie.
Be a good intern. Really nervous. I can’t speak to the quality of my intern work because I haven’t started yet, but I enjoyed myself at my orientation.
Eat tamales. You better believe I ate tamales on Christmas Eve.
Deep clean my room. This is actually my first reward for finishing finals. I love me a clean, dust-free bedroom.

Messy desk with papers


Clean desk


Still working on this one. But my desk looks a little better!

Organize my closet and drawers. I did this to make room for my new grown-up clothes.
Drink tea. I just joined Steepster. My tea drawer’s already at the brim and I am very afraid. My brother gave me a whistling tea kettle for Christmas and I’m trying to drink what’s in my stash before buying new tea. I did, however, run out of earl grey and that needed to be replaced.
Go to the movies. I saw True Grit with my dad. I meant to go more often.
See my friends more often. I saw my friend Julia twice. She was back home in San Diego from law school in Washington DC. I saw Lauren once and met their cute little cat.
Buy more grown-up clothes. Santa brought me an interview suit for Christmas and I got some new work blouses.
Make a plan for post-graduation. Something in my personal life has changed recently, and although I didn’t have a plan before the change, I’ve been mulling over everything with a new perspective. Right now I have the opportunity to move to Washington DC and live with Julia starting in May, but I’ll be applying for jobs in Southern California, too.

So I never saw the snow (not even dog pee snow), but I have no regrets about how I spent my break (though I do wish I had seen more of my friends). That being said, I plan to spend my last week or so of break hitting the gym and the books and trying to achieve mental balance in preparation for a long semester. OK, signing off so I can make an appointment to get my hair cut! Remember: “your hair is your head suit” (Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock).

ALA Midwinter 2011

This past weekend I went to my first professional conference: the midwinter meeting of the American Library Association at the San Diego Convention Center. I was freaked out by it, but I went. And it was FUN. And I learned a lot to boot! I ended up going to 3 sessions and the SJSU SLIS reception. I scored some free books in the exhibitors hall. I met lots of friendly people. I scurried around like a hamster and didn’t get 2 minutes to rest. Next time I will be sure to wear clothes with more pockets and bring more snacks.

So if you’re a library student who’s iffy about attending an ALA conference and you can afford it, GO. If you go in with a positive attitude and open mind, you’ll do great.

Organizing the Job Hunt

Pencil N' Paper

[Photo by quacktaculous on Flickr]

I’m trying desperately to reach inside myself and gather the motivation to begin preparing for next semester. Have I told you what I’m doing this semester? I’m taking advanced cataloging, historical research methods, a 3 unit internship at UC Irvine’s Langson Library, and my portfolio class. To top it all off I’m going to be on the job hunt. Excuse me, I need to go cry in a corner.

And I’m back. Sorry about that. *sniffle* When I feel totally overwhelmed by something I either a) ignore it until the last minute or b) get organized. Well heck, it’s a new year and I’ve decided to go with action b, starting with the job hunt. So I did some research on organization tips for job searching and became inspired by Elizabeth’s (aka the Newly Employed Librarian) post in which she lists the way she did it. I usually print out job descriptions and I loved her idea of organizing them by date. So I drove down to Office Max and picked up a binder and dividers. I used the dividers to create four sections based on my job hunting needs:

  1. Job descriptions, organized by priority (I also save a copy of job descriptions in Evernote)
  2. Printed copies of letters of recommendation (these can also serve as an ego boost when needed)
  3. Job hunting/interview advice
  4. Copies of submitted applications (also saved in Dropbox)

Another part of my preparation for the job hunt includes lining up past supervisors to serve as references. This is where digital organization comes into the picture. Gmail allows you to create color-coded labels for messages, so I’m making one for any and all job-hunting-related correspondence. After the supervisor agrees to be a reference and I verify their contact info, I put it in the list I’ve created in Evernote and add them to my contact book in Gmail. Finally, I’ll need to set up an Excel spreadsheet as suggested by Elizabeth and a few other librarians. I haven’t done this yet but I’ll need to get going on it before I submit things.

By the way, if you haven’t already, I highly suggest reading Elizabeth’s posts in her Guide to Job Hunting. They’re very helpful and inpsirational!

Happy 2011

Today I went to Heisler Park in Laguna Beach with Mom and Dad after helping Grammy take down her outdoor lights.

We brought a picnic, watched the divers and paddle boarders, and ventured out to the tidepools.

I almost dropped my camera in a pool after touching an anemone. I’m jumpy as all get out – even though I knew it would quickly recoil after I brushed one of its tentacles it surprised me and my camera flew out of my hands. Sorry camera.