From a teen guy: "Yeah, with all of the alien encounters I’ve had, I’ve got to take birth control. Because you never know, man."

Whoops, I haven't posted here in a while! I have been journaling, though - part of the requirement for my internship is to keep up a journal of my thoughts and experiences for each week. Since I haven't updated any on my internship on here yet, I thought I'd go ahead and put up my first two journal entries. So without further ado, here they are.

Wednesday, May 23:

Today is the second day of my internship in the young adult department of the Allen County Public Library, and my first chance to sit down and do some journaling about my experiences so far. Yesterday I worked 9-6, and when I came in the morning it was completely dead in the YA department. Which makes sense, considering that school is still in session for another week or two here in Fort Wayne. We did have a few homeschoolers come in and use the computers in the late morning and early afternoon, but otherwise it was VERY quiet! Right around four o’clock, though, things really picked up, and this place was hopping until I left at six – the kids mostly seemed to gravitate towards the computer area. I got to meet a few of our regulars, who hung around and introduced themselves to me.

Yesterday a couple of the librarians here went to various schools in the area to present on the library’s summer reading program. Today several groups of kids are coming here to the library, to get the summer reading program talk and take a short tour. The first group has already been here – a large bunch of sixth-graders. I sat in while the summer reading program was talked up (sixth-graders are VERY squirmy, but actually pretty good listeners, if this group is anything to go by), and then tagged along with one group while they took the tour. The kids were especially impressed by our teen “living room”, with a flat screen TV, lots of couches, and every video game console you could want. They also really liked the Access Fort Wayne studios, where the local access TV shows are filmed for cable, and the 200-plus seat theater down on one of the lower levels, where they hold a lot of special community events, including some of the local civic theater's shows.

So far I’ve just been observing, talking with the YA librarians, and soaking everything in, but it is just my second day here. I think it’s going to be a good summer – I’m really looking forward to getting more involved with summer programming and other events.

Tuesday, May 29:

Well, it’s the start of the second week of my internship, and I’m starting to settle in some. Last Thursday I worked 12-9 pm, so I got to experience an evening here with the teens for the first time. At one point several guys got out Dance Dance Revolution and I kept an eye on them while they played. I’d never seen people play DDR before, although I’d heard a lot about it, so it was kind of fun to watch. It’s hard to get the kids to keep their voices down while they play, though, and unfortunately the computers are right next to the teen living room where they play video games. I think it’ll be different in the summer when there aren’t students in here working on their homework.

On Thursday I also had a fun opportunity to return to my news writing roots – at least in a sense. Mari told me that the YA department had been asked to write a couple of articles for the library’s “Daily Prophet” – a mock newspaper we’re going to be putting out to help get the word out about our upcoming Harry Potter party. So Mari asked me if I’d be interested in writing the articles – one on Professor Sinistra’s “astronomy class” (Science Central and their Skylab) and an advertisement for Ollivander’s wands (the YA department will be making over 4,000 magic wands for the event). Here’s what I came up with – everyone seemed to like them and think that they’ll work okay:

Ollivander’s: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC

Mr. Ollivander welcomes you to come in and see why witches and wizards from all over the wizarding world have come to Ollivanders for their wands for millennia. Our high-quality wands are beautifully handcrafted from the finest materials available. In addition, each wand is rigorously tested to ensure maximum magical capacity. You can’t go wrong with an Ollivander’s wand!

So visit Ollivander’s today – and always remember: The wizard doesn’t choose the wand – the wand chooses the wizard!

July 20 “Phenomenal night for stargazing,” says Professor Sinistra

This July 20, stargazing Hogwarts students can expect a night of rare astronomical beauty, according to Hogwarts professor Aurora Sinistra.

Late that Friday evening, Professor Sinistra will invite students up to Hogwart’s Astronomy Tower to observe the night sky. “Bring your star charts along,” said Sinistra. “There will be many important celestial bodies beautifully visible in the sky on this night.”

Rarely has such an opportunity for observing the night sky’s constellations at their best come along, said Sinistra. “It’s going to be astounding!” she said excitedly. “Virgo, Pegasus, Sagittarius, Cassiopeia – so many constellations will be in perfect formation that night!” Sinistra said that students who join her class that evening can expect to learn a great deal about the movement of the planets and the history of many of the most famous constellations.

“This is a brilliant opportunity for my students,” she said. “I hope that all will come and enjoy this spectacular event!

I’ve also been given several projects to work on when it’s quiet here at the desk. I already finished one this morning, actually – going through the Spring 2007 Horn Book Guide and checking to see which if any of the top-rated books we were missing. I’m also going to be working on our Books for Teens reader’s advisory wiki. This is for librarians at the desk, and it’s sorted into various categories – Harry Potter readalikes, supernatural fiction, adult books that teens enjoy – etc. Katie has some ideas for reorganizing it and she wants me to help with getting everything in shape.


This afternoon I ended up tagging along with Peggy as she went to talk about the summer reading program with a group of fifth-graders at a local elementary school. These are the youngest kids we work with here, but they're eligible for the program since they'll be starting sixth grade at middle school in the fall. Fifth-graders are still at the stage where it's okay to get really excited about things. Their favorite phrase today was "Ooooh, that's tight!" It was nice to see them getting so into Peggy's presentation, but I know that in a couple of years that'll probably change and no one will want to betray any interest in what the librarians have to say. It always seems like the junior high and early high school years are the absolute hardest, as far as getting the kids' attention and interesting them in things. Later on a lot of them snap out of it and start admitting again that they think these things are actually kind of cool. Heh.

When I got back to the library, Mari gave me a tour of the lower levels - all the places in the library that aren't open to the general public. There's probably as much if not more square footage down below the areas that everyone always sees - and all of it crammed with overflows, books getting checked in and out, being transferred, etc. etc. Rows upon rows of shelves - I have no doubt that if I wander back down there again by myself, I'll get lost.

Whew! I'm back in the Hoosier state after visiting my sister and her husband in Wichita for several days. They just bought a new house and my parents and I drove out to help them with some projects. Mom and Amy and I painted several rooms while Dad and Rich dug up bushes, moved rocks, and did other manly outdoor-type things. I don't envy them that - it was hot while we were there! Rich and Amy's little house looks really nice now, and I know they've got a few landscaping projects and some minor home repair they're still planning to do. I still can't believe my younger sister is married, has moved halfway across the country and bought a house, and is even starting to talk babies. And me? I seem bent on dragging my college lifestyle out as long as possible. Being back in grad school has been wonderful but it doesn't exactly make me feel all that grown-up and responsible, seeing as how I still revel in wearing jeans and t-shirts to class and sleeping in until noon. Yikes. I had this whole plan about how I was going to dress so professionally and everything in grad school. Yeah, that went out the window about the second day or so, I think.

I'll be starting my internship at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne this upcoming week, and I'm getting really excited about it. I'll be working in the young adult department, and so far the people I've met there seem wonderful and I think they'll be great to work with. It's great experience, too, since ACPL's got a large YA department and is now in a brand-new building. Which means I probably shouldn't get my hopes up that this is the kind of atmosphere I can expect in my first job post graduation, but it'll be fun for this summer. Unfortunately, it pays diddly squat - in fact, since I'm getting credit for it, I'm paying IU for the opportunity to work there. On a positive note, however, it looks like I'll be able to do my old job at Mitchell Books for a few hours a week to make a little bit of money. It looks like it's going to be a busy but fun summer.


I have discovered this year that while living in a first-floor apartment means not having to lug my stuff up and down the stairs and getting a larger "backyard" area, it also means having Serious Bug Problems. Spiders, pill-bugs, crickets, you name it - the only insects I haven't had problems with are cockroaches. But worst of all are the ants. Late this winter I had tiny little sugar ants swarming my kitchen - I sprayed, bought traps, yelled at them, and tried reverse psychology, but nothing worked. Finally I called the landlords and they brought out the big guns, which seemed to finally take care of the ant problem, so I made the mistake of relaxing.

BUT NOW the ants have returned for revenge. Last night I was sitting at my computer desk in my bedroom when I noticed several ants crawling out from under my laptop. Which really freaked me out at first because I thought they'd gotten IN my laptop and were living there, but when I calmed down I noticed that there was a trail of ants climbing up my desk from over by the trash can...and that said trash can was positively crawling with ants. There was also a trail along the carpet from the wall to the trashcan - with ants crawling all over my stack of library books. It was like a horror movie, seriously. Turns out I probably shouldn't have thrown a soda can away in that trash can, because that seems to be what was attracting the ants.

So I emptied out the trash, stuck it in the bathtub and drowned the ants still inside, and went along the carpet with a wad of Kleenex smushing the rest of the invaders. Then I went and got my bug spray and sprayed all along the outside wall, and THEN I decided that I couldn't relax until I'd vacuumed every last inch of carpet in my bedroom. Oh, did I mention this was all happening around two a.m.? Ugh, ugh, ugh. I haven't seen any ants yet today, but I had horrible nightmares all last night in which there were ants in my bed crawling all over me. I hate ants.

So I think I'm going to do this. Basically, you read as much as you can for 48 hours straight (over a weekend) and post reviews of everything you read on your blog. Sounds fun! I have a feeling my actual job might interfere slightly, but I'm pretty good at sneaking in some reading no matter what I should be doing, so I'm looking forward to this. I'd probably spend most of the weekend reading anyway!

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