In my last post, among other things I whined about all of the high school library instruction sessions I had to do this week. Admittedly, they're time-consuming in a week where I already had too much going on, but in reality, now that I'm not in such a grumpy mood, I have to mention how much I've enjoyed doing library instruction this semester. My high school students this week have been especially great - they've listened, they actually act interested in what I'm teaching them, and I feel like some sort of Library God imparting my wisdom to bright young learners. Well okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I do like the feeling of introducing so many new research tools to students whose first thought is to try Google or Wikipedia. It probably shouldn't be surprising to me that so many people don't have a clue how to get started on library research. I thought I knew what I was doing during my undergrad years, and I hated to ask for help, but I know so much more now than I did then, and I at least had spent a good amount of time in the library and was familiar with the basics, unlike some of these students. And now I get to teach them everything I've learned!

One thing I've noticed is that as my confidence in my teaching ability has increased this semester, I've gotten much more hands-on in my approach. At first, I pretty much just stood up at the front and talked at them, but lately I've really been working hard to get some interaction and activities into my lesson plans. For example, this week with all of my high school classes, I've started with a group brainstorming session, and had the students practice setting up searches by writing out their research topic in a sentence, pulling out what they think are the important keywords, and coming up with multiple synonyms they could also use. Then I had them string various keywords together using Boolean operators, what fun! I've been really lucky so far in that my classes have all been pretty willing to participate - there's nothing worse than having every attempt at getting your students involved fall flat while they just sit and stare at you.

At any rate, I'm pretty sure I wowed today's classes with my awesome super powers, like the ability to type really fast, and fix a computer by hitting it, and, of course, my impressive Middlemarch reading skills (they're working on a paper on Middlemarch, although I got the impression that none of them had actually read the book yet. When I told them I had to read it in a week AND write a paper on it, I could tell they thought I was the coolest ever. Or maybe that's the lamest ever, it's hard to tell the difference sometimes). This Friday I'm teaching a group of students who have to do various papers on environmental topics, and then I think that's it for the year. I'll definitely be doing this again next semester, though - it's been a great experience.

I am a grump right now, and I feel like whining.

Okay, first of all, all of my appliances seem to have decided to die at once. My CD player refuses to play my CDs, the microwave only works if I stand there and hold the door closed the whole time, and my TV has started its loud buzzing thing again. I can understand with the TV and CD player - they're both fairly old, as electronic-type things go, but the microwave's only two years old. So frustrating! I know that compared to how the vast majority of the world lives, these things are all luxuries - but as a grad student who doesn't particularly want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, my microwave at least sure seems like a necessity.

Also, I've lost my student ID card. It was in my coat pocket and I think it either fell out during the walk to campus, or somewhere in the library. I've checked everywhere, and it hasn't turned up. My ID card is what I use to be able to ride the bus without paying, so for the past few days I've had to spend 75 cents each way on that. Plus I can't check out any books right now and um, hello? Library student! I haven't gotten a chance this week to go and get a new one made, so I guess I'll have to do that first thing Monday.

Also also, Carrie had asked me to take on several pretty involved high school instruction sessions, which I gladly agreed to do - until I realized that all four are during the week after Thanksgiving, when I've also got a couple of my end-of-semester projects due. Plus my regular class and work schedule. So it looks like that'll be a fun week!

Finally (and this is going to sound ridiculous, I know): I've been feeling kind of old lately. I know, it's crazy for a 26-year-old to be whining about feeling old, but...where have my 20s been going? I just don't feel grown-up enough for so many years to have passed by already. I don't know - I guess it's just that, if you'd asked my 16-year-old self (or my 22-year-old self, for that matter) what 26-year-old me would be like, I think I would have pictured myself as a lot more mature and accomplished and all that. What exactly have I done so far, in 26 years? Have I really done anything worthwhile? Are the next ten years of my life just going to be more of the same old, same old? I'm deathly afraid of just stagnating, settling in, not striving for anything more than what I've got now. I think I have tendencies that way. I like to be comfortable, and I fear big changes so much - but keeping things the same just ends up making me feel miserable, like I'm wasting my life. I guess I thought that adulthood was going to be different somehow, that it would phenomenally change me, but instead I just feel like an old, very slightly wiser version of 16-year-old me.

Apparently it's David Bowie Day for me, or something. All through my ref desk shift today I had the Magic Dance song from Labyrinth stuck in my head. Then I came home and it switched over to Flight of the Conchords' Bowie's in Space. Apparently my brain can't resist the power of the Bowie (or Bowie impersonators).

Some of my friends and I have started a new game. It's called Count How Many Girls On Campus Are Wearing Uggs. Today while waiting for the bus I counted thirteen - five of whom were wearing Uggs with leggings. I thought the whole Uggs thing was supposed to be out of style already...please?

No real news yet on the job front. I did hear back from the HR department, and they've received my application but aren't at the stage to start interviewing candidates yet. So...keep on keeping your fingers crossed!

I found this template and liked it better than the default blogger one I was using. What do you guys think?

Whoops - I haven't updated in a while!

The semester's really heating up for me at this point. I'm taking a couple of classes that are really heavy on theory this semester, and both involve a LOT of reading and several papers each, so I've spent a lot of time holed up writing. They're both interesting classes for the most part, but my third class, public library management, is by far my favorite, partly because of the instructor - I had him last year for reader's advisory and really enjoyed him - and partly because it's much more practical and I feel like I'm really learning things I'll be putting into practice on the job.

Speaking of jobs, I've applied for that position with ACPL that I mentioned here. It may not amount to anything, since I don't actually graduate until May, but several people convinced me that I should go for it anyway, so I did. Everybody keep your fingers crossed for me!

It's finally getting chilly. I complained enough about the heat (when it's 90 degrees on your birthday in October, things are a bit ridiculous), but now I find I'm not ready for it to be cold outside yet, either! I keep forgetting my jacket - I'll wear it to class or work, hang it over the back of my chair, and then take off without it. I haven't gotten it into my head yet that we're heading into winter.

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