I'm grateful to people who have their Christmas lights up well into January. When I'm out walking Cheri on a cold winter's night and a damp mist is crawling up my bones, the lights are an encouragement. There is a house on our street with a string of scraggly blue and pink/orange lights, and it cheers me when I pass by on my way home at night and see the lights still on.
I went out for drinks with some librarians last week. (Really kicking up my heels there.) We had just wrapped up the official business meeting for our library group, made up of librarians from hospitals, medical colleges and research centers. A few years ago I got suckered into chairing the awards committee, so every January I must see to it that five libraries are presented with expensive plaques and fancy certificates all written up with praise. I have to stand up in the front of the room and make a little speech and hand out the plaques and have my picture taken with the award winners.
After the meeting, a few of us went to Bo Ling's for drinks. I ordered my first ever sake. They kept it warm in a coconut-shaped container full of hot water. It was a soothing medicine on that chilly night. But they had no fireplace. Now one of my goals in life is to drink warm sake by a roaring fire.
We got fortune cookies. Mine said, "You are about to witness a miracle." That made me sit straight up. Would this be the sort of everyday miracle that happens in nature right beneath my feet, (think vast ant cities that go on for miles underground) or would this be a supernatural apparition that would brand me a nut for the rest of my days?
Well, it's been over a week now, and no illuminated beings in sight. If the sun had come out I would have claimed that as my miracle, but it has been as grey and damp as a pile of gym socks.
Maybe the miracle was merely this: I mentioned to the librarians that this was my last semester of library school and I would be graduating in May. One of the women, who has a nice three-story house in Brookside, immediately offered to throw me a graduation party. The other women started scheming, saying they could turn it into an official party for our group, and let the group pay for the food. So there, in a matter of seconds, a graduation party materialized out of nowhere.
Forget, "I love you." Right now, the three sweetest words in the universe are "my last semester."
I am taking three classes, to finish up. One is a required class, called "Managing collections and access." We explore deep, riveting issues, such as "What is a collection? How do librarians "collect" digital and virtual content? Hum-de-blah-de-blah-blah snooze. It's not that I don't care, it's just that we've already discussed this ad nauseum in other classes.
The second class is an elective--Internet Reference. Finding reliable reference sources on the internet, blah, blah, blah.
The third class is the one I'm excited about. It is an elective course on Teen Lit and we are going to read tons of teen novels of all sorts and analyze them and discuss them.
This class is weird because our discussion group meets at night in a virtual classroom. I sit at my laptop in my bedroom and wear a headset and speak to the class into a microphone. If I want to raise my hand, I click on a hand icon, and it shows the instructor that I am waiting for my turn to speak. I have to sit there and listen to all the disembodied voices of the other students and my teachers.
But I'm excited about the class, because I will be READING BOOKS! And we are going to be talking about the importance of STORY. Yes!