Sunday, November 8, 2009
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson - Some of you may have seen the movie, but of course the book is better. Jesse and Leslie become great friends and play together in a magical land of their imagination. Paterson tells a wonderful story of their friendship and Jesse's grief. Paterson is a great writer and storyteller.
Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen - This book was the biggest surprise for me. Marley and her family decide to move from the city to Maple Hill in hope of healing. The family comes together as they focus on a simpler life. This book has an Anne of Green Gables quality to it that I enjoyed. Give it a try! You just might like it.
Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt - This is one of my mom's favorite books. I admit I had read it before, but nothing else from the 60's looked remotely interesting. When Julie's mother dies, she must live with her spinster aunt in the country. Julie matures under the firm, but gentle eye of her aunt. This is the only true coming-of-age story that I read in this course. This is a wonderful, if slightly old fashioned story.
The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth - This short book is a treasure! A Japanese artist is comissioned to paint Buddha surrounded by animals at his death. Cats are the only animals not allowed into heaven in Buddhist tradition. But the artist finds strength from his pet cat and some surprising things happen. This book deserves more credit than it gets. It's from 1931, but is not dated. Not to mention that it is touching.
The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron - Lucky lives with her guardian in a desolate town in the Majave Desert. Lucky is searching for her higher power and a way to keep her guardian from abadoning her and returning to France. The quirky characters kept this story alive which was good because the plot was slow to the point of nonexistant
Missing May by Cynthia Rylant - After May's death, Summer and Uncle Ob are trying to grieve. Convinced that May's spirit is trying to make contact with them, Ob, Summer, and their friend Cletus go on a journey to find a medium. This short, well-written book would have traumatized me. If you are looking for a good book by Rylant, I suggest The Van Gogh Cafe.
The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene Du Bois - The concept for this book is fabulous, but the storytelling killed it. In search of privacy a retired teacher intends to live in the sky for a year. Seagulls foil his plan, and he lands on an island assumed to be uninhabited. He discovers great wealth, amazing inventions, and fascinating people. Doesn't it sound like a great book? Well, the way it is told does not make it fun or fascinating.
A Visit to William Blake's Inn by Nancy Willard - This book is significant because it won the Newbery Medal and a Caldecott Honor. During discussions, my classmates and I decided it was forgettable. This is true. Now 2 weeks from reading it, I can't tell you what a single poem contained. It wasn't terrible it just wasn't enough to make it wonderful.
Congratulations you have made it this far. I should give you a prize. Instead I will tell you my least favorite from the course.
Hitty: Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field - Hitty is a doll whose life begins in Maine (yay!). She travels around the world meeting fascinating people and getting lost and found again. After the first to chapters I lost interest and was not able to figure out why everyone thought this doll was so special. Perhaps I didn't like it because it was the most dated of the bunch.
P.S. If you are wondering why I didn't include classics like The Giver and A Wrinkle in Time, it is because I have already read them. I was trying to expand my knowledge during this course.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Here are a few highlights.
Life - Most of this year has been consumed with figuring out how to be a children's librarian. I can proudly say that I've succeeded. I've endured the occasional failure, learned from it and moved forward. Yesterday, I decided I love my job when I heard some toddlers squealing with delight.
I attend a small ward with amazing people. I'm grateful for the lessons I've learned from them.
New Things - New experiences energize me. This year I have visited San Francisco (awesome!), Denver (cold!), and Chicago (miserable!). I have eaten street tacos, visited the Getty Villa, and frequented Disneyland. I've been the proud owner of a refrigerator, a flat screen televisions, and a couch.
Gratitude - One of my favorite hobbies is complaining about Los Angeles. I need to suck it up and be grateful. Some reasons why:
- I have met people from all walks of life. I love it!
- I still have a job despite layoffs.
- I get to be around children every day.
- The beach (need I say more)
- It doesn't get cold here.
- The Lord has blessed me with new talents and magnified my old ones. This is probably the thing I am the most grateful for. I have done things I never thought I could do.
- And much, much more!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tonight's evening commute started with a bang. One of my coworkers always drops me off at the gas station by the bus stop. Today, I saw the bus pulling through the intersection as my coworker was rolling to a stop. I was out of his truck before he was finished moving.
SMACK! I ran directly into a tree branch.
Then ... SLIRP! My brand new Clark's shoe slid through the mud. I managed not to fall flat on my face.
I nearly died ... of embarrassment. I'm sure the teen librarian saw the whole mishap. The bus driver gave me a long flirtatious lecture which included lines like "I would have waited for you. Not other people but, of course, you." and "Do you roller skate? I roller skate a lot; you have good balance."
Oh, dear! My pride hurts.
Friday, October 2, 2009
5. The Los Angeles Green Line Train isn't half bad, and is more efficient than the Boston Green LIne Train by far.
4. Actually enforcing consequences, improves kids' behavior. I know this isn't that huge of an epiphany. It also makes kids really mad.
3. Not all plums are disgusting. A farmer at the local farmer's market actually had a delicious variety.
2. Jicama is a large root vegetable with very little flavor. It doesn't just appear on vegetable trays in sticks. A whole jicama looks like this.
This week it was $.99/lb. at Ralph's. The most important part of the lesson. Jicama is heavy. I walked over 2 miles with two jicama. My arms are sore.
1. In the event of a power outage in the workplace and a subsequent closure. RUN! Do NOT walk to the nearest exit. Otherwise, the power will return before you have had time to vacate the premises.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Jobs for Quiet people
"Librarian - It might seem obvious, but given that librarians work in a mostly "no talking zone," it makes sense that a librarian position suits quiet workers. Most of your time is spent organizing and maintaining library publications and materials, and the rest you'll spend directing people to whatever they may need."
Rachel Zupek, CareerBuilder.com
Zupek at least needs a librarian as a fact checker. Even now this delusion of what a librarian does is making my blood boil. Even my 8 hours at work today can prove this description wrong.
- There was talking - loud even
- I neither maintained nor organized my library publications.
- "Directing people to whatever they need" generally requires what librarians call a reference interview. I can't think of one reference interview that I had when I was not speaking. It requires great people skills to draw out of patrons what they are actually looking for.
- I dealt with A LOT people in various capacities being required to be mature, friendly, and respectful at all times. This isn't always easy.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
1. Late Morning Lullaby by Brandi Carlile
The first sign of morning is gray and alarming
It's so disappointing the day has come so soon
While the rest of the world greets the day and feels new
I will push it away just like I always do, I will be
Dreaming, dreaming, dreaming,
Your real world away
Only beautiful, beautiful bright eyes, lie
Only beautiful, beautiful bright eyes cry
Late morning lullaby
Late morning lullaby
I would darken my window so I can fall asleep
While the critics frown down on the hours
I keep that leave me
Dreaming, dreaming, dreaming,
Your real world away
Anyone who has been my roommate knows that I am not a morning person. I'm usually grumpy in the morning. If I could I would "darken my window" and dream for as long as possible. If my life were a movie, I would use this at the beginning credits.
2. Better Things by Dar Williams
Here's wishing you the bluest sky
And hoping something better comes tomorrow
Hoping all the verses rhyme,
And the very best of choruses to
Follow all the doubt and sadness
I know that better things are on the way.
Here's hoping all the days ahead
Won't be as bitter as the ones behind you
Be an optimist instead,
And somehow happiness will find you.
Forget what happened yesterday,
I know that better things are on their way.
It's really good to see you rocking out
And having fun
Living like you just begun.
Accept your life and what it brings.
I hope tomorrow you'll find better things.
I know tomorrow you'll find better things.
I know you've got a lot of good things happening up ahead.
The past is gone, it's all been said.
So here's to what the future brings,
I know tomorrow you'll find better things.
This song is a great cure to a bad day. It's a reminder that despite the little bumps, I have a great life. The glass always changes from half empty to half full when I hear this tune.
3. I Need Thee Every Hour
I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.
It would be remiss to not include a hymn. I think this is the song I sing most often in the shower, on long walks, or when I am stressed. I often substitute the Dutch chorus. "Heel mijn hart zoekt naar u" roughly translated means "My whole heart craves thee." I really like that sentiment.
So who's going to make the movie to go along with this soundtrack?
Monday, August 31, 2009
Just after I got back from Maine, I decided to move to an new apartment with a roommate. I packed up my boxes, took down my pictures, and here I am in my new apartment. Photos to be posted when the apartment looks a little more settled.
Tomorrow's my birthday. I'm trying ot embrace the coming of another year.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
From the article: Libraries at the Heart of Our Communities by Wayne Senville
“There’s been a dramatic change in the mission of libraries across the country. No longer just static repositories of books and reference materials, libraries are increasingly serving as the hub of their communities, providing a broad range of services and activities. They are also becoming important "economic engines" of downtowns and neighborhood districts."
“To put library visits in perspective, consider that in 2007 the attendance at major league baseball games was 81 million and NFL football, 22 million – add in NCAA men’s and women’s basketball (43 million) and football (49 million) and the total is less than 15 percent the number of visits to public libraries.”
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
As I walked in the door and was greeted by the friendly workers, I instantly appreciated the quiet. Even before the door closed out the sounds of the busy street below, it was much more still than the world. Today, I am grateful for the temple and a place that is truly quiet.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Apparently, others have the same advice. After church, I was enjoying Linger Longer with my ward. I dropped my sandwich and chips on the ground. After disposing of my sandwich remains and cleaning my hands, I turned around. On the counter behind me were huge letters spelling out "RELAX." I bursted out in laughter. No one knew what was funny. I certainly learned something at church today.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Then, there she was - the woman who refused to pay. She loudly announced that she did not have any quarters to plunk into the machine, coughed, then annoyed the driver so much, he allowed her to move on back. She dragged her large laundry bag down the aisle, the whole time justifying her lack of funds saying "Don't you know there's a recession." She repeated it and repeated it and repeated it as if that was a good reason. A lump of indignation formed in the bottom of my stomach. I imagine the dozen of us who paid fairly didn't feel much sympathy. None of us carry around our endless supplies of bus fare.
Nevertheless, I've decided to follow this woman's example. I'm going to go to the grocery store and find all the essentials including gummi worms and frozen taquitos. When the checker tells me that I owe $237.13, I will declare "Don't you know there's a recession!" and run out with my armfulls of groceries. Oh wait ... that's stealing!
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
At the end they got to check out books by themselves, and read them at my house. Liz checked out a Cam Jansen mystery. Nathan chose a Magic Tree House. Within about 5 minutes of getting to the library, Michael found an oversize book on fire engines. I helped Megan find a book to get her excited about going to the beach. But judging by how much Megan loved the water, she didn't need much preparation. They were great patrons!
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
I considered telling the story of the large, pepperoni pizza I found outside of the box laying in one piece on the lawn. Without a photo that isn't very interesting. Then there was a world record holding juggler who I got to see perform. I do have a photo of that ...
Thus, I decided to tell about an experience on LA public transportation. Often riding the bus here is exasperating. I don't want to hear anyone in Boston complain to me about transportation there. I guarantee you it is worse here, but the other day I had a rewarding experience.
About three weeks ago, I was waiting for the bus after work at about 8:30 PM. I was tired; my legs were achy. I wanted to be home. The bus arrived, and I paid and asked for a transfer. He shrugged his shoulders and told me that I was out of luck. There were no more transfers. I had to pay twice. Livid doesn't explain my exhausted reaction. After a long day, I am actually able to get mad.
This Wednesday feeling much the same after a long day, I was running for a bus that I missed. About 15 minutes later another arrived and there was the driver I had yelled at. He recognized me and didn't make me pay. He even gave me a transfer. Maybe one bus driver does have some customer service skills. For all of the other customer service infractions I have experienced on the bus, you can ask to see the list of grievances I am keeping.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Every time I comment on them, I am told that they are perfectly normal, but I don't think I've ever seen such amazing roses. I'm obsessed.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
J. Paul Getty scored even more points by offering a Braille/Large Print Map. It made for a more enjoyable navigating experience.
Emilysa left on Friday and I flew to Utah in the evening. It was a great trip! I saw tons of family and friends that I have been aching to see. Here's a slightly detailed version of the happenings.
Saturday - I went out to breakfast with my mission companion Teneill. I love reconnecting with old friends. In the afternoon, I spoke at my niece's baptism and got to enjoy the wonderful event that it was. I spent the afternoon lounging at my sister's house before enjoying a dinner with my parents.
Easter Sunday - I had many options of were to go to church. I opted to go with my grandma which meant I got ot sleep in, finish a book and relax. Then came the onslaught of Easter celebration and family visit. I'm so happy I got to see so many cousins, aunts, and uncles on both sides of my family. Thanks for making time for me!
Monday - I had big plans to attend the temple and visit BYU campus. This was unfortunately foiled by disease. Instead I sat on my sister's couch most of the day. Jen and I played all 12 rounds of Scattergories. She won (but only because dehydration weakens the mind). My cousin Angell graciously drove me to the airport. I enjoyed the extra time I had to visit with her and hear about all the exciting news. Thanks again!
I'm home and back to the grindstone. Don't worry, I'm still struggling to find time to enjoy my new hobby. Obligatory reading and exhaustion seem to take precident.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Monday - I spent last weekend in San Diego. On Monday, I headed down to Old Town San Diego ate a giant hamburger, dipped candles, saw the Wells Fargo Wagon, looked at graffitied plants, and missed my train home.
Tuesday - I did make it home in time to attend work and run around like crazy trying to get things done.
Wednesday - This was opening day. The library was filled with curious customers and children. Every copy of Diary of a WImpy Kid got checked out within about an hour.
Thursday - I actually found time to go to the grocery store. This didn't happen very often in the past couple weeks.
Friday - I celebrated my survival of the week and hit a sale at Banana Republic. I love sales at that store.
Saturday - Our ward had a nerd night that included Wii, Karaoke and Rock Band. Needless ot say I fit right in.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
We ate outdoors and the sun kept us nice and warm. After the huge meal, we went for a walk along the pier. I love being able to go to the beach in February.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Swanson, Susan Marie. (2008) The House in the Night. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
I was at the press conference when they announced that this book had one the Caldecott Medal. I'm always a little skeptical. When all of the librarians practically started doing the wave, I became cynical. What I did not know is that I had read the book before and loved it.
I went to read it today and I realized what a fabulous and beautiful book it is. The author rewrote the words of a favorite nursery rhyme into a beautiful, peaceful bedtime story. The illustrator contrasts shadowy black and white illustrations with golden light as you can see on the cover. The combination creates a serene wonderful book. It made me feel good all over. I would say it is even "virtuous, lovely, ... of good report [and] praiseworthy." Check it out from the library! Read it to your kids! It is wonderful!
P.S. I read a lot of picture books and most don't stand out to me.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
This year, I checked myself into the Hyatt in downtown Denver (at a low conference rate) and got upgraded to this room. Note the table for 6, the flat panel television, and the Murphy Bed. I even managed to be able to take naps.
I attend these conferences to fulfill my duties for a committee I am on. Usually, they put us very far away from the rest of the convention in a drab lifeless meeting room at an obscure hotel. This year they had us at the Brown Palace Hotel - one of the most luxurious and beautiful hotels in Denver. (Photo courtesy of Denver.org)
I can certainly cope with this contrast,
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Tuesday - The bus that i have to connect to in the morning was very late. When it finally arrived, the bus driver decided it was more important to step out of the bus and flirt with some girl than get customers to their destination on time.
Wednesday - When I went to buy a soda at a nearby gas station, some gentleman confused me with Cinderella. I was less than flattered and wanted to suggest (but of course didn't) that he find a new pick-up line.
Thursday - I went to a work meeting where we discussed the linguistic differences between "Kid's" and "Children's." I have strong opinions as you might expect.
Friday - I decided to get a massage which was probably the most relaxing 20 minutes of my week.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
It was a warm sunny day (I'm not trying to rub it in.) still cool in the morning but not bad. For California there were quite a few bikers on the road even. Some were commuters and some were definitely on the road for sport. We greeted one another as we passed. It almost felt like biking was normal - first Dutch feeling.
I got to work, carefully locked my bike to the rack, and started my day. This even felt a little like my mission when at a certain point I had tons of kids swarming around me. Combine that with a few language barriers etc. and it was quite the flashback.
We closed a little late today. Two librarians hung back while the rest of us left. As I was unlocking my bike, I reached over to turn on the lights and nothing was there. They had been stolen! That was the most Dutch thing of them all ...
... until I tried stuffing my huge bike into my coworkers tiny hatchback car. It fit by the way. Suddenly I remembered many a transfer when we were attempting the same thing.
Today, I have lost two bike lights and a little faith in humanity. But I can now see parallels to two worlds that have seemed so dissimilar.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
1) Find a dentist. I have insurance and there is no reason to wait.
2) Think about work as little as possible when I'm not at work.
3) Which leads me to this one ... Find a hobby that is not book related. I have a few in mind but I was thinking of taking a community course, finding a yoga studio, etc.
4) Lastly, eat healthy food. This involves taking my lunch to work with me and making healthy food choices at the grocery store. This will not only improve my health, but also my finances.