Sunday, January 16, 2011

Treading water

Life has been a bit funny recently; not "ha ha" funny, but more "odd" funny. Not crappy, just funny. I thought I would steal a literary conceit from Ms. Bird and Mr. Charlip, and tell you a bit about things here.

Fortunately, my second term of teaching ILLs went pretty well. The students did OK, and I felt OK about the course. I don't love teaching it as much as Acquisitions (this semester), but I am getting more comfortable. And, you know, not all of my students hated me.

Unfortunately, several certainly don't think much of me, and wrote some pretty personally hurtful things on their student evaluations.

Fortunately, careful discussions with my mum and other colleagues at the College helped put some of the information in perspective.

Unfortunately, I first read the evals on Christmas Eve.

Fortunately, I went home for Christmas and my mother was *not* working, meaning she could sit in the pew with my husband and I, and it didn't even snow too badly so the driving was great.

Unfortunately, our family cat has to be put down on Boxing Day, leaving this Yarrow family branch cat-less for the first time since 1984.

Fortunately, it was rather quiet over the holidays at work, and I didn't mind working because it meant I could get through some of the oft-postponed tasks on my to-do list.

Unfortunately, it was hard not to be slightly resentful and cranky to be at work (when everyone else was at home) upon learning that several local media outlets incorrectly reported that the public libraries in Ottawa were closed during the week between Christmas and New Year's. Sigh. What was the point?

Fortunately, I got to sleep and watch movies through New Year's, which is way more fun than being out on the town (something I haven't done since 2001).

Unfortunately, coming back to Ottawa so quickly meant I missed Rez Christmas.

Fortunately, I got to go back to Montreal for extra family time last weekend.

Unfortunately, it was for a funeral of a close family friend, and someone who died far too young.

Fortunately, I am carrying on with my plans for more outreach and programs for the adult library community this winter and spring. A local group of HIV-positive patrons are visiting soon, for one thing.

Unfortunately, a colleague told me she had met someone in our community who told her "oh, yeah, Rideau Library doesn't seem to want to come and do outreach here," which is not really the impression I was hoping to get out... I think this must be a case of "broken telephone," and I know it's easily fixed, but it's January and it doesn't seem to take much to make me self-critical. How can I be doing all this work, and trying so hard, and still groups either already have or have somehow gotten the wrong impression about the library?

So I'm just pulling up my socks (um, tights?) and hanging in there right now, treading water and hoping for spring.


  1. Oh Alex - it sounds like it's been a period of "two steps forward, one step back..." for you. That sucks. On the other hand, look on the bright side - that's still a net result of one step forward! Hooray for (small, but still real) progress!

  2. I think the expression, "Life's great if you don't weaken" applies here. All the best, Alex. I hope the rest of 2011 is amazing for you.

  3. My sympathies.

    You read student evaluations on Christmas Eve? Ohhhhhh nooooo.

  4. thanks guys.

    Yeah, W, I knew it was a bad idea but I just couldn't NOT click on the link. On the bright side (!?) I was at work on Christmas Eve. I guess it would be more sad if I was reading them at home :)