Friday, January 15, 2010


On Tuesday of this week I set out for Boston with a pretty lousy attitude. Here are things I was saying to myself:
I don't want to go!
It's too cold there!
I have too much to do here at home!
I want to stay warm and snug in my crooked little house!
I am already behind in getting my courses online, I have a column deadline coming up, I need to spend time with my Dad, and the phone in my office is ringing off the hook. And the emails! Students have questions at the beginning of the term and they need quick answers! I am already being pulled in too many directions!
What happened to the holidays anyway! Christmas should not be over yet! I want my holidays back!

Then when I got to Boston I felt much the same. It was really, really cold on Tuesday, by a Texan's standards. I think the high was 26 or so. And it snowed. I came before all my trusty cohorts and so was alone. Alone and grumpy. Not a pretty sight. However I was on a mission, that of finding and interviewing as many candidates as possible for the positions we have open at SHSU. We need new people now! I ventured down to the job placement room and set out to read vitas. We already had some interviews booked, but my vow was to find more. I was pleasantly surprised at the variety and quality of the grads up for review in the near future. I found a number of people I would like to visit, and went back to my room with renewed vigor. The rest of the evening was spent visiting websites and sending out invitations. I found my grumpiness begin to fade. The next morning I was greeted with a nice batch of emails and phone messages from the folks I had contacted. I spent the early part of the day scheduling meetings. In the afternoon I met up with my colleague, the inimitable Dr. Teri Lesesne. All my grumpiness faded away. It is not easy to be grumpy around Teri! We compared notes, visited with one very promising young man who is clearly headed for a stellar career, and relaxed over supper. Thursday was a blur of interviews. We had people scheduled every hour in the morning, with an even tighter line-up in the afternoon.We we also pleased to be able to add two more faculty members to our interview panel in the afternoon, Dr. Tricia Kuon and Dr. Holly Weimar. At the end of the day we had talked with 12 job seekers. Not all of them are interested in our program, as some preferred public librarianship or other areas.. But to a person, their enthusiasm, idealism, and obvious talents were inspiring. After the interviews, we braved the cold and walked down to Copley Square for a little shopping, followed by a great supper back at the hotel. I was hanging with two of my favorite people, Dr. Holly Weimar and Dr. Tricia Kuon. My transition was complete. I had moved from grouchy to chipper. Finally this morning I talked with three more candidates. I feel that naming names is a bit of a violation of privacy, but I have definitely met some people who will be BIG NAMES in the field of librarianship in the future. It makes me feel great to see such able and eager new librarians entering our profession. So to those I interviewed, kudos! You will all do well!

As for me, I decided to stay in tonight and have a quiet supper and try to assimilate my week's experiences. I did get out this afternoon and walked over to Boston Common. Nancy Pearl got photo ops with the ducklings in the park, as well as some fun-in-the-snow shots, and I will post one pic here.I even did a little shopping on Charles St. and picked up a sweater jacket marked way down that will be a nice memento of my trip. One thing I know for sure is that I am very, very glad I came to Boston. I really knew all along that would be the case. I am happy to be returning home but feel much the better for meeting and spending time with all the great people, both candidates and colleagues. The lesson I re-learned is: Don't be such a stick in the mud! Venture out of your comfort zone, face up to the fact that you are not indispensable in your job and routene, and allow yourself to have learn new things and also fun now and then!

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