Friday, August 2, 2019

Updates Galore: Late Summer Edition

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As the cicadas merrily greet the heat of the late summer afternoon with their song and the sunflowers stretch to kiss the golden sun, we welcome August. The vines are heavy with fruit and the bumblebees are lazily bouncing from one flower to the next. There is the barest hint of color woven in the boughs of the the trees, a delicate foreshadowing of the kaleidoscope of color that is to come. August brings with it oppressive heat, an over-abundance of tomatoes, zucchini, and corn, and back-to-school sales. For many of us, August heralds the beginning of Halloween and Pumpkin Spice season as spooky goodies line the shelves at local shops and flavored coffees, teas, and baked goods find their way into our bellies.

For me, August is the last month of "summer vacation." I start school in 25 days and BOY! am I looking forward to it. I will be taking the last of my required library courses and will be starting my archives and special collections courses. From next semester until graduation, I will only be taking courses in archives, metadata, special collections, and digital preservation. It's pretty exciting! The goal is to be done with all of my courses and capstone project next spring, graduating Spring 2021. YAY!

Speaking of libraries, my new job as the curatorial and processing assistant for the Cotsen Children's Library, RBSC, at Princeton University is .... AWESOME! Never in my life have I ever been this sure of something, well, besides marrying Ed. After the second week, I knew I made the right decision to switch careers. I'm doing all sorts of interesting things and I'm learning a ton. I'm actually working on my first exhibition and I wrote my first curatorial blog post, Welcome to the Shire! I'm learning how the library systems work and I'll be processing my first collection soon. SQUEE! And the best part is that the people I work with are just so fabulous! Everyone is super nice and willing to teach me all sorts of things. I'm meeting with folks in the conservation lab, archives, and public services just to ask them about their jobs, what kinds of things they do, what they like most about their job, etc. While I really like working with the curator in Special Collections, I want to learn about the other jobs in archives and special collections. This way I will know what classes to take and what path I might want to follow. I definitely need to figure out what kind of internship I'll be doing next summer! Don't you worry, I will still be working at the Cotsen if I can help it! Why wouldn't I? My boss is just marvelous and the women who run outreach are great.

What about my commute, you ask? It's just horrid! I don't drive so I need to take public transit to Princeton from NYC. That means I get up at 4:00 AM just to get the 4:48 train to the Staten Island Ferry. Once in Manhattan, I take a subway to New Jersey Transit ... and then I take a commuter train all the way to Princeton University. I start work at 8:30 AM and leave at 4:30 PM. Thankfully, Ed picks me up at Metro-Park in Woodbridge, NJ -- a mere 20 minutes from our house -- and drives me home. It cuts my commute time by half in the afternoons and allows us time to go to the gym. Can I tell you a secret? This crazy commute is SO worth it! The experience I am getting at Princeton is worth every, single minute of it.

I FINALLY like my hair! I will be growing it again, but for the time being I'm happy.

As for everything else, all is well. I'm in a really good place mentally and emotionally, and my physical health is getting better every day. I'm not losing weight as fast as I would like and even stalled this month! I need to reassess what I've been eating and how much I'm exercise to see why I can't seem to lose weight. I have a feeling that my portions are off and how (and how much) I eat after 4:00 PM that seem to be the problem. I suspect that part of it has to do with my schedule. And let's face it, this month has been one of juggling and getting used to a new schedule. Once I have my routine down, things should fall into place.

Onwards and upwards!