Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Day in the Life: Tuesday

This week I am cataloging my daily activity for Hack Library School's "Library Student Day in the Life" project (#HLSDITL). You can read others' posts -- and see pictures and videos -- here. Maybe you want to write your own!


7  AM: My wakeup yesterday was surprisingly cheerful; today's was more the norm: I hit snooze until 7:45, rolled out of bed and stumbled through my morning ablutions, dressed -- black corduroys this time, a purple T-shirt with cat eyes, and a bulky black sweater that may have shrunk in the wash. Frump central. -- and   grabbed the leftover rice and zucchini. My wife had the day off, or she'd've packed me a proper lunch.

8  AM: Refilled the cats' water dish and headed out. No time for the laptop this morning, so I checked my email and Facebook on my phone after choosing my bus. A little windier today, and so chillier than yesterday, and I had to wait at the bus stop. My hands hurt. More Gone Girl. Also, Smeagol will not stop singing in my head.

At the office on time; no tea today. 9 entries in each of my Reader feeds. Nothing truly fabulous.

9  AM: Work email. A case that needed more information had been responded to overnight, so I resolved that. Requested training on two tools new to me, for a dual purpose: 1) to learn to do the work myself; 2) to document the process for training the next person (and perhaps many more).

Cleared out the personal email I hadn't addressed on my phone -- it's easier to tick a lot of boxes and mass-delete (mostly auto-notifications) from a desktop.

Minor admin details for the team: we moved to a new consolidated chat room in IRC to communicate with our first-level billing agents. (They're all remote workers, so our channels of communication are very important!) In the afternoon, we're going to split into two groups and each tackle one case queue that needs it for a couple hours/until it's clear.

10 AM: Got an IM from a friend traveling in Zurich for work. It's 7PM there, and there's snow on the ground. Brrrr.

Oakland Public Library wants me to know that the DVDs I picked up on my way back from Fairyland are due in 3 days. (Man, if we'd had email reminders when I was a kid, I would have missed fewer due dates.)

This cheered me up:

Then Hulu went on: Bones, Chopped, and Switched at Birth in queue. I'll probably watch Switched at Birth at home later, because the scenes with sign language and subtitles mean I need to see the screen.

Cleaned up my personal queue of cases on hold or needing more information. Also picked up a couple of Billing cases from the general queue; it's still otherwise clear. Then moved into Governance cases. "My account's on hold; fix it NOW" and so forth.

Ooh! Received email confirmation that my insurance plan was updated. Now that my wife is covered by her employer, I've moved back to a much less expensive individual plan with mine, and that means I'll take home more of my paycheck. (I write about finances on a personal level here, so that's how it fits in. Aren't library students concerned about income and/or benefits?)

11 AM: IMed a honey-do list (snake drain, do dishes, give the organic grocery delivery people a key to the building). Hope she's awake... (Ah, 10 minutes later she acknowledged. She's got a busy day off planned.)

Facebook yielded http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/02/opinion/the-business-case-for-early-childhood-education.html

12 PM: Lunchtime. I scrounged around in the office kitchen for something to supplement the rice and zucchini I'd put in the microwave. Usually I'd go for string cheese here, but... Lent. (No, I'm not Catholic. It's an exercise.) And the Cup of Noodle stacks have soy in them, I discovered. (Soy is not a Lenten no-no; it's just not good for me.) And then the rice was dry and disgusting and I couldn't choke any more down after the 4 pieces of zucchini were gone. Grabbed an orange from the fruit basket, which was sweet and yummy. A cup of dry granola, which I like and which filled me up. I am thinking that dinner will have to involve meat, though. Curled up on the couch and read more Gone Girl. 2/3 of the way through and have reached the major plot twist.

1  PM: Texted my sweetie to see if she's got dinner ideas. Checked my email and skimmed the next internship assignment (I'll go over it in depth once I've submitted the Tumblr report). Also got a bit lost in the excellent comment threads at APW. Checked my Blogger stats. How is it that I've had zero views in like an hour and a half? Ouch.

Then back to Governance cases.

2  PM: Governance cases.

3  PM: Hulu ran out before lunch. Too busy in the office for my head to work, so I switched on some country music on Jango.

Governance cases.

Did my timecard. Oops. I'd forgotten to fill it out this week. Also checked in on Mint.com to see whether the rent check had cleared my account (not yet).

4  PM: Oh. I spoke too soon. Hello, 59 pageviews on my Monday HLSDITL post.

My leg cramped up. Also, I'm bored with governance cases. This is where I'd usually (used to) take a little stroll around the office -- or around the block -- and say hi to a friend working downstairs or grab a snack, maybe wrangle a hug or a massage, chat about life stuff. But, as I was reflecting yesterday, none of my friends work here anymore. *sadface* I don't have any interest in socializing with my current coworkers, although I keep up with many former coworkers on Facebook, I get IMs and occasional emails from some of them, and I'm likely to run into them out in the world (SF is a very small city).

5  PM: Governance and a few stray Billing cases. Bored stiff and yawning through the last hour. Also grumpy as all get-out. Maybe it's the lack of protein. Remembered I had a handful of almonds in my desk drawer and ate those.

6  PM: Oh, thank goodness! Signed off phones and went to the grocery store on the way home. Bought strange blue-corn-flaxseed tortillas to go with the fajitas I heard we were having at home. Squeezed onto a train.

Wow, Facebook.

7  PM: Struggled with the lock on the apartment door and had a minor meltdown before my wife wisely handed me a bowl of meat (and rice). Meat helped. More meat, and the remaining honeycake... well, that's debatable. I ate that after she left for rehearsal. And I read my book and petted the cat (the tortie, Olivia) who decided that my lap was a good place to be. Silly feline.

8  PM: Finished the book by 8:30. Meh to the ending. Exchanged a heartfelt couple of messages with a SLIS classmate, warning that -- if at all possible -- she should take the e-portfolio course BY ITSELF at the end of her program. Me, I missed a major mid-semester deadline yesterday and didn't turn in a damn thing. It's "not like a regular course", so that in itself won't affect my grade, but it reinforces how far behind I am. And now I have to work on my internship report, which is only the top of my to-do list for school. Right now I am feeling that this grad school thing sucks.

Having looked up the campus counseling center (which took a bit of virtual legwork), I now know that they pride their staff on being "friendly, caring, and empathic". Well, if they have Deanna Troi on staff, I'm definitely making an appointment!

9  PM: Anxiety attack. See, kids, this is what a Day in the Life of a (Library) Grad Student looks like. It was like this, amplified by about an order of magnitude. Not pretty. Short version: I messaged a friend, who spent a good chunk of an hour talking me out of quitting school in the final semester and sabotaging my career and professional reputation. She had reasonable suggestions and perspective. I'm going to try and take the rest of the week off to catch up. And now I am telling you about it. Wasn't this a great week to do DITL?

10 PM: Wife home from rehearsal with the Girl Scout cookies we ordered. Great. I had her hide them somewhere in the office out of my sight.

I emailed my internship supervisor and apologized for my tardiness on the Tumblr assignment. I asked if I could extend until next Monday and turn in that report and the new one by then. That actually seems doable if I buckle down. I will need to spend some time in the children's library for the new assignment.

Tomorrow, or at least this week, I will have to contact my professors and offer my mea culpa. Acknowledge that I am behind in my work and see if I can get on track again. I am not used to my professors helping me. That's not a reflection on SJSU; it's just a mindset I've had since, oh, ever: it is my job to do the work and it is their job to grade it. They make rules and will not bend them. If I fail it is my own damn fault. Most of that may still be true, but it's worth a try to see if I can recover what's left of my final semester with their assistance. So that it actually is my last semester, and I graduate at the end.

I thought I would still be able to do some work after that, but I think it's bedtime. I'm wiped. And I hurt all over.


  1. You're not the only one having some motivation issues this semester Remy! Which is probably why I'm reading all your Day in the Life posts instead of working on my internship or doing this week's readings and discussion post, or finishing up (who am I kidding--starting is more accurate) this week's assignment for my other class. I just want to watch crappy tv and eat cookies and pretend I'm not a grad student!!

    You'll get through it though and you'll be so happy in May! At least that's what I keep telling myself about next December. ;) And now I'm going to try to practice what I'm preaching and go get some work done! Good luck with your Tumblr project. :)

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Caitlin. Even as a virtual student, I know that others in grad school, in library grad school, at SLIS, even in my class! have similar moments of doubt and stress. But without being in the same room as each other, it's harder to tell. I wrote that previous blog post to get some of it out in the open, and this one... well, I was already doing HSLDITL. And that's what this day was.

      What I have found: crappy TV and cookies can COEXIST with doing the work. Heck, it's usually good work, too. So hang in there yourself!


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