aesmael: (pangolin-me)
=== Ambiguity from 2017-07-13 ===


One of those days where I have a shift at the library starting from 17:00, so the whole day takes place in its shadow. Nonetheless I managed to achieve many of the goals I'd set for myself today. Mostly, preparation for that Pathfinder game I keep talking about.

First of all, how easily I can get maps or other handout type pictures from the adventure PDFs. Turns out to be quite easy - just about as simple as right click -> save image. Editing in layers to do some simple 'fog of war' effect seems rather straightforward in GNU Image Manipulation Program so it should be fairly quick to unveil and reupload as the players explore new areas of the dungeon or other space.

Have not solved: anything for creature tokens or player avatars, which may need an adjustment of map scale to make those legible and practical.

Meanwhile at work feeling lazy, too unfocused and distracted. Wondering whether I can maintain focus in my life overall - do work at work, do fun and personal project stuff at home. This is a constant refrain and little likely to come of it, but we keep trying. And keep on feeling like cutting down on social media will open space for "actually doing" things. But it is so useful for the little gaps with nothing else and anyway... a sigh.
aesmael: (me-pangolin)


=== A Lament From 2017-07-11 ===


Even though I'm glad not to be the weekend supervisor any more, and especially to be taking fewer shifts at the library in general (now, if only that would translate into "living my time off in a way I feel happier with") I'm still feeling frustrated at not breaking them of all their bad habits before my time was up. Mostly this bugs me because it's me who works Monday mornings and has to clean up after any errors - they're not major problems but it still causes me a bit of extra work every week and tweaks my sense of "this is not proper". Currently the weekend staff is 3 new people (as in hired since May), 1 casual on Saturdays, and 1 long-term person on Sundays. Normally there would be one of the weekday full-time librarians on Saturdays but she is currently filling in as the head of circulation for another 3 months. So, a lot of opportunity for this stuff to get embedded and harder to shake.

On the bright side, yesterday and today involved meeting and training two of the newest casual hires. Working on being available and informative and keeping an eye on what they are doing, while also showing trust and confidence and not being overbearing, and being clear about the distinction between library policy and my preferred implementation of same. Little bit kicking myself for forgetting to update one today that library patron PINs don't actually have to be numbers. Maybe remember next time we work together.

Anyway: trying to be helpful and supportive, not hurtful, useless or assuming incompetence. We'll probably be working together semi-frequently, so I hope I like them and get along with them.

Feeling conflicted about stuff like: part of my role being stuff like telling kids to stop running around the library. Kids need space to be kids, rather than teaching them to suppress themselves. And spaces that are child-unfriendly also end up being de facto woman-unfriendly so long as the childrearing and childcare burdens fall disprorportionately on women. Plus the folk who complain about children in the library tend to get on my nerves and inspire me to feel vindictive toward them. But, times when there are many boisterous kids in the library do tend to give me sensory overload and headaches, and I'm sure I'm not the only person who is negatively by this - it surely makes using the library for intended purposes like work, reading and study more difficult. So I feel conflicted.

Luckily I'm not very good at it, and they tend not to stop running or playing Counterstrike quietly for very long?

Home stuff! Today a pair of socks I ordered arrived, long socks in asexual pride colours (black/grey/white/purple). Was pretty excited, and if they wear well I want to order some more in other patterns, especially since many of my socks are getting holes in their toes. After opening the package, showed them to my mother (didn't say the colours represented anything, just that I got new socks). All she had to say was to tell me not to wear them to work and that they're unprofessional.

That's really upsetting. It would be great if she were ever happy or complimentary for me about anything. The only thing I can remember her being congratulatory about was when I got hired from casual to permanent part-time, and that was an act of self-defence because whoever got my current job would be taking the hours I normally worked as a casual, and leaving me with sharply reduced income.

She doesn't show that she's happy for me, pretty much ever. Any time I try and talk to her it turns into her issuing orders and telling me to change, to be or do less, or what not to do - find doctors closer to home, find work closer to home, don't go places, don't buy your own groceries, and so on and on.

Can't she ever be happy for me? I'm aching for someone to share my excitements with, and sharing a home with someone who redirects every communication into a not good enough or an act of racism is poisonous[1].

[1] Latest example: on the weekend I told her I was watching the Games Done Quick stream, which is a charitable event raising money for Médecins Sans Frontières, and her response was to grumble about how awful it is those countries don't look after their own people. Gotta find a way to be negative everywhere, hey?

aesmael: (pangoself)

=== Monday ===

Maybe yesterday's post should have been split in two, to separate out the game talk from the workplace whining. In follow-up to that, it seems the person I was filling in for on Saturday is currently hospitalised. I won't write out my speculations as to why, but I hope she will soon be in good health.

Latest surly rescue-cat is being sick at the moment. Has apparently been vomiting quite a bit. Checking on occasionally for status but mostly when I'm around is just sleeping and keeping to self. Cat's been named Lilly by family (I tend to say Lillith) and hopefully will feel better soon. And not pass on whatever it is to the other cats, who at least are still avoiding em.

Trying to redirect my energy more into doing what I want (projects and fun activities) and journalling, and less into social media. It's difficult. There is a lot of inertial habit to overcome and the blank moments. Especially the gaps between, when there just isn't enough time for me to work on anything at all big.


=== Sunday ===

This is about the time of night where I start to berate myself for wasting the day and my life. I should remember that my goal for the day was to do something creative, and last night I defined playing + streaming Zork as counting for that purpose. And I managed to do that! - [the recording can be found here ""https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdVQGyphFz8""]. Plus I made a slightly fancy dinner. Anything more complicated than microwaving or sandwich feels like victory there. And I'm writing this, and I played some Go,

So, today has been a good day? Good company and good times with, and accomplished some things that are goals, even if small. Reminding myself of this helps to feel better.

aesmael: (pangoself)

Solitude brings memory and memory brings pain. Today, as has happened before, feeling that so much time has been lost to seeking stimulus, suppressing thought so as not to face hurt, and this must change. Yet, this revolution will not happen. The way of things will persist.

Today at work - an unexpected shift, called at last minute to cover the afternoon - whenever I got moments to myself away from colleagues and from patrons I found myself fighting off sobbing. Maybe this was better than if I had stayed home.

I'm doing a lot of missing, heartsick, not knowing where I stand or what the future might be now. Maybe I don't want to know.

What I've got to do is build the best I can for me, and if I'm lucky find a hoped-for future. If not, at least I will have something?

Keep forgetting to say that I have recently finished a six week stint as the acting weekend supervisor at the library. That position has been varying degrees of vacant for nearly a year ago, when the previous occupant got promoted to fill the role of my previous supervisor, who'd been pushed out by the municipal council. Originally applied for it back in July, was interviewed but didn't get it. Then after that person's term another part-timer was appointed, who for the sake of not giving out names but having referents I will refer to as my rival.

One of the existing weekend staff quit over that, finding it a last straw out of many issues she'd had - she did declare a few times the position ought to have been given to me, but she had plenty of other cause. But, this rival of mine had been working. Anyway, that was a temporary appointment while the library was advertising for someone to fill the role permanently instead of temporarily.

Got interviewed for it but again was not hired. The library picked someone else, who then found a better job and bailed before starting. Then I was asked to fill in as the acting weekend supervisor while the job was re-advertised - rival had left for a better job elsewhere, which I hadn't got my application in on time. That was a real big downer, knowing I was not even third choice for the job and even though management had encouraged me to apply they were explicit about not believing I had the experience. Co-workers were encouraging, however, and kept saying they trust me and I ought to have the job permanently. I worry that just means I'm easy to get around.

Obviously I didn't bother applying for a third time. I just tried my best to do well for the six weeks I had and, since I was being paid at a higher hourly rate for the duration, pick up as many extra shfits as I could. It was a bit of a kick in the gut tho that despite having gotten a full-time, much better paying job elsewhere the rival stayed on as a casual employee to work Saturdays, and both she and first fill-in continued to act as if they were in charge and assigning tasks to other staff. Plus, the former weekend supervisor, now all the way up to acting manager of the entire weekend, came in a couple of weekends and spent an hour or two socialising with the rival, scarcely acknowledging my existence (think I got about a sentence each time).

If this all sounds sulky and resentful I guess it is. Of course, I haven't done anything to earn respect and obedience but at least I got some extra cash out of them and some experience I can put on my CV for future jobs. As much as the rest stung me, that was my goal achieved and now I'm trying to drop right down on taking any additional shifts, to just focus on what I'm hired for and keep the rest of the week for living the best life someone like me can manage.

Still, as disruptive as it was (and I hope this does not recur - I'm no longer on a list for last-minute calls) it was nice to be called in for the Saturday afternoon by the outsider who ultimately did get the weekend supervisor job, and to be relied on. Most of the staff were new, so got to put all that obnoxious brain-wiring that maps work related layouts and protocols to use. It was nice being counted on, being trusted as reliable and authoritative, and I wish I could get that elsewhere in my life.

That's an ongoing struggle and not anything I'm anywhere close to resolving.


On the brighter side of things, the Pathfinder books I ordered have all arrived. The Rise of the Runelords adventure path arrived a week or two earlier so I've had time to go over the first chapter and I guess technically got enough info to start running it already. But I'm worried and wanting to make sure I'm prepared to do my best, so want to first go over resource books offering guidance in running campaigns.

And need to sort out how to go about actually running the thing and any aids to work with. Tess suggests a Discord or Slack server, which should be straightforward enough to accommodate a dynamic flow of play according to how many players are around at a time and how much engagement they have available. But I should sort something out for maps and character tokens, and a more dynamic way of doing digital character sheets than scanning and printing character sheets.

Therefore, the two things I should do are: i) get on with that reading, ii) put some effort into learning about tools which suit my needs, and iii) sorting out players and expectations and doing any teaching how to play which needs doing.

Still, I wrote this. It took a day longer but I wanted to write it and I did. That's moving in the right direction.

aesmael: (nervous)
 

Keep starting rambling journal entries with the intention of posting them, and they keep getting away or being abandoned for having lost relevance. Before this one suffers the same fate, as it is in strong danger of, I shall morph it into a bullet point list of what is going on in my life currently.

  • The government is trying to balance the budget by clawing back money from welfare recipients, so they contacted me to the effect of claiming I owe them more than $900 from 2012.

  • Filed an appeal – luckily I had all my payslips still – but since that information is in my favour rather than theirs they're taking a couple of weeks to get back to me, instead of instantaneous like before.

  • Done so badly at university this year they're kicking me out.

  • Filed an appeal on that too, and also waiting on the response.

  • Gathering information for that appeal meant collecting psych assessments my GP had been holding onto from several years back, and reading those was so distressing it nearly rendered me too non-functional to actually attach them and lodge the appeal

  • Plus it wasn't fun getting the vibe from my GP when I explained the situation, though he didn't say so, “you're a bit childish and TBH you deserve this”

  • I wasn't kidding in what I wrote in that appeal about struggling at work. Feels like I'm reaching or have reached limits of what I can balance and focus. Which might be okay if it paid me enough to support myself on.

  • Car's cost me $900 in repairs over the past week, and I'm passing on another $1500+ that it needs in favour of admitting it really does need to be replaced, although this will cost even more.

  • I just can't get out of here soon enough to feel comfortable taking the risk.

  • The book I'm reading is good though.

  • I'm scared, always. Still trying not to let myself think, to keep that at bay.

  • I hope

aesmael: (probably quantum)

Haven't had much space to write in. Work has been keeping me busy (when I finish tomorrow and finally get a few days off, I will have been working for 22 of 26 days) and I am so behind on school I've been trying to put all my home energies into that. Been neglecting story-writing, cooking and cleaning, personal projects, near any entertainment I can't leave in the background without demanding focus. Not that it does me much good. Still behind, possibly even farther behind than I was.

Until the end of the month when the last of this work is due. Then, either way, I might be a little more free.

Today impulsively decided to try and drop social media at least until I am finished with this semester. An act which had been on my mind recently but I'd concluded I couldn't go through with. That I am too lonely in myself and my current circumstances to go through with it, and it is not a goal I can succeed until some lack in my life has been resolved.

So I don't know why I did that this morning (in pain I guess?), but I did not promise to vanish. Just declared I am trying to minimise my presence on twitter and tumblr at least until I have school out of the way. They are too easily habits of constant distractive stimulus and while that can be valuable when I need to escape myself, I definitely need to do my best to not fail these classes. Which means I also can't go replacing them with something of similar distractive quality, such as the RSS feeds I've been neglecting to read.

Actually the reason I wanted to write this post is to describe a couple of similar happy moments at the library today. Twice I had someone contact me trying to get hold of a book they had reserved. In both cases I went to look for it for them and returned empty-handed. One was a novel supposedly held in the Premiere's Reading Challenge collection, which I had been searching for yesterday to satisfy that hold. Did have a new inspiration about where to find it that got me nowhere, and tried looking up a few other libraries for its seeker to no avail. Not too long after ey left, though, whilst shelving I found the novel wedged into the picture book where someone must have stuffed it days ago at least. Tried calling to let em know, as ey'd said it was needed soon, but no answer and no option to leave a message.

The other was a phone call from someone expecting a book in delivery within the network. Ey had been advised to check today, as this reservation had supposedly been in transit the past three weeks and not yet arrived. Had the spark of checking if it had been received, processed incorrectly, and placed on the shelves instead of to be picked up, but no such luck. There were no other copies in the system, so I advised em it was likely missing and we could not fill that request, cancelling it with consent.

But, after my tea break in the afternoon, I found it sitting in one of the boxes to sent back to its home next delivery. I am fairly sure it was not there earlier, and I can't trace how it came to be there, but I put the hold back on and set it on the shelf to be collected. Although now my memory tells me I set it on the wrong shelf - it will be easily found for collection, but it will need to be brought back to the desk where it should be, instead of taken for self-checkout, where it shouldn't be.

Oops. But two people will get notified overnight they can collect something they thought was unavailable to them, and maybe they can think it was a bit silly of me to tell them there was nothing to be done when clearly there must have been. But I hope they get good use out of those books.

aesmael: (just people)

Something I forgot to mention in my previous post, which carried over to the following two days, is that it seemed I got to do most of the front desk library work by myself. Everyone I was paired with seemed to have other things to do, on other floors or otherwise inaccessible, for much of my shifts. It was busy enough, but not too busy, so this suited me fine.

I wonder sometimes if I prefer working alone to working with others, and worry that I talk little enough to make the other staff resent working with me. Think I tend to be politely responsive though, even if I would rather not.

Today and tomorrow are the first pair of consecutive days off work I've had since April 14 and 15 and I feel very relieved to have some time for myself. Or sort of for myself. I'm doing terribly at school and trying my best to catch up, although it is difficult to keep focused enough. Only so much I can get done in any single day before I run out of attention or start hating myself too much to keep going. Which is why for the last hour tonight I'm typing this instead of pushing through another two chapters of two different textbooks. I do need to go faster though, or, I don't know, accept failure and lay down?

Today was also interrupted by a long-awaited consultation about getting wisdom teeth extracted. Was supposed to have that last week but they had to postpone because the doctor was in surgery (kind of a worrying reason, I guess?). Got it finally done today and relieved to find I only need one of the four wisdom teeth removed. The others seem to be behaving well enough.

Still very nervous but it will be nice not to have pain along one side of my mouth. Will need to contact them to arrange a date, and to choose between having it done under local anaesthetic, sedation, or under general anaesthetic at a hospital. That is going to be a tough choice, although the people at the surgery seem to favour the middle option, sedation.

Tomorrow I get to just be home. A rare treat which I hope I will get to enjoy, although I need to make sure to get as much schoolwork done as I can. I miss doing more focused fun activities but I can't afford to while I'm so far behind. Telling myself if I can catch up on school I'll be able to relax again, and hoping I don't waste my chance.

Wore a tank top there, and despite on the cancellation call having been asked about my name and if it should be Ms rather than Mr, got misnamed and misgendered anyway. Part of that possibly my 'fault', in that they checked with me about what name to use in communicating back to my regular dentist, who has not been told about the change of name. I'd been prepared when I last visited to collect my referral, but they said they didn't have need for any of the information I'd brought, so it did not come up despite my expecting it to.

Would like to muse more, but trying to store up those thoughts as for now I only feel to have enough time for writing down things that happened, and not so much the meandering thoughts those happenings inspire.

aesmael: (tricicat)

Feeling rather tired today. According to my phone I was very active, so no surprise this is one of those days I come home from work and find it painful to walk or stand until the next morning. The morning started quiet but from about noon onward it kept getting busier.

There's about a half-dozen new casual staff starting at the library over the next two weeks and today was the first, so we were supposed to leave off the shelving to give him something easy to do on the first day. And also to leave us a bit bored because it was quiet to start with, although I had my lists of various kinds of missing items to work on. Even I set aside a couple of other miscellaneous tasks to use as demonstrations – damaged book from the returns, book with missing RFID tag, library card that had been lost in the library a few days previous.

Unsurprisingly this story ends with none of those happening. He had an orientation at the council for about the first hour, and then meeting with the manager and being shown around by her for a while, followed by my co-worker being assigned to further get him up to speed on the actual library systems and processes. About a half hour before lunch I realised where this was going and ran around getting as much shelving done as I could before the next shift took over.

On the bright side I seems all the new starters are going to be issued a copy of the checklist myself and another part-timer worked on over Friday and Sunday so that is a) something to be pleased about and b) something to leverage into pay increases and future job applications. Although I also thought of some things today which likely should have gone onto that document, which demonstrates why at least when you have me do it such things are better built over a longer period of time than a day and a half.

Yesterday after work I went shopping to try and get a more explicitly feminine work wardrobe, I guess, to force a contrast with what my co-workers had been seeing me in for the past most of a year. Was unhappy with how those clothes were sitting on me and after several unpleasant months of failed searches that left me dismal and defeated.

The main, main thing I had been looking for was new pants, as the ones I'd been wearing kept sitting unpleasantly low on my hips. Felt very uncomfortable wearing that. So, finally fixed, and got a bunch of surprisingly cheap new tops to wear to work or with my recent skirt acquisitions, which had been very lacking. Very relieving.

Wore such fresh outfit to work today, was nervous. Went okay though! No unexpected uproar, and the manager said the colour (of the top) looks good on me. In passing on her way out to lunch. So, yay!

I get to exist in some spaces and that is an improvement.

So, busy day today. Let's leave off with two notable things about today.

I made lunch this morning but forget to pick it up on my way out the door, so ended up buying fish and chips for lunch. Was worried about the delay when busyness kept me 7 minutes late from starting my lunch break but managed to eat without rush and be done in good time. And a little progress on the book I'm reading too.

A caller midway through the morning, saying ey got a notice about items being due and ey returned them all several days ago. Ey seems liable to repeat and emphasise this point a few times so I interrupt and ask for the card number they were borrowed under.

“I'm driving at the moment. I think I better call you back in about 10 minutes.”

“Yes, I think you had better.”

“Goodbye.” “Goodbye.”

Addendum: so far as I am aware, ey has not called back.

That should be enough journal for now. Got to save some time for book non-reviewing and scholarship.

aesmael: (transformation)

My appointment got cancelled for yesterday so I did not go out. Was nice having a whole day at home. Got to do laundry and make my bed and talk with people, and it was a good day but I got hardly any studying done so it is hard not to feel like I continue to contribute to the wretched waste that is my life.

Insurance company finally caught up with me on the phone and ate about 90 minutes. Also finally finally spent a while looking for conferences to attend for the professional development component of my degree, which I've had reminders poking me at for months now. Never seemed to have a good time for that, but forced myself anyway this time. Found some candidates, giving myself time to sit on that before acting.

Appointment cancelled because the doctor was in surgery, was not going to be available for the appointed time. New appointment next week in the afternoon. Thinking about seeing a hairdresser earlier in the day, as I've been wanting to have my hair done for months and never finding the time.

Today my co-worker and I got asked to put together a checklist for what the new casual staff who are starting over the next two weeks need to be trained on. We'll need to finish that Sunday morning so it can be ready in time.

I'm very stressed about school. Very far behind. Will be shocked if I don't fail this semester but going to keep pushing until it is over – if I withdraw at this point it will be an automatic failure anyway.

aesmael: (Electric Waves)

Today was the first time I wore a skirt to work. My hand was forced, somewhat, with my only pair of work slacks being in the wash. Could have worn jeans but those aren't strictly dress code and even though I was going to be working at the isolated little branch library there is always the possibility someone from the upper or senior echelons of council management would appear around to a) notice and b) care.

I got a bit of help from Ami last night in picking which skirt and what top to put with it, as my selection is currently extremely limited and badly suited to any sort of professional appearance. But it managed and we all went okay. Was only working with one person today, but she did not say anything, and there was indeed a surprise cluster of management types using a meeting room, which we had not known about in advance as the process of keeping library staff informed about the use of our facilities had broken down.

And although it is always a quiet place, I helped a few patrons through the day, some of whom were entirely new and some definitely recognising me from the past, and none seemed surprised or put out by my attire so despite my nervousness that was a big relief. Even though I have the support of the library manager ever day I do not need to call upon that is a day that is better than it might have been.

 

Relieved to get to exist for now.

 

Tomorrow I have a consultation about the when and how of getting my wisdom teeth removed. This is something I am very nervous – probably scared – about but it gets easier the more and the more often they hurt. It becomes something to look forward to, being able to eat again without pain, or even to exist in the times between eating. Must remember to bring my referral and x-rays with me or it will be a bit pointless as an outing.

I feel a bit of an urgent need to go clothes shopping as well, after, and hope I find something that works for me. I thought I had solved the question of clothes for work a year ago but I was mistaken. Continuing to be trapped in the tension between wanting something that is good enough ASAP, and wanting to be slow and careful in getting clothes that work especially well for me. Assuming those exist. But for now I definitely find myself in need of work slacks that actually fit and are not half falling off my hips (and which do have decently sized pockets if possible because pockets are useful!) and at least a couple of presentation-shifting tops as well. The ones I bought last year are all the buttoned sort I was used to, and I feel it is worth off-setting my presentation a bit further from what my co-workers probably incorrectly internalised as masculine.

What I want may be too simple to be readily attainable.

 

There is a lot of more stressful things going on and upcoming too, but I will leave those for another time. It is getting late and I want to be done with this, to get I hope at least a little more study done tonight before sleep.

aesmael: (tricicat)
Don't have time to type much. Tonight at work a (presumed) parent was thanking me because, with encouragement, I was apparently the first stranger their shy kid had been willing to talk to. Ever, according to em.

So that was a bit of surprise nice, being somehow safe or approachable enough for a small child to be interested in?
aesmael: (sudden sailor)

[Wrote this on Wednesday; posting now on Friday]

Last week finally finished my placement so now theoretically have a bit more time for living in. In truth of course I am rather bad at that. Too easy to let time-passers from when I cannot do much else filter into the spaces when I could be making more use of myself

Been feeling listless and hurt, selfishly no doubt. But as so often it feels like the appropriate solution is to distance myself from others. Perhaps especially with both work and school going on it feels as if I have a choice between being social in my free time or 'doing things'. And I am not very good at either.

Too much I want company.

The placement was good, very different sort of library to any I had prior experience of. Learned lots about corporate library activities handling also records and archives. Plus, the place was not only going through a record system changeover, but also an upcoming library management system upgrade, so I got to experience some of how those happen in practice.

I was a bit sad to have to leave, ultimately, but also relieved to get back to what are supposedly my usual part-time hours, though I'd not the time to enjoy them long before commencing the placement. Trying to preserve income meanwhile meant requesting and accepting additional weekend shifts from my employer and effectively working 6+ day weeks. It was rather tiring.

For the last week I baked and brought in first gluten-free brownies and gluten-free, low-sugar biscuits. Neither were vegan or dairy-free, however, and the latter recipe especially was 'compensating' for lacking added sugar by having a profusion of nuts. So they were not as minimally allergenic as I had been hoping to achieve, but were received quite well. On the last day my supervisor gave me a lovely pop-up card and a deck of an author card game, which I have not quite opened to the extent of understanding how it is supposed to be used. I am under the impression it can also be used as an ordinary deck of cards.

Finding myself very tired as I write this at work the following Wednesday, longing for sleep. I still have to write a report on that placement, which is due by about 2015-11-20 - so I must soon get to work on that (rather, to continue from what I managed to write during the placement itself) before it will become a last-minute desperation and before I forget the relevant information to include. But I wanted to get through my work week first, of which this is the last day. I will finally have two contiguous days off for the first time since September, although the morning of the first will be taken up by an appointment with my endocrinologist. Better than nothing.

Currently checking up on information for school, the last week's worth of learning material for the other class I'm taking this semester, and verifying the subject outline for my summer class is not yet up (most likely it will be available from Monday).

Also trying to look for any information to present to my endocrinologist about potentially changing my dosages / medications - had seen rumours that the form of progesterone I am on is not ideal. Have asked around on twitter a few months ago for any useful information I could present but not had a useful response.

I think actually I am too tired now to be fit for gathering and evaluating such information; I may be better off waiting a few months for my next appointment. Feeling on the verge of tears at the thought of trying to get that done by the end of the work day here, which it would have to be if I want to print anything off and have it with me to show.

aesmael: (nervous)

Just finished the first week of my student placement. Going okay except for being very tired of an evening, and needing to sleep early in order to be rested and wake early enough to get there - am not used to working full-time hours. Which would not be a problem except I have an assignment due Monday next week and little energy to be working on it. Hope I will manage anyway.

Is nice to be taking public transport again - getting a lot of reading done on the buses and trains - but that is always a trade-off with driving and podcast listening. So far this week has mostly been getting oriented and reading through policies and historical stuff concerning the organisation but yesterday I finally got to get started on cleaning up the shelves. That will likely be done by the end of next week, with lots of other stuff going on. There is a big archival conversion project going on, and library management software migration, so it feels like I am getting potentially a lot of valuable familiarity with environments and circumstances different to my prior experiences. Which is really what I was after in enquiring at this place.

Now I better get back to that assignment because it unfortunately is not going to write itself. Otherwise would try and write a lengthier update.

aesmael: (tricicat)
The good news that I have not been able to share because it has kindly inundated me in paperwork is that I got the job I applied for back in - I think - June. They contacted me about two weeks ago to say they wanted to hire me and I started earlier this week. So now I am officially a part time employee of a library, with sick leaves and regular hours and a work email address and all that.

I also right about the same time finally got an affirmative reply on a request for a library to take me on as a student for the practicum I need to do for this degree. That has necessitated a bit of negotiation as the school year ends with October and I have gotten increasingly frantic as library after library knocked me back over the course of the year. Now that I finally have a yes it comes right as I was organising a new job start so I am having to take leave immediately after being hired.

Fortunately they are being accommodating of this and I did advise them in advance. And due to the hours of the placement library, although I will need to be working full-time there without pay for several weeks I will also be able to work one day a week of my regular hours at the library that pays me. Possibly a few extra on weekends too, if I really hate myself and rest and peace of mind.

Got a lot of reading to do for school and a last assignment due in a few weeks[1] so I probably will not be able to update much for a while yet. But I miss writing and I miss the satisfaction of blogging so maybe I will find a little bit of time for thinking and typing.

[1] Last but for reporting on the placement in its aftermath
aesmael: (writing things down)

Today has been 2015-08-20 and it feels a long way from the 10th. On the 10th I had two assignments due, one of which I got done and submitted that morning. Also that morning, a call from the municipal council's HR about the job I had interviewd for the week before - references from my current position were unacceptable due to conflict of interest, being from my current employer and therefore also the employer I was hoping to get the new job with.

I had not any other current references; they said some pre-employement contacts would be fine. So rather than heading home to finish the other assignment I drove around first to the library the toy library of which I had volunteered at. The librarian who had been my contact back in 2011. She had gone home, but still worked there, and I was able to confirm a phone number with someone who was on duty. Then off to the university library I had had my second student placement under a few years before that. She had also gone home for the night, but still worked there, and I was able to get a phone number to reach her at.

So then I could get home at last and to schoolwork, although I do not really remember if I made much of any progress on the other assignment before its deadline. I did finish it the next evening and get it submitted before midnight and that was a great relief, especially as earlier in the day I had managed to call both of those contacts and obtain their consent to act as references for me, and forwarded their details to HR and got confirmation this would be suitable. Although I still have not heard back on how that went, and whether I will be getting the job.

But I did get word back on the other assignment, which was actually extra make-up work in order to not fail a class I took last semester. It served its purpose and I got my pass, which is great because one possible venue for being kicked out of school has been escaped. Still working on the other one.

Three weights off my shoulders. For a little while I felt so very light. But the fourth came right back; another request for an opportunity to take my practicum in a library of interest, sent that off Monday and by Tuesday night was rejected. Running out of time to organise that. Running desperately short of time.

But I keep being so tired from work, plus I fell into a void. Friday a day off, wanted to get my hair cut and take care of things, laundry and tidying type things. But instead I get struck down by some mystery illness. Supposedly only four days out of it until I could risk being back to work, but really it was infinity. Such vast span of time as to make all this typing a distant, distant reconstruction. Really only last week? Somehow.

I will get my hair cut tomorrow, and I will make another practicum request - I must! And perhaps my car will even get a new radio, if I am very fortunate indeed.

But I do not like tomorrow because today is the 20th and tomorrow is the 21st, and it would have been my grandmother's birthday had she survived this long. And it has been months and I still, still, still do not know how to process that she no longer exists. All that great void of never again. Keeps coming up and it hurts and I do not know what to do with it.

Driving to work today I had to go past the place where she was put to rest, incinerated a few months ago. Drive right on past like it was nothing and I a functional driver - and there must be so many people swallowed up in there, and yet people keep driving on by every day. Past where we bid farewell to my cousin the next week, and past where we had retired to gather afterward.

And tomorrow is nearly here and it will be an incomprehensible date of significance, and nothing will be done to mark it because all are sick; too much risk to others who still live to make mark when infection might spread, and someday it will mean nothing again.

I will get my hair cut, and try to decide what else might or might not bear the significance of the specific-just-another-day.

I had some good news, too. But I will put that in another post, maybe tomorrow, and let it bear itself alone.

aesmael: (writing things down)

Been feeling that I should treat this as if I am starting a whole new blog from scratch. Which does not mean I am about to go on any sort of introductory spiel as that has not ever I think been my style. But I should accept that these days there are few who would still be reading. A lot of the community that was here has been lost, or destroyed by myself.

So, starting over. Just going to talk about whatever to myself. But these days I am so tired I doubt I will be saying much anyway. Work days tend to blend into an unremarkable sameness and not leave much of interest left over.

Although today was different! The full-time staff-member I was supposed to be working with did not show up, out sick apparently. So out of the first four hours at the library I was operating the whole thing along for three and a half of them. The manager was there, but she was doing management type things in her office; I only saw her for about 10 minutes around the middle (she had called down that if I needed support she would come down and provide it, but the workload remained comfortably within 'exhilirating' or lower levels so I did not), and for the last 20 minutes one of the afternoon + evening staff had shown up and the manager asked her to start early. So that helped.

I have felt increasingly sure over the course of today that I am falling sick with some cold-like infection. This is a very inopportune time, as the breaks in my workweek are punctuated by an appointment with my endocrinologist and a job interview, and I have two assignments to turn in by next Monday. But perhaps this is some sort of stress thing. I think I fell ill last time I had an assignment due too. Made it a lot more difficult to complete.

aesmael: (tricicat)

Last time I wrote here -- a whole month ago -- I had wanted to follow up soon with something about events which were then more recent. Wanted to write about the additional neat thing of new bilingual picture books at the library being interfiled among the main English picture book collection. However it turns out just as well I did not do so, as I since discovered they are not supposed to be; it is something the contractor the library does its purchasing + pre-processing through filing them that way, inconsistent with the library's preferred style. I still like the idea of interfiling them.

aesmael: (friendly)

A couple of days ago at the library we got a small number of new junior fiction books, among the rest of the new book deliveries. Was excited to see a couple of books appearing to feature black girls as their protagonists, one I think African American and one Aboriginal Australian. Bit less excited when in attempting to do some research prior to communicating this excitement I find the North American is by Meg Cabot and in fact is a spin-off of the Princess Diary series featuring Mia's sister, and the other covers I am turning up show her as a white girl, and none of the reviews make mention of her race- which, when unmentioned, is often an indicator the character is white at least one says Notebooks of a Middle-School Princess touches on race so hopefully my worries are unfounded. The other one is Flying High by Sally Morgan.

Mostly this got me wondering whether there are any resources which would be especially useful for finding out about e.g. junior fiction titles starring girls of colour which a librarian working in acquisitions might source purchases from. Which, if there are resources available for such, especially if they cover non-US-focused titles, recommendations would be appreciated.

Did while thinking on this imagine push-back of the sort "you should not prioritise subsets of people disproportionately like that". But, let us say for example the library has 5,000 junior fiction titles in its holdings. If we were to collect books in proportion with the Australian population then we would want to have roughly a hundred or so titles starring Aboriginal boys and girls. I'm not sure if there even are a hundred junior fiction books with Aboriginal protagonists. A collection which took pains to match the demographics of its service population would be very different from what we have at present.

aesmael: (it would have been a scale model)

Current assignment - still the same assignment - is a pseudo-presentation for undergrad science students on the importance of records and archives. Consequently have been focusing reading on records practice in science, the use of records as evidence and the personal process of developing record-keeping style as part of being enculturated to a community of practice.

Consequently consequently, was interested to listen to this Science Friday segment on part of the drive home. The show's Science Club challenge from the end of September was to identify something to observe and to make careful record of your observations in the hope that from these observations something interesting will emerge. Essentially, the Science Friday audience was being challenged to in part go through the process I had been reading about - to, through trial, error, and consideration, develop a system for recording observations which will be later comprehensible and useful as a seed for generating knowledge and presenting this knowledge to a wider community.

aesmael: (tricicat)

Awake too early thanks to bad dreams. Dreams of a screaming, fist-pounding, equipment-endangering outburst of frustration and then having to put back on the happy, untroubled face for my family so they wouldn't condemn or press for explanation. The only part remaining I can put into words.

Awake too early because I was awake and the sense of some dread, amorphous feeding presence made sleep too fearful. And because sleep had fled in the face of perhaps adrenaline. I would like to sleep more - I've been so tired - but must wait for things to pass.

My head hurts. Likely need more water.

Yesterday, a co-worker informed me the shirt I'd worn the day before had a tear. So now am down to one work shirt that fits well. Will try and buy some more tomorrow after getting my face lasered, which at least is an opportunity to get some better-suited clothes if I can find them. I've not had much success finding shirts on my own that I would be comfortable wearing.

That's what's mostly going on here at the moment. There's some other things I wanted to say before, but they're harder to write and might get abandoned. Meanwhile today is a day of rest and cleaning and study.

It was disheartening seeing my previous posts when I came to write this, that I've been trying to focus on this assignment for more than a month, and it is due in less than a week, and I am so tired and have made so little progress. I want to quit but I don't want to quit. I'm sick of quitting or failing.

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aesmael

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