Sunday, August 29, 2010


I am not sure that words can adequately express what my first week of graduate school has been like. I'll try though:

Being buried by an avalanche.

Drinking from a fire hose.


Are you getting a picture in your mind?

I have spent every waking moment this week (that I didn't already have something pre-scheduled) glued to my laptop. Oh! MY! GOSH!!

There have been moments of shock - like opening up my third and final syllabus and finding a 49 page document. Ouch! Or stepping away from my computer long enough to go to a doctor's appointment and cook dinner and coming back to over 150 posts on the discussion boards. Don't these other students have anything else to do?!! So, I did what any good planner would do. I made a project plan. A combined list of deliverables in an Excel spreadsheet with dates to start and complete each task. It's only 18 pages long.

Inhale. . . Exhale. . . Deep cleansing breaths. . .

I feel like Shifu in Kung Fu Panda, going, "Inner peace. In-in-inner peace." as his eye twitches.

The scariest thing is that I still have several weekly obligations for the school year that haven't even started yet! I have one week to either get this into a workable situation or drop a class. (I'm signed up for three.) I just pray it becomes apparent which I should do in the next several days.

Pray for me!!!

First Day of School, Part Deux

So, today was the first day of school - for me!

Here I am, ready to go! Since I did such a lousy job of first day of school photos by the door for the girls yesterday morning, we took a bunch of us today. Here's us, ready to go, with all our bags and lunchboxes!

One of my neighbors is a professor at OU, and she had offered to give me a ride on my first day. (I had a 9 to 5 orientation to attend.) Our girls ride the bus together, so after our pictures, the girls and I grabbed our stuff and headed up the road to the bus stop:

(By the way, that is not a bird's nest on top of my head in the last picture, it's just that some of our infamous wind came sweeping down the plain, and well. . . here's second shot, farther away, but with better hair! )

The girls got on the bus, and I got into a much, much better ride, and off we went. There were about 55 people in my orientation - they've decided to split the class into two sections since there were so many of us - and it's a pretty good mix of people. There were a few folks in my age group, and lots that had been out of school less than five years. Some were already working in libraries and just coming to get their degrees, and a few like me that are making career changes. It promises to be an interesting mix of people - I am sure I will learn a lot. The big things I took away from the orientation -

  1. It's all about connecting people with information.

  2. Graduate students are researchers - we gather information from multiple sources, then synthesize it and add our own voice.

  3. Librarians are not all like this:

We can be hip! Here's the proof:

Of course, I already knew that - Aunt Jane was (and is!) my role model for how a librarian should be!

Let the good times roll!

First Day of School

Ah - the first day of school!

Maggie was so excited to go to school for the first day that she got up and got ready and had a half-hour to kill before the school bus arrived. She was so excited about her new first day of school outfit - a leopard print and pink outfit that perfectly matched her new leopard print messenger bag and lunchbox (with pink trim)! We are stylin' this year!

It was good to see the gang at the bus stop. As the girls got on the bus, I realized that I had not taken a picture of Gracie by the door before she left!

So, here's an end-of-the-first-day shot of Gracie.

The first day seemed to go well - both girls like their teachers - but both of them had a meltdown shortly after the end of the school day. Going from summer to school can do that to a girl. We remedied that by having a small playdate with the neighborhood kids before dinner, then a favorite dinner of soft tacos, and happiness was restored! Gotta get back into our routine!

Shocking! Absolutely Shocking!

While the girls were in Texas for three weeks, we were enduring some of the hottest weather we've had in awhile, as was much of the country around us. Since watering the plants is one of the girl's chores, our landscaping was suffering greatly, as I kept forgetting that in the absence of child-labor, I needed to water the plants. That's why it came as quite a shock when I walked out our door one morning to find this in our yard:

"You've got to be kidding me!" Was my first thought. What were they looking at? My lush potted plants?

Or was it my beautiful hydrangea? (Note - this plant is in a bed that is usually too soggy for the plant to ever bloom. This is the first time I've ever seen it droop. Usually it's drowning. )

Now, granted, not everything in our yard looks so pathetic. I've got a bumper crop of bell peppers this year in red:


and yellow!

Too bad I haven't been able to eat any of them - when you turn them over they all have blossom end rot:


We do have some nice flowers - they made good subjects for Jerry's photo rampage when I told him he needed to find a new photo subject:

But they are almost all in the back yard where our neighbors can't see them. I guess our neighbors knew that we were trying our best. . .

Luckily, the kids are home now and things are looking up -

I feel a little redeemed!

Snapshots of Suzy

Well, while Jerry was on his mission trip to Brazil, he was told that his digital camera, which was one of the very early models in the digital revolution, was ancient. That didn't bother him so much, except for the fact that it is indeed ancient, and the focus took so long to lock that he missed a bunch of shots. When he got back, he got into research mode and began looking at small digital cameras to replace the dinosaur that he had.

Well, he finally decided on one, and I must say, I've not been so photographed in a long, long time.

Here's me watching TV:

And me sitting:

And me working at my computer:

And me driving:

Now I know what it must be like to be one of my kids.

While we were in Fort Worth for Gracie's birthday party, Gracie felt left out of the photographer duties, so I gave her my camera. Here's me and Maggie:

And me, Maggie and my mother-in-law, Mary Jo, having a little fun.

'Cause we wouldn't want to have boring pictures! No - it's a family tradition! We have to "do something!" (and I didn't have any paper plates to dance around with.)