bad news

A good friend of mine from work just found out yesterday that she has breast cancer. The doctor called her at work and I happened to be the one who looked up and realized she was hearing very bad news. My friend didn't really believe the doctor - after all she'd just had a clean mammogram in September. Everything had all happened really quickly, beginning with a chance comment to a doctor in a follow-up visit.

She was reeling from all the information the doctor had tried to convey but did manage to figure out that it was lobular carcinoma and she thought the doctor had something about inflammation. I looked up lobular carcinoma which is a rarer type of breast cancer but just a difference of location (tissue vs. the ducts). It wasn't until this morning when I was looking on the Susan G. Komen site that I found inflammatory. And it is so not good. Apparently inflammatory breast cancer is a particularly evil version that develops very quickly and spreads very aggressively. It is automatically classified as stage IIIB or IV and the prognosis is "very poor" which explains why  the doctor was saying things to her about "getting her things in order" which I thought was just bad bedside manner.

Ugh. I have so much to do in the next two weeks as school wraps up - but all I can do is stare at the screen. This is such bad news.


post-interview blues

I went in for an interview yesterday for a p/t job at a local library. I was feeling ambivalent about the job since (1) it entails work that is primarily not my area of interest (e.g., not a lot of interaction with patrons, mostly computer work) and (2) I'm worried that adding 20 hrs to the mix might upset my oh-so-nice balance of work & play I have going right now. However, money is certainly tight and a few extra dollars wouldn't hurt. Plus it would be good to get some *real* experience under my belt.

So going in to the interview I felt pretty good about things. If I get the job, great and if I don't, that's probably ok too. Fast forward to today and all that very-logical reasoning is out the window. First I had trouble sleeping the night before and then was very nervous, especially when I went into the interview - a panel of people asking me a series of formulaic questions (e.g., give an example of a time when you acted independently). All the preparation I had done on the specifics about the job itself were more or less useless because it was a government job and so they had to ask the same questions to every applicant. Worse, I started to get flustered and things went from bad to worse. I couldn't think of answers to the questions and really wished I could just ask for a do-over :)

So now I'm trying to put it all behind me. Maybe I am making too much out of it and maybe I wasn't so bad as I think. It's annoying though - had I aced the interview, I could have kept my philosophical attitude towards the job. Now it's really bugging me, especially because I know I could do the job easily - but I don't think that came across at all in the interview.


Banned Books Week

Next week is Banned Books Week and the student chapter of the ALA is sponsoring a read-out on Wednesday to read from books that have been banned from libraries for some reason or other. We'll each read aloud for ~10 minutes from a book that's been banned so I've been looking over the list of books on the ALA site, trying to choose the one I want.  Check out the top 100 for the last decade (2000-2009). It's practically a who's who of all the great authors. Sure, there are some I thought would be there: Harry Potter with its controversial magic themes and the young adult books with concepts that are just a bit too realistic. Those are the ones I was expecting for the recent lists. But mingled in are some of the true classics - authors like Steinbeck & Harper Lee.  And does Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret really warrant a banning?

OK, so I get it when people don't think the material fits the age group. Like Neil Gaiman's Graveyard Book. One of my favorite authors and an excellent book but I can imagine it is too scary for some kids to handle, especially young kids. I don't believe banning the books is the answer but at least I get why people do it.

But to ban books because people are afraid of the ideas they contain - that I don't get at all. How can we grow unless we're exposed to new ideas and forced to stretch?

One more reason I'm glad I chose to follow my dream of being a librarian! It looks like the real difficulty is going to be narrowing it down to just one book.


ok, that was bizarre

I was walking the dogs this morning and had just reached the entrance to the Upper Tampa Bay Trail when I noticed a body lying up ahead on the trail. There was a bike lying on the ground nearby so my first thought was that someone had had an accident. As I got closer, I realized that it was 2 bodies, neither of them moving, so by then I was really getting freaked out thinking that they'd been murdered and really dreading what I might see. Luckily about then one of them moved and I finally got close enough to see that it was a couple who had apparently decided that the middle of the bike path was a great place to stop for a nap. They seemed fine...and not at all inclined to get up so I just said "Good Morning" and went on.

People are definitely strange...and I'm glad I didn't have to report a murder this morning!


full-time student: a progress report

One of the biggest things I have been looking forward to with the new, simpler, stress-free me is having more time. Once I no longer had to commit 10-12 hours of my day getting ready, driving to work, working, rushing through the grocery store, etc., I would have so much time, i wouldn't know what to do with myself. Yes, I would simultaneously be taking a full load of classes but that shouldn't be a problem. I would just substitute working on that during the times when I would normally be in school.

So far, I'm still waiting for that shangri-la to come to fruition! Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love being able to get up when I'm ready (the time has fluctuated between 6am - 9am, depending on how late I was up the night before) and having time to take the dogs for walks and to the park. I am also still playing catch-up to a certain extent for the first few weeks when the beginning of school coincided with my extended family all coming to my place for a reunion that lasted a full 2 weeks for some members. So maybe I am speaking too soon but I've noticed this trend before.

No matter how much time you have, stuff comes along and fills it up.

Eventually (once that "catch up" all happens) maybe I will have everything done by 5 each night and be able to take the dogs to the dog park without the uneasy feeling that there is more work that should really be done today....or maybe I'm devoting too much time to my studies. I'm sure most people are not doing all the reading + taking notes + creating blog entries for each. (From what I can tell, some of them haven't even cracked a book yet!) But one of the main reasons I wanted to do it this way - quit the full-time job, etc - is so that I could really immerse myself fully, sucking every drop of learning I could get out of the experience.

In that respect, the experiment thus far has been a resounding success. I feel like I understand the material fully and it has been absolute heaven to be able to go to the park to do some reading or type a paper while sitting outside at the picnic table.  So maybe I'll never be the type of person who can turn off the "should've" script in my head, life is pretty darn good right now.