Friday, February 11, 2011

my life in labels: librarian training

I know I have 3 memes/awards to work on, but I feel compelled to write an actual post about my life before I tackle all of that. So.

MY LIFE. It can be roughly broken up into four categories:


Sometimes there are more, of course, depending on the seasons. And of course the categories bleed into one another -- life can't be neatly compartmentalized, I don't really have that mindset -- but those are truly my four biggest priorities at the moment. So, do you want to know what's happening? Of course you do, otherwise you wouldn't still be reading. Now, this is a lot, so we'll start with the first category:


For those of you who are new: I want to be a librarian for children and teens. I'm literally obsessed with it -- I have never been this determined to reach a goal in my life. So I'm in graduate school for my Master's in Library and Information Science, and I've been working as a Youth Services Assistant in my local library for the past year and a half. This week though, I had kind of a huge breakthrough that I really want to share with you guys.

This year, I'm running the library's teen creative writing club. We got snowed out of our first two meetings of the year, and though I acted frustrated when I had to cancel, I have to say I was profoundly relieved. Both times I was insanely nervous -- not looking forward to it at all. Part of it was that I felt kind of unprepared and clueless (I'd run teen programs before, but never on my own!), but on a whole different level, all of these latent bad memories from my disastrous student teaching experience in college were rising to the surface. Remember how you choked? this insidious version of myself was whispering to me in my head. They must have thought you were such a joke. Maybe you just don't give off the right vibe for teens. The worrying grew louder and louder for two weeks.... up until yesterday.

Yesterday there was no snow. I couldn't hide anymore. I came to work knowing that we would be meeting no matter what, so I had better get comfy with the idea. And so my nerves sort of dissipated, or translated into nervous energy. The whole afternoon I couldn't stop neurotically looking over my agenda feeling unsatisfied with what I'd decided on. I changed my mind on my icebreaker activity about 4 times, changed the warm-up, frantically photocopied passages from books and organized all of the materials into neat little piles, to be distributed to each teen.

Before I knew it, 6:00 had rolled around and I was standing in the craft room, making small talk with Sarah, the first person to show up.

It's funny how most of the time, it's the anticipation that shuts you down. It's like a roller coaster -- that slow, creaky, uphill climb is when you panic, when you shout "I WANT TO GO BACK," when you seriously begin to doubt your judgment. But then you're rushing towards the ground and the wind is in your hair, and you don't stop to think "I WANT TO GO BACK" -- you're in it, baby!

For me, those two weeks were the uphill climb in a roller coaster car. I doubted myself and I told myself it wasn't too late to quit. But as soon as we sat down to begin the meeting, all of my nerves turned into pure adrenaline -- the good kind of adrenaline that allows you to think on your feet and say all the right things. 

(By the way, that adrenaline rush never happened to me when I was student teaching. Once we started my nerves would just get worse and worse and wouldn't relent until the class period was over.)

It didn't go off without a hitch; the icebreaker took up almost the entire hour and we barely got to the writing warm-up and prompt. But the teens were engaged, laughing, enjoying themselves. They had come to something I had put together and they were enjoying themselves.

I didn't realize until I was was cleaning up that I hadn't stopped smiling since the meeting began. I stopped and  tried to digest what had just happened. I planned, organized, and ran my own library program for teens. I got paid to hang out and talk about Lord of the Rings with a bunch of interesting young people.

And I was going to get to do it again in two weeks.

Best of all, I knew with utmost certainty that this is where I want my life to go. That I'd finally translated my interests into a viable career option  -- second time's the charm, I guess.

So, now I'm sure. I just have to get the qualifications, even if it kills me in the process. But grad school -- that is another post entirely.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a good post! I can't wait for the next part :-D