If This is The End

I’ll take it!! Because I had a GREAT day!

My grades are in. Two Bs, which killed my 4.o, but ended up being better than I anticipated given how I felt the semester was going. I never thought I’d say this, but thank God for finals! I got a 98 on my archival management one, which gave my overall grade a boost. And a hard won 82 (which FEELS like 100% given how difficult the subject is) for cataloging. Just one question (out of 8, total) on that exam was worth 60 points. Yikes!
GRADES :: GRAD SCHOOL IS OVER

Final Tally :: 10 As and 2 Bs. 3.83 GPA.
Not too shabby.

Also…I had another job interview today. I felt a bit more confident and ready this time, despite a near late arrival disaster. The bus I needed to take apparently only arrives once a decade. And I had just missed it. I grabbed a cab (thank goodness I remembered to take the cash from my jeans pocket last night) and made it in plenty of time.

Interview Ensemble Numero Dos

Blazer :: Forever21
Dress :: Thrifted from Domsey’s
($7.39, no tags)
Tights :: Duane Reade
Shoes :: Naturalizer
(free from a Freecycler)

Interview Ensemble Numero Dos

No jump shot, today. Just me in my hallway.

But, I FEEL LIKE JUMPING!

Interview Ensemble Numero Dos

Before I even made it on the bus headed back towards home, I missed a call. I checked my voice mail and I had been offered the internship! One that pays, too!

And this time is not like the last one when I got my hopes up and had to miss out on an opportunity. This time, I start much sooner (in about 2 weeks), I know a lot more about the expected schedule and my children are well settled in their new schools.

I’m so excited! It’s a great opportunity to get library experience and I don’t even have to do it for free. On top of that, I feel really passionate about the work I’ll be doing and it’s in Brooklyn which will make managing around the rest of my life much easier.

All that’s left to do is some celebratory sewing to supplement my work wardrobe!!

Orange

I had an interview today. I was so worked up about figuring out what to wear (my old go-to interview outfits no longer fit)  that I didn’t get enough sleep. The campus was pretty far away (speaking as a person who considers anything above 34th St a no man’s land) and long train rides and transferring from one line to another make me ridiculously anxious. Even for a neurotic New Yorker. I say all of that to say, I wasn’t feeling my best.

In the end, I wore handmade (thankyouverymuch) and my warmest special occasion/feeling fancy/you’ve looked like a slob for several weeks now coat. The interview went really well, but, in an ironic twist, I might not qualify for the position as I am no longer a student. What can you do?

Anyway. My little daughter requested my presence for a photo on the way home from school.

ORANGE

IMG_2531

The jump was my idea :D

IMG_2533

Thankfully, I did NOT have this variation of Alfafa’s hair-do earlier, lol. This was a hastily thrown up bun to go grab the kids.

Also. Wow, my lips just blend right in with my face without lipstick lol!

Coat :: Banana Republic
(so old, I only had one kid when I bought it)
Shoes :: H&M
Tights :: Duane Reade
(Surprisingly great quality!)

Brand New Day!

I AM FINISHED WITH GRADUATE SCHOOL!!!
AND THIS SONG CAPTURES EXACTLY HOW I FEEL!

After LOTS of anxiety, I can take a breath and relax!

Tonight, I am going to pump the brakes on continually refreshing the page looking for final grades, put a pin in job hunting and stay up late sewing!!

Archivist for a Day

BHS :: Richetta Randolph Wallace Papers

Earlier in the term, I had an assignment that took me to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The archivist there was nice enough to answer my questions (with no prior notice) and chat with me about my career goals. When it was time for me to go, I thanked him and spent the train ride to Brooklyn thinking about how nice that face to face interaction was after nearly two years in an online school.

When a second assignment was set to take me away from my computer and out into the world I hoped to go back to the Schomburg Center. Alas, that didn’t work out and I had to scramble for another location that would have me on relatively short notice.

Enter the Brooklyn Historical Society

BHS is housed in perhaps the most beautiful building ever to start as a place to hang out and talk history. I mean, the people who created this place didn’t just throw up a structure and fill it with books. This building is a work of art with a rich history. The wordwork alone would make you drool.
Brooklyn Historic Society Othmer Library

Brooklyn Historic Society Othmer Library

After recovering my composure at its beauty I was immediately overwhelmed by the incredible staff. I don’t know if archivists are just naturally generous and lovely, but I was half in love with them by the time I left lol. My first day there, literally, changed the course of my career goals. As I lamented the lack of personal interaction (and therefore connections) that you deal with when attending an online school, Julie popped open a browser and gave me a crash course on NYC archivist associations, listserv and message boards chock full of job, grant and volunteer opportunities. Priceless. Seriously. Along with that info she imparted knowledge about work history and how joining and then networking at these professional orgs can lead to so much. When Liz, who actually cleared my observation hours at BHS, arrived she shared a cover letter site that has already been invaluable.

On day two, I was lucky enough to spend time with the director of the library who was the very definition of generosity with his efforts to make sure that I got a true taste of what it’s like to work in a library archive setting. Along with shadowing him as he assisted patrons and arranging a visit with the page to their storage area, he set me to task with a group of documents that I have not been able to forget since.

They were the papers of this woman

Ms. Richetta Randolph Wallace

“Ms. Randolph was private secretary to the social activist Mary White Ovington in the first decade of the twentieth century, leading to a position as the first member of the administrative staff for the new National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Ms. Randolph later became the NAACP’s office manager and was private secretary to NAACP officers James Weldon Johnson and Walter White, among other important positions until her retirement in 1946.”-BHS Blog

To read about her request for a raise and the praise for her work and how her retirement was stalled when the NAACP declared that they couldn’t go on without her was fascinating. Issues of equal/fair pay, the important part that women play in the workplace and more are still relevant now.

BHS :: Richetta Randolph Wallace Papers

BHS :: Richetta Randolph Wallace Papers

I mean, when this woman wrote to congratulate the mayor on his win he wrote her back! Promptly! The entire experience was amazing. Reading letters written in the 1800s and holding a bride’s wedding invite from 1894 were really moving experiences. There are more photos in this set.

This all led me to my new job, as the Social Media Manager for Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York! So far, I am enjoying the additional (albeit small) responsibility. Along with the holiday fair planning, school (please be over soon) and LIFE (all caps are NECESSARY) I am quite, happily, busy. ;o)

Voting today was very cool, too. My oldest asked me if President Obama won as soon as I walked in the door. Like my vote was the final deciding factor, lol

Go vote, if you haven’t!

Fortunate

Despite all that has happened I recognize that I am so fortunate. I have the support of my husband, children, sister and friends. And all of you.

We made it through the hurricane with water, power, heat, food and each other. Unlike countless others, my neighborhood (and those of my immediate family) is virtually undamaged. We only have an abundance of leaves and a few downed branches to show that anything happened here. My children’s schools are OK, too. Even the pets in my daughter’s biology class were fine. The local hospital did not lose power to add more worry when my grandma was there. These are all things to feel fortunate about.

Co-chairing the holiday market at the big girl’s school is keeping me busy. It’s as much work as you would think. Event planning, is event planning. I also have a great new job (volunteer though it is) that will provide me with experience and connections that can help with my career goals. And I don’t even have to leave home. The path that led to it is a winding one that all started with a missed opportunity. Never discount a plan going wrong. It can lead to something else going right. I’ll blab more about the job and my goals, soon.

I have a lot to do this month (new job, co-chairing, running 2 crafternoons at Missy’s school, a 10 page paper and more cataloging) but I hope to blog every day in November. Writing here is a great outlet and I mean to take advantage of it. My other creative endeavors hopefully won’t suffer. I have been crocheting and knitting. Working with yarn makes me feel closer to my gran, I think. I hope to get my sewing mojo back before the Sew Weekly signs off for the year, too. I never got the chance to help grandma hunt down her pattern and fabric stash. I hope to make some time for that later this month, as well.

I’ll leave you with this pic of my latest project.
It’s the Date Maker cardigan from By Gum, By Golly.

I like to think of my grandma, young and spunky, dashing around in something similar with her pincurls brushed out just so.

Today is my birthday….

and as of 1:53am, it’s pretty sucky.

AND of my own making, so I have no one but myself to blame. I managed not to totally fuck up on my cataloging midterm.  But, instead worked to the last second on my archiving class assignment (when I had a totally amazing time while completing my observation, more about that later when I stop being mad at myself) and didn’t get it in on time. This was the fault of Cablevision’s shitty service. But, mostly the fault is mine. I’m fresh out of school related get-up-and-go.

I might make myself some cupcakes, like these, tomorrow so I can cheer the hell up.

Maybe I’ll eat 33. One for each year.

Hey, How Ya Doing?

I feel like I fell into the black hole of no blogging for a while. In reality, it’s only been five days. It only felt like forever. Believe it or not, I’ve been busy studying (shocking, I know ;p, things were starting to make sense just in time to move onto something else…). I have also been scrambling for a field observation site for an archiving class assignment. Overlapping that I: resolved that personal problem, took the kids to Saturday classes, volunteered at my daughter’s school fair (it was absolutely FREEZING out that day), meet up with a dog owner friend so my son could get a taste of the pet life (It was a meet-up for Basset Hound owners. We are in serious danger of becoming a dog family) and then dove right back into the school week (even the kids were wiped on Monday).

Tired is OK because, I’m not certain that your childhood is complete without bouncing in a bouncy castle ;p

Or shaking hands with some pups.

This is Rudy, my friend Lisa’s doggy!

We spent some time snacking back at Lisa’s. My children are officially in love with her absolutely gorgeous home! They keep hinting about how cool it would be to have a second floor and stairs. Oh, and a backyard. Because that’s so easy to come by in NY ;-)

It was a pretty packed four or five days. I, literally, slept all day yesterday. I felt like the massive fatigue came out of nowhere, but reading back over the running around I did (not including meeting up with sewing peeps last Thursday) I guess I should have been tired. Despite that crazy amount of sleep, I was out like a light before midnight. That almost never happens. I woke up to a sick big girl (she has lady troubles. ALREADY. She’s only eleven. You cannot fathom the misplaced guilt I feel.) so I had company around the house today. We watched tons of DVR’ed Project Runway, and then Mulan, while I traced my Anise pattern:

And drafted version one of the affectionately dubbed Janice skirt:

You would not believe how fast my daughter got tired of Heidi’s repetitive catch phrases! Or how we laughed at Mulan despite having watched it dozens of times between us. It sucked that she was knocked flat most of the day, but it was nice to spend some one-on-one time with her. I normally travel with all the kiddies, so solo time is hard to come by. We all appreciate those rare times when we’re able to get that quality time in.

I was all set to sew up that skirt tonight, but I got a(nother fucking) headache and I just got so totally sleepy that I’ve changed my mind….and don’t worry…I’m not pregnant ;p LOL! I better get the kids’ things ready for school and give myself a pep talk about tomorrow’s midterm and observation hours. I hate tests and I always get so nervous around new people. Here’s to hoping that both things go well!

Gaining Ground

Friends, it has been quite the back to school EXTRAVAGANZA over at mine.

Supply mountain

My dining room table covered in labeled and sorted school supplies.

The most difficult bit being the breaking of the umbilical cord between myself and my first born child. She’s been GASP traveling alone!!! This is a huge, Huge, HUGE deal to me and mine. I am a bit of a clingy mama. With the exception of time spent in the NICU (all three of my youngest), school and extra curricular activities (where I am hovering about waiting for them to end)  my children are always with me or a blood relative. And select relatives, at that.

Despite the loss of sleep, paralyzed urge to sew, do school work or anything besides basic functioning (cook, eat, bathe) and the ulcer I’ve surely given myself, she is thriving with the new responsibility. And my heart is breaking. This is just the first step towards her independence and my lack of relevance in her life. If I sound overly dramatic it’s because I AM and IT’S TRUE! Her new school is amazing and she loves it there.

Message from the K Teachers

Sweet teacher’s note to the twins.

I love their new school!! They’re in different classes this year and I see the good it’s done the boy already. His sister has a dominant, overly helpful personality that left him following her a lot.

Homework with the twins
Twin homework time.

My oldest son was on the couch behind me doing his on his own. He has the most difficult time with change, but he seems to adjusting to the new situation. He and the twins have steady gym classes which he’s really enjoying and they’re also taking piano lessons. For free. We went from a school that left MUCH to be desired to two that I couldn’t possibly ask more from.

I’m slowly forcing myself to focus on school, as well. The dismal outcome of my last assignment has some to do with finding the motivation in that area. I’d hate to continue my tradition of flaming out on my last semester (see-undergrad transcripts for proof). My lack of interest in sewing was only going to be overcome by forcing the issue. I managed a Sew Weekly project that I am quite proud of. More on the reasons for this sudden urge to take-my-damn-time in that post.

Before I go, check out mah BLUE HAIR!!

BLUE HAIR!!

BLUE HAIR!!

My sis also did the lower back section. I love it!! It’s fading a bit, so it’s time to re-up. I see blue hands in my future!

 

 

 

Sweet Book Hangover

In a protest against boring textbook reading, I thrust all library science related texts to one side and did some REAL reading. During a library visit with the kiddies I spotted two books that I had previously placed on hold and never made it the branch to pick up:

Two powerful stories that could not possibly be more different from each other.

The Night Circus is very difficult to sum up. Calling it a love story seems ludicrous when the story contains so much more. But, saying that it is about magic without mentioning love seems dishonest and misleading. Little Bee is also a sort of love story. Though giving a potential reader that information alone would lead them to a great shock. Both stories are equally about loss, hopelessness and hope.

I read into the small hours with both books, which led to that hangover like feeling each morning. I couldn’t help it. I absolutely craved to know what would happen next. The writing in both stories, though very (very) different in each, is so very beautiful. Descriptive but not unnecessarily so. Musical while staying true to the story each one is striving to tell. Emotional. Clear. And unique, too.

I have to say that both began strong but seemed to lose me a bit towards the end. Maybe I was expecting too much after becoming so emotionally invested in (and damn curious about) the outcomes. I am planning to reread them both. Which is my favorite thing to do when a book challenges me or makes me fall in love with it. I prefer to know very little about a book before I read, so I will not give true summaries here in case any of you feel the same. I do heartily recommend them both.

The Night Circus to escape this world and Little Bee to wake up to it.

Have you read anything good lately? Have you read either of these beauties?

A Good Meal With Friends

I had the pleasure of sharing a table with Chawne and Lisa on Saturday. After a morning of hustling the kids from one locale to another I was anxious for some adult conversation over a meal that I didn’t have to prepare ;o)

We dined at

I think my lack of photos from the actual dinner is a testament to the tastiness of both the food and the conversation! Those meatballs were seriously yummy and the mashed taters weren’t bad either. As for the company, it was so incredibly nice to see and talk with Chawne in person. You can learn a lot about a person from their blog but it doesn’t replace face-to-face communication. I had hung out with Lisa before way back in 2009, it seems like that time FLEW. It was so nice catching up with everything happening with her. The kids and I have a tentative puppy playdate for July.

Well, in other news, school has begun again. I’m taking electronic and continuing resources. Three big-ish assignments, medium-ish amount of reading and discussion board responding. Not too bad. The real shit storm will be the next class. A research class squished into a few weeks. It couldn’t be helped, though.

So, what’s new with you all? Any yummy food and/or convo lately?