Friday, June 17, 2011

Who Are You?

© Universal Studios

We all know by now--even you kids--that we're all a little bit of a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Even publishers who want to also be librarians. I saw this movie in the theater, way back in the day. It's still one of my all time favorites. How could it not be? It's the perfect 80s teen movie: the stars, the music, the quotable lines. I have been known to practice putting on lipstick with the tube wedged between my boobs.

That doesn't have anything to do with this post. Except I wanted to introduce myself and I often think of the Breakfast Club when I hear the phrase, "who are you?" (Also CSI: Miami or Alice in Wonderland, depending, I guess, on the phrasing.)

I'm 41. I'm a wife and a mother. I'm a dog owner and a house renter. I like garlic mashed potatoes, and need to lose some weight. These two things are possibly related. I have always identified with Brian, the Brain, not Andy, the Athlete.

I grew up in a small town in Oregon, was an exchange student in a smaller town in Finland, went to college in yet a smaller town in Iowa. But I like cities. Particularly Portland, which is just across the river from where I live now.

I graduated from Grinnell College in 1991, with a BA in American Studies. I knew I wanted to go to grad school and checked out the University of Indiana, Bloomington. I wanted to study folklore and the best program is there. Instead, I moved to Kansas, got married, had a baby. Then another.

I've applied to grad school--and been admitted--five times (University of Kansas: American Studies; University of Kansas: Marketing Communications; Portland State: Public Administration; Portland State: Book Publishing; Florida State: Library Studies). If only my record for getting jobs were as good.

I have, in the past, been better at starting things than finishing them. This is why I'm so damn proud that I'm nearly done with my publishing degree. And why it is important for me to actually walk in the commencement ceremony in August, though I may not have recovered from jet lag.

I have more self-discipline and follow-through now than ever before. Maturity. It's not such a bad thing.

I have a lot of issues regarding this trip to London: mostly having to do with meeting new people. But my social anxiety is a whole other post. (I may be the Basket Case, after all.) But I'll get over it, make friends, have a blast. I always do.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Next Adventure

"You must really love books," said a friend when she heard that I wanted to follow my Masters of Science in Writing/Book Publishing with a degree in Library Studies.

It's a rhetorical question certainly, because she knows I've always surrounded myself with books. I started my program at Portland State University as a reader and a writer, but I’m now a book designer, editor, and publisher.

I hope this new program at Florida State will give me additional career options. I never planned to look for employment with a publisher; I always wanted to BE the publisher. But a job as a teen-services librarian would pay my bills, provide benefits, and keep me in touch with the writers and readers who are my target audience.

I'm starting the program next month with a three-week study abroad session in London: multi-media for librarians. The trip focuses on sites significant in children's literature. I return just in time to walk in the PSU summer commencement on August 13th.

As part of the course requirements for the classes in London, I'm required to keep a blog. I'll be blogging at this site from now until mid-August. Welcome to my excellent adventure.