Year the First….

And in the blink of an eye I’ve been at UIC a year already.  It seems much longer ago that I was packing up my apartment in La Crosse and then working through the boxes on the other end as I moved into my apartment here in Chicago.

From a library perspective

  • I’m thinking about data a lot more now. I was feeling really bad in March (and occasionally still get pangs) that I was so unaware of something that was obviously really affecting libraries. Then I have to remind myself that I’ve been in an academic library where data is a prominent focus and concern for just about a year.
  • I’m thinking a lot less about story time.  Oh, the programming skills (read–teaching skills) are still going strong, but it’s definitely different when one doesn’t have storytime every Wednesday.
  • We’re still on semesters and thinking about breaks.  I just don’t have to worry about summer reading programs.
  • I’m a little more fearless.  A year ago there were a lot of things I was afraid to volunteer for: writing book chapters or throwing out conference proposals.  Now, I’m doing both and chairing a national committee. It takes a shift in self confidence and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I think things are more easily accepted from Tenure-Track Librarian at Research 1 Institution than Children’s Librarian from Small Midwest Public Library. I am trying to keep that in perspective.
  • I’m on committees. I was on a couple of those while a public librarian. Usually they were specific task oriented and then went away.  Now I’m blocking chunks of time on my calendar so I have at least one afternoon per week without multiple meetings.

From a personal perspective

  • I’m so much busier than I thought I’d be. Sure, I knew having a lot of local friends would mean busier evenings, and a 50 minute commute eats a chunk of time, but I’m still amazed how fast time has gone.
  • It feels like I’ve been here forever. Granted, much of that is settling back into a place I have already lived, but it feels like it has been much longer than a year.
  • Added the Philosopher and Pyewacket to the people and felines in my life.  Welcome additions, both.
  • I’m still working on the apartment.  Yesterday I drug the Philosopher to Home Depot and purchased shelves and pretty brackets and coat hooks and those went in my entryway.  They were immediately covered with coats and hats and scarves, it’s nice to have things the way they should be.
  • The yarn stash is still out of control.  I assume that doesn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone.  I did do better this year about how much yarn I bought–which considering my apartment is half the size of my apt in La Crosse (yes, truly, we measured), is probably a good thing.
I’m very grateful to be closer to my family, living near major airports, and able to take public transportation to work every day.  My coworkers have been very welcoming.  I’m still figuring out what I’d like to do research on–more from there being so many options as opposed to not enough. And I’m looking for a spare few hours more a day to read, knit, and write….

One Comment

  1. Comment by Cleo Pappas:

    Oh, Abs, what a delightful and thoughtful summation of year one. So much of what you share I remember experiencing myself. You are a most welcome and valuable addition to our team. You are sooooo right about time. There just isn’t any. I don’t think anyone who does not work in a research institution realizes how much of our time just swirls down the drain in our own research, committee meetings, task forces, meetings, and teaching. For me, things got a bit better after year five, and that is probably more that I got used to it than that it actually improved. People tell me its gets worse with tenure because the emphasis switches from research to service. cleop *)