I really started learning stuff back in the autumn of the year 2000 at St. Lawrence University. One of five courses I took my first semester of college was intro to environmental science. I still have my two and a half inch thick text book, even though I could have sold it back for good money. It was painful to learn all this from a teacher who basically started out by telling us that there is no real solution. That same semester, my first year class also studied environmental issues and international politics. It was enough to immerse me deeply in the problems of this planet, that's for sure. After reading Ishmael by Daniel Quinn and also The Man Who Grew Young by the same author, I became passionate about making a difference in the world.
My second semester I decided to steer away from such a deep focus on the environment. I knew it was very bad, and that was enough. My second semester first year course was "Toxic Avenger's Theatre." That course really stretched me far beyond my comfort zone and pushed my creativity to the limit. The following semester I took international politics and then, early in the semester on an off day, September 11th happened. I decided to focus my learning on international politics and math. I was doing well in most of my courses.... but I had become so deeply depressed by the shock of learning about the impossible ills of the world I was not sure I could carry on. I spent a semester in Europe and then dropped out of college.
I felt it was time for me to switch from a science and math focus to a creative focus. I took courses at a few different community colleges and then designed my own degree program at Empire State College. I carefully planned out a highly balanced, extremely well rounded education topped by a study in the use of literature in education. I did not study how to teach but rather the broader concept of education in general. After finishing my highly coveted degree, I spent two years earning minimum wage in urban poverty until I realized that a career in librarianship was perfect for me. I wrote a compelling application essay and (surprise!) conceived my daughter the same week. I learned of the pregnancy two weeks after I was accepted at the University at Buffalo's library science program. This same month, my grandmother died. I underwent several serious lifestyle changes to adapt to the pregnancy, while at the same time I awkwardly began a degree I wanted second only to my baby. We moved to Batavia and got married. We moved back to Rochester. As soon as my prepregnancy figure returned, (surprise again!) I became pregnant a second time. I finished my MLS and then gave birth to my boy child three weeks later. Perhaps this might be the right answer to "tell me something about yourself" for someone looking to hire the best of the best? I don't know. What makes one best better than another best of a different variety?
Honestly, I am the sort of person who is interested in so many things. I must concentrate to narrow my focus and execute detail oriented work. Seeing the big picture is something that comes naturally to me. I like to bird walk ideas, as one started project gets set aside unfinished as I become excited about a new concept that then in turn feeds to another. I will return to my old projects. I do intend on finishing them one day. Deadlines help me.
My current focus is learning about how humanity must change the way we interact with our environment if we are to stop living as parasites on the planet and begin to shift our way of thinking toward sustainability. My daughter's preschool teacher says I should just talk about going green. That's something palatable that people can learn about somewhat comfortably. Learning about sustainability and permaculture can be overwhelming and depressing. I think that now I am ready for it. As a pretend librarian, I imagine that I am in a position where maybe somehow I can make a difference by providing my imaginary patrons with just the right amount of information so that they want to learn more and continue to live an increasingly green lifestyle.
I fantasize about being able to build a collection of very useful reference books in these subjects. I am lying. I see titles and reviews of books like these and I ignore them all the time. I have zero budget. I have kids to look after and there are so few jobs out there paying a wage that will both meet our physical and financial needs. The only thing I want more that a part time library job, is a nice home comfortably within my budget where I can raise my family.
I interviewed for a position nearly two weeks ago....
I just discovered my nice rejection email. They will keep my resume on file in case of new openings and all that. I know that I should not feel bad as they interviewed quite a few of my well qualified colleagues, but rejection is intensified by how few and far between open positions have become. Will I even get another chance within a year? The more time that passes, the more shiny new graduates are also waiting with their freshly sharpened skills and advice from their professors on how to get that job. I owe money for this education. I care about this work. I have children to think of. I have goals for myself that I have been holding on to for a long time. How am I supposed to accept things the way they are? I can't.