Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Rapture Index has two functions: one is to factor together a number of related end time components into a cohesive indicator, and the other is to standardize those components to eliminate the wide variance that currently exists with prophecy reporting.

The Rapture Index is by no means meant to predict the rapture, however, the index is designed to measure the type of activity that could act as a precursor to the rapture.

(Thanks to Bill H. for drawing this interesting site to my attention.)
Walt Crawford, whose pieces in American Libraries I usually like, on Gorman and blogs.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

I Thought We Liked Gorman
Skip slashdot and go straight to the horse's mouth: Library Journal - Revenge of the Blog People! On the one hand, Gorman probably should read more blogs; on the other, he's not really wrong. B and I just spoke on the phone about the quality of writing on blogs: much of it is unimpressive. As those who write to me to draw my attention to my misspellings know, I consider Capital City Desk casual writing, a first or second draft at best. And Google certainly does offer more hits than most people can evaluate.

Those studying for comps will remember that Gorman believes in that a "'traditional' library is not one that rejects change and innovation -- it is a library that welcomes all means of serving its community better." (Our Enduring Values: Librarianship inthe 21st Century (2000), p. 32) He urges intergration of technology with our values of democracy, privacy, literacy and learning, etc. with, "We can hold fast to our values and proclaim our value." (p. 172) I'm pretty sure I used that in comps. Yeah, I still like Gorman.

I Also Like Zeisel
Do take a loook at the pics from the ATC interview with Eva Zeisel.
Closed Chapter

I came home yesterday to a message from R Middle School -- they hoped I could be a permanent sub for them. I returned the call to say, Thanks, but no, because it's tacky when people don't return calls.

I just filed a folder marked "Henrico Co Schools." I note from the official list of schools that I went to every single middle school and to every high school except Tucker! Am I proud, or demoralized? Hard to say. (Oh, bother: a new middle school opened this year! I never made it to Hungary Creek.)

Friday, February 25, 2005

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Last night, S and I went to hear Donna Brazile at the University of Richmond. She was interesting and re-affirming on many liberal issues. She does seem prepared, however, to choose Democratic candidates for charisma first, then smarts, noting that all that stuff I take to be Bush's idiocy many people feel makes him approachable and likeable. He's the president. He needs to be intellectual, a complex-thinker, compassionate, and capable -- not likeable.
I Don't Wanna Be a Pirate

Drive time weather for my first day at the library: Lovely, wet snow

First reference question I handled as a paid Librarian: "Do you have Holes?" I checked the computer to see if we had a copy on the shelf, and then walked to the right shelves with him.

Item in my "next office" box that I brought back home: The clock radio. I didn't ask, but I didn't notice one in anyone else's cube, and, in general, it's very quiet in the work room.

Comfort TV after a long, though not rigorous, day: Seinfeld, the puffy shirt episode

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

To my Girl Scout and Girl Guide friends, Happy Thinking Day! The Chair of the World Board suggests we use this "time to realise that we all share this planet together and by doing so have a common responsibility for each other and its well being."

Monday, February 21, 2005

20 Questions for Tim Kaine. Isn't liking The Simspons reason enough to have him as our next governor?
I don't think that TD links stay live long, so read it quick: Memorial service is set for Merhige
From a good article on AlterNet called Blogging While Black: "the weblog [is] our generation's mimeograph." The author writes about race and grassroots communication.

Sunday, February 20, 2005


Morning Edition Sunday found yet more people to dis Wikipedia. A school librarian worried about students who don't critique what they read, about them being fooled by people monkeying with the open source encyclopedia. Another expert came on to assert that when people change entries maliciously, writers fix it in minutes if not seconds.

In my limited use and few tests, I have never found it to be off the mark. I hesitated for a long time to look up
Girl Scouts for fear that I would read about "Girl Scouts of America" and other way-out stuff. The entry could have been written by a GSUSA PR staffer: history, program goals, program levels. Oh. The Promise and Law are missing. Well, that's unfortunate. The other unfortunate things was that when I searched "Girl Scouts" I had to go through the "Scouting" entry, look under USA, and choose GSUSA -- leaving the impression that GSUSA is a subset of Boy Scouting. It's not important enough for me to sign on as an editor and change, though!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Last Call

Shout out to C, who must have been reminded of this by my last-day-of-subbing story. The young man in the picture looks a little like Mr. S's new student teacher, who seemed fast on his way to disillusionment -- and Mr. S has pretty good "disadvantaged" kids. Remember how I began, being met by a guidance couselor who said, “You do know we’re a school for children with discipline problems, right?” I ended closer to full-circle than I expected, given my two-day assignement for a French teacher at a familiar high school.

Yesteday's French classes went fine. Two girls did feed me "she lets us talk all the time" when I asked them to stop having an in-depth conversation and watch the video. The 5th block kids I had met the day before; they were cool. But the school was short on subs, so instead of ending my tenure with those nice young people, I ended with a shift over to the math building. There, having heard the principal remind students on Tuesday that they may not use cell phones or e-mail during school hours, I had to bust a girl for making a cell phone call in geometry class. An administrator came and removed her from class. I collected papers, and the students packed up. As I walked up and down the rows making sure I had all papers, I got from the girl's 10-foot tall buddy, "what you go and do that for? You should ha jus told her get off the phone. You don't gotta call [the office] like that." I love it when they try to make up school rules. "Thanks for letting me know. But you know what?" I smiled up at him. "I really don't care."

I turned my back on him and went to the front of the room, and the bell rang.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Wow, I miss January Term: MHC Bounty: A Journey at Sea.

Meanwhile, it's late February here in Capital City. On Sunday I noted that, out of the blue, the daffodils in my yard had sent up an inch or more of leaves. Today, at least one is ready to bloom.

Thursday, February 17, 2005


Thanks for all the notes of congrats, everyone! The arrival today of a packet of goodies to take with me to County Employee Training next Wednesday made this new adventure feel more real and closer. I have been won over, foolishly, by the small details: a set of pre-printed labels with my name, address, etc. to use on all those tedious tax forms, and the card (sent separately) of welcome from the director of human resources ("I hope your career with us will be a long and satisfying one").

"Librarian I," of course, is a big-employer level designation kind of thing. I don't know what my business cards will say, but the position details from my interview is labeled "Librarian I - Adult/Young Adult." My responsibilities will include providing reference services and instruction, planning programs for adults and YAs, managing the book lease plan, scheduling staff for the Information Desk, preparing pathfinders and bibliographies, and some collection management. I will be going back to the world of working nights (2/week) and Saturdays (2/month). That's better odds than a rough quarter at the Girl Scout council, when I generally worked 3 or 4 nights per week and worked one or both days of 5 weekends out of 6.

My transition activities:
- telling the county school system I won't be subbing after Friday (woo-freakin-hoo)
- throwing out "in process" applications and filing now-extra copies of school transcripts that an academic library required
- packed a box of things for my new desk (including my action figure)
- deleting all job-seeking website bookmarks
- rearranging remaining school bookmarks and pertinent ones found since then into a folder called "professional"
- I started to throw out things in the ringbinder I started when I saw a career counselor, but then I thought that could wait. After I start work, I might see that some folks I met or contacted during that process will be worth talking to again for something or another. It'll feel great to dismantle it, but it can wait.
- collecting business cards and e-mail addresses of people I've met and worked with (especially some cool school librarians) these last two years, to be the seeds of a new rolodex

I thought I would feel giddier at high school today than I did. Perhaps it's the nature of doing work that demands one introduce oneself a dozen times a day. In a way, I am new every day. I have neither the sadness nor the glee of knowing I may never see these people again. I know if I had the swearing students, the "I ain't doing this"/"what we got do this for?" students, the feeling of relief would be more noticible. Another factor might be the fact that I got lost in a published collection of Batgirl comix I grabbed at the library this morning to read while the students watched the video.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


I am the new "Librarian I" at Henrico County's North Park Library! I start next week! Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

From High Atop Church Hill

T and I attended a recreation of the Second Virginia Convention at St. John's Church today. Though I feel good about U.S. being a place and a culture separate from Britain, I kept nodding with the "delegates" urging the Convention to be cautious, to consider the violence, the expense, the loss that would arise if the colonies armed against the world's greatest naval power. Then, of course, Mr. Henry, of Hanover County, tells his fellow delegates, "I know not what course others may take, but as for me: give me liberty or give me death." And I found I had been nodding agreement with both sides. (If you'd like to attend yourself, get details here.)

We walked west a few blocks to take a look at the proposed site for a new baseball stadium. I noted that the WRVA building has a sign announcing that the Memorial Child Guidance Clinic uses it now. Mr. Slipek eulogized the building's architect, Philip Johnson, and wrote of the sweet little building,
From the inside, radio personalities could look out over the city [link added]. This architectural combination is remarkable in its sweep, and the fact that modernism took root on Church Hill was a statement that Richmond didn’t have to be mired in the past.

At VCUkrops: I ran into the co-conspirators for John's book release party; we agreed we have got to pick a date, soon.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Order Up

I just placed an online order for ye ole cap n gown for May! B, C, and I plan to take part in the pomp and circumstance (hmm, time to start saving spare change for a champagne fund). I skipped the keepsakes, note cards, and seals this time around. Caps are apparently "one size fits all" these days; no cumbersome measurements. As for my gown, my best choice was to tell them I am "200 pounds or less."

At school

Today, I listened to "Drumline" three times. (I read Stephen Fry's Hippopotamus, rather than watch.) Thankfully, a pep rally cut the third viewing short. The person reading the announcements said teachers were to sit with the students. I had a dozen girls in a chorus class -- how bad could it be? Dutifully, I said, You girls don't leave without me, I'm just going to the bathroom. They waited until I was coming in the door to tear out. Since I had been reading rather than interacting with them, I couldn't pick a one out of a line up. And just yesterday a regular teacher complimented my classroom management skills!
Friends, please welcome Barrie Lee to the blogosphere! I predict useful links, great photos, and pithy quotations, such as this, from his first post: "Any library that can be replaced by Google, should be (Seaman 2005)."

Thursday, February 10, 2005

You Might Have Said at Least a Hundred Things

Our subject line today speaks both for subbing and for yesterday's job interview. I may have under-sold myself.

At high school, the IB students read, wrote about, and discussed Cyrano de Bergerac. Fifth block read aloud from the end of Act I; the boy reading Cyrano did a fine job with those great nose speeches (and that subject title). The 7th block kids, practicing reading scenes in pairs, made me laugh, with their mild melodramatics. Plus, they were cracking themselves up, and that's funny to watch.

Monday, February 07, 2005


CB e-mailed me to make me aware that a link my site appears on some prescription drug information website. I guess some webcrawler goes around looking for brand names and picked up one I used in this post. At first I was pretty miffed, but now I figure the joke's on them since it's just an off-hand remark, not an endorsement. The really curious part is that Tim Burton was on my mind that day, as he has been this past week. Not only have I been craving re-viewing past classics, but I have also teetered on more than one conversation with kids on his work -- but it keeps coming back to my meaning vs. theirs and bridging that gap.
Access to Information, or NYT's online content policies: could they suck any more?

At school today: a 23 minute class called Advisory. Two students explained that it was supposed to be "like extra guidance stuff." They'd seen "a lot of 'don't do drugs and stuff'" videos lately and also had talked (heard?) about plagiarism. Today, I had career crossword puzzles for them. Most students humored me and did it. I almost told the girl with the picture from Edward Scissorhands that I had just watched that movie again last night, for the first time in more than 10 years, but I sensed she was mad at me for asking her to stop applying make-up earlier.

Capital City weather: sunny, low 60s

Saturday, February 05, 2005


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Dahl-Burton-Depp ... It's gotta turn out okay, right?

A little darker: Corpse Bride.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

All The Fashion News

Rob Walker, in the 1/2/05 issue of the New York Times Magazine, writes about Britain's "chavs" and their characteristic wearing of Burberry plaid. He sums up this and similar American trends as "show[ing] how fluid brand meaning has become . . . and how it's ultimately consumers who decide what that meaning it." This helps clarify my understanding of faux diamonds, expensive polo shirts, and pink on teen boys, and Timberland-type boots with tops that fold down in Burberry type plaid on teen girls in the east end of the county. The kids mean something different by it than what I expect, than what used to be the meaning of that thing.

Capital City weather: 30s with a lovely, wet, southern snow. Walking home from the art museum in it was a treat.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

In the News

On Groundhog Day: "This is really an astronomical holiday -- one of the year's four cross-quarter days." For more, go to: Earth & Sky.

Richmond could become home to NASCAR's hall of fame. Details here.

Cheers To

Mitch on her new job!

Maggi on her birthday!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Get the Sensation

I had extra cash, I would buy myself
this painting.