Berlin There, Done That

Why do I do this to myself? There are a few nights I’ll have every month where all I do is go online and check airline prices to Berlin, and tonight was one of those nights. I got home from work, ate some dinner, got on my laptop and the next thing I know I’ve spent 90 minutes looking at prices for a trip I can’t take any time soon. I get into way too much detail with it, thinking things like “leave Berlin to come back home at 7am? No way!” “Three stops on the way over, with one in Istanbul? No way!” “22 hour layover in Newark? NO WAY.”

On the bright side, it makes me want to really crack down on my studying again. My goal for October will be doing 30 minutes for 6 days a week, and hopefully gradually increasing the time through November and December. It has to be easier to implement New Year’s Resolutions if I’ve already spent a couple of months trying to make implement new habits, right? ….Right?

I miss this and need to return ASAP.

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Story Time

It’s been a few days since I had to cover our branch’s big Wednesday morning story time. It was absolutely terrifying but it was like most experiences people dread: as soon as it starts you can only move forward. The whole thing lasted an hour and it definitely felt like an hour. One part I was the most nervous for was the 15 minutes before it actually started, since that meant I had to already be sitting down and greeting everyone that came in –  making small talk with parents I’ve never officially met and toddlers who definitely don’t know me. But luckily that time went by quickly when I complimented one little girl’s polka dot shoes and that made every single kid start to hold their feet in the air with their hands going, “look at my shoes! My shoes have The Avengers! My shoes are orange and blue!” All in all there were 83 at story time and I felt like I needed to take a nap afterward. It really made me admire everything children’s librarians do, because let me tell you: entertaining 80 people for an hour is not easy.

Why Am I Scared of Kids?

Our children’s librarian is on vacation and God bless the woman – she waited an entire year to take a week’s vacation because she knew how much I didn’t want to cover her children’s programming. (Also she couldn’t use any until 6 months after hiring so…) (Also, I’ve been there a year and haven’t taken vacation yet. Just FYI.) But hey, kids are terrifying! They’re so blunt in their honesty and their love-hate attitudes turn on the flip of a switch. Covering 4 or more programs in one week is not my idea of a good time, because if I bomb on the first one then chances are I’ll bomb on every other one that’s still coming up.

Today I had my first program and it was preschool story time. It was a good one to start out on because it’s always small (5-8) compared to Wednesday’s typical 60-80 participants. (60-80!!!!!) I got 3 books in before I lost control of the little guys and we went on to craft time. The point was to trace their hands on a paper, and there was one 3 year old boy in the group who was super cute but totally not into the craft. He was more interested in picking out every purple crayon in the bin, which is interesting enough but the mom was not about to let it fly. Finally I picked up a green crayon and said, “You know, Tommy, if you outline your hands in this green it would look like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle hand!”. His eyes LIT UP and I got a resounding, “YESSSS!!”

Then we became best friends.

Until craft time was over and he left.

The end.

Summer Learning 2015

The Summer Learning Program (SLP) at the library has come and gone and one month later I finally remember to write about it. I’m great at this blogging thing!

In three months I had 11 programs and was exhausted from day one. Teenagers can wear you out! I had a circus tricks program that included juggling, spinning plates, and mastering walking on stilts. One pair of stilts were 6″ and the other pair was 12″. Most teens wouldn’t try the tall ones so I learned to master those while everyone else took turns on the shorter ones.

Some other programs were Fandom Friday, Paint & Plant, Hour of Code, Mystery Night, and the 2015 Ice Cream Olympics. I had a lot of fun planning the olympics but it’s not easy for two people to corral 15 teens together and make them all do the same thing at the same time, so it was basically 2 hours of me yelling nonstop to talk over 7 separate yet simultaneous conversations. It had to be outside and of course it was 90 degrees, so we had to move fast to get through everything before the ice cream melted. I had a cherry on a stick relay race (had to hold the stick in their mouths), “spooning”, bob for gummies, ice cream sandwich toss, ice cream topping scavenger hunt, and then finally an ice cream eating contest. They were happy but I think both my helper Rob and I deserved a vacation after that one.

The best part of the SLP was that on the final program of the summer one of my new regulars gave me a thank-you card when she arrived. Her mom told me that her Aspergers made it difficult for her get comfortable with new situations but that she had looked forward to coming to my programs all summer. That was a pretty great feeling.

Now that my first SLP as an official librarian is over I definitely know what I need to work on for next year, but all in all I had a pretty good (and busy) summer spent at work.

What my desk looked like pretty much the whole summer (with some ARCs of juvenile/YA books not yet published! (at the time I took the photo) (can you do parentheses within parentheses? I just did.)(Wolf Wilder was rull rull good.)(I have a rull big crush on Theo James/Four.))