Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bucket List update

I was talking with a friend the other night about Bucket Lists, and I realized that I hadn't looked at/updated mine in a really long time.  I also believe that once you put it out there in the cosmos it will happen, so here's the updated list (in no particular order):

1. See Rusted Root in concert 
2. Go to the Spitsbergen Islands
3. Volunteer with Extreme Makeover, Home Edition
4. Go to Oktoberfest in Munich
5. Get to the top of Skogshorn
6. Learn Norwegian
7. Figure out Morfar's role in WWII
8. Take up African drumming
9. Horseback ride again
10. Live in Norway for at least a year
11. Get a tattoo (sorry, mom)
12. Go to a ball in Vienna
13. St. Pat's in Dublin
14. Own a cabin in the woods
15. Take up skiing again
16. Drive across the country in an RV
17. Go to Ingebretsen's in Minneapolis
18. See Mumford & Sons in concert

Well, that's it for now.  I figure I owe everyone an update on my new job/life in Nashville. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Just thinking....

I had lunch with my mentor today. We talked a lot about my experience at Gettysburg and how different it is for me to be here now. My main "problems" are gone, I earned two Master's degrees neither of which is in Music Ed, and I'm doing something that I love and I am very good at. I recently accepted a position as the Music Librarian at Belmont University in Nashville, TN - an opportunity for which I am very excited.

Now I'm sitting and watching the "Christmas at St. Olaf" concert and wondering what my life would be like if I had gone there for college. My mom claims she tried to get me to go and I said no, but I definitely do not remember this conversation. Perhaps the pitch wasn't that great. Maybe it wasn't mentioned that I could study Norwegian and music. Either way, I can't help but wonder what my life would be like now had I spent 4 years in Minnesota.

I know I can't have any regrets, but it makes me think...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mentee Becomes Mentor

This past Tuesday an interesting thing happened: I was helping my student worker put up an exhibit that she created and the library director came out to check it out. The following conversation took place:

Director: "Funny, isn't it?"
Me: "What's that?"
Director: "It doesn't seem like that long ago that you were the student, and now you're the mentor."
Me: "Huh. Yeah, I guess you're right."

In my head I was thinking "man, that's weird." I don't feel old enough to be mentoring someone, especially since I still talk to (and need) my mentor quite a bit. Just today I had lunch with another one of our student assistants, and she and I talked about library school and the plan for her life. It doesn't seem like that long ago that I had that exact same conversation with my mentor, and now look where I am - in my own office, influencing other students, guiding them on their career paths and in their lives.

I knew I would never have the type of influence that classroom teachers or professors have, but I am slowly realizing that my influence reaches far beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I think it's also a testament to the legacy set up by my own mentor. He has worked with many students, but I like to consider myself his "protege" (and I think he does too). We have an incredible professional relationship, but also a very strong (almost brother/sister) type friendship. He has supported me for 6 or 7 years, and now I get to be that support for others. That is quite the legacy.

I also gave my student worker her Christmas (yes, Christmas) gift today. It was nothing huge, but she was so appreciative, and I realized that all I want is to bring joy to others. THAT is why I get up every day.

I love my job.

(ETA: Seconds after posting, this came through my Google Reader How to Get and Keep a Mentor. Coincidence? I think not.)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Let's get it started.

OK, it's been almost a year since I posted, but with the new phase in my life, I wanted to get my blog up and running. Here's a low-down on what's been going on with me:

1) I am no longer in Buffalo, which means that I no longer spend my afternoons with Hiller, but the name of the blog will stay because I like it.

2) I am no longer at the Library of Congress. My time there was short, but amazing, and I learned a lot about a lot of things.

3) I spent the summer digitizing financial records for the Seamen's Church Institute . While this might not sound as glamorous as working with archival collections at LC, it was great and varied experience for my resume, and the people I met were wonderfully nice and so much fun! I also now have a reason and purpose to knit tons of hats and scarves, and I'm going to learn how to knit socks as soon as my Christmas gift backlog is taken care of.

4) I work at Gettysburg College! Yep, I'm back to the ol' Alma Mater, and it actually feels really good. I'm in Technical Services at Musselman Library cataloging CDs, scores, books, and whatever else they throw my way. I will also work at the reference desk once a week, and I have a few other projects in the planning stages (and it's only day 5!).

So there's the low-down on my life. Join me as I move into and decorate my apartment, become a full-fledged cataloger, and enjoy life in the 'Burg!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

George N. Parks (1953-2010)

A band director, a drum major, a father, a leprechaun, an eternal Peter Pan. The man was larger-than-life, animated, caring, respectful, a sage, immortal...

Everything I am right now I am because of what George Parks taught me during my time at the Drum Major Academy. I have taught a handful of drum majors with his methods, and my Senior year of high school I won the coveted "Best Drum Major" trophy at a competition for the first time in my high school's history, and I owe it all to him. I used to be shy - he taught me confidence. I had no idea how to be a leader - he taught me to lead with a firm, fair, fun hand. He taught me to sit up just a little straighter, that "If you fail to plan, plan to fail," and "If you can't change it, don't complain about it." That last one I repeat a lot. He told me that no matter what I do, I need to do it with love. Isn't that something we should all strive for?

This immortal, wonderful man passed away on Thursday night from an apparent heart attack after a performance of his beloved UMASS Marching Band. He died doing what he loved, and I can't think of a better way to go. He was 57 years old.

George Parks left the world too soon, and there are tens of thousands of band people out there who understand exactly how I'm feeling right now. We are all a part of the George N. Parks brotherhood. We understand how he was gipped by the Lucky Charms guy. We feel the urge to conduct when we hear the music from the movie "Hook." We know the sting of a mace bruise while trying to perfect the George Parks mace toss. Most importantly, we know to always keep our chins up, and our eyes "with pride."

I can truly say that the world lost an unsung hero on Thursday, and the best legacy that we can all give him is to continue living our lives under his influence. That is what he would want...

I leave you with a scene from "Hook." You are the Pan, George Parks, and Neverland is lucky to have you...

Friday, July 2, 2010


so I downloaded a blogger app to my phone (shh...don't tell my family, which means I can post from the phone. will I? who knows...stay tuned!

Published with Blogger-droid v1.3.9

Thursday, August 13, 2009

How Music can Save the Economy

This week, as part of my 120 hours of cataloging, my cataloging supervisor gave me a 7 volume set that constituted the History of Music In San Francisco series, originally published from 1939-1942. The writing of these volumes was due in no small part to the efforts of the Works Progress Administration's "Federal Music Project." It was the goal of this project to document the musical history of the United States while putting its citizens to work and (hopefully) repairing the ailing economy. In addition, there were many orchestras across the country (including Buffalo) that had their start thanks to the WPA.

Was the project a success? Some say yes, some say no. However, it did have a significant impact on the world of music librarianship. In American Music Librarianship, Carol June Bradley detailed the collection development and cataloging processes at the New York Public Library ca1933. She writes "[Carleton Sprague Smith] worked to exploit the collections as he inherited them. The first two years he limited acquisitions to filling in the gaps revealed by inventories; he had the collections searched and bibliographic aids devised to provide maximum access to their specializations; and the utilized the 'emergency workers' and later WPA workers to put existing materials in optimum order while he organized his priorities." See, music librarians, always working for a cause.

Speaking of Miss Bradley, her memorial service will take place on Saturday the 22nd. I discover more and more every day how much of an impact she has had on my career, so I think it is (to quote Lincoln!) "all together fitting and proper" that I attend. Hell, I might even learn something, and from what I've heard about Miss Bradley, she would have preferred it that way.

Oh, and I have to just get this out there. I have the best supervisor ever. She and I had a great discussion today about some "issues." It's nice to be working in such an incredibly supportive environment. I've only ever had that once before, and it was in retail. Support in academia is new and refreshing for me.