Back in January, my loyal readers – all like two of you – might remember me mentioning that I was applying for another job in the library. Specifically, I was applying to be an official librarian – a reference librarian. So I’m sure you’re on the edge of your seat wondering if I got it. The answer is no, I didn’t, but not because I was rejected. I rejected the process.
Because, you see, we just now found our candidates. In July. Seriously. Last summer, we lost a librarian, and another moved to a higher position. So two candidates needed. 75 people applied. Again, seriously! I’m thinking these people must not have realized where we are. They probably got confused and thought we were one of those big universities with money and stuff, located in a city with people and entertainment and not so many cows.
So I was a bit daunted by this, but what the heck, I could hack it. But time at a university moves like a penguin. If you’ve ever watched these birds, you know they aren’t exactly speed demons. They waddle, and spend lots of time huddling together. That’s what happens here too. We’ve needed these two positions filled since last July. For six months the position was “frozen” (like a penguin homeland) until they decided to open it again. But that was just the beginning. They then had to come up with a job description. And post it. And wait for applications. And cry when they realized that by leaving the position open for an extra weekend, the number went from 55 to 75 applicants. Which just goes to show how bad our economy really is.
The position, while a huge raise for me, is not what most would consider highly paid. But the little addition of “salary commiserate upon experience” doesn’t exactly tell people “Even public school teachers are paid better than this.” With all these candidates, I figured they’d find some scientific way to eliminate people, like say all candidates with names starting with M. But no, it is required that every single application be reviewed and assigned a numerical score. Every. Single. One.
No one person could do this without losing all mental faculties. So a committee is formed (remember the huddle?) of seven people, only one of whom is not on staff. So this means about half the staff was involved in the hiring process. Of two people. Who will make less money than a public school teacher. But it’s not about the money. It’s about the prestige that a title like “librarian” brings with it. I mean, sure, you could be a lawyer making six figures, but if you’re a librarian, you still get to do research, only you make a tenth of the salary. Awesome!
As time dragged on, I felt my stress-o-meter go up. I filled in at this position since they were short handed, and to give myself experience. Unfortunately, this experience showed me that not only is this a rather difficult job, it is also extremely annoying. I’ve done reference work before, but not with university students. It turns out that university students have a lot of questions. And they will come up and ask you for help with everything. You might help twenty people in an hour. And the questions range from “Where is the bathroom?” to the more complex “Why is the computer melting?” Let’s not forget the phone either, which you’re expected to answer. Upstairs, at my regular position, most of my phone calls come from people trying to reach somebody else.
It’s tough when you’re sitting at a desk that is literally labeled “Reference” and you know absolutely nothing. They’ll ask you lots of homework questions, and after a while, you’re willing to just do their homework, because you have no idea how to explain it. That is, if you understand how to do their homework. One student I helped was an ESL student working on law, which meant I had to try and translate two different languages. My brain was pudding by the end of that session. And then there’s the issues with the computers and printers. The I.T. people downstairs have locked us out of most computer stuff, for good reason I’m sure, but unfortunately this keeps us from being able to access things we need, like the ability to put a travel drive into the computer. You have to call them when a student needs to use a travel drive to upload their homework. Every. Single. Time. I’m pretty sure most of I.T. assumes we’re all brain dead, although they are usually polite enough not to tell us so.
I’m not a real people person. I am what you call “introverted” which translates to “nerd”. It’s not that I hate all people, just most people. More than once, when a student came to me with a question I wanted to ask, “What???” Sometimes I would work on my Jedi mind powers, trying in vain to direct the students away from me with my mind. “You do not have a question. You want to return to your dorm . . .”
So anyway, this experience combined with the length and stress of the application process, caused me to change my mind. And just in time. We finally brought two people to campus to interview, and only one ran away screaming once she realized where we were. Luckily, the next candidate we interviewed decided to come. I’m not sure what they told her, but it had to be pretty good. In a funny twist of fate, one of our new reference librarians has the same name I do. So it’s like another me got the position, only this me is younger and more accomplished! Yay!
Seriously, I wish our two new people well. Maybe in a few years I’ll be ready for that step up. For now, I’ll waddle back to my safe little cubby in Special Collections. Which turns out to be more special than I ever realized.
I picked on some of the “Classics” of literature last time. (I wonder how a book gets to be a classic. Does it have to rate a certain level on the depression scale to be considered? There are very few happy classic books.) Anyway, now I move on to some of the more popular – for some reason – books that people are reading or have read. Many of them have even been made into movies. Then again, so have many comic books, so take that as you will.
The Twilight Series:
Oh, Twilight, how can I rate thee? Surely not as well as many others already have. Just look at the blog roll to see some of the excellent blogs trashing this book like it rightly deserves. I do have one complaint – these people, as far as know, were not around when the series first came out, so I suffered alone. No one should suffer these books alone! There should be some sort of AA group for the victims of bad books. Anyway, be sure to check out these people – they are awesome.
And these are just the ones I’ve discovered so far in my ongoing quest to keep from doing productive work! I’m getting off track again. In case you are one of the six people who haven’t heard of or read this book, here is my summary of all four books in play form for dramatic effect.
Bella: Edward you are so hot
Edward: Yes but I am a vampire. Stay away and get in my Volvo.
Bella: Edward you are so hot. I want to be a vampire too.
Edward: No way. Your blood smells yummy.
Bella: Let us lay in this meadow and stare at each other.
Edward: Watch me sparkle and dazzle!
Bella: Your family is totally cool. I want to be a vampire too.
Edward: No you don’t. We are all beautiful and sparkly and live forever and rainbows shoot out our butts. Why would anyone want that?
Bella: My life is awful. My Dad cares and everyone in school wants to be my friend. Please make me a vampire.
Edward: Let’s play baseball. Oh, no, there is another vampire that wants to kill you.
Bella: What, a plot? I will throw myself into danger for no real reason.
Edward: I will rescue you and blame your injuries on falling down the stairs. Wanna go to prom?
Bella: No but I will because you are hot. Make me into a vampire.
Edward: No – we have three more books to go.
Bella: Yay it’s my birthday but paper cut and my boyfriend left me and my life is over.
Jacob: I am another super hot guy who is crazy about you for no known reason.
Bella: Cool. Help me attempt suicide cause it makes me have hallucinations of my boyfriend Edward who is better than you.
Jacob: Okay. Jump off a cliff.
Bella: Wow I almost died but Jacob rescued me.
Jacob: I am a hot werewolf and I love you.
Bella: Oh no Edward heard I was dead and is going to kill himself by sparkling
Jacob: Lol, what?
Bella: I must go to Italy and stop him. Whew he is alive but these other vampires want me to become a vampire. Edward, turn me into a vampire.
Edward: No. It would take away your soul. Never. Unless you marry me.
Bella: Ew, that’s like a real commitment, yuck. Unlike eternal life.
Jacob: Hey, I’m still here guys.
Edward: Stay away from my girlfriend.
Bella: Oh, nooos, two hot guys are fighting over me!
Reader: This can’t get worse.
Edward: I want to protect you so no more seeing your friend Jacob
Bella: Hey where is my car battery?
Edward: I took it cause I love you. There is a vampire chick out to kill you.
Bella: Make me into a vampire.
Edward: Not till you marry meeee.
Bella: Vampire chick is killing lots of people. Lots of werewolves are mad and want to attack vampires. I am full of angst.
Edward: Let’s be friends with werewolves after all and kill vampire chick. Done.
Jacob: I still love you so I’m gonna force you to kiss my furry self.
Bella: Oh, another sign of abuse. I love you and Edward! How will I choose?
Edward: It says in the book you choose me. Let’s get married.
Bella: Okay, I will send an invite to Jacob. Won’t that be nice?
Reader: It got worse. Wait – there’s still one more book? Why????
Bella: Yay, a wedding! I am pretty and married to Edward. Soon I will give up my soul.
Edward: Let’s honeymoon on my island. Oops I almost broke you. My bad.
Bella: That’s okay. Oh, look, I’m preggers with a demon baby!
Edward: Let’s kill it.
Bella: No ways I luv my baby! Oh, no, baby broke me. I will puke blood.
Edward: Gross. I guess I have to make you a vampire now.
Bella: Yay, I am a vampire and sparkly and perfect and wonderful and demon baby is oh so cute. I will call her Reneesme.
Jacob: That’s an awful name. I will totally marry her one day.
Bella: Ew, quit making googly eyes at my baby!
Edward: Other vampires are going to kill our demon baby. We might have actual action.
Bella: No we won’t. Cause I will make a shield and protect everybody because I am a special snowflake. Mean vampires go away. Yay, together forever and happy!
Reader: Throws book across room.
fake chin and freaked out disguises that could fool no one but Our Hero and Katy Perry. His mission in life was to bring down Sportacus, so you kind of had to cut him a break there. Guy’s heart was in the right place, but sadly his brain wasn’t. So his plans to keep the lazy in Lazytown were always thwarted.
with her all the time. And he was totally French on top of that. At least I think he was. He kind of had an accent and this stupid Hitler stash. Point being, it just seemed kind of odd for him to be hangin’ around a young girl all the time. Couldn’t Sportacus find someone his own age? Creeper.
Note: This blog done with my own copyrighted illustrations! Noooo one copy now!
|Don’t use this stationary
no matter how cute it is.
|Example of Children’s Book Cover|
I am taking a small break from the kiddie shows in order to focus on another genre, one possibly more deadly. Teenie-bopper shows. Disney and Nickelodeon (or Nick, cause they are trying to be cool) are two of the most responsible for this programming. These shows tend to feature beautiful, pimple-less teens with major problems, like prom, boyfriends or lack thereof, and parents who are complete morons.
While these shows feature teens, they are usually watched by pre-teens in the 9 to 12 range. That’s because once a kid reaches the age of the kids on the show, they realize that real school life isn’t remotely like the lives of these teenage stars. But for younger kids, these shows are great, because they feature great role models they can look up to – um, at least until their role models get caught smoking crack. Which brings us to the first example, by request:
Hannah Montana is about a girl named Miley, played by Miley Cyrus, in yet another T.V. trend of naming the main characters after the actress so that they can more easily remember which part they play. Also on the show is Miley’s real-life country music has-been mullet-headed father, Billy Ray Cyrus. Billy Ray made it big with the song “Achy Breaky Heart” which was played on the radio so many times in the early 90s that people were poking at their own ears with sharp sticks. The song even spawned a line dance. No, really. Horrible times, the 90s.
Anyway, after Achy Breaky, Billy Ray didn’t do a whole lot until he was able to ride the coat tails of his daughter onto her new Disney show. In the tradition of Disney, they chose a girl who was both pretty and a good singer. They would also have her act, badly, but with the goofy scripts, it was really hard to tell. The plot of Hannah Montana was rather simple. Miley was a young teen who had just moved from Tennessee to Malibu and had to adjust to her oh-so-difficult life filled with problems like concealing her secret identity as rockstar Hannah Montana. Her disguise was almost as clever as Clark Kent’s. She wore a blond wig. Yup. A rock solid disguise there.
So what were the highlights of this show? Well, first there was the corny accent that I could listen to for all of five seconds before I started looking for that pointy stick I used back in the early 90s. Or the costumes, that were always modest and appropriate -for a showgirl. And the singing – imagine the exact same song played over and over and over again. Oh, sure, my daughter assures me that she was actually singing several different songs, but they all sounded the same to me. Here’s some of the songs I got from Wikipedia that thankfully I don’t remember.
“Make Some Noise” (how very apropos!)
“If We Were a Movie” (whut?)
“Nobody’s Perfect” (except for Miley / Hannah!)
“The Best of Both Worlds” (I really don’t want to see the worst, then)
Hannah Montana ran from roughly the beginning of time about a million years until mercifully ending in 2011. By this time, Hannah had spawned a huge merchandizing frenzy, with dolls, bedspreads, and clothes. At one point, Wal-Mart carried only Hannah Montana clothing in their girl’s section. The face was everywhere – like Hannah was purposely following me around. “Haha, you just think you can avoid me by screaming when the T.V. is on until your daughters turn it off. I’ll show you!”
As Hannah’s fame grew, so did Miley Cyrus’s. The little brat is worth millions but you’ll be happy to know she has been very responsible with it. At 15, she posed nearly naked in bedsheets – pictures approved by her father. Can’t describe the Ick factor there. Later, she got a video leaked on youtube of her doing drugs on her birthday. Parents everywhere were filled with joy. Around the time of this scandle, I was helping at a kindergarden Christmas party for my youngest daughter. An adorable five-year-old classmate of hers told me, “Miley Cyrus smoked a bong.” “That’s nice dear, want a cupcake???”
On the plus side, Hannah and Miley are now of age, and the show has ended. But never fear, for there are still other shows about kids who happen to be rock stars – dozens of them. So exciting! OMG.
Irritating, has-been country music star: Check
Teen with totally realistic alter-ego: Yup
Disney actress that does drugs: Uh huh
Ick Factor: Present