“In the Immortal Words of Tone Loc, ‘Let’s Do It.'”

I love my job, especially when I receive e-mails like the one above. Yes, that is a direct quote; I have the best colleagues.

Overall, work is going well. I feel comfortable saying this because I received positive feedback during my annual performance evaluation and also because the other day, sort of out of nowhere, my boss said, “I’m so proud of you.”

I was a little shocked, because, dude, my PARENTS don’t even say stuff like that to me.¬†Fortunately, I managed to gather up my scattered brain cells and mumble, “thank you.”

That said, I’m proud of myself: I create much of content — which is fitting, given that I work in the Creative Content Services Department — including annotations, recommendations, and (most recently) public scope notes(!)

Yes, I’ve been taking a walk on the wild cataloging side of the house, primarily in a consulting capacity (i.e. I don’t have to do anything in Polaris, praise be).

Speaking of education, mine goes…pretty well, I guess. While I’m still getting the hang of the online discussion board, I’m earning solid Passes in my coursework*, tho’ constant contact with Sakai does confirm my suspicion that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A GOOD ONLINE COURSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM.

Meanwhile, we’ve each been paired with a classmate for group projects. My partner and I are well-suited, I think. We met up for coffee last weekend, since we both live in the area. Being more accustomed to technical writing, she seeks to introduce more creativity, more color into her prose, whereas I’d be thrilled if I could do what she does, which is to have a point and then get to it.

And, on the subject of writing, our weekly critique group has started up again after a summer hiatus. I’m glad. Not only do I like the people involved, I appreciate the different perspectives they bring, as well as their varied talents.

We’ve got two poets, one formally trained and one self-taught, more intuitive than technical; both impress me, because I cannot write poetry. One member is very savvy when it comes to the marketplace (to be able to say, “rhyming picture books aren’t ‘in’ — try a magazine” is the kind of advice I can’t give because I truly don’t know what publishers want, besides loads of money.) Another is a superlative line-editor. Again, I’m impressed b/c my feedback tends to focus on structural and logistical issues — I suppose my undergraduate education has equipped me with close-reading skills, but I find it difficult to nitpick dependent clauses when there are gaping plot holes.

At times, I feel like the odd one out because everyone else is much more focused on publication than I am. They’ve got goals, which is good, but this makes me feel lazy and lacking in ambition by comparison.

At least Our Leader is sympathetic to my situation. In fact, she had a good way of putting it, which is that I’m not “product-oriented.” For me, she says, the act of writing is inherently fulfilling and thus requires no external validation — that it’s akin, perhaps, to spiritual practice. “Writing for you is what church or meditation is for some people.” I suspect she may be correct.

Still, I have my concerns: given that we DO live in a product-oriented world, if my (fiction) writing does not provide at least some revenue, I won’t be able to justify devoting time to it. My obligations are many, despite being the least social person on the planet. I fear that family and work-related functions by themselves have the ability to devour my calendar whole — not to mention all the little things like doing laundry or buying groceries or having to go to the bank or the post office or the DMV.

In other news, I had blood drawn this morning, per doctor’s orders. I’ll get the results…sometime, somehow. The problem with having to fast beforehand is that salient details simply slip through the cracks in one’s brain. Hopefully, my non-specific symptoms (fatigue, general malaise/melancholy) don’t point to anything serious. Hopefully, they’re just evidence that I’m exhausted and stressed and not taking proper care of myself**. Naturally, I’ve managed to convince myself that I face imminent death, because that’s how I am.


*UNC, at the graduate level, seems to prefer Pass/Fail.
**which, to be fair, is more or less how I roll.

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