So…I’ve been busy!

This semester has been a very hectic one! I’ve been working on my “networking” skills, joining organizations, getting involved in volunteer projects, and trying to keep up with homework for three classes.

One of the best things we can do as young professionals (so I’ve been told since my undergrad years) is network.
However. I am incredibly awkward and I have a tendency to get into a room full of Professionals and one of two things happens: 1. I don’t have a drink because I am afraid of quickly crossing the thin line between professional and UNprofessional OR 2. I have a drink and then become MORE concerned about my professionalism and so I only talk to those whom I am already acquainted with and second guess everything I have to say.  I’ve never actually BEEN unprofessional at one of these events, it’s just a healthy fear.  Healthy? Well, maybe.  I wouldn’t say I am painfully shy, but these events certainly make me feel that way.

An odd realization occurred to me lately: I am currently in Illinois for a quick visit with my family and friends for my birthday (Oh, dear God…I’m 28.) and I have to say that I have had a wonderful time in the City.  I’m much happier when I am in Chicago than when I am in Portland and it makes me wonder if I will end up staying in Portland very long after graduation.  This is only odd because I thought I had “moved on” and started to feel settled in Portland.  It turns out I still have a very strong love for Chicago and it doesn’t take much to remind me: A deep dish pizza. A walk down one of the Boulevards in Logan Square. Driving like a boss/knowing where I am going. A memory associated with the family of friends I have there…I will likely end up there eventually, again.

I’ve managed to set up what I think will be a really amazing, albeit short, practicum in Chicago at the Joan Flasch Artist Book Collection for March!  I’ll be there for a week, digitizing and helping with metadata for their artistamp collection!  I’m really grateful that the librarians there are willing to work with me because I know that this experience is not something I can find in Portland and it takes a lot of cooperation on their part.  So not only will I be working in the library of my dreams, but I will be doing it in Chicago.  Win/Win!

The Art Institute of Chicago

My classes have been really good this semester–with the exception of one–a natural born cataloger I am not.  I am hoping that what I am learning now will feel more tangible once I find myself in the position to catalog in real life.  The other projects I’m working on for classes are interesting and fun though: A strategic plan in which I’m focusing on an architectural materials collection for a small academic library and archives visits and reviews.  I was really excited about my visit to the archives last week–I decided to look at a collection of rejection letters to inquiring musicians from the Lewis and Clark Centennial and American Pacific Exposition and Oriental Fair (most of which were from 1905-ish). The letters certainly captured my attention away from my actual assignment; many of the inquiries came from women, looking for a way out of their small towns, so they were also a bit sad once I saw the carbon copies of rejections attached.

Ah, creativity. The above photos are all from the NYPL digital photo archive, but I especially love the last one.  A bicycle gown…I’ve been working on some new designs for cycling gear! I’ll be posting those somewhat soon (my goal is by Thanksgiving!).  Now, back to writing this paper…

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