Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sad News about Pat Summitt

The first book we ever read as a club in February 2002 was the motivational book, Reach for the Summit, by basketball coach Pat Summitt.  I just read that she's been diagnosed with dementia.  The book was recommended by our book club member who was a coach at Waycross College at the time.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Book Club Meeting at Matt's Italian Postponed

We'll meet next week Friday at Matt's Italian Restaurant instead of today.  Some members did not like The Passage.  I like dystopian fiction so I am not completely turned off this book.  I can say however that I preferred Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

I am on the last few pages. The group from the Colony led by Peter with Amy are featured in Part X1.  Alicia was infected and saved from turning into a viral but now has Superwoman qualities. I am getting some understanding of the virals in this section.

The original 12 persons in the Noah Project, former death row inmates, were infected with a virus and morphed into vampire-like creatures that have bee-like qualities.  The original 12 are like the Queen bees.  They infect hosts.   They travel in swarms and send out scouts to check out new hives.  The Haven, with the zombie-like people that reminded me of  the fictional characters called The Others in the TV show Lost, was one big hive.  There should be 11 more similar hives.   At this point in the story the group has a theory that when the Queen dies, the hive dies.  Since I am close to the end and this book is the first of a trilogy, I am guessing that killing the "Queens" will be the focus of the next book.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dystopian Fiction

I found another dystopian fiction, on a blog called bookasm.com, where some states have left the union to from independent republics. It's Flashback by Dan Simmons.  So this idea in The Passage of California seceding from the union is not that unique. 

For other interesting Science Fiction books found on this blog, link here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Links to The Passage

I love these links to The Passage on Scribd.

Book Club Selection: The Passage

I found an interesting book trailer and a Reader's Guide for discussing The Passage by Justin Cronin.  Of all the questions on the list, I would say the key questions are the following: 

  • What do you feel were the main themes Cronin was wrestling with in this novel?  Survival must be one. At the end, I will think about this again. 
  • Did you think the national response to the crisis was realistic (ex. California seceding from the U.S.)?  Yes.  If Governor Perry of Texas in this day and age can allegedly suggest the secession of Texas because of taxes and/or a stimulus plan, I would imagine in a viral disaster such as this, secession of California is believable
  •  Did you have a hard time transitioning from the first third of the book to the last two-thirds? Why or why not?   I ceratinlydid. I had to get to know a whole new cast of characters.
  • Was there any point in the story where you felt you couldn’t read anymore? Oh yes, especially the part when Amy was not included in the story.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Thing 12: Putting the Social into Social Media

Found a link this morning that related to Thing 3 of the list of 23 Things. It is about being visible on Twitter.  One suggestion was improving the profile.
Moving on to Thing 12.  I am to consider the role of social media in building up networks and a sense of community.
  • are there any other advantages to social networking in the context of professional development than outlined below?:  
  1. Better communication between individuals who may or may not have the chance to meet otherwise
  2. Collaborative working space.
  3. Easy access to other fields of the profession.
For me personally, numbers 1 and 3 have been key.  I get to see what other librarians are doing in their libraries, see how they are thinking, and get ideas.

  • Can I think of any disadvantages to social networking? I would say I spend too much time going from link to link.  Social networking is addictive.
  • Has CPD23 helped me to make contact with others that I would not have had contact with normally? Definitely. I have made contact with librarians outside of the USA and their experiences have been worth reading. Very interesting reading about other people's journey into this profession.
  • Did I already use social media for career development before starting CPD23? Will I keep using it after the program has finished? I made minimal use of Twitter for career development.  I never had a personal account until I started the program.  I only had an account for my Toastmasters Club. I intend to continue using Twitter after completing the 23 Things.
  • Does social networking really help to foster a sense of community? It certainly helps. The need to belong is very strong in us human beings.  Social networking of like minded persons facilitates that feeling of belonging.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fiction Therapy

Seen in September 2011 issue of Prevention magazine: Research proves that relating to fictional characters creates a sense of belonging.  What does this mean? Pick up a novel and read to avoid loneliness! Or, I would suggest that you join a book club.

Still reading The Passage.  I don't feel a sense of belonging. I feel as if I am in a scene in Lost, the TV show.  A Colorado bound group consisting of Amy, Peter, Alicia, Sara, Michael and about three other characters whose names I've forgotten are with a group of strange people that I could call The Others as in Lost.  These Others seem nice and helpful but there are few children among them, most of the women are pregnant, and they seem to be administering a drug to Michael that keeps him in their sick bay.  They have taken away the weapons from the group presumably for safe keeping and have invited the group to stay with them in their Haven.  What will happen if the group wants to leave and continue their journey to Colorado where they think they may find the answers to their questions such as why is Amy over 100 years old and looks like 15 and what is her link to the virals.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Thing 11 - CPD23

Thing 11 is mentoring - learning by association with a relevant role model. I have never had a formal mentor for librarianship.  I have learned many things from reading library literature, from my more experienced Library Directors, and from library ListServs.  I read the article on how to find a mentor. It made reference to finding a local group such as Rotary Club or Kiwanis to see their structured mentoring program.   Well, I have been both mentoree and mentor in the Toastmasters Club so I have some idea of mentoring.  The article also said that finding a mentor is about taking opportunities as they present themselves.  This is what I'll do with Thing 11: look for opportunities.  Here's a question that I have: If mentoring encourages reflective practice and CPD23 encourages reflective practice, can I consider CPD23 as my mentor, friend, and colleague?

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Dystopian Fiction

Are you still reading with me people? I am in a strange world in this dystopian fiction titled, The Passage.    I am in a new post Project Noah world with virals which are vampire-like with glossy teeth and new characters who work in their Colony of 94 souls as Builders, Watchers, and Runners. They work to protect themselves from the virals who travel in threes.  In this world there are also Walkers. I believe these are the survivors; the ones on the run from the virals. Mysterious Amy has not been the focus of the story for quite a while. I'm on page 291, a group is about to step through a hatch and this reminded me of the fictional universe in the TV show Lost.  The station crew that was supposed to be working in the hatch is missing.

I am not enjoying this part of the book but I am hanging in there.  I'm hoping Amy will turn up soon.

A Brave New World and  Ape and Essence, both by Aldous Huxley, and We , are some other Dystopian fiction my Facebook friends have recommended that I put on my Must Read list.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Zero Footprints: The Passage

Project Noah is experimenting on people with zero footprints, people who nobody would miss, people who have been abandoned by friends and family such as the sexual predators, homeless men on death-row.  Project Noah specifically has an interest in the abandoned 6 year old Amy.  Amy is mysterious.  She seems to speak the language of bears; she has communication powers with animals.  Her visit to the zoo with Sister Lacey turned chaotic.   In the midst of the chaos Amy is taken by Special Agent Brad Wolgast and his side-kick Doyle.  However unknown to Wolgast and Doyle, Amy is suddenly no longer a zero footprint.   The police have an interest in Amy.  The police tracked a murder weapon to Amy's mother hence the interest in Amy herself.  Fortunately, Wolgast is interested in protecting Amy.  Sister Lacey senses it just by looking at him.  Doyle senses it.   Amy knows it. It appears that the trio: Wolgast, Doyle and Amy are on the run.

I am on page 155 and something ominous is about to happen.  Sister Lacey is missing. Sister Arnette senses that something terrible and dangerous is about to happen.  She says some dark force is loose in the world. 

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Book Club Selection: The Passage

I am entertaining a house guest and am trying to focus on The Passage, a dystopian fiction by Justin Cronin.  Very mysterious so far.  I just found out this is the first of a trilogy. Several characters, many settings. I am at page 68 and about to see how all these characters are connected.

The first characters I met were Amy and her mother Jeanette.  Amy's Dad was Jeanette's abusive boyfriend.  She and her daughter Amy met on hard times to the point that Jeanette found it necessary to turn to prostitution. Then the story took me to emails from Dr. Jonas Lear to a Paul Kiernan in Cambridge.  Dr. Jonas was writing from the jungles of Bolivia.  There were no emails from Paul for us readers to read but it was clear that there was communication from him to Dr. Jonas.

By page 23, Dr Jonas emailed that his team was attacked by bats and some had died.  By page 26, I was meeting Anthony Lloyd Carter death-row inmate number 999642. He did not seem to have a vivid memory of the murder he committed.  By page 29, I was meeting Special Agent Brad Wolgast who was in Texas to meet with Carter and get him to agree to sign his life over to "Project Noah".  He was to get the agreement without actually telling Carter that Project Noah was a scientific experiment.  Wolgast's side-kick is Phil Doyle.
The story goes back to Amy who was abandoned by her mother, Jeanette, at a nunnery.  Sister Lacey took Amy under her wings. On page 68, Wolgast and Doyle were on their way to pick up Amy for Project Noah. 

I look forward to reading more of the story.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Thing 10: 23 Things for Professional Development

I may go back to Thing 8 and Thing 9.  I am so stuck on the computer for long periods googling, tweeting and blogging that I am reluctant to sign up for two more things: Google calendar and Evernote.  Yet, the whole point of doing 23 Things is to become familiar with new things.  Today I read this blog by Katie and she is also skipping Things 8 and 9 so I don't feel so guilty skipping.  I did say I may go back. 

Thing 10 is about my experiences, in particular, why I chose the career and how I got to this place and what next.  In other words, I will be outlining my library roots/routes:

The Roots
In 1990 I decided that I loved teaching but did not enjoy teaching at the high school level.  Also, I loved information, loved knowing things. Before owning a computer, I would go to the public library and read newspapers from all over the world.  I found a picture of the public library in Nassau that I used to frequent.  Interesting fact: this octagon shaped library was once a prison.

While teaching in the Bahamas, I saw an ad about pursuing a MLS degree at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Jamaica. I already had a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Linguistics from that institution.  Immediately I thought, " Hmm, school librarian." That's being involved in education plus information.  Then I thought, "Hmm, job security." Every school and every college would need a librarian.

I applied and was accepted into the program.  I had no idea there were so many other aspects to librarianship such as Special Librarianship or that it was so Technology oriented.

Looking at this UWI site, I can see that  much has changed since I did the course.  There were no Trends and Issues or Copyright Issues in my time. There is even a B.Ed degree now in School Librarianship. Looking back, the Information Technology part of the program was the least effective in preparing me for the world of work and for the 21st century.

The field work part of the program, however, was the best part and involved working at the National Library of Jamaica and the Planning Institute of Jamaica

The Routes
Before completing my course I got a job in an academic library.  The library was the focal point for the college libraries network in Jamaica called COLINET.  I was involved in library orientation so I did my Master's thesis, naturally, on library orientation programs in all the libraries in COLINET. I was the editor for COLINET News. My primary job was copy cataloging using CDS-ISIS software.

I became a school librarian at an all boys' school in Jamaica.  My primary focus was to get those boys interested in reading and channel their energy into studying.  I then took a job with a college in another island. The college had a small library/study room. I was also employed to teach English, Reading Development, and Spanish. I conducted bibliographic instruction as part of the college's student success program.

I am still an academic librarian this time in the big USA. I am getting first world library experience. Won't give
too much information for potential stalkers.I assist students and staff with research,  manage resource sharing:
Gil Express and Interlibrary Loan, teach library orientation classes, write articles for the library newsletter,
and the student newspaper.

What next? 

My dream used to be working in an international library.  At one time I was hoping it would have
been the International Seabed Authority   located in Kingston, Jamaica. It's all about learning and growing for
me now. My desire to search for information, my passion for reading, and my drive to teach have got me
to this place in my career. I am open to whatever opportunity.