I know I haven't been blogging this week. I haven't been writing either, or reading much, or anything particularly productive. Busy, busy week at work and it has been eating my brain. The fall semester begins on Monday, and I've been taking care of reserve requests for faculty, and covering the reference/circulation desk myself most of the time because most of my student employees have been out of town, and yesterday & today the new students were in for orientation activities, so I've been answering LOTS of questions. And since we no longer have a full-time librarian in my tiny little branch library, it's been up to me to make sure everything keeps running smoothly. I like my job, but I'm glad it doesn't always take this much of my energy. Next week will be crazy, and then things will settle down into a normal routine.
Seeing the new students pouring into town always makes me a bit nostalgic for my undergrad days, and sometimes makes me feel a bit sad that I did my MLS (that's Master of Library Science, though I'm sure y'all can come up with more interesting definitions) on a part-time basis while working full-time. If I won the lottery, I would probably go be a full-time student again, because it was a life I really loved. (The full-time-student-envy completely disappears at the end of the semester when the stress levels inside the library rise to deafening proportions, though, I assure you.)
Working in an academic library is, for me, one way of staying in touch with the parts of "student-ness" that I love. At least I'm in that environment, surrounded by people who are actively engaged in learning. Yeah, academia is a deeply flawed institution -- but I think, perhaps with a bit too much optimism, that its heart is in the right place. And I am an academic at heart, really. It's the environment I'm happiest in. Sometimes I think I should have just sucked up and done the whole "get a doctorate and become a professor" thing -- except that, oddly enough, I do not find myself drawn to teaching. I would enjoy teaching creative writing in some settings, I think; my old writing group used to give workshops on occasion and that was lots of fun, and working with advanced or talented or at least highly motivated students would be fun. But you and I both know that if I'd gotten a doctorate in English, or even an MFA, I probably would have ended up teaching freshman comp and introductory lit -- maybe in a community college -- and that would have made me crazy. There are people who love doing that, and more power to 'em. But it's not for me. And I'm glad I was able to recognize that before I did something bad like go from undergrad directly into grad school, just because it's what everyone (including myself) expected of me.
I do sometimes wish I'd had the bright idea of going to library school a little earlier, instead of farting around in a stupid office job till I was in my mid-thirties. But I'm glad I ended up there eventually. And every now & then I catch myself looking around the library, seeing students tracking down the information they need and collaborating on group projcts and whatnot, and I realize that I have some small part in helping them to get the education they want, and it makes me really (and geekily) happy.
Besides which, just about every librarian & library-school student I've ever met has a total office-supply fetish. And you just can't beat spending your days with people like that. *grin*