s Thoughts from the Physics Chick: November 2006

Friday, November 24, 2006

Seven Possible Reasons Why Things Aren't Working Out with Me and Brad

1. He’s too old for me.
2. He’s not Mormon.
3. He has commitment issues (or at least goes through women at a prodigious rate).
3. He’s currently seeing someone else.
4. He’s too rich. (Yes, there really is such a thing as “too rich.”)
5. He travels too much. (I’m a homebody.)
6. He’s too liberal.
7. Technically, we don’t actually know each other. (That alone is hardly an obstacle for true love, but things don’t look promising, overall.)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

P is for Power Trip

The summer I lived in the French House, I was called to be the Relief Society Music Chair. My job was to find someone to play and lead the music every week, and to pick the hymns.

The calling also involved attending Relief Society Board (Bored) Meeting, even though I was on a committee of one, and thus didn’t really have anyone to meet with or anything to discuss. At our first meeting of the semester, the Relief Society President decided that we should go around the circle and introduce ourselves by saying what our calling was and what we liked about it.

The first girl introduced herself as a Relief Society teacher, and spoke a few tearful words about what a wonderful calling it was. The second girl introduced herself as a Visiting Teaching supervisor, and how happy she was to be involved with this institution. The third girl was another teacher who also felt quite blessed to be serving in that capacity at that time. After a few more similar repetitions, it was my turn, and I decided to liven things up a bit.

“I’m [Katya],” I said, “and I’m the Relief Society Music Chair. What I like about my calling is the feeling of POWER. Every week, you HAVE to sing the hymns that I CHOOSE.”

This statement was met by profound silence, and at least one or two frightened stares, but certainly no laughter. (I never did make a friend in that group.)

E. was one of the girls in that meeting. (I forget if she was a Visiting Teaching supervisor or a Relief Society teacher, but either way it was the most important thing, ever, and she felt very blessed to be able to contribute in some way.) She also had a German class with A., my cousin. One day, before class got started, the class somehow got on to the topic of people who get a power trip from their callings.

During a lull in the conversation, E. spoke up: “You know who really gets a power trip from her calling? [Katya] does.”

A. laughed. (I had told her the story.) “No, she doesn’t.”

“No,” E. insisted, “I think she does.”

A. now became a bit more concerned. “No, really. She doesn’t. She’s not like that at all.”

“No,” E. said quietly but firmly, “I’m pretty sure she does.”

A. never convinced her otherwise.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Cat. & Reference: The Order of Things

When I first sit down to catalog in the afternoon, I open up my windows in a very specific order. First: A Firefox window with tabs for any non-cataloging websites I open. (Yes, friends, I am now converted to Firefox at work, although I still use IE at home). The tabs in that window are usually Gmail, and sometimes The Dewey Blog, Identifont, The Language Log, or Wikipedia, although I often use the latter for cataloging purposes, so sometimes I open it in the cataloging window. Next comes the Voyager cataloging module (the program that lets me insert and edit records in our online catalog). After that comes a Firefox window with cataloging websites. This includes WebDewey (an online version of the Dewey schedules), ClassWeb (an online version of Library of Congress Subject Headings, mapped to Dewey and LC numbers), OCLC FirstSearch help pages (information about various MARC tags and indicators), the U of I library catalog, and sometimes Wikipedia. After that comes OCLC FirstSearch / WorldCat (the interface that lets me search and import records from other libraries), then comes our Cutter number calculator, and then comes a Notepad file in which I save Dewey numbers that I’m working on.

It’s very important that my windows be open in this order (although the tab order is negotiable). In fact, if I screw up the order in which I open the windows, I have to close them all and re-open them in the right order. This isn’t entirely due to OCD – although I’m sure that plays a part – if I open them in the wrong order I’ll spend there rest of the session clicking on the wrong window to open what ought to be there. (This is, by the way, one of the hugest issues I have with Macs – the order of the minimized files is constantly changing. Yes, I’m clear that it stores them in a stack, but I don’t tend to remember the file I want by how recently I’ve used it.)

At the end of the day, I can close the windows in any order I like, although I usually save the Cutter number program for last, since for some reason closing it always makes my workstation freeze for about 30 seconds.