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Archive for August, 2007

Today was my first day working as a public services assistant at the Schlesinger Library. This job practically landed in my lap and I can’t imagine a better place to start my new and improved career in librarianship. It’s almost as though the Schlesinger’s collections were designed with me in mind–American women’s history and culinary history. Seriously, I couldn’t have created a more interesting place and I just want to read almost everything I see in the stacks. The Schlesinger is part of the Radcliffe Institute, which is in turn part of Harvard. So yay! I even get to say I work at a Hahhhvard library. Heehee.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect today, so I can’t even say it wasn’t what I expected. But in many ways it was better. The public services assistant/student assistant (what I am) has pretty basic work, but I didn’t get bored once, which was shocking considering that I can’t remember the last time I actually worked 9 to 5. I will be staffing the reading room (which is beautiful and airy and sunlit and lovely), making sure people don’t mishandle the manuscript materials or break any of the reading room rules. I’ll also be responsible for retrieving books from the closed stacks and re-shelving them when patrons are finished. Which sounds simple and boring, but actually involves a relatively complex system for tracking and storing. And we all know how much I like systems, especially if they are relatively complicated.

The library is beautiful. The collection is amazing. The people are all fantastic and friendly (such a welcome change from the last place I worked!). I usually hate the first day in a new job but this might have been the best first day I’ve ever experienced.

I think I made the right career choice.

(PS–My excitement about the new job and libraries and lots of pages of manuscripts is diminished only by the fact that Crystal is now, officially, gone. I still can hardly believe it. I saw her keys on the counter and felt for a second like she was still home, maybe just in the living room watching some Law & Order. It will take me awhile to not feel these pangs of sadness and teary-eyedness when I realize how much I freaking miss her. I love you Miss Crystal and I’m sure you’ll have a kick ass amazing experience in Barcelona. Just remember you have to come back eventually.)

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Oh man, I have been totally crap about updating this site. June, you say? No, no, I didn’t go an entire month without an update, did I? Well, I certainly didn’t go an entire month without reading. And I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear about the crazy Harry Potter obsession that was happening in this house. And I mean for weeks before Book 7 was released. We re-read books 1 through 6. Yes, yes we did. We obsessively discussed Snape’s true intentions. Was he evil? Was he good? Was he evil? We pondered who would die and who would live, and whether Rowling would really do the unthinkable and kill off Harry himself. Yes, we were much like many, many other people in this country. In fact, when I perused the HP websites on the interwebs, I felt very comforted that I was actually much less crazy than many other fans.

So what did I think of the final installment? I thought it was freaking awesome, that’s what! I was seriously bummed that I finished reading it in less than 24 hours and I had to go back and re-read immediately, because I just wasn’t ready to be finished with it yet. Was I disappointed? Not at all. Ok, hardly at all. Really! Hardly at all!

It’s almost blasphemous to say anything negative about J.K. Rowling in this household, and I honestly did think Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was the best, most engaging, edge-of-your-seat exciting, moving, awesome of the books. What was I disappointed about? I’m not even entirely sure. Maybe it’s actually just lingering sadness that it’s over and there are no more books to come. I guess I just wanted more answers, as I always do. I wanted to know why the prophecy existed at all. I wanted to know why Harry was the chosen one. I wanted a bigger picture of the wizarding world and the invisible forces that make it work, because, well, I guess that’s just the kind of person I am. And considering those are the kinds of answers you never get in real life, either, I shouldn’t really expect them of a fake world.

The epilogue I thought was a bit unnecessary, but everyone else I’ve talked to wanted to know what happens next, so I guess I’m alone in that one.

Oh, and I’m still confused about the whole elder wand ownership thing. I believe I might have to go back and check out the end of Book 6 yet again for a very close reading of wand-related details.

Overall, yes, I was very happy with this end to the decade-long saga of Rowling’s money-making. I’m sad that it’s over, but I certainly don’t want to see any more books in this series, or books about the next generation of wizards or anything of the sort. I mean, I think it would be great to see more books by Rowling generally, I just hope they’re about something different. And I’ve been having a damned hard time finding other things to read that satisfy me in quite the same way. Ahh well. I guess I just have to get through this period of mourning before I’m reading to move on.

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