• Getting to Know You… even better

    December 24, 2008
    by Flickr user Muffet

    photo by Flickr user "Muffet"

    Happy holidays from In the Library With the Lead Pipe! We had so much fun putting together our November 26 post, “Getting to Know You,” that we’ve decided to do it again! In the spirit of vacation and merrymaking, we’ve put together another trio of semi-personal questions selected and answered by yours truly.

    1. What is your professional new year’s resolution?

    Brett: It’s sort of a meta-resolution, but I plan to:

    1. Make a list of the projects I’m working on (or that I’m thinking about working on);
    2. Figure out which ones seem most likely to succeed in ways that are important to me;
    3. Determine which ones seem likely to benefit the most from my participation;
    4. Identify what I hope each one can achieve in 2009;
    5. Specify what I’m going to do to help them get there.

    Emily: Simple and completely unglamorous—to find another job for when my grant funding runs out.

    Derik: To think more carefully about what I get myself involved in (no, not an allusion to this blog) and how much I get involved in it (I don’t want to dilute my efforts in quantity). Learn more programming. Learn more about learning and instructional design. Start my posts for this blog earlier.

    Hilary: I’d like to diversify my professional reading, take a little more time to investigate online tools such as sproutbuilder.com, leverage our library system’s collection intelligence tools to programmatically manage data about our collections and use that information to do targeted marketing of our collections.

    Kim: As we tighten our belts I resolve to more fully appreciate what I have: a great job with lovable colleagues, lots of variety, independence, and the freedom (if not the funding) to travel, explore the latest technologies, and try new approaches to my work. Heck, I’ve got one of the Best Careers for 2009 according to US News & World Report! Life is good.

    Ellie: To incorporate more of the research I’ve been doing on instruction into my actual practice.

    2. What are your three favorite novels?

    Brett: Infinite Jest (David Foster Wallace), Middlesex (Jeffrey Eugenides), and Cockfighter (Charles Willeford). I wouldn’t argue that they’re the best novels I’ve ever read (that is, the three novels I think other people should read) or the three I most wish I’d written or anything like that, but if I had to spend the rest of my life re-reading three novels I’ve read at least once, I think these are the three I’d choose.

    Emily: I’m no good with favorite novels (my favorite book is non-fiction–Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks–but that doesn’t follow the rules). I’m not apt to re-read much of anything that is fiction. That being said, the fiction I am liable to strongly recommend are as follows: Doris: An Anthology 1991-2001 by Cindy Crabb (I find her narrative voice deeply moving), The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall (sad, hilarious, and gross all at once), and a novel by an acquaintance recently published that is on my to read list– Couch by Benjamin Parzybok.

    Derik: 1) The Recognitions by William Gaddis: 900 pages of art, religion, 50s New York parties, fakers, and fun. 2) This is Not a Novel by David Markson: 100 pages of unattributed quotes, famous deaths, odd facts about artists, and more. 3) Le Chiendent (translated either as “Witch Grass” or “Bark Tree”) by Raymond Queneau: Philosophy as fiction, funny and deep, chaotic yet highly structured. (I didn’t even have to think about this one.)

    Hilary: Honestly I don’t have a lot of time for pleasure reading now, but at one time I did. So, a few random titles: Five Hundred Years of Printing by S.H. Steinberg; The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster, anything by Richard Brautigan.

    Kim: I’m ridiculously all over the place when it comes to reading fiction. So I’m going to go with 1) Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy for sheer moving tragic power; 2) Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey as a book that changed the course of my life; and as for 3) yes I’ll admit it, The Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien as the biggest, fattest, funnest book I’ve read every few years since I was a kid and enjoyed it immensely every time.

    Ellie: Only 3, so hard. I’ll go with a childhood favorite that stuck with me – The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman, a high school favorite that got me bragging rights on an important final paper – David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, and a recent favorite that I recommend to everyone – Anathem by Neal Stephenson.

    3. What three computer or Web applications can’t you live without?

    Brett: Firefox (w/can’t-live-without-’em-extensions Adblock Plus, CustomizeGoogle, Linkification, No Squint, and Scrollbar Anywhere), Dropbox, and rss2email.

    Emily: Tab mix plus (the best Firefox extension to exist), Firefox, and I hate to say it, all of those lovely webapps owned by Google: Google Reader, Google Talk, Google Mail, Google Docs, Google Calendar. These might give me a bit of a guilty conscience, but they are so good with interfaces that I have just acquiesced.

    Derik: 1) Tinderbox:  A wonderfully versatile application that I use to store my note and records for work, for planning presentations, and for plotting my comic, as well as the occasional html export. 2) WordPress: It runs this blog, my own blog, and my comic’s site. 3) iTunes: Where would I be without my music, podcasts, and online listening to NPR?

    Hilary: Google stuff, spreadsheet programs (stuck with Excel for now), starting to get into Basecamp for managing team projects at work.

    Kim: Chalk me up as another Google addict. And I’m pretty sure I’d fall apart with Delicious + Firefox’s Delicious add-on. Clicking that button to pull up the whole list of my bookmarks in a sidebar in my browser… it’s sheer organizational beauty. Last on my list, as a more recent addiction, is the musical brilliance of Pandora.

    Ellie: Another Google and Firefox disciple here, the imperative extension being Better Gmail 2. I run all my email through one main account thanks to the included Folders4Gmail and Gmail’s account option to “send mail as.”

    We’d like to get to know you, too! What are your answers to the three questions above? Please post them in the comments below.

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