Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Trying out my new iPad air that I got for Christmas. I will eventually figure it out.

MerryChristmas, everyone!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Getting Ready

This is going to be very brief.

It has been very busy in the library trying to get settled.  I have made great strides in turning it into a workable space.  I have also made progress on getting the library cards ready.  Thankfully I had a little help yesterday with that.

I have begun processing the new books...have a long way to go, but luckily it is not a priority.

My real break though in getting prepared for this school year came in the form of an email from the lead librarian at another elementary school in the district.  It included her cell phone number and the encouragement to call her with any questions I had.  That was an absolute godsend to me!  She came over to the school and spent about 4 hours with me helping to get me started.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Life Changes Rather Quickly

My entire life has changed in less than one week.  On Friday (8/16), sometime while I was hiking in the wilderness in the Adirondack Mts (see above photo taken from Bald Mountain near Old Forge, NY), I received a phone call from a school district looking for a last minute LT sub who would be willing to work until about February. I was out of range of course and hadn't even brought my cell phone with me, but I got the message on my home phone at about 11:00 pm.

To make a long story short, I got the job.  In less than a week, I have gotten a job as a LT substitute school librarian.  I'm excited, but also nervous. It is a k-5 school in the very district that I grew up in.

I finally got a chance to get in to the school yesterday.  I was surprised, but not shocked to see that the library was a bit "turned upside down." Apparently, the staff needed another space for someone to use so they opted to eliminate the library office.  So they emptied the office, putting it's contents onto carts and such and crowded it all around the circulation desk. Eeeeek!  My first task is to make the library a usable space.  Luckily my principal was wonderful enough to help me figure out what to do with some of the things.  It has a long way to go though.  I do hope that at least one of my library aides can help me with organizing in a cute and attractive yet functional way.  I feel a bit overwhelmed by it, especially when I have other matters to attend to!

Task 1: Make library space usable. (This might be ongoing for a bit)

Task 2: Make sure that the library cards are all ready for the kids.  I am thankful that a woman named Sally from Monroe BOCES will be coming on Tuesday morning to help me with Follet Destiny.  While I have used it before and have figured out many things on my own, I feel like the task of getting ready with efficiency calls for a little more instruction.

Task 3: Plan lessons for 1st week. Includes deciding on class routines, etc.

Task 4: Compose introduction letter to the teachers.

Task 5: Start processing the new box of books that was shipped to the school over the summer and catalog and process the dedicated books.

That is what I need to work on.  I am truly thankful that I have some library help.  Apparently I have two part time library aides (One comes in the morning, the other in the afternoon).

Also, ironically, the LT sub that I am replacing was offered a full time position in Greece.  I believe that it is very likely that she is going to be working in the same library I just finished working at.  Assuming this is true, I hope that she is able to work well with Mrs. R. She will need a firm hand with her.

I also have figured out that the last LT sub was absolutely fantastic.  This means that I have some pretty big shoes to fill.  I am a little nervous about that.  Please keep me in your prayers, that I will learn a tremendous amount of stuff so I can be fabulous too!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Time is Swiftly Going By

The summer is nearing the end.  This weekend, we take Allen to college...but first we pick him up from the summer camp job he has been working at in the Adirondack Mountains. Audra is up there too for the week as a camper at the same camp. On Sunday we take him to Roberts Wesleyan.  in just under two weeks, my youngest daughter has orientation for her first year at the high school.

I have had 6 interviews this summer and so far have not gotten a job. This is not what I planned for when I went back to get my master's degree.  I'm just not sure what to do next.  In the past 2 1/2 years, I have had 18 interviews.  One of those 18 interviews ended up with me getting a long term sub job.  (I had another long term sub job that I got without even having an interview.)  This was the year that I felt like there might really be some hope getting a job as a school librarian.  What do I do next?  This all hurts too much.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

The Wrong Questions?

I think I have been asking the wrong questions lately.
Lord, what do YOU want me to do with my life?  How do I get there? 

Hope that this blesses you as well

Today I am encouraging everyone to go and read this post by a woman named Susanna.  Susanna lives in Pennsylvania.  She and her husband Joseph have adopted two special needs children from an eastern European orphanage.  They also have several natural born children, including a one with Down Syndrome.

I liked the post because of the devotional content of it, especially in light of the fact that the Lord has been showing me the harmful effects of negative thinking and speaking.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Too much?

All I want to be is a librarian somewhere.
Is that too much to ask?
Why don't I ever get picked?
I feel like I'm back in gym class...waiting to be picked for someone's team.  I was always picked either last, or next to last.
Wondering whether or not there is something blatantly wrong with me that everyone else is just too polite to tell me about.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Why am I here?
What is the purpose of my life?
Does anyone even care?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Not Very Faithful

I have not been very faithful keeping this blog.  All sorts of great events have been happening and being undocumented.

My son Allen graduated from high school.  Since then he has left to work for the summer at a Christian camp in the Adirondack Mountains.  Please keep him in prayer as he counsels the boys who have him as their leader.  This week it is boys ages 8-10.

I got a job as the summer school librarian in Geneva.  It is a very odd job. I'm a Middle School Librarian being housed at an elementary school because of construction at the middle school building.  On the first day, I walked into the library and discovered that it is being used as the elementary school's summer school office.  I have been pushed into a back office.I am very isolated from the actual middle school classes which are being held upstairs.  I feel very awkward around the ladies who are working in the "summer school office."  I feel like an intruder...which is a bit ironic since I am the librarian and it is really a library that we are in.  Not too many of the middle school teachers are really interested in getting any resources from the it has been a bit quiet.

I came close to getting a job.  I was one of three final candidates for a library job at an elementary school about a half hour drive from my house.  Someone else got it.  I'm trying not to be too hard on myself for that one.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Trying to make a good name for librarians everywhere

I've had a few very good days at school and am very encouraged.  I am enjoying it overall.  If this school ever offered me a job, I would take it.

Mrs. R still drives me a little crazy.  I am thankful for her, but at the same time she can cause some annoyances.  She is very stuck in her ways and opinions...and very outspoken about them  She is very tough on the kids and can act a bit crabby towards them. We differ on a few of our views of how the library should be run.

In fact, I am finding that the librarian I am subbing for runs things very differently than I would too. For one thing, she is very unforgiving about lost or damaged books.  If a book is lost, she will hold it over the kids' head for years...literally.  Do you remember this post?  I've seen a few cases just like the two in that post.  One little girl lost a book while attending a different elementary school in the same district...over a year ago.  She has not been allowed to take a book out since.  That is, until I came along.  I let her take out a book last week!  I put an exclamation point after writing that sentence because letting her take out a book made me so happy! I tried to remove the record of her taking the other book, but could not because it is from a different school.

There is another little boy who will be coming to the library to do jobs in order to "pay" for the damaged book he returned to the library.  I'm all for holding kids accountable.  He made a mistake and left the book where his little sister could reach it  She tore out several pages. I think he should be held accountable for what happened, but I will not let him be banned from taking out books  either.  I was told by his teacher that it was highly unlikely that his family would pay for the is pretty tight for them.  I'm pretty excited about helping him pay off his book by letting him work. 

There are some other issues too!  Grades 2-5 are allowed to take out 2 books.  If they only return one book, they are not allowed to take out any books until both are returned.  I think that's ridiculous!  I think they ought to be rewarded for bringing one book back!  Why not let them take out another book for a total of two?  My goodness!  What if one of the books they are reading is a chapter book like Harry Potter or something? That's a pretty long book! They might not be finished with it can't they browse through another book at the same time?

In another instance, a 5th grade class came in to look for books about different countries. Each child was to sign out a book about a different country in order to work on a class research project.  I was in another part of the library when I overheard Mrs. R tell a little boy that he could not take his country book out because he had an overdo book on his record (a book that was due in March).  I came up to the desk just as the class was leaving.  The little boy was still standing there at the desk.  I said, "What's going on?"  She told me that he could not get a book because he had a late book.  Meanwhile, the little boy was worried about his class leaving, so he left.  That is when I had a little discussion with Mrs. R.  I said, "He CAN take out this book.  It is a class project."  She started to argue with me, but I proceeded to check out the book in the boy's name and I left the library to catch up to him.  They had already made it all the way down to their classroom.  I invited myself in and gave him the book.  I also talked to his teacher.  The next day, she stopped me in the hall and thanked me.

There are librarians who give the profession a very bad name.  Crotchety people who think that the books are more important than the kids are.

It's NOT NOT NOT NOT a box!

As promised, here is one of the "not a boxes!"

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Not a Box

Today went much better!  In was a good day.  All the lessons went well.  This is the book I read to the kindergarteners.  We talked about imagination and of course...playing in boxes.  I also showed them Harold and the Purple Crayon on BookFlix.  (a collection of books made into short movies) Tomorrow I will add a little image of one of the children's creations that we did after the lesson. I photocopied a few of them on the school's color copier to put into my portfolio. 

First grade went well too and the children seemed to enjoy the lesson and project.

Second grade.  I had Mrs. L's class today and they seem to be a pretty good class.  I did not have any major behavior issues.  I ended up tweaking the lesson a little from last night.  We all did a little research project together on mealworms-which they are studying in their class.  I thought it might be a good idea to model how to research using the information on a database called PebbleGo.  I think the kids really enjoyed it.

Very tired and ready to just relax!  Thanks for all of your prayers....keep it up!

Monday, May 20, 2013

It's tough

I am in a difficult assignment.  I'm really questioning whether or not I am in the right field.  I'm very discouraged.

Today Lily came again.  Once again I could not read the story to the class with her there.  She started yelling that she did not want me to show Nolan the pictures in the book.  This was after getting together with Mrs. S (Lily's teacher) to go over her BIP earlier in the day. We also went over the seating arrangement together to try to put Lily in the best possible seat.  Lily was not originally going to even be in class today, but there was a change in plans and there she was.  She came in holding Mrs. S's hand.  Mrs. S said, "Lily is going to have a good day in the library today, aren't you Lily?"  Lily nodded. The children sat down and I started to introduce the story.  I got a half a sentence in when Lily said, "I can't see!"  I explained that I would make sure that everyone in the class got a chance to see the pictures....that is when she started in that she did not want Nolan to be able to see the pictures.  I tried to calm her down and of course it was useless. Mrs. R called for help.  We all got up and moved to another section of the library when support came and I read from there. The good news:  no running around the library this time and no lock down.

Then the kindergartners came in and there was a little boy who was terribly disruptive.  I don't recall him being there last week so I am assuming he was absent. He had a 1-1 aid with him and had to be taken away.  It took awhile for him to finally be taken away. Because he was so disruptive, it was impossible to read the story.  After he was gone, it was still challenging to read the story.  Many of these children do not sit and listen to a story very well.

I just looked up this child's name in the system because I could not remember's Aiden...but that's not all.  I discovered that he and Lily have the same last name. Interesting.  Are they siblings? More sleuthing and I found out they have the same address.  Who are the parents?  There is clearly something dreadfully wrong with these children and it is very sad.  What causes them to be like this?  Whatever it is, it is not their fault.  They are victims of something.

I'm not looking forward to tomorrow.  I'm just afraid that tomorrow will be a disaster.  I worked hard all weekend to come up with different plans for the classes coming in.  My plans for the second graders are kind of sketchy and I'm very worried about it. I am trying to come up with a simple research project on insects with the kids.  The thing I am worried about is that there are only 10 computers in the library.  Tomorrow's class has about 24 kids.  We will have to break up into groups in order to take turns using the computers.  I need something to keep the other children busy and out of trouble while I work with the children on the computers.  Everyone will need instruction on how to use the database I am planning on using.  I also forgot to check how many headphones I have to use. I know that there are several in the back office...I just don't know how many.

What have I gotten myself into?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A little lighter

Yesterday morning I woke up with a heavy heart.  I hadn't really gotten into it Thursday about the vice principal walking into the class when I was losing my cool with the class that was in there...I just was too sick about it to elaborate. It was very bad and cast me in a very negative light. I later was crying to my husband that I had just destroyed any possibility for getting a job in the future.  I just couldn't see how I could ever gain credibility back with the VP.  He said, "Maybe you didn' to her tomorrow."  I intended to, but she was never in her office when I stopped by.

I DID however, stop by another teacher's room (I will call her Mrs. P) to talk with her.  I knew her class was coming in to the library and that they were also difficult.  I walked into her room, formally introduced myself and said, "What works with your kids?"  Unfortunately she did not have time to talk because she was running to a meeting, but she indicated that the kids need to DO something in library besides color coloring pages.  I TOTALLY agree.  I have been bored to death with the lesson plans that the librarian has left for me.  I've already changed some of them to be more interactive learning.  Next week's lessons are an absolute SNORE!  If I am so bored with the lessons, why wouldn't the kids be? Later Mrs. P came into the library to toss a few ideas around with me.  We are planning on some sort of  research project for insects in the form of centers in the library.  I quickly changed the plans for today with her.  Today's lessons were not perfect, because I had about 40 minutes to get ready for three different grade levels to come in back to back, but it was some improvement over the other lesson.  It was a book entitled Bug Faces.  (I actually wrote a review for this book after reading it to second graders in another school district) Unfortunately, the class was poorly behaved...making it difficult to read the book.  VERY disrespectful children. That's a whole other story which I won't get into.

Anyway, Mrs. P was totally supportive and encouraging to me. She also said she would step into the VP's office to tell her that I had taken initiative to talk with her about being successful with her class.  Take a look at the student work page on this library's website (one I have subbed in in the past and learned so much at) and look at all the interesting projects that have been done.  That's how I want a library to look.  I feel so much lighter knowing that I have someone on my side.

I still need to talk with the VP and I need to confront Mrs. R about some issues I am still having with her.  Please pray for me.  I feel that this whole experience is a turning point in my search and experience as a school librarian.  It will either make me or break me.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Toto, we are not in Brighton anymore....

...or in Webster, or Pal-Mac, or Gananda...etc.

How I wished I were wearing ruby slippers and that I could click my heels together and go home.

I ended the day in a very BAD way.  The second graders that came in were horrible.  How can 2nd graders be that bad? I lost my cool with them...and in walked the vice principal.  Feeling like a giant failure right now.  Perhaps I should have stuck with public libraries.

The other very frustrating thing is that this school keeps pulling me out of the library during the times that I don't have a class, to do coverage for other classes.  This morning I was scheduled to sub for a 4th grade class from 9-10:30.  Mrs. R had the day off so I had to put the book drop box out in the hallway for returns and lock the library door.  That meant that none of the kids who returned books in the morning could take out books.  That is the time of day that I actually enjoy the most. Perhaps because it is the more enjoyable kids who are there to exchange books.  Kids who want to read.  I like making conversation with them and helping them find the books that interest them the most.  So...I had to sub for a 4th grade class.  At least the class was good.  The phone rang during the class and I answered it. It was the secretary who wanted to know if I was available to sub for another class at 10:30.  (It wasn't really a wasn't like I really had a choice.) least the 2nd class was good too. I found this to be very frustrating. Yesterday I covered for a class and tomorrow I will have to cover for another class from 9-10:30.

Seriously?  I know I need to be a good sport about this, but it is hard.  I have a headache.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Just Another Day in the Office...but it's Friday!

Wow!  This was quite a week. I'm learning a lot!

My first graders came into the library at noon.  I had noticed just before class that there was a notation made about them.  It said, "BIP-Please make sure not to let Lily and Nolan near each other."  Hmmmm.  Interesting.  I went out to pick up the kids in the hallway.  Within seconds, there was a little girl hanging onto my arm. I learned that this was Lily. I took the kids inside and sat them in front of the SMARTboard to start the lesson, but first I was going to read them a story. I was satisfied with the distance between Lily and Nolan. I started the story which was a simple biography about Pocahontas, but had to stop just a half a page in.  Lily was shouting, "Stop looking at me!  He's laughing at me!" She was pointing at Nolan, who, as far as I could tell, was not doing anything but sitting on the carpet listening to the story.  He said, "I am not...I'm just sitting here."  She started shouting over the top of his words, "You are too looking at me!  Stop looking at me!  I hate him!"  She would not stop shouting.  I asked her to be quiet.  "I will not be quiet.  HE needs to be quiet!"  I said, "Lily, do you need to go to a quiet space for a little break?"  (I asked this as gently as I could because I know that she is an emotionally broken child) Her response was, "NO!  HE IS LOOKING AT ME AND LAUGHING AT ME! I HATE HIM!"  At this point Mrs. R was calling the office for support.  One of the counselors came down and tried to get Lily to take a little walk with her.  She refused to get up.  At this point, it was suggested that the entire class move to another part of the library to read the story.  That is what we did...leaving Lily sitting angrily on the carpet.

While I was trying to read the story, the counselor was trying to deal with Lily, who had started to run around the library.  The counselor called for more support on her radio. A second counselor came down.  We continued to read the story as best as we could. Suddenly, they were gone and we finished the story and went over to the SMARTboard to continue the lesson. (which was about how biographies are written in chronological order by the way) On the board, the kids started dragging sentences of Poc's bio to put them in order chronologically. Then there was an announcement over the P.A. system.  "We are going into a level 1 lockdown."  A level 1 means that there is not a danger to the school as a whole, but for some reason, we need to lock our doors and stay in our classrooms.  About 20 minutes later, the lockdown was lifted.

I found out later that Lily had given them chase by running through the hallways of the school. It took three adults to finally bring her in.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

A Whole New World....and the Monster Within.

Do you remember that scene in Lord of the Rings, when Frodo and Bilbo Baggins were hanging out together just before Frodo begins the journey?  Bilbo sees the ring hanging around Frodo's neck and suddenly snarls like a monster and freaks everyone out who is watching the movie? That was me today.  Okay....maybe not quite, but there is a monster within me.

I am working in a very challenging school right now.  It is a step inside of Greece from the Roch City School District. Just a few blocks away from the school is RCSD. There are many behavior issues.  Many of the kids are non-compliant...(which is a nice way of saying they are plain disobedient). I think many of them must come from very difficult family lives. I have seen children in other districts who are just as disobedient...but there are far fewer of them.  The sheer number of them in this district is very dismaying. I had a first grade class that had behavior that was just unbelievable. I absolutely lost it.  I can really have a very scary angry voice sometimes...luckily it is a voice that does not come out often. How did they respond? I DO think I scared them enough into a behavioral change...but I don't think it was effective overall. They crept into poor behavior again as the hour dragged on. I just don't want to turn into the nasty dragon librarian.

The Kindergarten class that came next is a high needs classroom.  Several students have Behavioral Intervention Plans (BIP).  I could barely read the picture book story to them. I actually had to simplify it in order to shorten it...I was losing their attention and needed to move on to something else. I felt like I was going batty. However, something happened during the story that made me stop and think...what is life like for some of these kids?  It was a simple question that was asked by a little girl named Brooke. In the story the word 'husband' was mentioned.  She said, "What's a husband?" She was not asking this to be disruptive.  She genuinely wanted to know. I thought it was sad that she wouldn't know what a husband is...I suppose she could come from a home where English is not the primary language so that could be a factor.

I was dreading my next class.  A second grade class with several more BIPs.  I knew it was not going to be a picnic.  I went to the door to get them a few minutes late because of problems moving the Kindergarten group out.I was greeted by a woman who was subbing for the class.  She told me that she had had a nightmare of an experience subbing for their class and that about half of the students were taken to the office by the principal. In walked about 10 kids.  I know that made life quite a bit easier for me, but even so...they were not very well-behaved. I was able to manage them, but was amazed that the "best" behaved students of the class were the ones sitting in from of me.

Anyway...I am going to need a lot more wisdom and tricks up my sleeve in order to manage classes better. I feel like I am student teaching all over again...but this time without a mentoring teacher sitting in the same room.  Ironically I could have used Mrs. R's presence. Didn't I tell you that my appreciation of her would grow by leaps and bounds?

I was thinking about how only a week ago I was subbing in an elementary school in Webster and I had 2nd graders all day long.  I loved the entire day.  The kids were so good! The biggest challenge of the day was a few kids talking out of turn. I remember thinking, "I love second graders." Just 9 days later and I am in an entirely different world.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

A Brand New Day

Today was a brand new day with a brand new Mrs. R! (Okay...not entirely brand new...but much better)  Her attitude toward me did an about face.  She spoke to me kindly and respectfully. The entire atmosphere of the library was much better. Maybe what I said to her yesterday made the difference. Tomorrow Mrs. R does not come in...which will make the day very challenging.  My overall appreciation of her should grow by leaps and bounds when I am on my own...juggling all aspects of the library. All alone in the library.

The last class of the day was very challenging today.  They are a difficult class and need a very firm hand.  I am going to have to absolutely take complete control of this class in order to work with them.  I have been told that tomorrow's last class is just as challenging as this one. If you would say a prayer for me, I would appreciate it.

I am actually too tired to write a very interesting post...going to bed!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Challenged...but making small steps

Yesterday was a pretty good day in the library...all things considered.

So far, I am finding that the library is not a really comfortable and fun place to be...because of Mrs. R.  I prayed on the way to school that the Lord would help me to love her.  It is difficult because I honestly do not like her.  Today and yesterday she was very condescending to me.  Every question I asked her was answered with an undertone that spoke volumes.  Have you ever spoken to someone and they answer you rudely with the words,..."Uh duh!" ?  She has not said these words to me...but the undertone of her answers has.  Finally I said to her, "Can you please speak to me like I am intelligent?" She looked very shocked and her mouth dropped open.  I also think she was embarrassed. (I hope) This was ten minutes before the first of three back to back classes was coming in.  I think that it may have helped because she kind of gave me a compliment on the lesson I taught by saying that she could tell that the kids enjoyed it.  She also did not interrupt one single time during any class to discipline.

Earlier in the day we had an interesting discussion which brought to light her "vast knowledge of library work and children." (sarcasm here)  A teenage girl has been doing service work in the library on occasion because of some discipline action taken against her (I don't know any details).  She comes from the high school to do work.  She was supposed to come in this morning.
Me: "Are you going to be here at 9:00 because _____ is coming in to do work." (I was stepping out of the library for about an hour and a half because of some other obligation)
Mrs. R: "Yes."
Me: "Have her shelf the books on the cart and if she finishes, have her start shelf-reading the fiction section."
(Blank stare) "Do you know what shelf-reading is?"
Mrs. R: "No."
Me: "It's making sure the books are in order."
Mrs. R: "The books are already in order." (add undertone of 'duh')
Me: "They are supposed to be in order, but after awhile they are not in order and need to be fixed."
Mrs. R: "No....the books were put in order in the beginning of the year."
Me: "Yes, but children will very quickly get them out of order."
Mrs. R:  "That's why they use shelf markers." (add undertone of 'duh')
Me: (trying to patient and kind) "It doesn't matter if they used shelf markers, children have a tendency to get books out of order."
Mrs. R shakes her head in disgust.
Me: (trying to maintain that I am knowledgeable, while trying to be polite too) "I have been working in libraries for many years, and we have always had to shelf read from time to time."
Mrs. R: "Okay" (add undertone of 'duh' and 'whatever')

Seriously, I know that many of my readers have never worked in a library and may not know the term 'shelf reading'...but honestly, who could possibly think that children are neat and tidy while looking for books in the library?  Most of you have kids and probably remember how quickly they can turn the house upside down. Mrs. R actually has one child herself.  Maybe her child was unusually neat and well-behaved and could sit still for hours at a time.  I don't know!

On a good note, I have created three SMARTboard activities which I have incorporated into lessons this week.  The kids are enjoying them and I think they will be great to be able to share during an interview. (don't get too bogged down if you don't know what a SMARTboard is...just think, "Priscilla is so clever and technologically savvy!")

Friday, May 03, 2013

And so it begins...

Last night, around 8:30 or so, I was notified that my long-term sub position has officially begun today.  My main goal for today was to get through it.  To begin to aclimate myself and teach the library lessons.  I was a bit thrown off by the presence of the book fair which had taken over the entire library.  Luckily this is the last day of it and on Monday, the library will be back to "normal."  I put normal in quotes because I have only been there twice and am not well versed on what normal really is there.

I am almost certain that Mrs. R will probably drive me crazy before the 7 weeks are up. She did not interupt me while teaching classes (she actually had left by then)...but gave me a lot of unsolicited advice and other comments.

The kids were not too bad.  I did have to correct some being a more challenging school (a step outside of the city limits).  I had the mischievous child, the interupting child, the ever-so-slightly-but-cannot-quite-pinpoint-it disrespectful child, the I-need-to-separate-you-two boys, and also the bossy-tattletale-class-reporter child to deal with.  I guess that is pretty typical.

Friday, April 26, 2013

I Have Issues

I just read this post over here by Ken Davis and it really spoke to my heart.  It describes me to a T.  I have had some ridiculous moments of explosive anger over the stupidest things.  I just had one the other day in fact.  This is the first step I am taking to admit that I have anger issues...
I have come away from those moments thinking..."What is WRONG with me?"  I also know that I wasn't always like this.
I have been a terrible example to my children.
I've been thinking quite a bit about who I am and what impact I am making on others.  The father of some friends of ours past away suddenly in his home last week.  It was totally unexpected and a shock to our church.  He was a pillar in our church and community. I just can't believe that Dr. Snyder is gone. Last Saturday, we went to his funeral service.  Person after person got up and told of this man's gentleness, generosity, hospitality and kindness.  He will truly be missed.  I cannot think of one single negative thing about him.  It has gotten me thinking about what would be said at my funeral some day.  I'm not sure if I would be spoken of as highly as Dr. Snyder.

I know I have a lot of frustration and anger that has built up over the years.  I usually try to pretend that it does not matter.  It's not working.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Winter Story...Guidance Through the Storm

I thought of this story tonight and wanted to write it down.  I always thought it was significant...I just never recorded it before.  I don't want to forget it, so here it is.

I was driving in the car and my three little children were all buckled into their car seats.  Allen was four, Audra was almost 3, and Alicia was about 9 months old.  It was winter and I was driving to Webster to visit my parents.  The weather was horrible and the visibility was poor.  It hadn't been that poor when I left the house, otherwise I would have stayed at home. I was on a country road.  All of a sudden I heard little Allen's voice say, "You need some gas, Mom."  I looked at the gasoline indicator and the needle was below empty!  A surge of panic ensued...and at the same time marvel.  How did my little boy know I needed gas?  He couldn't see the indicator from his car seat...physically impossible! Besides that, he would not have known a gasoline indicator if he saw it, let alone be able to read and interpret it.  I remembered that there was a little country gas station nearby and prayed that we would make it there.  We did. I filled the car up, got in and said, "Allen, how did you know that Mommy needed to get some gas?"  He just looked at me and didn't answer.  I'm not sure if he even understood the question.

I'm sure that an angel communicated the need to Allen so that he could tell me. Even at a young age, Allen had a hunger and thirst for God.  He loved Bible stories and could not get enough of hearing them.  He just loved Jesus so much as a tiny child...often putting me to shame.

We had been praying and praying for guidance in college decision making for Allen.  He felt very strongly that he wanted to go to a Christian college.  He at one time told me that he wanted to go into missions and that "if God wants me to, I'll go to seminary."  He is not entirely sure of what path he is to take, but God has put all the pieces together for Allen to go to Roberts Wesleyan Christian College.  He will begin studies in communications.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


I just feel this terrible sense of dread.  The postings for next year's jobs are coming out.  I have applied for two positions so far and will apply for a third. Every time I turn around, I am hearing about these three positions.  Everyone is talking about them and everyone is applying for them.  I just dread another interview in which I fail to be the one chosen.  Someone told me recently that over 40 people applied for one school library position last year.  (I was one of them and did not even get called for an interview)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Some Initial Impressions

Today I was supposed to shadow the woman that I am going to be subbing for. Yesterday she called me to let me know that she is sick and wondered if I would be her sub today instead. Of course I said yes!  So I went there today.

I have a very good feeling about this placement.  I am going to learn a tremendous amount and also get plenty of experience to help me get a job in the future.  The school is very nice.  My initial impression is that the school is well run.  The teachers seem cheerful and professional. The library is beautiful!  I have several computers that children can work on and also a SMART-board for lessons.  There is a beautiful office area to get work done in. The schedule leaves plenty of planning time and also possibly to do projects with teachers if they are willing. I also have a helpful volunteer who checks books in and out, and also helps manage the classes.

There are drawbacks. in particular. The helpful volunteer.  She really is a volunteer...not getting paid a cent for what she does.  The entire school loves her...especially with all the cuts that have been made to education lately.  Not only does she volunteer in the library, but she picks up and does copying for all the teachers in the morning. She truly is helpful to the librarian. One cannot really run an elementary library very efficiently without a second person there helping. While the librarian is helping students find books they are interested in, several others are lining up to sign out books...meanwhile another set of eyes is always helpful for keeping an eye on mischievous students. (Imagine this scene: while I am helping Suzy find a book about magic tricks, Billy and Joe have decided to crawl under the tables and pretend they are can just picture it.) For an elementary school librarian, the second pair of eyes is golden. However...Mrs. R, a woman in her 60's who is from Scotland...(not that Scotland matters, I just want you to imagine the scene with the right accent), is a little over zealous with her disciplining. I taught three classes today, and she rudely interrupted each one to discipline children.  She sent one little girl (Katie) to time-out in another part of the library and honestly, I did not think the little girl had done anything terrible at all.  In fact, I'm not sure what she did...if anything at all. The little girl seemed very surprised and very hurt by it.  After about 5 minutes, I called Katie back to the group. During the third class, Mrs. R was speaking sternly to the class about speaking out of turn.  If she had ended it there, it would have been fine, but she went on and on and asked, "Who is still speaking?...Who is still speaking!!!?" (and I thought to myself through gritted teeth...'You are.') At the end of the first class, I asked a little girl if she would help me collect the pencils.  When Mrs. R saw her collecting the pencils, she began to scold her. I stopped Mrs. R and said, "I asked her to collect the pencils for me." Mrs. R said, "That's not how it's done."

This is a problem that will need to be addressed and it is going to be very sticky.  I really do not want to lose her help in the library, but I cannot have her running the show.  I am the librarian and she is the volunteer helper.  (key word: helper)

This coming Thursday, I will meet Rachel (the librarian who is expecting a baby soon) and will be working with her directly.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013


Lately I just feel like I'm not really having fun anymore.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Time for the update

I have been so horrible about writing my blog lately.  It has obviously come to a stand still and therefore no one will probably even read this (other than my faithful sisters). I had truly meant to blog about different libraries I have subbed in, but I didn't.  That's too bad because there is a wealth of information that I needed to record, but didn't.

In a couple of weeks, I will begin subbing for an elementary school librarian who will be out on maternity leave for the rest of this school year.  This position is all the way out in Greece.  That is long drive for me (~50 minutes), but absolutely necessary. Next Friday, I will go there and shadow Rachel (the librarian) for the day.  It will be nice to have regular income for about 8 weeks. In the meantime, I have applied for two school library positions that are opening up in the fall.  One is in East Irondequoit and the other is in Penn Yan. Please pray with me that one of these positions will work out for me.  I desperately need a regular job.

This week has been Spring break for us.  Two of my children are in New York City on a mission trip with our church.  I have been home with Alicia.  I would like to be able to say that we have done all sorts of exciting and imaginative things...but I would be lying. She stayed over night at a friend's house one night and I had to work on Monday.  Yesterday, she and I went shopping at East View Mall.  The poor girls' wardrobe needs some help.  Unfortunately, we only were able to put a small dent into revamping that situation. I'm hoping that today she gets to spend some time with her best friend...a much more fun prospect than hanging out here with mom.

I have been looking for a job for the summer.  I am hoping that I can find some children to babysit (in their home...since I am sure their home is more fun than this one.)  I'm sure that there are some children that will be needing some care once school ends.  I have joined  I was notified a few days ago that there was a perfect situation in Victor (4 days a week and during school hours)...but they have hired someone else who responded quicker than I.  It is my own fault since I forgot to check the notifications and had therefore neglected to respond for several days. Once subbing ends, all income (save for the dentist office I clean on Monday evenings) ends. Once I get a permanent job as a school librarian, I will not have to worry about summers.  I will be able to kick back and relax...but that is not the case for me right now.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

What's Up?

I had a job interview last week at a public library.  Well....I haven't heard from them, but I know I did not get the job.

On Friday, I went to a reception in the evening at my church to welcome and hear one of our former pastors and his family. (they moved to Canada 7 years ago).  While I was there, I was talking to a woman named Debbie who told me excitedly that her niece just got a job as librarian at _________ Public Library.  I gasped and said, "Well, I guess that means I didn't get it." Poor Debbie was horrified and felt terrible about telling me (she had no idea that I was interviewed or had even applied for it).  I was okay with it and actually found it to be rather humorous. I had actually figured that a decision was probably made and it wasn't her news was just a confirmation of that belief.

I have a long term sub position in a suburb of Rochester, which I told a few "friends" about at a RASL meeting (Rochester Association of School Librarians). One of these "friends" asked me which school I had gotten the job in.  When I told her, she proceeded to tell me that she had subbed there once for the librarian and it was "hell." She then gave the ghastly details about why it was so horrible...topping it off with, "But maybe it won't be as bad as all of that for you."  I was not very happy...but it was her that I was not very happy with.  I thought that it was a rude thing of her to do.  Even if her experience had been "hell," as she put it, was a it a good idea to tell me about it?  After that, she proceeded to fill me in on the doom and gloom of the job market and how this person and that person have not found jobs yet.  And also that this school librarian who moved to Maryland is moving back to Rochester and she has so much experience both in Rochester and in Maryland and we will now have to compete against her....blah blah blah.  This woman was a walking black cloud of doom.  I left the RASL meeting feeling really down in the dumps.  On the way home I was like, "I need to shake this off and think more positively!"  It was a struggle...and still is.  I snap out of it and then slip into it again.

Anyway...I am sure that this job in G***** isn't as bad as what this woman described.  I think this woman is a very negative person and I will try and steer clear of her at future meetings. People like that just drain me.

On a better note, my son Allen has received a beautiful financial reward letter from Roberts Wesleyan College.  So...he really CAN go to college after all!  I was seriously worried that he would end up going to FLCC.  There is nothing wrong with FLCC...but I don't think it would have been a good choice for him.  He's the kid who really needs to go away to a four year college.  He also really wanted to go to a Christian college...and it is a relief that he really will be able to do that.  We are waiting to hear from another college before the final choice is made, but Roberts is a very strong possibility.