2006 “End of Year Questions” Meme: A Blog Is Born, A Year in Ontario, and I’m A Librarian!

    1. What did you do this year that you’d never done before?
      Got somebody pregnant! (Funny how you go your whole life trying to avoid that scenario and then, just like that, it’s the objective.)


  • Did anyone close to you give birth?
    My sister had a baby girl named Emmerson Raye.



  • Did anyone close to you die?
    No, thankfully, but we did attend on funeral even though we were away from home.  It was for one of Shea’s distant relatives – an uncle of her mom’s who Joan stayed with for a summer when she was a teenager – and whom we’d gone to visit in Chatham only a few months earlier.



  • What countries did you visit?
    USA.  (Now, if it said “counties” – Bruce, Huron, Oxford, Middlesex…)



  • What would you like to have in next year that you lacked this year?
    An income.



  • What date from this year will remain etched upon your memory?
    January 3 = Orientation Day.  December 8 = Last Day of Classes.



  • What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    Getting my Masters degree in a one-year accelerated program taking the full load without breaking for co-op or reducing my schedule at all.



  • What was your biggest failure?
    I feel like there’s so much more that I wanted to do beyond the everday schoolwork to try and make the MLIS program better, more useful and/or entertaining for those who come after – helping to improve the Council web site, starting the ball rolling to implementing a student council fee, making sure that the Lunch Bucket Speaker Series and Nameless Movie Series would continue. 



  • What was your biggest surprise?
    Winning the Spirit of Librarianship Award in my first term was pretty surprising since I didn’t even know about it until Christina told me she was nominating me.  (Looking back, I don’t know how I didn’t know about it since a former winner, Sabina, was my peer mentor.  But she was pretty good about not talking about it…at least compared to me! )



  • Did you suffer illness or injury?
    No.  I didn’t even catch a cold all year if you can believe it (when I normally get sick once or twice.)



  • What was the best thing you bought?
    Digital camera or MP3 player – I’m still a gadget-geek at heart.



  • Whose behaviour merited celebration?
    Most of the people at library school are pretty cool and everything but there were a few that simply radiate goodness – maybe one person per term if that.  Those people definitely merit celebration.



  • Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
    I’m working on being more open and understanding of all viewpoints and motivations.  But I was always disappointed when I saw people at school acting in what I felt was a non-librarian manner – from not sharing information or helping others to being outright rude or <gasp> even talking about how much they didn’t like books!






  • What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio.




  • What song/album will always remind you of this year?
    Bright Eyes – “I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning” was my constant companion walking to school in first term.  Hawksley Workman – “Treeful of Starling” in second term.  Third term was Sam Baker – “Mercy” and Tragically Hip “World Container.”



  • Compared to this time last year, are you:




  • Happier or sadder?  Much happier.
  • Thinner or fatter?  Probably the same. 
  • Richer or poorer? Poorer because of student loans but poised to be richer because of the earning potential of my new degree.




  • What do you wish you’d done more of?
    Travel around Ontario seeing more tourist attractions – both well-known and lesser-known.



  • What do you wish you’d done less of?
    Even though Shea and I told ourselves that we were going to enjoy our year “abroad” and not deny ourselves any trips, restaurants, concerts, conferences, etc., I feel a bit guilty about how much money we spent doing so. 




  • How will you be spending did you spend Christmas?
    Very relaxing visiting with Shea’s family for half and then my family for half.  Our “price limit on gifts” mentioned in a recent entry really helped keep the stress level low.



  • Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
    I literally do not use the phone anymore.  I spent a heck of a lot of time on e-mail (50+ per day I’d bet) and one big adjustment being out of school is only getting maybe 5 messages per day.  I miss the deluge in some ways but appreciate the extra time not having to deal with so much e-mail gives me.
  • What was your favourite TV program?
    The Daily Show/Colbert Report



  • Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
    No, I hate all the same people. 




  • What was the best book(s) you read?
    No pun intended but I “bookended” the year with “Revolting Librarisn Redux” and “Our Singular Strengths: Meditations for Librarians” and both were excellent in their own way. 



  • What was your greatest musical discovery?
    Sam Baker although Elliott Brood are up there too.  (I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Buttonfly are great too of course!)




  • What did you want and get?
    Everything I wanted out of the past year, I got – the experience of living in a different province, my MLIS degree, a whole new circle of friends and acquaintances, the opportunity to look into many topics of interest to me and much more.



  • What did you want and not get?
    I guess one thing is that were a few classes I wish I could’ve fit in but didn’t because of scheduling conflicts or just lack of space within the 15-course limitation.  I’m sure I’ve talked about which classes I wish I’d taken elsewhere so I won’t repeat the list here.




  • What were your favourite films of this year?
    Films?  Who had time for films?  Okay, we did get to a few – “Borat” pops immediately to mind for how funny it was.  “The Departed”.  “Clerks II”.  “V for Vendetta”.  “Death of a President”.  “An Inconvenient Truth”.  Uhm, and probably some other ones.  Oh, I know – “The Aristrocrats” was by far, my most anticipated and favourite film of the year.  Loved it!




  • What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    I think I skipped a management class (my only skip of the year) and went to a pre-conception appointment with Shea which was pretty exciting (and a form of “Human Growth Potential” that I’d much rather learn about! )




  • What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    Er, winning a lottery?  No idea really.




  • How would you describe your personal fashion concept this year?
    Jeans and t-shirts, just like every other year.




  • What kept you sane?
    I’m not usually a charms and superstitions kind of guy but last year (in 2005), I had to sell books for my old job at the International Indigenous Librarians’ Forum that was held in Regina.  I got to sit in on all the sessions for that conference since the displayers were in the same room as the speakers.  Needless to say, this was amazing.  During one break, I ended up talking to a young Maori librarian from New Zealand.  I mentioned that I would like to be a librarian someday (I hadn’t applied yet but would, roughly a month later.)  He pulled a necklace with a green charm stone on it.  “Here.  This is for you to help you in the future,” he said.  I was a bit surprised by this unexpected show of generosity from a complete stranger and went home that night to find something to give to him the next day to reciprocate the gesture.  Anyhow, that’s a long way of saying that I wore that necklace pretty much everday through the year and it helped me keep perspective, especially when things got stressful (as they often did.)






  • Who did you miss?
    My parents and family since I didn’t get home all year (though M&D did make it out in April to visit for two weeks.)




  • Who was the best new person you met?
    Oh man, there were dozens of amazing, cool, intelligent people in library school that I now consider friends.  One of the best benefits of going back to school, right up there with the actual education.




  • Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned this year.
    “Maximize access to information.”




  • Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?
    “Libraries gave us power/Then work came and made us a free” – A Design For Life – Manic Street Preachers



  • What do you hope the next year brings?
    A healthy baby, a good job that I enjoy and continued maximized enjoyment of life. 
    (PS – sorry if some of those answers show up in italics.  The cut & paste from the site where I found the meme idea kept some weird formatting I couldn’t get rid of. I also deleted a few irrelevant questions and maybe added one or two that they were missing that made sense to include.)




Here’s another year-end meme where you record the first sentence of the blog entry that began each month.  I started this blog in late February so there’s no January but otherwise, this is a surprisingly good encapsulation of my year:

Well, I’ve finally gotten on the “blog-wagon”…

As I mentioned in my last entry, there’s a web meme going around in the blogosphere


Way back in College 1.0, I wrote a satirical essay in one of my writing classes which I think is appropriate at this time as I sit in a Montreal hostel, looking through the books on the history of the city

Instead of taking a fifth class, I’m doing an independent study this summer on the relationship between book publishers and public libraries in Canada. 

Just in time for all my classmates’ co-op interviews, Michael Stephens has posted: Ten Rules for the New Librarians which includes some tips for interviews in the comments.

I presented my 697 Individual Study findings to the 501 class on Tuesday and it went pretty well. 

For anybody who’s new to this blog, the “Friday Fun Link” is something that I’ve been doing in one form or another since the late 1990’s.

The new online library student journal  (creatively called “Library Student Journal”) has an article about how libraries currently serve babies <resists urge to make Jonathan Swift joke>.

Tonight, one of my favourite Britpop bands, The Beautiful South is playing in Toronto. 

Oh, but how I loved the Encyclopedia Brown books as a child.

Comments 3

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    I've absconded with this one, it's quite good, but takes a while and taxes the ol' memory… 🙂
    Happy New Year.

    Posted 01 Jan 2007 at 10:26 am
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    What a great meme…I want to sit my whole family down today and get them to do their own. It's the first day of the new year and a perfect time for self-reflection.
    I just dug under my over-crowded bulletin board to look for a quote about “the unexamined life is not worth living” but it's gone. Instead there's a pink square of paper with the definitions of HEGEMONY and HEURISTIC on it (ah, of course scrawled after I.Quinn opened his mouth) ; business cards for a few London Public Library employees and one for the counsellor at my daughter's highschool…You can *read* my year by reading the walls that surround my desk…and right in my face — our class photo from 1st semester.
    And around my neck — the talisman that I hope gets me through my final semester and gives me the strength to umm carry on…in that same spirit that brought us together in the first place…maximum access…love, love, love; share, share, share.
    Happy New Year, Jason & Shea & baby Oscar (that name has grown on me and I don't know what we'll do if you name the little guy something else…Fred?)

    Posted 01 Jan 2007 at 4:20 pm
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Thanks for your comments. You pack so much into brief comments (definitely not my strong point!) The start of the year, the end of the year, memories of classmates, memorable moments, all swirled in my head as I read your comment.
    Glad to hear the name Oscar's grown on you. Did I relate the story of Fred as a potential name for our baby or did you pick that randomly? Maybe that talisman is working its magic!
    Anyhow, for anyone who didn't hear the story… Shea and I went to the Fred Eaglesmith charity picnic in mid-August which is right around the time that Shea conceived the baby. So when we went to a Fred Christmas concert in his home town of Port Dover in December, we were telling all the “Fredheads” that Shea got pregnant at the Fred picnic and we were going to name the baby after him because of this!

    Posted 03 Jan 2007 at 5:11 am

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