I Do Not Cry in Public.

I do not cry in public.

I do not cry in public.

I do not cry in public.

I do not cry in public.

The favorite parts of my job were taken away from me over the past four years and many of my daily tasks were routine and boring but as my investment in the daily grind of the job lessened my connection with my co-workers deepened. This is a truth that I think will be reinforced over and over in my journey with the Peace Corps. More than the food, more than the movies, more than the easy access to book, EVEN MORE THAN INDOOR PLUMBING when I am in Ghana I will miss the people I love. To misquote a campaign slogan of an earlier Clinton Presidential candidate “It’s the PEOPLE, stupid!”.

I do not cry in public.

I do not cry in public.

I do not cry in public

I do not cry in public.

-vc

Passion Quilt Meme

Passion Quilt Meme

I haven’t been tagged yet for this meme but I wanted to share my thoughts. This meme is to inspire new librarians but I think all the images in the Passion Quilt could apply to any one in any walk of life or any age.

Thanks to by Lynn (WHAAAAT?) for this great image so I could add my square to the passion quilt meme. My passion is that we become like children in our work. We should gain new skills they way children do by enjoying, exploring and experimenting.

Check out other Passion Quilt Squareson flickr. I hope someone makes a virtual quilt of these.

-vc

Cleaning House

This week I have been cleaning my office. It’s amazing how much paper I have felt the need to keep in 13 years.  Most of the stuff I never looked at again once I filed it.  But it was fun to look at it now and remember my career here.  I found a tech newsletter I wrote for monthly for about a year. The minutes from tech team meetings and the web redesign project.  Instructions and manuals for software we don’t even use any more. Many good memories. I choose to overlook the bad ones!

And as I have seen things on my desk they remind me of people here I have given them the item. I feel the need to leave pieces of myself at LRW Library  in the place I have been at for so long.

-vc

inner strength

This week I gave notice at MPOW. It is a very joyous occasion for me. I can hardly wait to leave the job. As I wrap up my time here I have been thinking about the good and the bad. Thinking about how the job has shaped me for this next big step in my life.

Technology

I learned a lot of technology at this job. Computer repair and maintenence, software installation, database design, Web 2.0, teaching and how to keep up with all the changes in tech.  I learned that I can teach myself just about anything related to technology.

Teaching

My co-workers have taught me so much about teaching. They have been guinea pigs for all sorts of lesson plans and methods of teaching. They have gained weight cause I believe candy is a great motivator. They have taught me so much as they explored the software I was teaching them.

But the skill that I will take away with me that I will value the most is a new kind of inner strength.  A terribly unfair and humiliating thing happened to me about 5 years ago at MPOW that effected job duties. Since it effected my daily job duties it was in my face every day I went to work. And I was going through other big changes in my personal life at the same time. So I was miserable for a couple of years. I dwelt on and the bad things and complained and fought just about every aspect of my new job and my loss of valued other duties. I was a very unhappy person.

I don’t know why or when or how but something changed in me. I was doing the same jobs I disliked and I had some of the same problems but I decided to be happy. Maybe I read an article or heard story on NPR but I just decided to turn around my focus and concentrate on the good things in my life. I decided to count my blessings. My blessings were plentiful.  Jeanette, Helen and all my other wonderful co-workers who supported me and laughed and cried with me. The chance to work with an amazing set of dedicated women. The creativity I could use doing the webapage. My family. I had many chances to travel. I found joy in doing new things or reviving old hobbies.  At first I would sing Accentuate the Positive when I was feeling negative, sometimes a little tongue in cheek, but it turned into a mantra.  And dispite the fact that things did not change in my job duties I was happy.

I think this is the most important thing I took away from this job because it will help me to overcome my external circumstances in Africa. I know I can find the inner strength to be happy in what ever circumstances I find myself in.

-vc

My Resume for the PC

The PC asked for a resume for my country desk in Ghana. Of course I threw out all my print copies when I moved from my apartment to the room I am renting. I must of had a shedding fit and decided that the electronic version was enough. Well of course I could not find my electronic version anywhere so I had to create a new resume

-vc

Stepping Back

This week at MPOW we are learning  a new piece of software to manage our library webpage. Myself and three others were trained by the company. As usual I will train others and work with Lisa, Shirlee-Ann and Pat who went to training. That feels good and right. I get this stuff, I am a good teacher and others look to me for help with technology.

What’s  weird is that usually I would continue to be there  for  staff to come to with a problem. And they would have me to rely on to do the things  that are too technical. I would usually push myself to learn all the features of the software. Well I’m leaving and that makes my learning and  my teaching so different. This time more important than making sure I know all the ins and outs of the software I need to know that at least one and hopefully  more know the software well. Also i want to encourage them to work together to solve problems and answer questions so I’ll have to build that into the training.  And I’ll have to step back from the fun of transforming the webpage with this new software and  instead encourage others as they do the transformation.

I have high hopes that my partner in crime in tech, Sue S, will be one of the go to people and that a couple of others will join her.

I really am teaching myself out of a job this time!!!

-vc