Your unasked questions answered

First of all, my sincerest apologies to all the commenters, gossip columnists, and TV crews who have been wondering where I was for the past four months. Sorry for the panic — I know, it was like the Marie Celeste all over again, but with more conspiracy theories. It’s okay. I’m back now.

(And by “panicked fanbase”, I mean the one friend to whom I casually mentioned my absence, to which she replied, “Oh yeah, you have a blog.”)

In a nutshell: I’ve been finishing my master’s degree.

There's been serious talk of wearing wizards' caps to graduation. I'll keep you posted.

There’s been serious talk of wearing wizards’ caps to graduation. I’ll keep you posted.

“What’s your degree in?”

There’s more than one reason why I haven’t said before. First, there’s the whole stranger-danger thing. I sometimes play a game (benevolently, I swear) where I read strangers’ blogs and see how quickly I can identify what city they live in. Sometimes they’re super open about it. Sometimes they’re successfully secretive. Most often, they don’t want to say outright, but it’s super easy to find out based on the businesses and events they mention. Because I’m in a field that doesn’t have many masters’ programs in the U.S., mentioning my discipline in conjunction with the other events I’ve described would have been about as smart as posting a daily selfie with the Eiffel Tower and expecting my location to remain anonymous.

“Loving my new place in London! #privacyplease”

The other reason is that my field has a certain amount of stigma. About fifty percent of the time, when I tell people what I’m studying, they scrunch up their noses and say, “You have to have a degree to do that?” (I like to respond with a breezy “No, I just had a spare $45,000 lying around, and Joss said it wasn’t enough to reboot Firefly.”) Another thirty percent of the time, they’ll say, “Really? Where are you going to find a job in that?”, as though they expect me to have a road-to-Damascus moment and switch to, say, bioengineering on the spot.

But neither of these reasons are particularly valid anymore, because (a) I’m moving soon because (b) I just got a full-time job in my field. It can be done, friends.

So to answer your question: I’m a librarian.

It was surprisingly difficult to find a free stock photo of a stereotypical librarian. This fills me with hope.

It was surprisingly difficult to find a free stock photo of a stereotypical librarian. This fills me with hope.

“So, what’s new in your life?”

Well, I just got a full-time job in my field. Did I mention that? Please don’t hate me. It does mean I have to get to move to the Deep South in the depths of summer. So I guess I’m an adult now? Is this what adults do? Does it mean I have to stop sleeping with a nightlight?

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This is definitely not my nightlight. That mouse is far too scary.

In other news, getting a job before graduation means that all motivation evaporates. Right now I’m in the throes of writing MY LAST PAPER EVER (please don’t hate me) and it is not going well. For comparison, I have also written papers on canine imagery in Renaissance drama, the Protestant poetic of George Herbert, and medieval numerology, all of which were riveting season finales compared to this last barrier between me and gainful employment.

Also, I’ve been trying to purchase ebooks for the small library I manage, which is obnoxiously difficult and expensive, and catalog other ebooks with open-source software that was apparently coded in an era when ebooks were naught but a twinkle in Vannevar Bush’s eye. So the next time I hear someone say, “I don’t know why my library doesn’t have more ebooks; they’re just so much easier to buy and use,” I am going to stalk them until they start making risotto, and then I am going to cry into it, and it will be too salty and their dinner party will be ruined. Ha.

bad guy

“Speaking of cooking, can you make a roux with EVOO instead of butter?”

As I discovered yesterday while making the Pioneer Woman’s cauliflower soup, yes, you can, but it will have a pale green tinge that is not for the faint of heart. Also, you will need a heck of a lot of salt.

“What’s up next for IWtSLtY?”

I have every intention of returning to a regular posting schedule, but let’s be honest, I also have every intention of someday learning how to manage my hair, and that’s not working out so well.

However! I’m currently mapping out a No Carb Left Behind farewell tour of my home city, which I can bring you along on, now that it doesn’t matter if you know where I live. So stay tuned for that.

Finally, looking farther ahead: What are your thoughts on D.A. Days, our celebration of all things Potteresque? Is it worth a repeat? Would you like to see another fandom highlighted this year?

Until (an ideally very soon) next time,

~ Sonya

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[traditional Yak of Goodwill]

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Image credits: Great Hall gif from Warner Brothers via Tumblr, I claim no ownership of it whatsoever, please don’t shut down my blog; door by stux on Pixabay; librarian via Bill Branson on Wikimedia Commons; nightlight from twaita2012 on Pixabay; TH gif from MTV via rebloggy, again, no rights owned here, please don’t sue; yak from Simon on Pixabay.

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Book Chatter: The Year of Learning Dangerously

tyold

There are three reasons why this book has been on my mind recently.

  1. A decade or so ago, this would have been the time of year that I was shopping for new pencils and Pee Chee folders.
  2. My teacher friends are posting pictures of their squeaky-clean, freshly decorated classrooms.
  3. I got a haircut that makes me look like a sixth-grader in the 1980s.
Roughly how I look.

This is roughly my head’s appearance at the moment.

In The Year of Learning Dangerously, author Quinn Cummings is less than satisfied with her daughter’s school and decides to explore the unplumbed depths of homeschooling. As she tries to figure out what would be best for her daughter (and for the whole family’s sanity), from coops to online classes to course kits, she discusses the history of the homeschooling movement and its current place in America, as well as the more recent trend of unschooling.

As you might expect from such a broad scope, there’s a lot to take in, and Cummings is frank about the bafflement and frustration she experiences during the journey. Her honesty and discomfort are encouraging, and she brings up some great questions about freedom and independence — not just in the sphere of education, but also in the realm of parenting in general. For example, is it better to have set cultural standards for parenting, or to let parents figure it out on their own?

As a non-parent, I don’t have many wise words to offer, but it’s been interesting to track the threads of the discussion. As well as Cummings’ book, which spurred my interest, I’ve especially enjoyed this TED essay on global parenting, this NPR article on the same topic, Mei-Ling Hopgood’s similarly themed book How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm, and Joanna Goddard’s gorgeous eleven-part series on expats’ parenting experiences.

Parents, I’m curious: If you could leap into the past and change one thing about your children’s educational experience, what would it be?

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Photo credits: Book cover from Better World Books; willow from ADD on Pixabay.