Monday, December 31, 2012

End of the Year 2012

November and December have been quite cold here in KS.  Most bike riding has been short errands downtown and to the store.

Working as a professional at KU has also eluded me.  Librarians, and all staff that work up on Mt. Oread are "Lifers" which means most have been at their posts 25 to 30 years.

My "Desert San" Campus Bike from my Tucson Days has morphed into an all-weather urban commuter.  Fenders and racks means I can ride year-round.  I rode to Haskell to work every day except for May, when I had my fall and injury.  I rode everyday to work up to KU for my part-time job as well.  Its been almost two years since I've lived here and this bike has logged many miles around Lawrence.

I made a trip to San Antonio to see my Brother and his family.  Bill and I went down to the Alamo, which I thought was sort of perplexing--I mean we were driving on busy freeways and then into congested downtown San Antonio and he kept saying, "There it is, there it is..." and I was like, "Where? Where?  I don't see anything!"  So there it is up there for you to see, mes amis.  Very pretty but the bad thing was that when we arrived to go in, about 200 middle-school-aged kids arrived as well--and they were kinda unruly.

I know there was a lot going on in Texas at the time of this famous fight--it appeared to be a very complex matter and I didn't really understand the site too clearly in the context the Daughters of the American Revolution have explained it--but it was worth seeing.

Just a few blocks walking distance is the San Antonio River Walk.  I spied their bike share program bikes here near the Alamo.

The River Walk.  It was a WPA project in the 1930s.  It was okay and it was a Friday around lunch time so there were not a lot of tourists--mainly office workers from down town San Antonio having a long lunch.  The sidewalks were narrow and I couldn't see biking here.  I can't imagine hordes of tourists either.  Also lots of over-priced shops for shit you don't need and galleries with bad art work.  This is a place to bring your big brother who's in town to take a break from working a year without a vacation--eat at a cool place--and walk a bit.   

My brother and I ate at a pub.  While we were waiting for our lunch and sipped a few beers, a group of young professionals came around and lit up cigars.  They were a bit on the arrogant side, rude to our waiter, and the smoke was foul.  One the fellows asked if the smoke was bothering us, and my brother, who is a great guy but not to be trifled with said, "Fuck yeah..." And so the cigars gradually went out after some awkward glares.   My dear Brother, being a good sport after all, bought their table a round of beers so there were no hard feelings.

My contract job as the Academic Librarian at Haskell Library ended late November.  It was a good run and I met a lot of great people and students.  It was good to see many of them get their degrees and move on--many transfer to KU, or on to graduate school back in their home state.

The library was not always the best place to work.  The Director, my boss, was mean to the staff and often berated them for things that really started with her own lack of leadership.   She spent the year doing all the paper work for retirement, and had little time or interest in what the staff were doing or what the students and faculty needed.   Most interactions with her related to her letting us know we were her subordinates, and always in a condescending manner.

There was also a culture of indifference and not being helpful (this was the long-time para-professional staff) and I worked very hard to change that during my year as the librarian.  I did make friends with many students and faculty.  A lot of students that I first met in the research classes I taught, I got to know better from them seeing me working out at the Jim Thorpe Fitness Center.   That went a long way as many of the athletes sough me out for help with papers and other studies.

Being friendly (professional) and helpful (doing your job) goes a long way, Gentle Reader of This Blog, and I know it will help me get another position there again if I need one.  I'm going through that process of looking for another job now--and its going well!

Haskell Staff had kept a fire going on the grounds for the students--many going back to the reservations and onward from graduation.

My Brother, Bill

 Looking forward to a new year!   Cheers!  Bruce