jump start

Been a while since I’ve blogged publicly, hasn’t it? Hello, again.

I go to write this post, and notice a new comment from Regina, an old friend from Moldova who now lives in Israel, with whom I’d fallen out of touch a while ago. Holy cats. Hello, again. It’s lovely to hear from you.

(The timing of the comment and of my being compelled to write here again are a coincidence.)

Yeah, there’s been a lot of sadness that I’m not quite ready to write down. Luckily, the last month or so has also been filled with joy and light and smart people and work (hooray, work!), so it’s not like there’s nothing to tell.

My job at Boston University, the title of which has now settled at Digital Collections and Computing Support Librarian [in the School of Theology], rocks my socks so far. It’s not that I’ve done a whole lot, yet; it’s only been a month, and the end of the academic year at that, and my boss the head librarian has been out on vacation for the past two weeks, so things are relatively slow. On the other hand, there’s plenty to do in the computing-support half of the job. I’ve been learning [more] about how BU’s network is set up, which is nifty. We’re purchasing a big pile of equipment to replace old stuff – both servers and personal workstations for faculty and staff – which, you know, from the support standpoint is great. Soon there’ll be no more @$#%! five-year-old Dells to support, and many of the four-year-old machines are going away too. People are open to the idea of Macs, which is huge in such a behemoth mostly-Windows org. (BU is an immense bureaucratic machine, and I say that with all the affection that one would expect a girl to have for her alma mater.)

Best of all, people want to learn. I’ve been getting to know the faculty and staff. Some of them are already doing digital humanities projects (like the History of Missiology site). Others have cool ideas (hello, Admissions Director using Facebook in all kinds of cool community-building ways). And still others want to figure out how computing can make their research and teaching (and administration, and the school as a community) more awesome.

This is what they hired me to work on. I’m unspeakably excited. Yeah, so far it’s been all support and no digilib, but I expect that to change. There’s a lot of hardware overhauling to do, and some basics to catch up on. That will take some months. But there’s already so much concrete investment of time, thought and resources in digital library stuff at STH that I have no doubt it’s going to go somewhere interesting.

Then there’s life outside of work. That’s been filled with friends, children, loved ones, cats, cooking, Burning Man planning, hand drumming, sci-fi reading, Battlestar Galactica, water and fire and earth, casual photography, breathing deeply. And the weather’s been nice.

Yesterday I flew to DC. Today I participated in a day-long grant proposal review panel for which I read a total of thirty proposals, which took an unreal amount of time and was fascinating and instructive, and I’m not being sarcastic about any of that. The panel itself was great too; in the past month or so I’ve learned a ton about the grant review and award process, and I fully intend to use this knowledge for good. I have generalized thoughts on the whole thing, but have to formulate them separately – must wrap my brain around the whole thing first, and also make sure not to cross any confidentiality boundaries. The whole thing made me feel awfully important, and going away for just over 24 hours meant I could travel with just my work bag, light and easy.

Coming back tonight, at the Reagan Airport, I texted a friend something to the effect of, I like traveling – the interstitial part, the going – even more than being places. She laughed and declared me liminal girl. Certainly that holds true for my life in a larger sense.

There’s more, always – the children I get to hang out with, the surprisingly strong presence of love in my days, feeling so strong from weightlifting with one of my dearest, the USB turntable I bought with which I’m digitizing records from the old country – but it’s 1:45am, and tomorrow’s a workday. Er, today. Whatever.

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