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Paper and Thought

June 13, 2014

Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope you are well and had a lovely week. We have finished up final exam week here on campus and it is just about time for quarter break and summer session. I love summer as it is a time to reflect, catch up, and generally get things done without being pulled a million different ways. Today I wanted to share some interesting articles on paper and thought, which may sound a bit odd since this is a blog, but I love paper and handwriting, as well as interesting studies, so I thought it may be of interest to some of you, too.

I thought this was an interesting summary on Lifehacker of some research about how we might consider taking notes by hand to remember information longer. This is something to keep in mind as people keep lugging laptops, phones, and tablets along to meetings to take notes instead of a notepad and pen. I seem to remember things I’ve handwritten better than those I’ve typed, so this works for me. I wonder what your experience is with paper versus digital notetaking.

In a similar vein, Wired has an article on reading on screen versus paper. This is especially relevant to teachers and librarians as many of us have mandates to buy more ebooks and etextbooks at our libraries, which may be a boon for some students, but not for others. I think it will be very interesting to see where we go with paper books versus digital books in the coming years. Do you have a preference for reading on screen versus on paper? I love the convenience of ebooks, especially when traveling, but prefer paper when I’m using a book for research or am curled up reading at home.

Finally, for fun, check out this lovely flowchart by Derangement and Description, “Will Digitization Solve My Problem?”. I think all archivists, librarians, and others involved in digitization projects can relate to this. I think about this a lot when I’m trying to explain the true scope of digitization projects to people on campus.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear readers! I’ll be back soon with more news and notes. Allons-y!

My Brain is Dead, So Here’s an Inspirational Video

June 6, 2014

Happy Friday, dear readers! I don’t know about you, but this week has totally kicked my butt. I’m exhausted and it is the end of the quarter, which means lots of grading. So today, instead of writing a post that would probably be nonsensical, I just wanted to share a great video.

I really find BrenĂ© Brown’s work useful and she is an awesome speaker. This talk, “Why your critics aren’t the ones who count,” really resonated with me this week. I hope you find it useful and inspiring, too. My favorite quote, “If you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.” Love it.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I’ll be back soon with more news and notes. Allons-y!

Experience Relaxation

May 30, 2014

Happy Friday, dear readers! May has been a very, very busy month both at work and at home, thus the quiet on this blog. But no more, I think both my students and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel of Spring Quarter and the welcome (relative) relaxation of summer. So in honor of that relaxation spirit, I have a couple of posts about relaxation to share today.

I really enjoyed this article from Lifehacker about how you can learn to finally, really relax. I have a hard time turning off work worries sometimes and learning how to truly relax has been a process for me. So if you have a hard time with relaxing (without feeling guilty, too), this article might strike a chord with you, too.

Also, I find that if I don’t get enough relaxation in, I’m more likely to develop a bad mood. I know, shocking! But if I do get in a bad mood, it is nice to have a list of top 10 ways to beat a bad mood. I hope you aren’t in a bad mood often, but when it strikes now you can be prepared.

And, because it is Friday, I had to share a yummy Joy the Baker recipe perfect for the upcoming summer: buttermilk ice cream with strawberries.

Have a wonderful day and lovely relaxing weekend, dear readers. I’ll try to not be too long before my next post. Allons-y!

p.s. For those of you who enjoy Rodney Yee’s yoga routines, you probably found the title of this blog post familiar. Yoga is definitely one of the ways I’ve found to unwind, center, and relax. Have fun in whatever ways you find work to experience relaxation.

Tuesday Fun

April 29, 2014

Happy Tuesday, dear readers! I hope your week is going well and you had a lovely weekend. We had a busy weekend on campus with Welcome Day for our newly admitted students. Fun to see so many excited people and give out some library information and swag. Now it is back to work, meetings, and hopefully some writing this week. But for right now, let’s get into the fun.

I’m teaching digital history this term, so anything that might be useful or interesting for my class automatically makes it to the top of my “to share” list. So I’m rather excited that Good Street View now lets you travel back in time. Pretty nifty.

Anyone who has been reading this blog for a bit understands that I am really fond of cats. (Yes, it fits into the librarian stereotype. No, I don’t care.) So I quite loved this sleek table is hiding a playground for cats. Looks super-fun for cats, although I think my cat would have more fun trying to scare people when they were sitting at the table more than anything else.

And because we are supposed to be getting abnormally hot weather this week, and hot weather obviously makes me think of summer, I had to share this Joy the Baker recipe for lemon pound cake with lemon poppy seed buttercream. I may have to make this for a BBQ we’ll be going to in the neari-ish future.

Have a lovely rest of your day, dear readers. I’m be back soon with some more news and notes. Allons-y!

Spring Cleaning the Mind

April 25, 2014

Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope that your week has gone well and you have a lovely weekend planned. It has been a busy week here, but I’m looking forward to some relaxing this weekend as well as participating in Welcome Day on Saturday to welcome admitted students to our campus. Today, however, I want to talk a bit about spring cleaning, since it is spring. I happen to enjoy cleaning up in spring, but today I want to talk a bit about taking the time to spring clean your mind.

Just as people begin to lace up their running shoes and dust off their hiking boots in spring to jump start exercise routines and shake out rugs and tidy up the house in spring, I think spring is a great time to also take stock of cleaning our minds. By this, I mean thinking about what habits, self-talk, and attitudes are hurting us that we need to clean out and what habits and attitudes we would like to cultivate to help ourselves and others. I know I have habits and attitudes that help me while others hinder my ability to be the best person that I want to be. And spring, with its lovely flowers and longer days seems like an ideal time, seasonally, to take stock and commit to a bit of brain cleaning.

One of things that I personally want to take advantage of is harnessing creative thinking, both at work and outside of work. I enjoyed Lifehacker’s article on how to cultivate a creative thinking habit. It is nice to know that we don’t have to be “born creative geniuses” but instead can practice being creative and go from there. I’ve found writing more and making time for more reading outside of the library and archives world has definitely increased my creative thinking. It also helps that my husband majored in creative writing and always helps me ponder how things in life could end up in a story or what we could do that would be interesting or surprising. It makes life more interesting, too.

One of the habits that I really need to break is worrying about things. Worrying doesn’t help, creates stress, and all this other stuff, which I tell myself every time I start worrying and doesn’t help all the time. So I’m making the conscious effort to spring clean my worry, not that it will all go away, and enjoy and try to spread calm. This second article from Lifehacker is a good read if you want to cultivate some good brain habits: how being humble, kind, and calm will make your life easier. And really, who doesn’t want an easier life?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, dear readers, filled with as much cleaning, relaxation, and good times as you would like. I’ll be back soon with more news and notes. Allons-y!

Tuesday Fun

April 22, 2014

Happy Tuesday, dear readers! I can hardly believe we are into the last full week of April. This spring is just going so quickly! But for today, let’s share some fun to help our Tuesday along.

Readers of this blog know that I love typography. So I really love this TED Talk by Matthew Carter on typography design:

This article by Gizmodo on mapping type foundries of New York City is really interesting.

And finally, here’s a nice article from Lifehacker on the seven easiest vegetables to grow for beginners. I wish our patio got more sunlight so I could grow veggies, but hope that you are able to do some gardening this spring, dear readers.

That’s what I have for some fun today, dear readers. I’ll be back soon with some more news and notes. Allons-y!

Tuesday Fun

April 15, 2014

Happy Tuesday, dear readers! As it is tax day today in the United States, I thought we could definitely use some fun today. So I have a few fun things to share to take your mind off taxes. Let’s get to it!

I happen to be a fan of “Welcome to Night Vale” and so think these cross-stitch bookmarks are awesome. Makes me want to break out my needle and thread.

I love going to libraries (I know, definitely a “duh” statement from a librarian) and I love seeing different buildings and styles of architecture so I’m excited for the new book on public libraries in the United States. Gizmodo has a nice photo set of 10 distinctive libraries to whet your appetite for more.

Finally, I’m rather fond of card tricks and sleight of hand and rather jealous of the quality of life in Stockholm, so I was fascinated by this video explaining why Stockholm is the best for pretty much everything.

I hope you enjoy your day and week, dear readers. I’ll be back soon with more news and notes. Allons-y!

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