Saturday, September 02, 2006

The lone tuba

I have conquered the first week of classes and lived to blog about it, a positive sign for the semester. No matter how much preparation given to beginning school there is always something that slips my "to do" list, the schedule has to be redone because of drop/add ending early in September, my first class arrives for a tour and I have forgotten a necessary handout, and some critical piece of technology hiccups. This week was no exception to that rule.

One glaring omission from my "to do" list was updating the resource center employee handbook. Last summer I scrapped the original handbook from 2002, a sad little bound document, replacing it with a large three ring binder and clear sleeves for the sheets. My intention? Create something that would edit easily. The obvious problem? No updates were done over the summer. Last term a student mentioned it would be great if the divider pages had tabs making it easier to locate pertinent information. Since this was a great idea, one I was somewhat chagrined not to have done in the first place, last spring I purchased colorful Avery stick on tabs to do the job. After my first class tour left Friday morning, what began as a simple addition to the handbook evolved into a complete overhaul taking the entire day. Going through the binder, it was easy to locate, rearrange, and determine changes to be made. On the plus side, everything added to the handbook could be classified positive. Images had to be replaced throughout various descriptions of equipment and technology because new had been purchased. Instructions for facilitating a lab class were changed because a unit, one causing much angst among the staff, was eliminated. My list for Tuesday includes finishing the updates. I plan to be done before lunch!

The schedule had a few glitches, all of which resulted in better overall coverage for the resource center. One student needed to drop a horrifically complicated biology class and replace it with a more palatable course offering. Now, instead of her shift overlapping another student, she volunteered to begin work at 8:00 am creating full day coverage. And even though she knows there is no talking at work until I fully awake at 9:00 am, she's good with it having been through the shift before. Win-win. On the paperwork side, all but one student remembered their FWS sheets and I was able to take them to personnel on Friday afternoon along with time sheets. Having their first payday be next Friday is always a great motivator.

I conducted my first class tour at 8:45 am (sigh) Friday morning. It is a children's literature class and junior block taught by, arguably, my favorite professor. The handouts were complete and included pathfinders for literature indexes, author/ illustrator resources, tutorials for locating book reviews in library databases, and a catalog tutorial for using different searches (word and lc subject). Before they arrived, I realized the resource and price list were not in their packet and was able to print it off dodging the handout bullet. This was definitely a class of over achievers, before leaving several had already used A to Zoo and Best Books for Children to locate their subject and jot down a few titles they wanted to locate.

Knock wood, all of the technology is currently up and working. Even my own personal technology nemesis the color printer, worked flawlessly throughout the handbook update process. It probably has something to do with the installation of exorbitantly priced black& white and color photoconductor units the previous month, but I should not complain. The day ended on a positive note as we closed at 4:00 pm, same schedule as campus offices, and our Labor Day holiday weekend began with a bit of sunshine.

Leaving the library, sans computer following my new holiday rule, I saw a young man headed down the avenue with his tuba after band practice. His tuba was shining and he was smiling and swaggering, at least as much as can be done carrying a tuba, down the street.

It made me smile.

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1 comment:

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