Sunday, April 08, 2007

Hypothetical Musings: vocabulary

An impromptu (offhand, unprepared, extempore) stop in my local Border's resulted with a purchase, the newest Tami Hoag novel, The Alibi Man. I have yet to start reading, it is on the nightstand with four other novels-in-waiting, but according to book reviews on Amazon Booklist says it is,

"Written in a staccato style that will have readers racing through the pages, Hoag conducts a whirlwind tour of the high-flying world of the superrich and its tawdry underbelly that will leave readers breathless and satisfied" (Patty Engelmann, reviewer)

and Publishers Weekly says,

"Elena, who eschewed her elitist Palm Beach family to preserve her integrity, is a heroine readers will want to see more of."

What more could I want? Once my reading brain regains it's ability to concentrate (scrutinize, ruminate, peruse) longer than a five-year-old, I will enjoy all of the books in quick succession (consecutively, in sequence, one after the other). Until then, I am going to spend a few moments delving into one last blog post obsessing on my performance review, gleefully delivered to my boss bright and early last Thursday morning.

The final copy of my annual performance review, complete with careful and concisely bulleted statements of success for each goal fulfilled throughout the current academic year, was a well-edited and charmingly flowing five pages in length that succinctly noted my contributions to the library, it's mission, and the university (really). I agonized over each word, wondering how many synonyms there were for facilitated, prepared, and taught, just to name a few, and wished not only for a better thesaurus (working in a library I thought there would be more selection), but also for a healthier vocabulary. At times the process (method, means, manner) reminded me of writing papers in college, both grad and undergrad, with a thesaurus on my lap and chuckling at a particularly interesting turn of phrase. It made me smile. Other times it harkened back to writing lesson plan objectives and searching for just one more way to say what or how the student would learn from the lesson in question. Either way there is often a fine line between eloquence (wit, appeal, articulation) and drivel (babble, ramble, talk foolishly).

On my way out the door on Thursday afternoon, one of the other librarians was agonizing over her review document. For the first time this year, we were asked to be a bit more verbose with our reviews and it was causing a bit of angst among the library faculty. Completed reviews, our self-evaluations with comments from the director, are due on Friday, the 13th no less, in the personnel office. I will learn my "fate" this Tuesday morning during a one-on-one meeting with the library director. Secure in the knowledge of a job well done, it is nerve wracking waiting for the meeting.

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