Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And now . . .

Highlights for those not wanting to read the whole thing:
  • I survived another semester
  • I took an art class (picture), and learned CSS (link)
  • I spent three weeks in Utah and got to see a great many friends, but not as many as I wanted to!
  • I'm now in Iowa figuring out summer plans around moving into a new cute house! (Picture)

Whew! I managed to make it through Spring Semester! I was a little worried at the end because I took off for Utah before things were really finished. Phil had been invited to an honorary party for his work. He was the only one of his level in the company to be invited and I really wanted to support him . . . even though I still had a 15 page paper to begin and finish before the end of the following week! Don't worry, it got finished and turned in and I still passed all of my classes.

Some highlights from the semester are that I signed up for a Drawing class (art for non-majors!), and really enjoyed it. Below is my favorite piece from the class. I called it "Tick-Tock."

For the class we got to work in three different mediums: pencil, charcoal and color pastels. It is hard to say which of these three is my favorite. They all have the draws (no pun intended). If you would like to look at more of my art from the class you can do so by following this link: http://dynamic.slis.uiowa.edu/nblair/artista/.

This site, incidentally, is a project for another class. Using WordPress, I was able to create all the visual elements of Artista Nouveaux using CSS. It makes me feel tech savvy to be able to say I can write CSS! That class also introduced me to Drupal, taught me the importance of a project plan, and enlightened me to the fact that you can do almost anything for free with open source software . . . as long and you are doing it for educational, non-profit purposes only! (Which category libraries usually fit into, by the way.) Here is a link to a site created for a team project: http://dynamic.slis.uiowa.edu/jshank/drupal-6.10/. I am responsible for the design and user accounts. The map is interactive!

This semester I also learned that libraries are boring to research and write about, but still awesome to actually work in! Crazy. I always suspected there would be a gap between what one likes to study and what one likes to do.

During my month long vacation to Utah the first week was spent writing that nasty paper mentioned above. (Which the professor wrote A Excellent! on the first page, and NOTHING more. Grrr.) I was then able to visit the prepossessing Gerber family with Phil in tow. Sophy is adorable and Phil and Troy battled it out on the shooting game in Wii Play. There are some awesome pictures, but they are currently trapped on my phone. :(

Phil and I also went on an impromptu two hour long hike up Bear Canyon to an amazing waterfall with surprisingly cold water. The sites and the smells (when there were not overweight middle-aged men smoking-oh the irony there) rejuvenated my soul. There are some fun pictures from that too, but they are stuck on Phil's iPhone. :(

I also had a hot dogs and s'mores night at the outdoor fire place at Phil's grandpa's house. It was lots of fun. Phil's parent's and grandma partied with us! And, I got to see Curtis Jex, Mary Dirks, Kimberly and Johnathan Bradbury and Jake and Vicki Gold. It was great! I'll have to have another similar get-together soon.

I am currently back in Iowa putting some time in on my Fellowship work. If you go to this link: http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/vwu/ you will see some of the product of my labors. Most of what I have done can be found under the link 'Live From Prairie Lights.' If you enter 'niblair' in the 'Search This Collection' box you will see the 99 files I am responsible for creating the meta data for and uploading to the Internet. Meta data creation, in my humble opinion, sucks. But, the rest of it is very interesting. I got to learn all of the little glitches that crop up in the process of converting analog data into digital data and then making that digital data accessible on the Internet. Very cool. Just a couple of weeks ago the office got an e-mail from a lady in Venezuela that found some of the audio recordings of her own literary readings from when she was in the University's International Writing Program twenty years ago. She was charmed and enchanted and her e-mail was very heart warming. (The nice thing about uploading data for writers is that they can express their gratitude beautifully!)

Finally, I am in the middle of trying to figure out the rest of my summer plans. I would like to visit Utah again before the summer is through. I also want to visit Phil while he is in New Jersey, and I have a friend living in New York that I would like to see very much. I also need to figure out the details surrounding my up and coming move into a house in Iowa City! Behold it's adorableness:

Oh So Cute!! No?
I am moving in with my current roommate, Amy Scott, and our good friend Emily, Amy's former roommate Lina, and a spunky girl coming to us from Logan named Kristan! I am so excited. We are going to be a power house of LDS girls, taking Iowa by storm. Just you wait and see!
One semester left to go and I am back in Utah for good . . . with a Master's under my belt!