Jul. 7th, 2004 05:04 pm
I am so happy today, you wouldn't believe it. I finally got the results of my final paper. It's a 1.7 (good), the best work in my group so far. Looks like I'll have to organize the first alumni get-together. We decided that when we last met - the one with the best result is going to be responsible. I might still screw up the oral exam next week, then I still have a chance to avoid that work. But I'd rather do good at the exam, even though then I will need to stay in contact with all the people of my group.
I'l need to update my CV. I still can't write that I am a librarian, but at least I can write down that mark. That is a little more than just the topic I wrote my paper about.
This is going to be a long evening today. I'm going to go to the opera and see Yamato, the Japanese drummers. Problem is, I have been sitting in the library pretty much all day, on a very uncomfortable chair. The last half hour or so, I actually decided to stand rather than sit, so my back wouldn't hurt that badly. I just hope the opera has more comfortable seats. But I do look forward to this event. It is something completely new to me, I only know the band from pictures I have seen. It is said that they are really fantastic, and not at all monotonous. A whole evening with nothing but drums to listen to might be expected to get boring, but apparently, Yamato use a lot of different types of drums - with very interesting names, too - and create a large spectrum of sounds and melodies with them.
I'll write tomorrow about the concert, tell you whether I liked it.
The cafeteria in my university is closed already. They don't open until 9.00, so apparently they think it necessary to close no later than 5pm. Maybe students are not supposed to be working any longer than that. (As it is a sunny day today, they might be true. Most likely, whole classes are at the lakes around town, swimming or just lying around at the beach.) So I wil have to get something to eat and drink somewhere else. There is a supermarket close by. The'll not have anything like sandwiches or so, but at least I can get a bottle of water and maybe a roll.
I need to do that soon, especially get something to drink. How come the air in the library is always so dry and dusty?


Jul. 6th, 2004 09:04 pm
Well,I don't know whether I snore, but this is just to make clear that I am dead tired. But I need to stay awake to watch Six Feet Under.
I rode my bike to town today to go into the library and read some journals. I managed to get through two years of "Zeitschrift für Bibliothekswesen und Bibliographie" (Journal for library science and bibliography). Yeah, it is just as boring as it sounds. OK, this might be a little too hard on poor journal. It is just that I'm not really interested in discussing the Balanced Scorecard for scientific libraries.
As an explanatory note to those unfamiliar with German library system: there is a huge difference between Öffentliche Bibliotheken - public libraries, where you won't get a lot of scientific literature, and Wissenschaftliche Bibliotheken - scientific libraries, like university libraries, company libraries, special libraries...
The ZfBB, the journal I mentioned, basically concentrates on the scientific libraries and the Scientific Librarians (that is a degree that requires you to have a degree in another subject first, the top level of librarian hierarchy in Germany). So none of that is really me. However, there were some interesting articles about the RAK and AACR2 (RAK are the German cataloging rules, AACR the Anglo-American). The discussion is whether Germany should switch to AACR2 or keep our own system, which is considered to be more flexible and practical - don't ask me why, cataloging is the most disgusting thing I can imagine in the whole library work. But no matter whether I like it or not, that might be a question in my exam, so I actually feel like I learned something.
But reading through all this and the biking kind of drained me. Maybe I shouldn't have tried to be as fast as that "professional" biker who passed me on the road. Maybe I shouldn't have myself get carried away by the music coming from my portable cassette player (more David Bowie). It is not allowed to listen to music when biking anyway, it's supposed to make you deaf to the noises from the street. Now, if some kid turns up the volume of the radio on Daddy's car, do you think they'll hear anything? So that rule is one I don't follow if I don't feel like it. Haha, I finally discovered the rebel side of me...
I feel very good today.
I actually did some of the housework I talked about yesterday. I cleaned my room and the bathroom, got rid of a million spiders (except for Sammy, who has become my pet spider and has the right to live in the bathroom), put all my clean and dirty clothes away - that kind of stuff.
I also played with our neighbors' cat and her little kitty.
Yesterday, I finished another of the books I have to read to prepare for my exam. So I could start a new one today and am already reading the second chapter.
And I learned about Willy Wonka. Or at least I learned that he exists and that it is essential to know about him. My being German is an excuse for my lack of education, but not a very good one. So I'll try to find the movie or the book or anything.
The whole thing started with an entry in the libraries community - something about shnozberries. I guess all of the Americans will now go Oh, of course, shnozberries, while everybody else will probably have that same blank look on their faces as I had. But I will find out about shnozberries! I wonder how many other movies or books are essential to American kids and probably never made it to my bookshelves. If I seriously plan to emigrate to the USA, I have to find out what shapes the minds of American kids. I feel that this is necessary to understand the adults. No matter how old we are, whatever you liked to read or watch in your childhood leaves a stamp on your life. When I was a kid, I liked to read the stories by Else Ury. (Just checked the Library of Congress catalogue, no English titles listed there, maybe she never was translated.) She had this series for girls, telling the life story of a girl from age 6 or so up to being a grandmother. As it was written somewhere around WWI, it's quite different from today's children's stories. But the whole series has been reprinted in the 90s. Or actually, all but one book. That one dealt with the World War and isn't considered politically correct today, I guess.
Ironically, while Else Ury was a very patriotic German, if I remember correctly, the Nazis put her into a concentration camp. Maybe she was Jewish, I'm not sure.
Another of these books is "Der Trotzkopf" by Emmy von Rhoden (again, LoC only has the German version, no translation). That one starts with the sentence "Papa, Papa, Diana hat Junge" (dad, dad, Diana - which is a dog - has puppies). For me, this sentence always brings to mind the whole story and some memories I have connected with reading it.
So now I go and find Willy Wonka and see what that is all about.
LiveJournal is terribly slow today. And with whatever maintenance they are doing, the managed to throw me out just when I wanted to post an article in the libraries community. I just had to rewrite the whole thing...
This week is terrible! I don't seem to get any sleep. After the concert on Tuesday (BTW, the reviews don't say anything about the quality of the performance, just about the conductor), we had our last class-type event in University yesterday. I didn't get up early enough and was there late, but I only missed the beginning so it wasn't too bad. We had three speeches by different people about new developments and discussions in the library world, supposed to prepare us for the final oral examinations where they like to ask questions about that kind of stuff. And then one of our professors got up to say goodbye to us. That was a really nice speech and it was great to hear that we left a little impression in the lives of those people who influenced our lives a lot. Everybody received a little present, a book with a dedication from a teacher. In the evening, we invited the teachers to a little party, or rather a get-together. Some teachers had to leave early (Germany's soccer match on TV), but some stayed with us til midnight or one o'clock this morning. It was great to get to talk to all the people you like in a more casual atmosphere. Also, the teachers don't really treat us as students anymore, but more as equals. Including telling us about the problems they have with the "kids" in the other groups...
It was also a great opportunity to talk to the professors who are going to do my final examination, to ask them what is important to them and what might be helpful to do to prepare.
One teacher who retired last semester bought sparkling whine for everybody, which was a nice gesture even to those who don't drink alcohol.
But the whole thing kept me away from my bed until about two this morning. And then I had to get up at eight to see my brother pledge his allegiance to the German army. For the Americans, I need to explain: Germans are rather unpatriotic. We don't have anything like the Pledge of Allegiance. We hardly ever sing our national anthem and many Germans don't even know it. But every German male has to serve in the army for 9 months or do some civil service instead. My brother just got through the first 3 months. In that time, the basically learn how to march and how to greet officers, how to tell one rank from the other and all that stuff. When they know all that, there is this celebration where they pledge to defend their country. Relatives are invited, so my Mom and I went to this military base. There were marches played, some General said a few words, and we sung the National Anthem. (That is, some of the recruits and my mom and I did, most other civilians didn't know it and I even got strange looks for singing - as I said, Germans are rather unpatriotic. Trained that way) From now on, my brother is allowed to leave the military base wearing his uniform. He is really proud, actually allowed me to take pictures to send to my other brother and my sister.
So with that little sleep, I'm dead tired. But I'm developing a nice little cold, my throat is sore from singing and talking, so I don't think I'm going to sleep much this night either. Plus, I need to read about 5 books to prepare for my exmaination which is about a week earlier than I thought it was. Damn the professor who told me to take a little vacation from learning after I handed in my final paper. (Oh well, he meant only good. And I might still manage.)



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