Ain’t no rest for the wicked

Posted: August 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

Summer officially comes to a close for me today as the students of Wellesley will start classes next Tuesday. As I don’t work Fridays here, Thursdays are my Fridays. I have to say that despite the sadness that comes with seeing summertime end, I am super excited for the fall! I love freshmen and all their hectic, chaotic messes that come with being “new to the scene.” It’s one thing I sort of miss about Purdue. The “Boiler GoldRush.” Now, I know what a pain in the ass this actually is for those who work on Purdue campus. Traffic is horrendous and people seem to just walk out into traffic without looking or even caring if they might get struck by a moving vehicle. And people do get hit by cars on campus all the time. But it’s that air of excitement, that newness, the intensity of people all in the same boat, navigating towards their first semester of college. Well, Wellesley College has orientation too for new students but it is nothing like the madness that surrounds Purdue or other big campuses. I realize that size is relative so in a few years when a few hundred people show up for orientation I will be overwhelmed but this semester, I happily embraced it. I actually love freshmen orientations which is why a position as a “first year experience” librarian has always appealed to me. I just love helping them find their way and answering all sorts of questions. So when my colleagues were asking for volunteers to help,  I jumped at the chance. I did three events that were well attended. The first event, we as librarians actually met every single freshmen who signed up for orientation (which was about 99% of the new crop). That’s impressive. And to have our presence shown at the very beginning of things is awesome as well. Planting those seeds of research. If they know librarians and the library exist straight away, they will be more inclined to find us and use our knowledge later on.

So I traded in 14,000 freshman to around 300. I have to say, I do love working for a small liberal arts college. There is nothing better than giving an orientation on library services and having eager freshmen girls show up who want to know about library databases!  I’m serious. It’s awesome.

But with the excitement of a new semester comes my commute to and from campus. I’m not going to lie or even paint this a little prettier. It sucks goats in hell. Seriously. I hate it. I wish that I swap Wellesley College’s location with Salem State University. Or at the very least, add a few more damn lanes to the road. Really, there needs to be AT LEAST six lanes of traffic going each way. Think L.A. I’m not sure how feasible this renovation could be but someone needs to really look into it. There are just too many damn people all going the same direction at the very same time. And there is no rhyme or reason behind the traffic either. Some days it is perfect. Then the next day you leave at the same time thinking you will catch that same wave of awesomeness and you are so dead wrong. And it’s not your fault. I guess it’s no one’s fault except the a-holes or Massholes rather, who designed the roads out here.

So the commute is long and makes me very tired. By the time I get home and exercise, cook dinner, eat dinner, and then try to relax, it is already 8:30p. Guess what? I’m ready for bed. Seriously. I’m almost 37 and that means I need sleep otherwise I won’t be my pleasant loving self at work the next day. But the problem is, as tired as I am, I cannot stay asleep once I’ve gone to bed. I wake up about a dozen times during the night and this leaves me very unsatisfied when I finally do get up in the morning. Believe me, I’ve tried everything. Wine, tequila shots, nyquil, benadryl, and recently OTC sleeping pills. The problem with sleeping pills is that they need time to work. So I literally have to come home from running or weight training, put my dinner on, down the pills, take a quick shower, eat dinner, and then get sleepy. It sucks. Because 9 out 10 times I wake up feeling groggy the next day. I did, however, see a commercial for “zzzquil” the new nyquil for those of us who take said product without actually being sick. I’m amused that there are more people like me out there who take it even when they are not ill. The new “zzzquil” might be worth a try at some point in the future. And I don’t want to hear any fluffy bunny hoohah about “drinking hot tea before bed” or “exercise an hour before” or “yoga moves before beddy-by” or whatever mind numbing crap people want tell me. It doesn’t work. At least not for me. For now, it is what it is.

And then there is the actual work that comes with a new semester. This is my very first fall at Wellesley so I did not get to experience a full-0n crazy semester. I guess spring semester is a bit more laid back in terms of how many courses are taught. So I can expect to teach double the  number of instructional sessions I did last semester. Out of the starting gate, I did 7. So if the math is right, I’m in for a very busy semester. And for those who don’t teach, it isn’t just showing up for that one session and rambling on about awesome library resources. I mean, I guess yeah, I still do that to some extent but I actually have to prepare in advance for the session. I have to create a libguide (specialized webpage) that highlights all the resources for that particular course, and then lay out what I will say, what I will demonstrate, what hands-on activities the students will do. That’s IF I have enough time with them. Some instructors give me a full hour. Some only want me there for 20 minutes and that is actually harder than a longer session because you have to really know what to tell them so that they get something out of the brief time you have together. This prep work takes a considerable amount of time and if I have say, 14 to do, that’s a LOT. It’s fun and rewarding, sure, but actual work nonetheless. Plus I am writing an article with a fellow librarian that we hope gets published. If it does, this will be my first professional publication! That’s the Wellesley side of things.

Then there is the Crow side, the part-time job side that takes up my Friday and Saturdays. And October is coming which is a big freaking deal when you live in Salem, MA. Everyone has October on the brain and everyone is getting ready for the influx of tourists and crowds in the form of merchandise ordering and stocking, merchandise making and creating, and of course, general panicking all around. Things are starting to get really hectic and that stresses me. As excited as I am to experience my first Samhain in Salem, I am slightly terrified of what it is going to look like from behind the retail counter. I might die. Or kill someone.  Maybe even both. Good thing I left the machete with Matt.

One thing I can say is that I will only get the first Samhain experience in Salem once and I plan on using my Sundays off to be a tourist. I want to take a haunted harbor cruise, take in a trolly tour of the cemeteries, take in a catacomb tour, and of course, shop and people watch on Essex Street. Everyone in Salem waits for their “October money”, the money they live off of the rest of the year. I can’t wait to actually spend a little of my own “October” money on some cool merchandise. Who knows what it might be.

So there you have it. I am busy in both worlds. I’m not sure if I will ever sleep again, at least through the night without some sort of hard narcotic or liquor enhancement. I’m not sure what kind of teaching instructions I will end up doing. At the very least I hope I am prepared for them and that the students glean a little knowledge from me. And I don’t know how I will stomach all the tourists with their shitty children lined up outside the door waiting impatiently to get in and shop. That’s the beauty of life, I guess. Wait and see.

Until next time, remember there is no rest for the wicked. Unless you are that unfortunate wicked one that had a house land on her. Then the rest is the forever kind.

  1. Barb says:

    I can relate to the insomnia problem and am always interested in trying new OTC products if they work. hmm, maybe this is another retirement career idea: lab rat for sleep aids! 🙂

  2. Wendy says:

    Just don’t go to work in your jammies!!!
    Can’t help on the sleepless nights, as you say everyone is different. You need some “DAWN TIME”.

  3. Becca says:

    I COMPLETELY understand your Fall craziness! With the start of my new job with Manchester, I’ve been preparing for gobs of instruction sessions (I’m doing all first-year instruction plus my liaison areas – EEK!)…and my commute isn’t great either. Hang in there!

  4. Erin says:

    Yup, I hear you too! You, Becca, and I should start a support group for librarians in their first full-on semester in a new gig. Hang in there with your crazy months,and I hope you get some sleep soon!!

  5. Suzana says:

    Hello again, I realise things may have changed since this was posted… but I can relate to the insomnia issues too… not sure if you can get it/ something similar over the seas, but I use a natural melatonin spray which is pretty good… also, a glass of cherry juice (melatonin content) after dinner/ an hour before bed can help.

    • illustratedlibrarian says:


      I started taking two melatonin pills before bed. They seem to be working for now. Thank you for the suggestion on cherry juice! I love black cherry juice and this is another excuse to drink more!

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