Friday, September 29, 2006

Movin' on up

Last night was rehearsal and audition results were put out over email about a day or two before hand. I was moved up to the Solo Clarinet spot in the section. I was very surprised but many people around me were very encouraging and said I deserved the position, including the person who has been in that position for several years.

I'm happy about the move but a little nervous too. The pressure is on now and it makes me a little nervous. But it will be fun to do our first concert this season at the Cathedral that I attend as a parishoner and be sitting in that first row, first seat spot!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Your Life in Numbers

Do you ever see your life as a series of numbers? I was just thinking last night that I have 11 classes left to teach this semester, which also means that there are 11 weeks left in the semester. Then I was thinking about how many days before I travel to Milwaukee (7) and how many Midwest Music Library Association Meetings this trip will make (6).

All that got me thinking about all the numbers in my life. There are phone numbers, numbers of hours spent at work, birthdays, anniversaries, and all sorts of other things. I find myself constantly counting down for things, particularly how many classes I have left to teach or how many days before a trip or some other event.

Have you ever thought about the multitudes of numbers in your life? Or is it just me?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Fall has begun!

My favorite time of year is Fall! I love the cooler temps, the fall colors we'll be seeing in a few weeks, and the freshness in the air. Most people get excited about the coming of Spring the way I get excited about Fall. With the small class I have this semester, I'm hoping to get out a little bit more this Fall than I've been able to the last few years.

Speaking of class: have I mentioned that I only have 7 students!! I graded their first major assignment on Sunday. What took me several hours over two days last year, only took me an hour and a half this time! It has been great.

The weather did clear up on Sunday. It's still cool, but that's fine with me. It was very cloudy Sunday night, but Chris and I went ahead and took a four mile walk out at the UK Arboretum. It was nice to go for a walk again; it's been a while.

Hope everyone has a great week. Mine has started off on a good foot and I hope that continues.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Flooding in Lexington

It rained almost all day yesterday and didn't stop all night. Since yesterday we've gotten about 6 inches of rain here. Currently it's not raining, but it's supposed to again. We're expecting another inch today, probably two overnight, and an inch tomorrow. My plan today was to go to work to grade papers and get things ready for class for this week and next. Then later today I was going to be working at my church's biggest fundraiser, Oktoberfest. However, there are several road closures, many events around town today have been cancelled, and the part of Oktoberfest I was going to volunteer at has been cancelled and the rest of the event moved inside. Many of the road closures are near my house so I've decided that it is best to stay home. Even my usual alternate routes are iffy. Plenty to do at home though: lots of cleaning, practicing, and who knows what else.

Friday, September 22, 2006


I used to hate auditions!! No matter how well I played, I always did terrible in auditions. That's not to say that I like auditions now, but I'm a bit calmer about them. I had a voluntary audition last night and I wasn't worried about it at all, but I still didn't play to the best of my ability. However, I knew that with this audition I wasn't risking losing my current spot in the group I play with.

He had me play my chromatic scale, which I messed up the rhythm on and as a result missed a note or two. I also had to play the clarinet solo at the beginning of Festive Overture by Shostakovich and into the Tutti section. That went ok, just a little problem with rhythm again. That was a result of nerves, not so much that I didn't practice with a metronome, because I did!

Based on the conductor's remarks after I finished playing, he's very pleased with my playing despite my small mishaps. The new seating chart will probably be out sometime this weekend, or at least by Monday. So we'll see then what he decided.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

More Workshops, Classes,

Tuesday was Day two of the Workshop I was in on Monday; Wednesday I spent two hours meeting with department heads in my division and another hour after that meeting one-on-one with my associate dean; today I'll be in a class all day. Maybe I'll get some work done tomorrow?

Workshop Day 2 was for supervisors. We talked about goals again, but from the stand point of guiding your employees in making good goals and supporting them in future-forward thinking. I think I got more out of day 2 than day 1.

Today I am going to an all day class called "Leading Effective Teams." I have no idea how this class will be: could be good, could be a total waste of my time. Only time will tell.

Last night I led Bible Study at Church. We read the readings for this coming Sunday. The First reading and the Psalm are a nice pair I think. In the first reading, from Wisdom, we hear the wicked people talking about the downfall of the "just one," who is supposed to be Israel. Then in the Psalm we hear the prayer of the just one. I like the way the two go together. I also think I'm liking the book of James more and more. The last several weeks at Mass the second reading has been from James and I like what he has to say. This may also be because social justice issues have been slightly more on my mind lately. The Gospel, from Mark is the second time Jesus tells his disciples about the death he must suffer and the resurrection later. Mark has three instances of this in his Gospel, the first was last week, this week is the second. The third time isn't in the readings for this cycle. I like studying the upcoming readings each week because it makes the Mass more meaningful for me on Sunday. And I like then hearing the preist's homily after I have already studied it all myself. So I look forward to the homily this Sunday.

Have to run off to class now. Blessings to everyone!! -K

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Workshop Yesterday

Yesterdays workshop wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It was primarily on goal setting with a focus on our customers and our stakeholders. Interesting concept to think of your own goals in your every day work as relating to the Presiden't Top 20 Business Plan, the goals of the Board of Trustees, or even those of the state government (they do afterall give us money to operate). We're used to thinking of our customers, but even then, they don't usually enter my mind when I'm thinking about my own goals. That seems silly now, why wouldn't they? But I guess we're used to focusing on ourselves.

The way we did goals was interesting. Not entirely a foreign concept, but some parts were new. I do feel like I learned something and will probably be thinking more along these lines when I set my goals for 2007. At the moment I guess I am stuck with my poorly constructed goals for 2006. We also talked about the evaluation interview between the employee and supervisor. I liked this discussion as well and it gave me some things to shoot for in my own evaluation discussion as well as those with the people who report to me.

One more workshop, dinner, and a class tonight and then I can go home. Thank goodness for the dog sitter! Blessing to everyone! -K

Monday, September 18, 2006

Early Mornings

Good morning!! It's been a busy morning already. I went to Eucharistic Adoration early this morning and, as I always do, I felt priviledged to be there. It really is a great way to not only start your day, but to start the week.

Got to work just after 7am and went to the Main Library on campus rather than my office. I am participating in an all day workshop today on Performance Evaluations (sound exciting?) so I brought my lap top with me to help kill time before the workshop starts.

This weekend was busy: preparing for Tuesday's class, grading papers, cleaning house (a little), meeting with a new dog sitter (to help me on Tuesdays when I teach), and having dinner with two of Chris' sublings and their spouses and children. I also managed to find some practice time, which was definitely needed. I'm doing an audition on Thursday evening, plus I have some challenging music to get under my fingers before October and my reeds are being a problem.

This week will be unproductive work-wise. I will be spending all day today in this workshop which is for all Library Faculty. Tomorrow I will also spend the day in a similar workshop but this one just for those faculty who supervise other faculty, which I do. Thursday I have a class to take in our Human Resources department, and Wednesday there are several meetings. Sometime on Wednesday and Friday I might find the time to actually get some work done. Maybe.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week. Blessings to all!! K

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Pope's comments

I haven't yet read through the speech the Pope gave one day this past week that has caused so much press the last few days. I am planning on reading through it this weekend. (In all that free time I have, right?!) Here is a link to the full text of his speech .

However, I did find this nice commentary on the speech and I thought it was worth sharing.

If I have any insights (don't expect anything too deep) after I read it, I'll share those later.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Celebrating Tenure with "Stack Wars"

Last Friday (September 8) I attended the showing of my first animated short. Three other librarians and myself were the "stars" of this animated short. Coincidently we all just received tenure at UK starting this year. In honor of that accomplishment the Libraries hosted the first Annual Maggie Awards. The Awards were named after Margaret I. King, first librarian at the University of Kentucky. Amazingly, all four award categories went to members of the cast of "Stack Wars." I won for best musical score. Since all the awards went to the same animated short, there was then a showing of "Stack Wars."

Does this all sound a bit concocted?? Well, yes it it. But the film they created was very cute. They transposed all of our heads onto animated bodies and the backdrops were all pictures of areas in the Library system (the auditorium, some office spaces, meeting rooms, etc.). Other characters were pictures of characters from books that had all escaped from their books and were kidnapping the Dean and Associate Deans. They were all saved by me and my three colleagues. Is this why we got tenure? The end of the film included a song with lyrics scrolling up the screen and my face and fake body dancing to the music. The song was "WTYL" (for William T Young Library) set to the music for YMCA. At the end of the song, my head falls off and rolls away!!

The showing was very cute and the whole "awards" show they created was fun, if a little embarrassing. But it came with a gold "Maggie." It was a Librarian Action figure that they must of spray painted gold. Very creative.

At the very end they also presented us with little books that were made in our honor. Mine is very nice and definitely a keepsake. My picture is on the front, it has a short version of my CV (just education and job titles), pictures of music groups I like, a page from the Mozart clarinet concerto, a picture of an authority record with a little detective next it wearing something that is supposed to represent the scarf I keep at my desk and wear around the library when it is cold. It also has pages of pictures to represent places I've visited or want to visit (Italy, Ireland), and a music page with clarinet stuff on it. At the very back of the book is a pocket with a date due slip in it (we are all librarians, afterall). It lists my degrees and years I got them as well as the year I received tenure at UK.

It was a nice way to celebrate tenure and the program was followed by a very nice reception.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Help!! Retreat Ideas Needed

I am planning a retreat for a young adult group at my church. Attendees will be in their 20s and 30s, approximately; attendees are mostly single, but we do have some married folks that join us for parts of the retreat; and this is a Catholic group. I am still holding out hope that we can get a priest to join us for part of the retreat, so some of it will be directed by that person. So far that is not looking promising.

I am interested in hearing ideas from anyone that has been on retreats before and remembers something that they particularly enjoyed. We usually have a combination of discussions and talks along with activities and some meditative, quiet, alone time. Feedback from last year was that we might have had too many crafty activities, so I'm trying to find something different this time around.

I'm expecting attendance to be about 3-4 on the low end and up to 6-8 on the high end. A small group either way.

At the moment I'm leaning toward a theme on Mary, the Saints, and Heaven. But I'm open to any and all suggestions, Catholic themes and topics are preferred. Just leave suggestions in the comment box below. I look forward to seeing some.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

States I have visited

Found this cool map where you can mark the states you've been to. Didn't realize that I've been to 26 of the 50 states! I didn't count states I've only drive through, but all those marke are ones that I have at least spent one night in. Try this yourself!!

create your own visited states map

Monday, September 11, 2006

Nothing like a Hike

Okay, so the Gamecocks lost on Saturday night. They not only lost, they were shut out. It was like being in college again.

But there is nothing like a 4 mile hike out in the country to help you get over such an embarrassing game. If you live in Lexington and like to hike, Raven Run is a nice place to go. The walk we took on Sunday afternoon was very pleasant. We saw a deer close up when it came up over a hill suddenly and ran across the path in front of us. The Overlook on the cliffs over the Kentucky River was great and would probably be incredible in the fall with the leaves changing colors.

Overall it was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. 4 miles hiking is nothing like 4 miles walking through the UK Arboretum, definitely good exercise.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Gamecocks on ESPN tonight

The South Carolina Gamecocks are going to be on ESPN tonight. They have home field advantage over the Georgia Bulldogs in their second SEC game of the season. Last year USC lost by only two points. This year we may pull it off! Be sure to watch the game tonight.

I saw a bit of College Game Day on ESPN this morning and Kirk Herbstreet thinks USC will win this game. I knew I liked him for a reason!

Go Cocks!! Beat those dawgs!!

Update on the new semester

School has officially started at the University of Kentucky. The very first day of classes I started feeling a bit weak and not very well overall. By the time I got home I had a 100 degree temp and was not well at all. I was sick for almost two weeks, though the last few days weren't too bad; thank goodness since that was when Chris and I went to Atlanta.

I went to the doctor twice and I had a combination of Tonsilitis, laryngitis, a sinus infection, and pink eye. I'm better now with just a lingering cough every so often.

As a result of my sickness I cancelled my first class meeting of the semester. Luckily, UK uses an online software package where I can record grades, put up documents and lectures for class, the syllabus, assignments, and so forth. So I put everything up they needed and told them they were responsible for the information. So by the next Tuesday night we were able to jump right into the material without missing a beat. My class only meets once a week, so missing one class is never a good idea.

This will be the last semester that I teach for the School of Library and Information Science. This is a decision I made. They would like to keep me but I don't like the lack of free time during the semesters that I teach. Lucky for me I lucked out with a small class of only 7 students this time. Last fall I had 22 students. So this is like a dream!! It only took me about 30 minutes to grade papers today, unlike the hours I spent last year.

I had cleaned my desk this summer, but after getting back to work this month, once I was basically recovered, I had to dig to find my desk. It is starting to look a bit better, but it's so cluttered right now because of all the things I need to do. I don't know that it'll all get done.

The trip to Atlanta was good. Chris and I enjoyed our relaxing weekend and he got to meet the whole family. It was fun.

Along with the start of the new semester is the start of many other things. The concert band I play with has started rehearsals again. The first concert this year is in late October at the Cathedral of Christ the King. Also, committees I am a part of who took the summer off will be starting to meet again. This includes the Faith Formation committee and the Parish Life Committee at my church. Traffic in Lexington is now exponentially worse than it was during the summer. Apparently we had an increase in the freshman class from 2004 to 2005 of 11%; this year they are projecting that it is an additional 3%. You can tell too: in the traffic, in the pedestrian traffic around campus, and the amount of people in the library.

Welcome to September and welcome to the start of so many things. I love fall, it's my favorite season, and the challenges of starting so many new things are everywhere.