What’s Up Wednesday


What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly hop/meme with four simple headings. Anyone can write a post and add the link to Jaime’s blog.

What I’m Writing

I barely did any work on my WIP this past week, and only got up to 524,500 words from last week’s not-quite 523K mark. I’m still on Chapter 67, January 1942, with 19-year-old Fedya and 20-year-old Vasya having passed their Army General Classification Test and about to go down for their medical tests.

Most of this past week was spent on catching up with my soon-due portfolio for Organization of Information. I was about two months in arrears for most of the readings and their write-ups. I also went back and fleshed-out most of what I’d already done, with the questions and summaries of stuff in the textbook, which I didn’t buy but have been reading through the library reserves. It’s amazing how much focused reading and writing you can do with a deadline looming.

I have to do it all over again for the final paper due next week, 12-15 pages. I’ve been going a page over for every original assignment so far, so I’ll probably go over a bit again here. There’s also a 5-page paper due in two weeks for Academic Libraries, on how the research process has changed in the 21st century, esp. in respect to the role of the library. I’ve got an A in Academic Libraries so far, and most recently got a 100 on my PowerPoint presentation on EDUCAUSE (which deals with IT in the educational community).

What I’m Reading

See above. Lots of articles and chapters on metadata, controlled vocabulary, authority files, thesauri, faceted structures, hierarchies, classification schemes, WordNet, categorization, and other fun stuff. I’ll be spending Wednesday morning/early afternoon before class in the library, reading and writing up the remaining stuff from the textbook before turning my portfolio in electronically.

I’m definitely not going to be a metadata librarian, indexer, or cataloguer if I can help it. I want most to work in an academic library, a museum, or an archive, particularly if it deals in whole or part with Russian history, the WWII/Shoah era, or 20th century American history.

What Inspires Me

I always justified my admittedly risky habit of putting off papers, readings, and other assignments till a week or few days before the due date by saying I feel I do my best, most focused work then. Probably a lot of that’s true, since I’m forced to seriously buckle down and just do it all in that crunched timespan. But perhaps subconsciously I get some kind of psychological thrill out of it, the drama of working against the clock, the nerves in my stomach, and having no choice but to push it all in with not much time. I’m not much of a risk-taker, and this is the safest kind of risk someone with my personality and interests can engage in.

What Else I’m Up To

My Organization of Information class met at RPI last week, and I got to browse after class ended. There were some second-hand books to take on the nearby shelves, and I got Robert Hicks’s A Separate Country, set in 19th century New Orleans, and Leon Uris’s Battle Cry, about the Marines in WWII. As much as I’ve always enjoyed Leon Uris’s novels, I have to be honest and admit that he wasn’t a very literary-minded writer. He wrote very entertaining, captivating stories, but he was more about turning out commercial best-sellers than truly high-quality historicals with nuanced, complex characters. But in spite of his flaws, his books are still a lot better than a lot of what’s out there today.



This moving sculpture is on the wall opposite an upper-level veranda at the RPI library. I wish SUNY Albany had a veranda at one of their libraries!


Scrambled eggs with spinach and tofu.


I thought I was making an omelette, but it turned out just thick scrambled eggs with mushrooms, tofu, and a few radishes on the side.


I haven’t had this on my wall since May 2002. It was sadly rolled up with a few other posters and in the closet all that time. Now the first thing I see when I wake up is my favouritest band, if I don’t see my gigantic frog Simon first. It’s sobering to think that the last time it was on display, there were still three left. Now there are only two.


9 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Pingback: Horny Hump Day—Inessa and Vitya | carrieannebrownian

  2. Sounds like you’re swamped, lady — I’m impressed that you got any writing done at all! And I’m with Kate… I write contemporary because the research is significantly less. I’d be so overwhelmed by the reading and note-taking required for writing historical. I’m in awe of those who can do it. 🙂


  3. You are one busy person! And getting a job in an archive or an academic library sounds absolutely perfect for you. People would be lucky to have your level of expertise at their disposal.

    Mmmmm, that food looks delicious!

    Good luck with all you have to do. Hope it’s a super productive week for you 😀


  4. I agree you are busy! You’re making my week look positively relaxed. I leave work and things till right on the deadline too. I always thought I just worked best then, but you could be right, it could be a way to take a risk because I’m certainly not about to bungee jump or anything 😀

    Good Luck this week.


  5. I LOVE that poster! One of my daughter’s teachers has posters of The Who, The Doors, Led Zepplin… hanging all over her classroom. She’s a math teacher too so additional reason to heart her. 🙂

    And I love your paragraph about racing against the clock and risk-taking. So beautifully stated.

    Have a great week!


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