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A quick word

I have finished my e-portfolio, the final project for graduation.  I am excited, to say the least.  It took me two and half months to write about seventy-five pages and collect class assignments from the past two years.  In all, the process was a good one as it had me reflect on my time at San Jose State University and the education I received.  A thesis may have been my first option, but the e-portfolio allowed for me to really think about the information profession as a whole and in the end that was a much better option for me.  I needed to be reminded about why I chose to be in this field, and where I want to go.

So where do I want to go next?  I am interested in pursuing a career in archives — specifically digital preservation.   Not immediately, but I am considering another degree, but this time one in English Literature.  While studying preserving our digital culture, I became fascinated with “humanities” — that one word that encompasses so much of our culture now.  But first, it’s Brian’s turn to be in school.  And I’m ever so ready for a break.

From one of my favorites…for Autumn

To Autumn
by John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,–
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Another semester has begun.  First week is down.   For some reason, this was the time my body chose to get sick.  It was a tough first week in that sense.  But thankfully, it was at the beginning of the year and hopefully it will be the only time this semester I was ill.

Last week I began courses in Digital Copyright and Research Methods.  I also began working on my final project for graduation — the e-portfolio.  It will be a tough load, but it can be done.  And at the end, I will be completely done.  I’m ready to see what this world has in store.

This weekend Brian takes the GMAT.  He has been studying hard for it for the past couple of months (ever since he finished his summer course).  And after that he will be applying to schools hopefully.   It’s an exciting time.  We can’t wait to see what is in store for us these next few months.

Books I’m Currently Waiting For

In my que from the library, I have the following:

1.  An Atheism That is not Humanism Emerges from French Thought

2.  Socialist Phenomenon

3.  Amish Baking

4. Information Architecture

5.  Understanding Photography Field Guide

I’m hoping that I have time to read these even with school starting next week.  I already have the Amish Baking cookbook, and its fantastic.  I’m always excited for the beginning of school, but sad too because of the free time lost.

And yes, I have eclectic reading list.  Right now though I’m reading Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by Wallace.  To everything there must be a balance.

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon

Now that Brian has finished summer school, we’ve gone back to having dinner together.  Even though the class lasted about six weeks, it was long enough to miss having dinner together.  I wanted to try a new vegetable recipe this week, so I bought some asparagus.  My first memories of asparagus was steamed asparagus with little or nothing added.  It was tolerable.

I discovered this recipe from Williams Sonoma, and decided to give it a try.  Lemons and garlic always promises good results.  And we were rewarded with incredible asparagus.  I didn’t use fresh lemons because I didn’t have any, but I think fresh lemons will greatly add to this dish.

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon

From Williams Sonoma

modified to serve 2


1/2 to 1 lb Asparagus

1/4 cup olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp lemon juice, or lemon zest

Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste


Position rack in the topmost part of the oven.  Preheat oven to 450.

Cut off the tough ends of the asparagus.  Arrange asparagus on baking sheet.

Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.  Spread on top of the asparagus.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on asparagus.

Bake in oven for 6 to 8 minutes until asparagus is golden brown.

If you have fresh lemon, you can place lemon slices on top of the asparagus before cooking.


Lost in Austen, again

Brian has begun an evening class this week, so I’ve taken the initiative to start getting ahead on projects that have been on my to-do list for months now.  Except at work this week we’re tearing things down, moving stuff, and still serving library patrons.  So, instead of coming home and working, I’ve been coming home and watching Netflix.   But nice thing is that I can choose whatever I want, so tonight was Lost in Austen because I’m a sucker for Jane Austen.

Even though it has been years since I’ve read Pride and Prejudice, or have even watched Firth dive into the pond, I still find myself fascinated with the author.  Her life intrigues/inspires me.  In Lost in Austen, the main character Elizabeth Bennet is missing for most of the film as she is in modern twentieth century (first footnote/side observation: it really is Elizabeth Bennet that carries the story of Pride and Prejudice.  Her absence did make the film exceedingly long).  Once we finally see Elizabeth, her hair is cut short and she looks almost like a punk rocker.  And she has already adapted to all the minute details of the digital world.  She has a line that goes something along the lines that she really is living in the wrong century and should be living in the twentieth century.  It has been said before that Jane Austen was in the wrong century.

With the growth of feminism, the character of Jane Austen has become even more of a legend.  She is close to being a fictional character herself.  We all hope that she was spunky and outspoken.  We have all created our own imaginary Jane Austen.  And with her letters I do think that she was spunky, but I am not sure if I am convinced of her being a proto-feminist.  Jane Austen was an astute observer, she was intelligent and had great insight into the doings of people.  There could be much speculation about her being a feminist, but at the end of the day she is a mystery.  Her family has chosen it that her letters be burnt and that a glowing portrait be written instead.  Isn’t it frustrating that there isn’t a good picture of her?

Maybe Jane Austen would have been a digital native, but I think she had a great heart in spite of her sometimes biting remarks.  And for that, I think, she may have been at least able to find love and perhaps pursue her craft a little more freely.  And if she had a second life, maybe, just maybe, she would consider letting someone keep her emails?

On a complete side note, because it can’t helped but be addressed.  I found the film mostly amusing, sometimes boring or painful.  In the end, it was a film to make fun of all the girls in love with Mr. Darcy/Colin Firth.   It was a film for the girls who live in hope of a glitzy over-the-top out-of-this-world romance.  May we all find Mr. Darcy.