What's in a name?

At MPOW we've been having conversations about honorifics, about chosing to use Mx rather than Mr or Ms, or having students call us by our first or just our last names.  For example, Jane, Doe or Mx Doe rather than Ms Doe.  My father has never liked being called "Dr." (because he the useless kind of doctor, with a PhD not an MD - his words, not mine!) and felt "Professor" was a better mark of achievement.  That's not something I'll ever have the option of being called because I work in K-12, so the honorific is still supposed to be a question for me to resolve.  

At previous schools I've gone by my first name, once at a Quaker school and once because the other librarian went by her first name and it just felt wrong to not mirror her.  But most schools want to Mr. or Ms (or Mrs/Miss) unless you are a Dr., in part to create a distinction between students and younger faculty, and in part because it's a tradition.

At one school I saw students outside class, on the weekends.  Several very quickly picked up that I preferred my first name at those times because I was off duty, but in school I was always Miss Lazygal.  It's also been a quasi-tradition to call teachers by their first names once you graduate from school, but some students never make that switch.  Just two weeks ago I saw a recent graduate who did make the change, which was great.  Then I posted on Facebook about September 11 and the former student I'd brought home that horrible day, who is now in her mid-30s, couldn't manage it.  Sigh,

Nicknames are also an issue for me.  Not diminutives, but actual nicknames.  If I don't know you, or you don't know me, stick with the name.  Don't presume that the nickname is appropriate, especially if you're in a different generation.  That's just too familiar.

I wasn't kidding.



I remember

It's been twenty years, but it's as if it were yesterday.  Or earlier today.

I remember

  • My friend Tobe calling to say a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center, and thinking some idiot in a Cessna couldn't see the Two Big Towers in front or him
  • Going to the only tv in school and seeing the second plane go in
  • Trying to reach Thing One, who worked across the street and should have been getting to work then
  • Finally reaching him, and learning he was ok (very shaken... seeing things no one should see, like people jumping from the higher floors of the WTC1)
  • Calling my parents in Central New York to say we were ok, only to learn that they had no idea what was going on
  • Logging into AOL Instant Messenger (remember that?) and spending the morning chatting with two friends, one a Major in the Canadian Army Reserve, the other in an Alabama militia — both of them critical sources of real information because news websites were either overloaded with people searching or rumors were flying.
  • Learning that the towers had fallen.
  • Getting a phone call from Thing One's brother in Arizona, saying Thing One was ok and heading home (it was easier to call long distance than from Wall Street to Midtown)
  • Constantly running from the 7th floor library to the 6th floor Commons, giving real news updates to students and faculty who couldn't get news any other way
  • Hearing jets overhead and having the Major tell me it was our planes, that our airspace had been closed, and repeating that information to a bunch of seriously freaked out students and teachers
  • As we evacuated the school, offering to take a student home, because she lived in Flushing and the above ground subway trains weren't running
  • Taking the subway with the student and two colleagues, a nearly completely silent ride (except for the Bible quoter, who suggested we accept Jesus to get to Heaven, prompting my student to as what she, a Buddhist, should do)
  • Being stunned that the train went through the WTC station, which was filled with dust and smoke
  • Walking home from the subway and explaining to the student that the mess on the streets had blown across the river (we could see Cantor Fitzgerald letterhead on some papers) 
  • Spending the next two days benumbed, watching the tv or sleeping, thanking all the gods that Thing One was ok and wondering if all our friends were also ok (spoiler: no, they weren't)
And later on I remember
  • Talking to students about when they could be "normal" again, worrying about college and auditions and grades, because the adults were still stunned
  • Getting into an argument with a colleague because her wife, safe at home 45 miles north of the towers, was still traumatized, while Thing One was daily going into the office literally across the street, smelling the smells and breathing in the dust/debris
I've never been to the Memorial.  I never intend to go.  Neither does Thing One.  I pray that our health problems are not due to the "dust" from that day.  I pray this never happens again.  


Been a minute

 I've been blogging since 2004, sometimes heavily, sometimes not.  In the intervening 16 years I seem to have outlived quite a number of blogs that amused, inspired and challenged my thinking.  Apologies if any links in this blog's posts link to one of these (although you could always check the Wayback Machine)

  • Alice in Infoland / Alice Yucht
  • Anneographies / Anne Bustard
  • Annoyed Librarian
  • Archipelago / Elizabeth
  • Banterist / Brian Sack
  • Big A little a
  • Bitch PhD (now locked)
  • book, cook & hook nomad
  • Bookslut / Jessa Crispin
  • Caveat Lector / Dorothea Solo
  • Coco's Corner
  • Colby Cosh
  • Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind / Sarah Weinman
  • Deblogon / Deb Logan
  • Done with Mirrors / Vernon Dent
  • E-tech / Ellysa
  • Grumpy Old Bookman / Michael Allen
  • In Lieu of Radio / Mark Zip
  • Jandy's Book Blog
  • Librarian Avengers
  • Librarian in Black
  • Library Planet
  • Library Stuff
  • Library Web Chic 
  • Luddite Librarian
  • Nchica
  • Oached Pish / Sherwood Smith
  • Of Life, Education, E-bay, Travel & Books / Guusjem
  • Restaurant Refugee
  • Three Words Blog
  • Unwellness
  • Watchblog (now about, well, watches)
  • What's Good and What's Not Good

Blog diet

Yes, this blog went on a bit of a diet.  Back in 2019, the Little Professor looked at 16 years of her blog and made some big changes.  I'd planned to do the same, but, well, COVID.  But now, with real time off, it was the perfect time to shed those excess posts.

        July 1, 2021


Deleted: Links Galore and Digital Detritus posts, Memes/Quizzes, To Do Lists,  Imponderables, and many miscellaneous posts that ranted or pointed to things that no one (least of all me) cares about now, but possibly may have in the moment.

And after all that.... we ended up here:

It's kind of amazing how little (IMVHO) has staying power.