Friday, June 29, 2007

MLK and G'Kar are not alone

    I have a dream, too. And the first hurdle along the track is cleared.

(Don't you hate mixed metaphors?)

    I have 27 more hours of classwork to do for my masters, plus my master's project hours. For from 2 to 4 of those hours, I can do a practicum of from 100 to 200 hours. In order to do this while working full-time, day-time job, I will have to take leave from work. So, rather and x-number of hours per week, I thought that perhaps I could take a three-week vacation to go and do the practicum some where really special.

    My first thought was to try to arrange something in coordintation with USM's British Studies Program (in London during the summer term), or back to Universidad de las Americas in Pueblo, Mexico (where I was last summer for Spanish classes) -- these are still on the list. Then inspiration struck: perhaps there is a university with a Tibetan Studies program and/or special collections or digitization programs within their library system where I could go for the practicum.

      While I was googling for the latter, I found a link to the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives, which just happens to be located in Dharamsala, India -- location of the Tibetan government-in-exile... and thus was born the dream.

    I read and read and read... everything I could find about LTWA. Turns out there are places to stay, and beginning Tibetan language classes in the mornings, and provisions for going to do research -- my tenative master's project topic is the library's role in cultural preservation -- and many English-speaking Tibetans, and many English volumes. (I tried to convert the Rbs. pricing to U.S. dollars, but I can't be doing it right; it is just too inexpensive for the classes and accommodations as I am doing it.) Excitedly, I drafted an e-mail to the director of LTWA.

There was a fly in the ointment, however.

    According to the practicum guidelines, one can only accumulate 20 hours of practicum work per week! No way could I take 5 weeks of vacation from my job! So, I wrote my advisor to ask if it would be possible to get a waiver of that limitation given my full-time job and desire to find a specialized library or do something internationally.

    Everyone was leaving for ALA convention in Washington, D.C., that day, and so, I knew I would be waiting at least a week, but my expecation was inflexibility that I have encountered previously with the SLIS. In the meantime, I wrote the professor who took us to Tibet for suggestions of universities here in the U.S. with Tibetan Studies programs.

    Yesterday, I finally received the anxiously awaited email from my advisor:


The director gave her permission for me to purse a condensed practicum!


    I am shocked, but thrilled. With butterflies in my stomach, I reviewed, revised and sent off the email to LTWA. Now I wait again, with my course work for the next two semesters dedicated to the two prerequisite courses for practicum (Library Management and Information Libraries and Society).

    Perhaps the best part is that last night when I told Rodger the news (he'd seemed a bit uninterested or perhaps just doubtful when I told him of my plan earlier in the week), he indicated he wanted to go, too! My little country boy has certainly turned into a world traveler! Guess I'll be saving money and leave once I get home from Chicago and the EGA national seminar!

    And I am even more anxious to see/talk to Lisa (a young woman on our Tibet trip who stayed to spend the summer traveling through India) when she returns.


Monday, June 25, 2007

too easy to skew

You Are: 0% Dog, 100% Cat
You are are almost exactly like a cat. You're intelligent, independent, and set on getting your way. And there's no way you're going to fetch a paper for anyone!

via Rissa. Now, if I answer a bit more honestly:

You Are: 60% Dog, 40% Cat
You are a nice blend of cat and dog. You're playful but not too needy. And you're friendly but careful. And while you have your moody moments, you're too happy to stay upset for long.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

scattergories 3

Third time's a charm:

A type of tree or shrub: Chinaberry
Something an astronaut would study: constellations
Eight-letter word: contempt
A sports team (any sport): Cubs
A character in movie or play: Coco
A nickname (or endearment) for someone you like: cutiepie
Something that could get you arrested: conterfeiting
Something you’d take to a picnic: chicken
A reason someone might get an award, medal, or trophy: Confirmation
Something that makes you smile: cats

Thursday, June 21, 2007

scattergories 2

Round 2:

A Country: Cambodia
A Song Title: Cocaine
An Artist (painter, photographer, etc): C├ęzanne
A Reason to stay home from Work or School: catastrophe
Something you’d see at a Zoo: camel
A Snack: caramel corn
A Character in a Book: Charlotte['s Web]
Something Icky: cootie
A Six-letter Word: church
Something Breakable: chandelier
Non-Alcoholic Drink: Coca-cola
Something you Whisper: christ!

scattergories 1

Playing meme catchup: Scattergories

Instructions: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following…They MUST be real places, names, things…nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You can’t use your name for the boy/girl name question.
Your Name: Cyn
Famous Artist/Band/Musician: Chicago
4 letter word: cent
Vehicle: Cougar
TV Show: Cops
City: Cincinnati
Boy Name: Charles
Girl Name: Crystal
Alcoholic drink: Cognac
Occupation: Chemist
Flower: Carnation
Something you wear: Camisole
Celebrity: Charo
Something found in a kitchen: Coffee
Cartoon Character: Casper
Something You Shout: Crap!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

body image

 is a funny thing.

 Rissa wrote several times during the past year or so (e.g., this) about body image, and the whole thing hit me hard this week when I saw the photographs of me from our trip to Tibet.

 I have lost 30 pounds since last Spring. But, as evidenced by the photos, I still have quite a tummy on me. My face is still puffy (and red and, well, not pocked exactly, but not smooth), and my eybrows are all but gone.

Prayer wheels at entrance to Drepung Gompa

 For comparison, here's a shot taken a year ago in Mexico:

Atop the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan, Mexico

 I had already lost between 12 and 18 pounds before I went to Mexico; maybe a little more. I can't remember exactly.

 Now look at this shot from two years ago, taken in Jamaica:

Sunday Morning outside Catholic Church after Mass

 Holy sh*t! I had no idea I was so fat! I actually thought that dress looked really good on me.

 And the worst part is, that in lots of ways I don't feel any thinner than I did two years ago -- except when I go buy clothes. Until I look at photos, or in the mirror, it just feels like the same ol' unattractive fat body -- which is really horrible to say/think/feel after losing that much weight!

 Weird, huh? And "funny" -- see me laughing?

 Of course, I do feel better physically because of the weight loss, and about eating better. It just shocked me; first, to see the photos of my obvious paunch -- and second, to look with new eyes at the photo from two years ago. The hair looks better, though, doesn't it? Perhaps it is time to go short again... and somewhere between the light and dark in these photos.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

missing Tibet

 Today is laundry day. I am missing being able to take my dirty clothes down the lane to the sweet (and very hard-working) Tibetan girls, who would wash, dry and iron my clothes for Y3 a piece -- that's about $.38.

I know. I'm terrible. Does it help that I usually paid them half again what they ask?

 There are, of course, other reasons to miss Tibet. Like the blue sky and the clear, fresh air, as we swelter (a little less the last day or so) here in the Mississippi summer.

 Last weekend we picked Rodger's photos only to find that all 20 rolls were printed from dirty negatives. It was Tuesday night before we could get back to the store to complain. The resolution was that the young woman would clean all the negatives and remake the prints and CDs. We were quite surprise to discover today that she had them finished! We suspect that she was so enthralled with the photos (she is a photojournalist student at the univeristy) that she just kept at it till the job was being done.

 Now comes the job of captioning and copying and uploading. I also have three disks full of photos from others on the trip to look at. I've seen some, but not all, of them online, but these on the CDs will be the full-sized images.

 I copied one CD into the screensaver folder on my computer at work, and it runs through them when I'm away. More than one of my coworkers has been way-laid at my desk looking at the pictures... like this one:

Potala Palace
click on the photo to see it full-sized

Thursday, June 07, 2007

photo links

    From my digital camera

    From others in the group

    (We will pick up Rodger's photos from the store on Friday evening.)

Monday, June 04, 2007

books and more books

 First day back at work, back to processing new books. Already found three titles to add to my must-read list:

Himalayan Hermitess: The Life of a Tibetan Buddhist Nun Graceful Exits: How Great Beings Die: death stories of Hindu, Tibetan Buddhist and Zen masters Dakini's Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism

 Not necessarily in this order.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

longest day of my life

    June 1st, 2007, is now officially the longest day of my life: from 12:00AM in China to 11:59PM in US CDT was 37 hours. We were either on a bus, on a plane, or in an airport for 24 of those hours, plus two more hours in the car to drive home. We got to the house about 2AM on Saturday morning. Since then, we have been fading in and out of sleep. Haven't left the house to go eat or take the 35mm film to be developed -- both were at the top of our "first thing" list! I haven't even managed to get the cell phone plugged in to recharge, and the suitcases are in the middle of the living room floor. I did check in with my summer online course, wade through some of my email, and get my digital photos uploaded.

    Below are links to the photos from my digital camera. Once you are at the page of thumbnails, click on the first one, then you can see larger photo, a caption if I added one, and can just click "next" to go through the album.

Tibet 2007 - Album 1
Tibet 2007 - Album 2
Tibet 2007 - Album 3
Tibet 2007 - Album 4
Tibet 2007 - Album 5
Tibet 2007 - Album 6
Tibet 2007 - Album 7
Tibet 2007 - Album 8
Tibet 2007 - Album 9
    Now it is time to go back to bed so I can function at work tomorrow. We are both missing Tibet, but also glad to be back in the U.S.A. Of course, in many ways, it seems as surreal to be back here as it did to be there.