Saturday, January 3, 2015

Looking Back to Look Forward Part 1

Eh. So cliche and sometimes not useful. But ... othertimes yes. So we'll go for it for now. This is LONG and missing a lot of pics.

January: Oh, heavens. January is mountain cedar hell. Last year it was BAD. My insurance changed on 1/1 and while it covered less with a higher deductible (:() I no longer had to get "permission" from a PCP (:) Take that buddy, for telling me to take Zyrtec and rinse and I would be fine. NO I WASN'T). Tested and surprise. Every environmental one there is except for cockroaches. How gross is that. They had to scratch me with cockroach essence to determine this non-allergy. No food, though, luckily. Started the TL Blogging Challenge (still need to finish that one ... I put it on hold for the summer and our library space renovation and never picked it back up!). Had only moved into my new place in Dec. '13 so there was still a lot of unpacking and arranging.

This pic shows you part of what cedar season means to TX. LOTS of Kleenex. LOTS. Like we should get stock. This was what was used at my house over the last 12 days or so. Granted, fair number of us here. But SIX BOXES emptied. And in the next week good chance of another 3 or 4. Bright spot? I use them at school. More on that later.

February: TCEA is always fun. I do enjoy it, even when as in 2014 I felt like I was taking my life into my hands driving back and forth through graupel. Spooky! We presented on Google Your LMC. So much learning goes on. Recharge. Remind myself "what I'm doing does make a difference" before going into testing season where it feels like everything in education is heading tin the total wrong direction. It's not ALL wrong. :P Also at that point I knew I was planning a space transformation ... I just had no clue it would end up being as big as it was.

March: Started off with a fun Seuss Door Decorating contest. Teachers outdid themselves! Biggest professional surprise ever. In the middle of our spring bookfair a visit and "Hey, we're going to enclose your library this summer." OH!

April: Who can remember. Took a blog break and only did #IMWAYR posts along with a couple FF and one TL Blogging challenge. April is a busy month with testing, Easter, and a local Fiesta holiday. Plus I hadn't hit my reading rut yet so I read a lot.

May: Weeding. Weeding. More weeding. Weeded until I couldn't weed anymore and our district Library Services sent reinforcements! It really was helpful to have new eyes. Even having them there helped me to see with new eyes. Considering all that we weeded (what was it ... like 3000 or so titles? Maybe even a little more) I only miss maybe like 50 of them. Pretty good odds.

Oh ... and visited ice cream Mecca while presenting at a Google day in Brenham. And hitting a ... date.

June: Majority of it was the dumbest month ever. Beat even January 2013 and appendicitis. Didn't see any of it coming and still feel the after effects. :( :( Must think about many blessings and trust in better things to come. I can't control everything.

July: Fun with nieces and nephews. Reading and no school! Combination for awesome.

Less awesome but oh well. Never did work. Now must add an awesome day photo.

August: Stress! Walls are up but the rest isn't done! Also TX is STINKING HOT. Only time of year with no pollen to cause distress (shots are helping but they're not miracle workers) and it's stinking, stinking, stinking hot.

September: More stress but then finally we could open. Too bad I didn't take pics the day we moved all the books. That was ... crazy. Big double wide rolling shelves everywhere and it was like a puzzle figuring out where the books we needed to put away next were. The kids were SO IMPRESSED with the final result! A TL blogging challenge post still to come (how behind can I be?) on changing to meet patron needs. Surprised that higher ups are not as excited about my plans for the library entrance as I was. Sort of just dropped that entirely when I was told no. I should bring it up again. I thought I had a great plan. Ugly posters have appeared on other areas of the wall outside the library are not nearly as attractive and professional and kid-friendly/learning-centric as the plans I had (and I know that sounds super self centered but IT'S TRUE). So what gives? #timetotryaskingagain

October: So fun to see the kids still excited about coming into our new space. Somewhat of a learning curve. Super pleased about most of our changes ... really aren't many things I'd do differently given the chance. Maybe the only thing is an "animal story" genre. And that's really it. So that's something. In a perfect world it would have been a BIGGER space with some natural light and full walls so we don't still have to hear all of the hallway noise. But in the real world? This was a well done change. Less visual distraction is a HUGE improvement. Another great Literary Pumpkin Patch. And the librarian field trip to BiblioTech was pretty cool. I still think touting a "bookless" library is pretty dumb but whatever. They are filling a need that perhaps couldn't have been done by the regular city library system that has to split resources between print and electronic.
Also the deer ate 85% of the landscaping. #boo

November: We got our big bulletin board and white board up! Also got the iPad stand installed for sign in stats. Also I woke up the Saturday to start Thanksgiving break with a mild flu. Better in time to go to Houston on Thursday morning. Came back to cedar. :P

December: Did not start with the Google Teacher Academy. Oh well. Thought where it was local I had a chance, :/ Better surprise. Charlie's (my little brother!) home. So proud of all he accomplished whilst away. Third surprise ... no more doorstop morning duty come January. So ... MAKER MORNINGS HERE WE COME.

Now off to read. I didn't do a #IMWAYR reading post but I have to say ... read (or listen to the audiobook ... that's what I did) Jonathan Stroud's The Screaming Staircase stat. NEW FAVORITE. I was so bummed when Overdrive didn't have book 2. So I went to Amazon and if you search there they only show the CDs. But then a search actually ON Audible and SUCCESS. Book 2, here I am.

Will be back on ... maybe Thurs. with part two Looking Ahead. Maybe later if I contemplate/ procrastinate more. Happy New Year!!!!

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