That's a good thing!
I've neglected my blog a considerable amount over the last month because I've had so much to do, but I finally have some time to catch up right now.
First, of course, I just got back on Sunday from Tucson and U of A where I was completing IRLS 504, my first class on the way to get my Master's degree in Library Science. It was a really intense week. So much so that I didn't get past "day one" on my online blogging adventure to blog from Tucson. We were in class lectures on everything from archives to website development, from HTML to ethics, and from metadata to searching techniques and tips for up to 14 hours per day, including multiple hours of study and help time. It was exhausting, but well worth all the effort. I now know what courses to focus on for my degree. I know I don't want to be a public librarian, but I think I would like special librarianship or archives.
I have to write up a paper by Saturday on "Paper versus Electronic Recordkeeping in Government Archives" and a reflection on how the IRLS504 class went. I might post the reflection here if it turns out well.
Obviously, of course, I was also in Tucson for the Saturday morning shooting of Rep. Giffords, and the massacre of 6 people at a Safeway grocery store down there. It was odd to be in the area. You always hear of it happening somewhere else, but being four miles away from the scene just feels weird. I first learned about it when I got out of my final exam, walked with a couple friends to Gentle Ben's restaurant for a victory lunch, and saw it on a TV over the bar there. All I saw of the headline was "Congresswoman Shot" and then eventually realized it was Gabrielle Giffords from right around the corner. All through lunch I was getting updates from friends and Twitter on the situation. It was surreal when the news stations began saying Giffords was dead, but as time passed they retracted that statement.
That night, I watched the news with fervor, not really because there was more information, but because it was history in the making. The next morning, before driving back home, I went to the University of Arizona Medical Center and spent half an hour paying my respects to the six fatalities and fourteen other victims. The lone street surrounding the hospital was flanked on both sides with every major and minor news outlets' trucks - FOX, ABC, CBS, 3TV - and I was even approached by someone who said she was from Japanese news media for my "reaction" to the event. Cameras were everywhere, and, somewhat disrespectfully, cameramen were sticking their equipment in every face there to capture photos. One woman with a little dog garnered multiple photos as she adjusted rosaries around the photographs of Giffords and Judge Roll. After that, I visited the Safeway site... morbid curiousity, I suppose... where the scene was taped off. I watched the cops for a bit while having a cup of coffee across the street (breakfast), and eventually left and drove home.
It will be interesting to see what comes out in the Loughner trial later on this year. Thankfully, the latest news I heard said that Rep. Giffords is projected to make a solid recovery, is breathing on her own, and may regain much of her former ability. Thank God for that news!
To less tragic news: I am typing this post on my brand new laptop! I finally went out and bought one today with my extra student loan money so I can use it for college. It's a HP Pavilion DM4 with a 620MB hard drive, 4GB of RAM memory, a 14" screen, fingerprint reader built-in, 4G-capable WiFi, and HDMI capability. It was on sale, so I got it for the right price, and I am so far really happy with the purchase!
Not sure what else I want to say right now, so I'll sign off for the night, but I hope to be back to a more regular posting schedule soon. Classes start Thursday, so there's that which might screw my plans up, but I'll give it a try!