01 October 2010

Day 188: Catch-22

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.  ISBN: 978068486513.

I can't help but wonder what Heller would have thought about the Patriot Act.  I bet he would have been mortified by his book-come-to-life in the form of "you're either with us or a terrorist" right wing logic.  Maybe Heller would have taken George W. by the neck and yelled at him, "It was satire you, fool, not a manual!"

I don't know why this country is so afraid of criticism.  Or why people get so incensed about it.  Just because I don't like some of the things that happen in my country doesn't mean I don't love it.  Just because I get pissed off that we treat immigrants like crap and have the crappiest education among First World countries, doesn't mean there aren't things I'm proud of.  When I was a child and all the way up until about 22 I was practically in love with the United States.  But after seeing Obama elected and watching as Republicans absolutely refuse to work with him on anything, I'm pretty much fed up.  I'm also pretty upset that he isn't turning out to be the man I voted for and, while I am more then willing to give him some leeway given how royally fucked up the country was when it was given over to his care, I am not excited about the prospect of having to vote for him again in 2012.  And I want to be excited about voting for him again. 

Ugh, I don't want to talk politics.  Or at least not this specifically.  I'm kind of a big fan of the "it's not polite to talk politics" policy.

Speaking of policies, the Loyalty Oath cracked me up, mostly because I associate the Pledge of Allegiance with some of the same time wasting activities that the Loyalty Oath led to.  In school we already wasted so much time with superfluous activities from the daily morning announcements, home room period (which we didn't do anything for usually...), watching Channel One, plus all the time it took to switch classes AND get students to settle down to actually start teaching them, not to mention the fact that the last 10 minutes were a waste as everyone packed up and got ready to bolt to their lockers in another building before going to their class in yet another building without being late.  And none of that covers the award ceremonies, the pep rallies, the special announcements, fire drills, tornado drills, false bomb threats, and whatever the hell fundraiser was going on that week (some of which included students delivering items or messages to classrooms...yeah, that's not distracting).

Did I really need my high school principal to read me the lunch menu for the day and remind me that there was football game I wasn't going to go to tonight?  Fuck no, that was plastered all over the hallways.  What I could have used was 2 more minutes between classes to go to my locker.  Instead, I ended up carrying around every book I needed because there was no way I could swap out books and get to class on time.*  I could have used an extra 15 minutes of class time to ask the teacher more questions about that math problem I didn't get.  I could have used an extra 8 minutes to fully explain my character analysis of "Holden Caulfield is a douchebag" to my classmates instead of having to listen to people who didn't even read the book talk about how much they loved the Cliffs Notes or Wikipedia page of it.

A lot of library school felt like some of the same waste of time to me.  I already had so much reference experience by the time I took my Reference and Instruction class that it felt like a total waste of time to me.  We did go over some resources that might be useful in the future, but having worked in a live reference situation before, there's almost no point in knowing about reference materials you don't have.  And there was no class on "How to Familiarize Yourself with Your Own Collection."  Even the Collection Development class was somewhat lacking because they didn't provide lists of collection development tools (i.e. stuff like Developing an Outstanding Core Collection).  In fact, I don't recall them even mentioning it.

Let's not even mention the whole process of trying to find a paid position so that I can actually practice my profession.  The sad thing is, I would do it for free.  That's how much I love being a librarian.  I sort of wonder what the world would look like if we stopped working for money and just did what we loved to do.  I guess I'm sort of doing that now, but if I didn't have to worry about my car insurance or my cell phone bill, etc.?  I could accomplish so much more, and be so much happier doing it.

*The only buildings we were allowed in during lunch time were the cafeteria and the library.  I usually snuck in to go to my locker anyway because it was the most asinine rule I've ever heard of.

for calling women whores, curse words, racially insensitive content, and depictions of defying authority.

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