Thursday, July 26, 2012

Call me Madam...Librarian

A funny thing happened on the way to my librarian degree.

 But first, a confession. My master's degree in Information Science has been in limbo for a long, long, long time. I mean, I worked as a librarian for many years, and I took all the classes and everything, but when I finished my master's-degree coursework at Florida State in 2002 (or was it 2003?), I kinda sorta owed the school money. And they wouldn't give me my degree until it was 100% paid off.

This meant that I did not have that coveted credential that is the sine qua non of library-job riches:   "You must have an MLS degree from an ALA-accredited school." (in job listings, this is sometimes written with a sneer).

I made the last payment in 2006. Or did I?  According to my recollection, I never actually sent in the last payment. No payment, no diploma. But in 2006 I was too busy screwing up my life to take care of such details. I was a depressive in survival mode, and I figured this was one more thing that was never going to get fixed.  Who needed their silly old degree anyway?

Recently, though, I've been in the process of cleaning up my credit and trying to clear past financial wreckage. So I summoned up my nerve and I called FSU to see if my degree was still on hold. The nice man on the phone told me he had good news and bad news: Yes, my degree was on hold. And I owed ... wait for it ... a single penny. Which FSU generously wrote off.

That didn't end the matter, quite. It took a little time for the plucky, intrepid FSU staff to track down my transcript (most of my school records had been destroyed years ago). But track it down they did, and they conferred my degree retroactively as of 2006. At long last, my diploma arrived, and it's a beaut!
So now I am a bona fide, real-live, I'm-better-than-you-are-because-I-have-a-piece-of-paper librarian. Oh, pardon me. "Librarian" is so passe, so card-catalogue. What I am is an information scientist.

With a big-ass librarian diploma.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

CDC: Mark's Story, Let's Stop HIV Together

I'm very proud and honored to be part of  CDC's new national HIV awareness campaign with my dear friend Mark King. I'm told the campaign is high profile, and I'm likely to show up on billboards and buses and at the Atlanta airport. This should do wonders for my humility. But enough about me.

The CDC's campaign is terrific -- you can see more stories, and learn lots more, here.

If you haven't been tested lately, it's time. HIV isn't a death sentence anymore, but you've got to know your status. Get the facts. Get tested. And get involved.

I love you all.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Re: Sad message

My dear friend,

This is another hoax, and a hateful one at that. It's been around for years. Here's a link that explains it. The link also shoots down the idea that Muslims, as a group, are Holocaust deniers. Snopes has covered this hoax too.

I am Jewish, and I have no patience for religious or ethnic bigotry. I love you and it's been fun to hear from you, but this is the third time I've had to ask you to quit sending me the anti-Muslim stuff. So regretfully, I must ask that you take me off your mailing list.

Wishing you all the best --

To: ">
Sent: Wednesday, July 4, 2012 9:18 AM
Subject: Fw: SAD MESSAGE
:( sad this may be a duplicate cause you are on more than one of my lists. please do not get annoyed - this message needs to be sent round the world
Love and hugs,
This week the University of Kentucky removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it "offended" the Muslim population, which claims it never occurred. This is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it. It is now more than 60 years since the Second World War in Europe ended.
This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved
and humiliated with the German and Russian peoples looking the other way!
Now more than ever, with Iran among others claiming the Holocaust to be "a myth," it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.
This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide! Join us and be a link in the memorial chain and help us distribute it around the world.
Please send this e-mail to 10 people you know and ask them to continue the memorial chain.
Please don't just delete it. It will only take you a minute to pass this along.