Archive for the ‘About Moi’ Category

Well, I’m happy to be up and typing again. I managed to strain my lower back at the end of the holiday break (for the record, I didn’t do anything strenous) and have spent the past three weeks in varying degrees of pain. When I say varying degrees, I mean I started the first week in excruciating pain which has gradually decreased. I’m off the Vicodin now and am feeling a lot better.

The start of 2011 turned out to be a very bad time for the whole department. Our student assistant broke her wrist, two of my fellow staffers were ill, another has bursitis in her shoulders, and a third was summoned for jury duty.

I’m hoping this means that 2011 will go out like a lamb.


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“Free your mind and the rest will follow…”

En Vogue, “Free Your Mind”

If you’re a woman this New Year Eve, I’m going to bet that one of your resolutions for the coming year is to lose weight. That used to be my perennial favorite, too, until I read “Succulent Wild Woman” by Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (SARK). Talking about her own struggles with body image, Kennedy says that “women are always trying to shrink themselves.”

That sentence brought me up short because I immediately recognized myself. Aren’t we always trying to lose weight, pare ourselves down, press ourselves into the mold of “proper beauty” even though we know that mold was not designed to fit us or most other women? Aren’t we always trying–in every possible way there is–to be less than what we are and what we were meant to be?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I started taking singing lessons this fall. It was incredibly liberating to learn that yes, with a little practice, I could do something I had long regarded as an impossible dream. That one action made me re-evaluate all the limits I had imposed on myself over the years. You know the kind I mean. All the rules about what you’re too old for or no good at or don’t have the time for. I realized that I had been setting up arbitrary rules that had kept me from having new, rich, and rewarding experiences.

So in this coming year of 2011, I resolve, not to “shrink myself”, but to expand myself. To worry less about stretching my waistband and more about stretching my mind and my abilities. To have more fun. To do more. To experience more. To take up more space. To demand more. To be MORE.

Join me. There are no limits. And have a happy New Year!

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I’ve always loved music and I’ve always loved to sing, but I spent most of my adult life believing that I just didn’t have the voice for it. I haven’t sung with a group since junior high choir and I haven’t sung in public since elementary school.  Neither experience was exactly “Glee” quality–we weren’t taught to read music or to warm up our voices. Instead we were separated into groups and then had a go at mangling the song du jour.

Still, I desperately wanted to sing and envied those who could. Finally, in this my 44th year, I broke down and decided to go see a vocal coach whose studio is nearby. My hopes weren’t high: I went hoping she could salvage my voice and maybe shape it into something passable.

You really can’t imagine my joy at being told that yes, I COULD SING! Yes, I’m still an alto. Yes, I fall on and off pitch. Yes, I need to practice. But no, I’m not tone deaf, I can hear and match the notes and with some work I should BE ABLE TO SING!!!! IN PUBLIC!!!

[A brief pause while I do a Julie-Andrews-like rendition of the “Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Music”. Spin, spin, spin, fall over. Thank you. Back to the blog.]

With that one pronouncement, I feel like doors that were previously closed to me are springing open.  I could sing anything. With anyone. Anywhere. At any time. No limits. Only opportunities.

So that’s where I am now: wildly happy and working hard. Warming up my voice every evening. Training my ear to hear the pitch changes. Doing my musical homework. And going to singing class once a week.

Sometimes one lesson can change your whole life. 🙂

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This is the 3rd birthday of “If This Be Method …” and no one–other than hikers tripping over wood frogs–are more surprised than me to see that this blog has endured this long.

Many thanks to my library for giving me work time (via Learning 2.0) to check out this whole blog thing. And many thanks to my talented colleagues who make the good days better and the bad days bearable.

No wood frogs were licked in the making of this post ….. 🙂

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I wasn’t texting while riding, but on my first day back after two lovely weeks off from work, what do I do? I trip over a piece of pavement that I’ve walked over a hundred–nay, a million–times. I caught myself with my hands and while one landed on the ground and thus was fine, the heel of my right hand whacked hard against the side of the walkway. End result: an impressive bruise and a painful dominant hand. You’d be surprised how much you use your dominant hand. More ice and ibuprofen for me. I would think that the gods were telling me to stay home if I didn’t know that most accidents happen there.

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Well, one daemon to be precise. My colleague, Peg, pointed me in the direction of the Golden Compass movie site which has a quiz on it that you can take to see what sort of animal spirit (daemon) you would be matched with. Click on the “Meet Your Daemon” icon at the bottom of the page or choose “Daemons” from the menu at the top.

Mine, as you can see, is a mouse (Alexius) and according to the quiz, I am spontaneous, modest, humble, assertive, and competitive. I’m not sure how well assertive and competitive go with modest and humble, but, hey, the oracle has spoken.

Having a Mouse Daemon goes a long way to explain why I work underground, in a labyrinth, and am surrounded by bits of paper that I’d like to shred. Now, if you’ll pardon me, I have to go get a drink by pressing on the spigot of the communal water bottle …..

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My colleague, Peg, has tagged me with my first ever blog meme. So here it is, my list of the 10 Things Most People Don’t Know About Me:

1.) I have considered running for political office.

2.) I crash landed in a small plane once as a passenger. The plane developed engine trouble and we had to put down on a frozen lake. Fortunately, another plane came along in about an hour or so and picked us up. That night the temperature plunged to 40 below zero and stayed that way for two weeks.

3.) I know how to skin a marten. It’s harder than it looks to get the hide off of a fur-bearing animal.

4.) Even though I had my license, I didn’t really become comfortable as a driver until I had a student job where I had to run errands around town with the company car.

5.) I identified with Robin Hood growing up because he had my first name. I didn’t meet other Robins until I went to college. There were three of us in the same dorm.

6.) No one has EVER spelled my name correctly the first time. (No one has EVER pronounced my brother’s name correctly at ANY time so he actually has it worse than me).

7.) After years of thinking of myself as a word person, I appear to be turning into a visual artist.

8.) As a youngster, my career aspirations were often driven by the books I read. I wanted to become a diplomat, for example, because I read “Galactic Diplomat” by Keith Laumer. I even sent away for career information from the State Department and I was incredibly excited when I received the information packet all the way from Washington, D.C. Sadly, real diplomats don’t deal with extraterrestrials or fight for truth, justice, and the American Way in a James Bondian-like manner which put me off the whole idea. After my college graduation, I did actually take the State Department exam (I got a “C”, I believe) and I was eligible to go to the regional interviews in Seattle, but I never pursued the recruitment process any further.

9.) I had never tasted a sweet orange until I was 20 years old and visited California for the first time. I grew up on green, under-ripe fruit and thought oranges were supposed to be bitter.

10.) I planted my first garden when I was about six years old. “Planting” consisted of clearing out some of the weeds in our yard and sprinkling seeds over the top of the soil. The only thing that came up: one cornflower.

I now pass the torch of meme-y goodness onto Wendi L., Anne, and you, my gentle reader.

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