Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Trying to Separate Professional and Personal

(Unidentified Jersey plant that's still green right now)

I had an interesting conversation yesterday with someone who worked abroad for a year, and who noticed that it's distinctly American to consider school and work lives intrinsic to identity -- unlike other nationalities, where there's an expectation of a distinct personal life outside of school and work responsibilities (imagine!). I also noticed this phenomenon when I studied abroad as an undergraduate. I can't tell if the American way is healthy or not -- when you are defined by your work you tend to take your professional life very seriously in a way that surely must benefit your field. But then again, I've started to feel the need for online space where I am NOT a librarian. I have found myself slightly irritated when my library life creeps into my facebook account, for example.

Online, the gap between professional life and personal life can be thin, and I've been thinking that attempting to strengthen the division is a good idea even if it's impossible/impractical/idealistic. Like the ideal of objectivity in journalism, it's noble to shoot for even if it's tough in practice. (Along these lines, this week I created a new twitter account for friends who don't want to follow my tweets about libraryland.)

I guess in the end you just have to go with your intuition and do what feels right. At least, that's how I've been proceeding so far. With my gut. We'll see if that works out ...

6 comments:

  1. Looks like a rhododendron to me. http://www.duke.edu/~cwcook/trees/rhca.html

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  2. it does kind of look like a rhododendron, but the leaves are really flat and are smaller & thinner than I've seen on rhododendrons (so they're more like azaleas). Am kind of waiting till the spring to see if they flower.

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  3. Another possibility is a mountain laurel. I have trouble telling them apart when they're not in bloom. http://www.duke.edu/~cwcook/trees/kala.html

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  4. ooh that definitely could be it. I'll have to check the bark (-:

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  5. I'll confirm Mt. Laurel. I'm a colleague of Olivia's in the Bio. Dept - I know the shrub well & can't wait until June when it produces a spectacular white-pink flower cluster. Now, if I could only post one of my photo's of it...

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  6. (I'm pretty sure this blogging program won't let you upload your picture in the comments section, but I'll definitely take a picture in the spring when they're in full bloom!)

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