Five and almost a half years ago, I had my first day of work at a new job as a shelver for the library. I was so excited to start a new job, and I remember celebrating with friends on the night I got the offer. On my first day at work, I was quickly shown around the library. “Here’s the children’s DVD shelving, here’s the juvenile nonfiction, here are the early readers…. Okay, so that’s the library. Go ahead and shelve a cart. Let us know if you have a question.”
At that point, I was still working part time at the Acrapolis, sanding drywall, digging up sumac roots, and generally remodeling. Then I eventually got a second position at the library that gave me full-time hours, which brought with it more changes than I had expected. New coworkers, tough hours, and some new responsibilities that were somewhat divisive. I learned about good leadership and work politics. Then I got into graduate school, and got a new supervisor. Grad school had its own challenges, but I was able to take on new responsibilities at work and connect with great people.
Five and a half years feels like so much and so little time. I’m three weeks into a new professional position, and it’s hard to imagine ever feeling so lost in my last two positions. While it is great to use my degree and work with a good team, I have also been missing my former coworkers and the comfort of competency. The challenge is exciting though. There are already new projects and ideas I’m in charge of, and I’m ready to prove myself. Here’s to an exciting next five years.
Celebrating the New
Here are a few new items that don’t have anything in common, other than being newly released on DVD or in print. I recently spent several weeks reading and watching a lot of content. Enjoy!
Based on Thurgood Marshall’s career early in his life, Marshall follows one particular case for which he provided a defense through the NAACP. An African American chauffeur was charged with raping the white woman he drove, and Marshall’s job was to make sure he got a fair trial in spite of his color. Marshall is a charming character who adds humor and dignity to this story. In spite of the serious issues of racism and the severity of the alleged crime, the movie is accessible and, of course, remains relevant to today’s political climate. I would recommend it.
Coco is an excellent film, full of color and energy. Miguel wants to be a musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz, but his grandmother has forbidden music in their family. Her grandfather left the family to try to become a famous musician. Still, Miguel wants so badly to play that he borrows Ernesto’s guitar from his tomb. Having stolen from the dead, he needs a blessing from his family before dawn in order to counteract the curse he incurred and return home from the land of the dead. This is a great movie about intergenerational relationships and music. It’s one of the best films I’ve seen for a while.
- Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
David Grann, the author of The Lost City of Z, recently wrote this nonfiction book about the oil boom in the Osage Nation during the 1920s, and the multitude of murders that took place there. With the oil boom, the Osage had vast amounts of money at their disposal. They had maids and mansions, and the towns were thriving. Then the murders started. People were shot, houses were blown up, and no one felt safe. Grann talks about the tensions between the Osage and the American government in this narrative nonfiction. Killers of the Flower Moon is a discouraging look at American history, and an important story. I didn’t enjoy this book nearly as much as Grann’s previous book though, and if you choose to read it, I would strongly recommend not listening to the audiobook. It was narrated by three people, none of whom seemed right for the role.
- The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
Wang’s graphic novel is a beautiful story of young love, acceptance, and fashion. After designing a controversial dress for the prince’s ball, a young dressmaker is invited to work at the palace. She finds that she has been hired to create dresses for the prince. By day, the prince endures his parents’ search for his future bride, but by night he wears the incredible dresses at public events. This book is so colorfully illustrated, and the story is an ode to fashion. But it also shares an idealism and hope that is contagious. I highly recommend this book.
I’ll be back again soon with more recommendations. Until then, have fun reading!