Monday was my first day back at the office since March 2020.
I knew the return to in-person work was coming for weeks. Those were weeks of mental stress and intense Sunday scaries. So, I was delightfully surprised when everything was... fine.
In fact, it was more than fine. It was fun.
Yes, it was still weird and a little scary, but I was so excited to see people again that I was able to push all my other doubts aside. I had the very first in-person reference desk shift of the week and I found myself giving students overly enthusiastic greetings. They'd walk into the library and I would "Hi! Welcome! How can I help?" at them like a happy dog. It just felt so wonderful to connect again.
I am an introvert, but working at the desk again reminded me how much I love connecting with our campus community. As the Outreach librarian, my job is to connect with people. That is really hard to do through a screen. Now, I get to have those casual conversations that forge relationships again. I get to see our students smile (well - smize - behind a mask). I get to share the gratitude that comes from being helpful. My three days in the office reminded me of why I love my job and University so darn much.
What surprised you this week?
Several new subscribers joined us this week. (Hi! Welcome! Thanks for reading!) Just wanted to share a quick note that I am always happy to hear from readers. If you have something to share be it a comment, question, link, video, or anything, just hit reply!
I am about 100 pages into I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker. These first chapters have read almost like a medical thriller. The science community is rushing to contain a pandemic while the government sits on its hands and plays politics. It’s infuriating - because that is exactly what happened. I fully expect to rage read the rest of the book.
Dorm room shopping is its own economy. [Vox]
Tasty ways to enjoy all that summer corn. [The Bittman Project]
How to make all sorts of crafty bookmarks. [BookRiot]
Teachers are DIYing these box fan air filters... because that's where we are right now. [GBH News]
Defining eastern European dumplings. [Vice]
Pigments are made from many, many things. [Atlas Obscura]
You maybe can (and should?) buy property on the moon. [The Indicator]
The science of a good sand castle. [Short Wave]
What makes an Atlas Obscura place? [Atlas Obscura]
How to give better feedback. [Life Kit]
From bobby pin to (maybe) a house: The art of the swap [The Indicator]
BRB going to Hong Kong to try these soufflé pancakes. [@omarubucho]
A time lapse of a full night of donut making. [Joe Schock]
Disaster movies are my jam. We watched Chris Pratt in The Tomorrow War and it was about what you'd expect. Gotta love a movie where aliens are also a metaphor for climate change and pandemics. [Amazon Prime]
We dove back in to watching the recent seasons of Doctor Who. The cast has grown on me, but I still can't get over how clunky the writing is. Many of the episodes take their cues from current events and everything is just so ham-handed. BUT I really enjoy Jodie Whitaker's take on the titular character. She's bringing a nice vulnerability to the role. [HBO Max]
Tried a new recipe this week - roasted red pepper and feta frittata. The flavor was delicious, but I think my chosen cooking vessel was too big. The result was a bit flat. Paired well with salad. [Budget Bytes]
I love when a recipe gives me an excuse to make pickled red onions. I made chorizo zucchini tacos - which you top with pickled red onions. This recipe has always been hit or miss for us based on what chorizo we buy. This time, we went with Aidells chicken chorizo. It was really, really good. We will definitely pick it up again. [Real Simple]
I moved offices this week. That gave me a chance to Marie Kondo my space. I junked a lot of stuff. Next up, reviewing all those print files I had. If I haven't used them since March 2020, do I really need them? If you're going back to the office, I recommend taking this time to reset your work space. It feels good to have a clean slate.
Going back to work. Having a kid in daycare who can only now just start masking. Seeing so many stories about how “that food” might be bad. It can be overwhelming. One way I’ve helped wade through the tsunami of information is by subscribing to Emily Oster’s ParentData newsletter. She doesn’t tell you what to do, but she lays out the data in an understandable way and gives you options for how to act. This is a great read even if you aren’t a parent.
Have a Thing of the Week recommendation? Reply to this email to share it with me and you’ll see it in an upcoming newsletter.
The semester is now in full swing. We are a small team that does ALL THE THINGS and are very excited about it.