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My PhD: Summer 2016

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All material on this site (words and images) are copyright. ©2007-2016 Melissa Aho. No reproduction without permission.

Taking your MLIS Abroad

I discuss my time as a Librarian in Honduras (2002-2003) in the new book Taking your MLIS Abroad: Getting and Succeeding in an International Library Job by Lara Seven Phillips & Katherine G. Holvoet which was just published on November 30, 2016. From what I have read so far, its a great book and gives honest answers (the good, the bad, and the ugly) about working as a librarian abroad.

Lara and Kate had a call/announcement looking for librarians who had experience working out of the country and then sent those individuals a questionnaire with 15 questions. Later other questions were asked via email. I did not, as many people know, have a good experience working in Honduras and I don’t mind sharing. All the answers that I gave for the book where things that I have told family, friends, and co-workers over the years.

This was my favorite sentence that I submitted (and its something that I always say) and sadly it did not make the editing cut is: “not every adventure is a good adventure.” This is so true. I had many trips before Honduras around Central and South American and had wonderful adventures, but this was the fist time I was in a situation that was truly horrible. I hated it and I wanted to leave every day I was there. But I stayed one year and left at the end of the school year.

The whole passage I submitted was: “I came to realize that not every adventure is a good adventure. Some adventures are terrible and they suck and you will end up hating them and that’s totally ok. It’s ok to have a bad adventure, learn from it, and leave. Even if you have a contact, don’t be a martyr, as no one cares. Get out of it what you want to and then leave.”

What ended up in the book: “It’s ok to have a bad adventure, learn from it, and leave. Even if you have a contact, don’t be a martyr, as no one cares. Get out of it what you want to and then leave.”

Taking your MLIS Abroad is a fun book and I am quoted a few (I think I counted 13) times, so buy the book or get it from your local library.

The Mad Hatter Christmas Tea

Today was a very fun Christmas Tea at The Mad Hatter with Mom. We ordered the Divine Temple tea which is a blend of mango, papaya, pineapple, strawberry, and red current. The Christmas Tea had four courses: the salad, the scone, the savory, and the dessert. We finished with the Mad Hatter House Blend with bergamot, orange, and chocolate, which was good, but not as good as the Divine Temple tea. Too much food!

The Personal Diary of Mrs. Martha Hudson, Housekeeper to the Famed Detective Sherlock Holmes

Aho, Melissa. 2016. “The Personal Diary of Mrs. Martha Hudson, Housekeeper to the Famed Detective Sherlock Holmes” in The Norwegian Explorers 2016 Christmas Annual, No. 15: The Miss Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Ray Riethmeier and Phillip Bergem, Editors. Minneapolis, MN: The Norwegian Explorers of Minnesota, 45-50.

For the past 15 years The Norwegian Explorers of Minnesota (a literary society devoted to all things Sherlock Holmes) has published a Christmas Annual and the theme this year was “The Miss Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.” Its given out at the annual dinner in December, is open to current members, and if you submit a paper you are eligible to receive one of the coveted Sigerson Awards (light hearted awards for best contributions). Here was the original call for submissions:

The Miss Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
“Our theme allows contributors to write/speculate/present ideas about the role women or girls played in the Canon. This could involve a character who calls upon Sherlock Holmes for assistance, female characters encountered during an investigation, or perhaps an inquiry into the life of Mrs. Hudson in her youth. You could explore the attitudes Sherlock Holmes exhibits toward women, or would an investigation into the roving eye of Dr. Watson be more your style? This is a rather broad topic, but we will also consider submissions that fall outside of the theme.”

Suggested Categories for Submissions (2000 word maximum):
1. Article or essay
2. Poem
3. Cartoon
4. Sherlockian or Doylean review
5. Joke
6. Illustration/Artwork
7. Quiz
8. Pastiche

The Norwegian Explorers Annual Dinner

Tonight was The Norwegian Explorers Annual Dinner 2016 at the The Minneapolis Golf Club. I just joined The Norwegian Explorers a few months ago, so this was my first Annual Dinner and it was very fun. There was a very British dinner of Tossed Salad, Yorkshire Pudding, Fish and Chips, Carrots, Shepherd’s Pie, Pea Salad, and a Berry Trifle. The evening also include the annual meeting and election of officers, presentation of Sigerson Awards (from what I could tell everyone who participation in The Norwegian Explorers 2016 Christmas Annual received one), toasts to some of the women in Holmes life, a Sherlock Holmes Groaner Trivia Quiz, a contest of captions and/or limericks, and canonical carols! The keynote speaker was Park Square Theater’s Sherlock Holmes Steve Hendrickson ‘A Kiss is Just a Kiss, OR the Reichenbach Falls: Irene Adler and the Case of the Intimate Negotiation’ who was very funny and knows his Homles.

Also the The Norwegian Explorers 2016 Christmas Annual “The Miss Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” was handed out and a short story of mine (my very first work of fiction) was included: “The Personal Diary of Mrs. Martha Hudson, Housekeeper to the Famed Detective Sherlock Holmes.” I only learned about the call for stories/articles in September, so I did not have that much time to write it. It’s a bit different and falls under the “pastiche” (an artistic work in a style that imitates that of another work, artist, or period) category. The idea of writing fiction has always freaked me out, still does, so this was a good way to start and really, what better way to start than with the world of Sherlock Holmes.

A very fun night and I gave out my first autograph!

Muerto!

Cuba’s former leader Fidel Castro died today at 90! Release the Miami Armada (i.e. ex-Cuban senior citizens living in Miami who will now be sailing home)! It finally happened. Fidel is dead. Wow. I figured he would out live Gorby (just for spite) and be the last surviving Cold War leader, but I guess not. I visited Havana back in 1999 with the Twin sister. I wanted to visit Cuba before Fidel died and everything changed over night, so I dragged the Twin to Cuba for salsa lessons as “cultural activities” were the only way you would visit the country. We went in July, it was hot and swarming with Italian tourists. Besides going to salsa lessons and we visited many places associated with the Fidel, Che, and Hemingway. Drank a bunch of lovely mojitos at La Bodeguita del Medio (signed our name to the walls), visited Finca Vigía, saw one of The Buena Vista Social Club members (where I vaguely recall he touched the Twins ass), and came and went via Cancun. Had a lovely time in Cuba.

Thanksgiving 2016

Let the feeding begin! Happy Thanksgiving!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was finally released today! The screenplay arrived on my Kindle Thursday night, but the movie and screenplay were officially released today (aka Friday November 18). I wanted to see the movie before I read the book, so while it was tempting to read it last night, I did hold off and devoured the book today. The book designers did a wonderful job with the artwork in the book, but I was hoping for a bit more backstory. As with screenplays, you always want more and with the world of Harry Potter a screenplay is just the trip of the iceberg.

So an extremely busy day filled with appointments, a snowstorm, and a new Harry Potter movie. Overall a fantastic movie and book and I am one happy Muggle.

Snow!

First snowstorm of the year. Sadly I don’t think it will be the last.

Supermoon!

The Supermoon was not looking very super when I saw it around 830pm (see photo) and then later around midnight. Bright, very bright, but just an average size. Not that there is anything wrong with an average moon, but sometimes I think it would be much nicer to have a few moons in orbit. #supermoon2016

The cat and the Doctor

Antidote for a long crazy week: a cat and just arrived Time Lord Fairy Tales.