How books plus kids plus knitting helped me find a career that I love.
A partial autobiography by Suzanne Sherry
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This is not my beautiful house!
How did I get here?
The chaos of two kids made me long for
At the turn of the millennium I found myself as a stay-at-home mom, with 2 small kids and a very limited budget.
How does a parent stay sane when they have kids under 5?
What am I going to do with my time?
How can I get some peace and quiet?
How do I prevent burnout?
How do I care for my kids without losing my self?
Do three syllable words still exist?
Is there a legal limit on the number of times you can play peek-a-boo—and how can I get my kids to stay under that limit?
They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Being home with two small active kids is difficult.
But I wanted to be home with them!
Interruptions and constant demands are normal.
Nothing stays done (Fed people become hungry again. A clean diaper is soon full again.)
What is a parent to do?
So that is what I did.
Back to the beginning…. I love Books!
Began reading independently at age 3
Read Dick and Jane books with grandmother’s fourth grade class; I was 4.
Read everything from toothpaste tubes to J.R.R. Tolkien.
Many come to library careers through the love of literature. My childhood favorites included:
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
D'Aulaire Book of Norse Myths and Greek Myths
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
All Creatures Great and Small series by James Herriot
John Bellairs novels (House with a Clock in Its Walls, The Clock, The Witch and The Ring)
Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
World Book Encyclopedia (I had my own set!)
Worked in local library shelving books, after school and summers through college
Found shelving VERY tedious but learned the collection deeply.
NO LATE FINES!
Majored in Literature in College (surprised?)
Hated the university I attended as an undergraduate. I needed a change!
Applied and was selected to study in Ireland for one year
Studied modern Irish authors (Joyce, Flann O’Brien, Synge) and recent Irish history
Discovered Roddy Doyle (The Commitments, A Star Called Henry)
Met Paul (the love of my life) in English class; we have been married for 15 years
Fell in love with the country and the people. We return to visit Paul’s family every year.
Have 2 kids, now 4 and 7
BoyWonder (now 7) was born determined and motivated.
He cried nonstop from the age of 6 months; he was mad because everyone was walking—except him!
He was only happy when he was practicing walking.
He walked independently at 9 months, and began running a week later.
Since he was able to move he has been a much happier person.
Look out world!
GirlPower (now 4) is a tough cookie. Nobody pushes her around.
Even as a baby she had a discriminating palate
One day she was eating toast. I had finished the butter so I used margarine on the next slice.
Though she was only about 1, she threw it back at me and screamed!
That was her way of saying, “I may be small but I am not stupid. Give me real butter!”
And we return to the present with…
Two active kids who fight nonstop
A desperate need for activity, order and mental stimulation for all of us
ONWARD! To the library!
The library has it all
PEACE and QUIET
We began to go to the library 2-3 times a week.
Wanted to have small thing to myself, one thing that gets done and stays done. Knitting does not unravel itself!
I wanted a hobby that was creative, interesting and relaxing.
Took adult education class in evenings
Made first scarf in January 2004, then a hat, then another, then socks, then a sweater……I was HOOKED
Unlike child care, knitting stays knitted. Its meditative, portable, and relaxing.
Won ribbon at the Virginia State Fair for lace shawl in 2006
In 2005 I completed over 70 projects
The Knitting Community
Began going to knitting group at local coffee shop found through Yahoo Groups
Knit blogs became popular; blogs form a virtual community with no geographic borders
Began mentoring other knitters as my skill has developed
Knitters are known for helping—we raised over $350,000 for Doctors Without Borders in 2007
Started own knitblog in 2005
Went to see Nancy Pearl (famous librarian) speak after hearing about the event at knitting group
Knew I needed to start planning to go back to work…and what did I want to do when I grow up?
Knitter in group already attending FSU and recommended it….
Knitter in same group told me about a part-time library job….
I am now finishing my final semesters at FSU.
I work as a real librarian! (Turbo sushing action not included.)
When life gives you lemons…
Everyone has problems! But without problems we could have no solutions.
Try to stay positive and make the most of the challenges that appear. If I had been blissful at home I would have never learned to knit, never turned to the library for help, and never attended library school.
My life would be so much poorer today!
Remember that problems have to exist for a solution to be found.
Learn to love lemonade!
Slide 2: Text is paraphrase from the song “Once in a Lifetime” by the Talking Heads from http://www.lyricsfreak.com/t/talking+heads/once+in+a+lifetime_20135070.html
Photo “Depth of Field” from Flickr from CreativeSpam http://www.flickr.com/photos/willyg/320564232/in/set-72157594222676472/ Available for use with a Creative Commons License.
Slide 3: Photo “.Bulldozer_” from Flickr by Diana Madrigal http://www.flickr.com/photos/dianamadrigal/409646545/ Available for use with a Creative Commons License.
Slide 12: Photo “Depth of Field” from Flickr from CreativeSpam http://www.flickr.com/photos/willyg/320564232/in/set-72157594222676472/ Available for use with a Creative Commons License.
Slide 16: FSU Seal from http://fsu.edu
Nancy Pearl/Librarian Action Figure image from Stupid.com http://www.stupid.com/stat/LIBR.html
All other photos and clip art are either property of author or Microsoft.