A new job

Dear readers,

Well this blogpost is up a little later than I wanted it to, but a lot has been going on.

Most of you will already know this, but since I wrote my last post I also got a job in the UK. I have been hired as a Graduate Trainee Digital Archivist and will be working at what I believe is one of the coolest places ever: The Bodleian Libraries! I feel like I owe you guys a small trip report as I had to go all the way to Oxford for my job interview, so grab some coffee, tea or plain water (whatever works for you), because it’s going to be a lengthy blog.

On July 11 I was invited for an interview in Oxford. My interview was to take place on Thursday July 19th at 9.10, so I decided to fly in on Wednesday. It would be my first trip abroad by myself in about 6 years. Honestly, that prospect made me a little nervous, especially since I did not have the best time ever the last time I went on a solo trip. Ironically the trip was to a conference in Birmingham and I just ended up feeling a bit lonely. This might just have been nerves though. As it kind of was my first time flying alone, my first time staying in a hotel on my own and my first ever conference… Perhaps the accumulation of first times kind of ruined it a bit. Who knows?

This time was quite different. Though I still prefer going on a trip with others – it’s just more fun that way -, I had a pretty good time exploring Oxford and doing some shopping at Cath Kidston and Uniqlo. If you have not yet heard of Uniqlo I highly, highly recommend you pay that store a visit. It is a Japanese brand, known for its simplicity, but amazing quality. It of course also helps that they aren’t crazy expensive. For my Dutch readers: there’s a store coming to Amsterdam this autumn, so be sure to check it out. I for one look forward to stopping by there once every so often in Oxford.

The room I booked very much had a dorm room kind of feel. Probably because it was actually a dorm room rented out to tourists over the summer.. They did try really hard to make the room feel a bit more special, with the little soaps and even a chocolate on my pillow.

As I hate being late, I of course arrived at the library for my interview a little early. So I used this time to take some epic pictures of some really cool buildings right across the street from where I will work.

Before the interview commenced I was asked to take two tests and was subsequently interviewed for about 45 minutes. I had a pretty good feeling about the interview. You know, the kind of feeling that you really couldn’t have done or said more than you did. And if they didn’t hire you, it was simply because it wasn’t meant to be. After the interview I was given a small tour of my potential new workplace, just to give me a bit of a feel what it would be like working at the Weston Library (which is home to the Bodleian Library’s special collections).

IMG_20180719_090414924

The Weston Library

Once the tour was over and my really sweet guide had dropped me off at the entrance I, of course, could not resist perusing the giftshop. I have made it a habit to pick up a magnet of every place I go to, so I made sure to pick up a nice one of the Old Bodleian Library (at this point, I wasn’t quite sure if I would be getting the job, so I bought one just in case). By this time, though it was time to get my luggage and to head to the bus that would take me to the airport. I would have loved to stay in Oxford a little longer, but alas that was not in the cards.

Check-in at the airport was fairly swift and I decided to sit myself down at a Starbucks in the hopes of being able to do some writing. Cue the hipster picture of a Chai Tea Late and a laptop lol.

IMG_20180719_142639050

Thankfully my flight was pretty on time and I was able to board the airplane swiftly. About 1,5 hours later, the plan landed on Schiphol and the crew gave us permission to switch our phones back on we were still taxying.

I was eager to let my parents and fiancé know that I had landed safely, so I immediately turned off flight-mode. As it usually takes my phone a while to pick up any type of signal, I let it rest of my leg for a bit. The moment the device picked up a signal though it started ringing. It was a number from the UK and more specifically from Oxford… My heart leaped a little as I answered the phone. It was the Bodleian library offering me the job! Whoot!

So now I am sure some of you are wondering: what on earth does a graduate trainee digital archivist do? Well they will teach me to do a variety of jobs, such as how to digitize old documents and how to archive them, how to archive digital born media (such as websites, blogs and e-mails), how to set up these archives and how to manipulate XML, which is the language used to enter information in to the library’s databases. On the other hand, I will also be working at the library’s reading rooms, so I will also be trained as a librarian.

Whilst being trained on the job, I will also be studying with the University of Aberystwyth (yep… that’s going to be a fun one to pronounce). There I will be taking a distance learning course in Digital Curation. Amongst others will be taking modules in “Archive collection development and Description”, “Knowledge and Information Architecture” and “Management Information Systems”. You would probably think that I would be pretty through with learning seeing that I have done a Bachelors, Masters and am about to complete a PhD, but nothing could be further from the truth. I actually look forward to start this new study. Though it definitely is a bonus that the essays never have to exceed 3000 words and don’t have to consist of 100% new and original ideas. Hopefully this is going to be piece of cake since have been producing 14,000 word chapters that are (hopefully) filled with new insights and ideas.

As I am writing this I only have two days left at my current job. I cannot believe we are already leaving for England next week. Time sure flies when you are packing!

Unfortunately, I once more had to admit to myself that I am not superwoman. I discovered that I cannot finish everything at my current job up nicely, pack the entire house and emigrate, finish my PhD on time and lose weight. Something had to give, and I am sad to say my eating has been a bit all over the place… Over the past month or so I have gained 2 kilo’s. Yikes. Needless to say I am going to try to keep that under control since I do not want to gain any more. Ambitious? Hell yes, but apparently, that’s just how I roll.

As always, thank you for reading my dear reader. I am not sure if the next post will be before or after the move, but just in case I post it after: see you on the other side of the pond!

Advertisements

2016: what a ride

As promised, I too will dedicate a post to looking back on 2016. It really has been quite a year. I will be dividing this post into different sections, just to bring a bit of structure into this post. I will not be writing about my goals for 2017 in this post, as I plan to dedicate a separate blog post to this.

This is going to be quite a lenghty post as a lot has happened this year, so I suggest you get yourself a cup of tea, coffee or whatever other drink that helps you to relax, and sit yourself down in a comfortable chair ;).

Weight-loss

41102ce427d4f9c2345a2480e3e5f36eIn May this year I decided that it was high time that I jumped back on the weight-loss bandwagon. I had stopped watching what I was eating in December 2015 and had as a result gained about 3,5-4 of the kilo’s of what I had managed to loose in 2015. In 2015 I had started with a weight of 80 kilo’s (176 lbs) and had managed to bring it down to around 71 kg (156.5 lbs), thus loosing about 9 kilo’s (+/= 20 lbs). When I began my weight-loss journey again in 2016, I weighed about 74,4 kilo’s (164 lbs).

As those who have been following this blog for a while will know, I managed to loose the weight I had gained and more. Even though I did want to get to 68 kilo’s (+/- 150 lbs) I never actually thought this was a realistic goal… But I am proud to say that even during the crazy Christmas season I have managed to remain below that weight. For the past two months I have been hovering around the 67 kilo’s (+/- 148 lbs), which I am extremely satisfied with. I would like to get down to 66, but honestly as long as I stay around 67 I am quite happy.

As I have lost over 7 kilo’s (15,5 lbs), this also meant I went down 2 whole clothing sizes. By now I have donated, given away, sold or thrown away all of my old clothes as they were too big. And have begun to built an entirely new wardrobe. So there really is no turning back!

Project Confidence

project confidence

In June I started what I decided to call Project confidence. I was and still am quite an insecure person and realized that just loosing weight was not going to help me to gain confidence. Though it has definitely helped a lot!

One of my goals with this project was to gain back my “forever smile”. And I have definitely been smiling more. I am still working on worrying less about what people think of me, or rather, what I think people think of me, but I did not really expect to change that aspect of myself in just a few months. So yes, very much work in progress.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor tap danceI did get to a point, however, where I felt comfortable to try something I had been wanting to do for years. In September I joined a dance school that I had never been to and began taking tap dancing classes. Now this was probably one of the best decisions that I have made all year. I immediately noticed at the end of the first lesson that I felt a bit more like my old self again. Until I was about 15 years old I used to go to musical class where we would have dancing lessons every week, and I absolutely loved it. I had the exact same feeling after tap dancing. For one hour I was able to forget my problems with fatigue and was just able to focus on dancing. Now mind you, I am not particularly good at tap dancing, but I really enjoy it a lot! I always look forward to it and it is a great way to exercise!

Over the past months I really notice that I have began to smile more and to feel a lot better in my own skin. And as I have said before: weight-loss does help with this. Thanks to the amount of weight I have lost, I now own a coat that I feel absolutely fantastic in! If ever there was a coat that gave confidence, this is definitely it. Several people have told me that this really is a Mar coat… and I could not agree with them more. I am almost inclined to buy a second one, I case this one wears out haha.

Fatigue

As my trusty readers will know I have been struggling with fatigue issues for a couple of years now. This year, I was finally admitted to the hospital so that they could run some tests. It turns out that I have chronic fatigue syndrome, for which I am currently being treated by a sleep psychologist. Since I have been going to this psychologist, I have noticed a definite improvement in my energy levels.

I am currently adhering to a strict sleep schedule, have stopped working on my dissertation for at least one day a week (which is usually on Saturdays) and have been focusing less on how tired I feel. As a result, I have been able to survive a completely crazy December that was absolutely crammed to the brim with deadlines. I would not have been able to do this half a year ago, so I am really grateful. I do, however, notice that perhaps I asked a bit too mAfbeeldingsresultaat voor sleepy animeuch of myself and that I do have to take a step back now. So yes, I do need to find a better balance… And remember that I am not wonder woman. However, sometimes life just gets crazy and all you can do is to go with the flow. Here’s to hoping I won’t have a repetition of December any time soon though!

Work

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor anime peace sign

This year has been absolutely amazing when it comes to work. I was able to obtain my Prince 2 Project Management foundation and practitioner certificates, got promoted to a Senior position, was able to manage a number of IT related projects with success  AND got a permanent contract! I mean just wow… After a year with this many highs, next year is going to be such a let down haha!

PhD and research

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor anime researchMy research as certainly kept me busy this year. In July I was asked to contribute three articles to a Companion to Victorian literature and have just sent them to the editor. I have also written a book review which is to be published in the Wilkie Collins Journal. Next to this I have been working steadily on my doctoral thesis, which is due to be finished September 2017… The thought of which gives me a near panic attack as there is so much left to do! But I will write more on this in my next blog on my goals for September 2017. So stay tuned.

And you my dear? How was your 2016? Regardless of what it was like, I wish you a marvelous, healthy and lovely 2017.