Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Project 52 - Week 6

Week 6 had some ups and downs. I managed to accomplish all my weekly goals (cook, post, pay attention politically, write to Katie, buy flowers), with the exception of #10 - Walk/Exercise 3 times per week. In addition to some icy weather, my back condition took a serious turn for the worse and I was hardly able to walk around my house, let alone go for a real walk outside on the icy roads. The good news is that after seeing the chiropractor three times, I was able to get out and take a walk on Sunday. And I'm happy to say I'm feeling much better. So hopefully this week will be a lot better. *fingers crossed*

And I really rocked one of my weekly goals - #30, Pay attention to local politics. Education is a hot issue in RI now. About a year and a half ago the state hired a new, no nonsense Commissioner of Education - Deborah Gist. You may even have heard of her last spring when RI made the national news when the entire teaching staff of one low performing school was fired. Anyway, most regular people in RI are big fans of Gist and she has folk hero status for her unwavering efforts to improve education in RI. Of course, the teacher's unions are not big fans. And, in case you didn't know, RI politics are pretty much run by the unions. Anyway, last night Gist visited our town and gave a talk and a Q&A session at our local HS, which I attended. I am even more impressed now. And I'm sure to pay extra close attention to the issue of education now that we have a new governor and a newly appointed Board of Regents. Hopefully, Commissioner Gist will get the support she needs to continue her Herculean efforts. I have my doubts.

I also completed one of my monthly goals last week - #31 Watch one Netflix movie per month. Geoff and I watched Nowhere Boy, a British biopic of the early life of John Lennon. It was a very good movie, both enlightening and moving. If you have any interest in Lennon or the formation of The Beatles I recommend it.

And most exciting to me (since I love to cross things off of lists) is that I completed one of my one time goals - #19 Visit one new to me library in RI. This one happened by serendipity. I had placed a hold a book I needed for my book club meeting quite a while ago. And as sometimes happens, it just never came. Finally, in desperation I decided to just find out which libraries own the book and go get it. It just so happened that the closest library that had the book available was the Mount Pleasant branch of the Providence Public Library. I Googled it and since it was only 25 minutes away, I decided to make the trip. It may as well have been in a different world. As I got closer and closer to the library, the neighborhood got dicier and dicier. I began to wonder if I had made a mistake in venturing into this neighborhood. When I pulled up to the library, I was disheartened to see the worn out and dreary looking building. It made me feel sad. I wondered what I would encounter when I entered the building. The first thing I noticed as I entered the small, separate foyer was that the posters and bulletins were all in Spanish and English. That got me wondering. How many non-English speaking people actually use the library? I figured the place would be deserted and barely hanging on to life. Boy, was I ever wrong! The library consisted of one large room, separated into different areas by the placement of tables, sofas and book cases. The staff was bright and cheerful. And the place was packed!!! It was humming with activity and life. People of all ages were looking for books, using the computers, sitting at tables and quietly interacting with each other. And then it hit me. The Mount Pleasant library is a vibrant and integral part of the Mount Pleasant neighborhood. I was thrilled to witness this. The library my have been furnished with shabby and scarred furniture, the DVD collection might have been a little thin and the books were a little worse for wear, but this particular library was full of life. It was living, breathing, organic part of this community. I wish I could say the same for the small library where I work. It makes me wonder - what exactly is it that makes one library so much more alive than another? I don't have an answer, but the Mount Pleasant Library is doing something right.

*As soon as I stepped out of my car, I wished I had my camera with me. Instead, I've added some photos that I found on the I {Heart} Rhody blog.


boliyou said...

Ooo, thank you for using my shots. It's a nice little library with some good history. So glad it could help with your goals.

Also, it's about 15 minutes from my place - we must be neighbors!

Anonymous said...

You're doing great with your Project.

I've really gotten into using the library during the last couple of years. I've saved so much money that way.

Katherine said...

You're doing great!

Our library is definitely a huge part of our community. I love going there.

Miss Lady Grey said...

I should get out walking more myself. And, I don't even have weather as an excuse (not snowing or icey here, just rain).
You are doing great with your goals! The pics of the library prove it though... you are a true book-worm, aren't you? Your blog is inspiration to me to read more, and to visit my local library... not something I usually do. Thanks!

Sue Jackson said...

Hmmm...I think I somehow missed your earlier posts on Project 52, but it sounds a lot like my annual goal-setting process, too. What a great idea to post your progress - that's some good motivation!

I'm trying, but somehow, emergencies and urgencies keep eating up my time each week.

I enjoyed reading about your experience at the new library - how wonderful that it was such an integral part of the community!

Glad your back is feeling better -


Gail said...

It looks a lot like the library at the middle school Eric went to (where Maia will be next year)! Contests on all the success with your project....sorry to hear about your back.

Sandy said...

I have been watching Gist's activity in the state and I am impressed by how strong she is in the face of some pretty daunting conditions.

And that's great news about the Mt. Pleasant library.

Terra said...

WOW! you are doing great with all these goals, even pushing past your personal boundaries and doing something potentially scary that turned out great! I am sorry to hear about your back - that can really drag you down - to have accomplished as much as you did while having pain is not to be laughed. So you didn't walk. There is always next week!

Jennee said...

Wow, that's a nice library! I'm a fan of libraries. I really ought to go to mine a little more often. You're doing great and I think I need to look into this John Lennon movie...sounds interesting.

Karen Peterson said...

I have a feeling Ms. Gist is going to find herself running the US Department of Education one of these days.

I just recently got my first library card in years. I'm so glad I did. The library I went to was a little rundown, but packed to the gills inside. I loved it and I plan to spend more time there.


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