I'd like to take a little bit of time on this blog to say thank you to something that completely changed my life. First a big thank you to Colleen Frakes, without whom I predict I would have had a miserable year struggling with my thesis in a job that I hated more than just about anything I've ever done. One day, while complaining about my old job, she emailed me a job description that sounded too good to be true. Her email basically said 'Not sure about the Conservation aspect of this, but you have the book binding skills! Go for it!' And with that, I flung all of my hope and best efforts into the smallest basket and forced my way into the hearts of what I now lovingly think about as Preservation Services at Dartmouth College.
My supervisor, Barb, still talks about how one week after my application was in I started calling her. And she really liked that iniciative (THANKS ALEC LONGSTRETH FOR PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES TIPS!). And before I knew it, I was laying on the floor of the Senior Studio, kicking my feet in the air while Ben Ho, Josh Kray, and Patty Mac all looked on with a 'she-does-this-all-the-time' air. With that, I said a fond farewell to the time I used to know as "sleeping" and began a full time job while being a full time Graduate Student. At first it was really hard to stay awake at certain parts of the day, but the kinds of unbelievable work I was able to do kept blowing my mind.
I've handled 14th Century Book of Hours... I've touch an item worth more than ten thousand dollars... My name is in dozens of books sewn into new cases throughout the Dartmouth Library System... I've personally made a dent in both the Readex Project's Serial Set books AND the Dartmouth Gazette, both of which date back to the early eighteen hundreds... And that's pretty much the 'boring' parts of my job!
I really can't even express how much I have fallen in love with the people here. They are by FAR the most talented, insightful, caring and fascinating group of people who work so hard together and who really care about books. I feel quite honored to have been a part of this great family and my heart feels so heavy that I won't be able to see them everyday. Since when was caring about this job part of the description?!
I am so overwhelmed at all the farewells I have to give and this one is really quite difficult. I hope you guys don't forget me, because I sure as shootin' won't forget you. I'm going to keep watching that blog, so ya'll better update! When I'm on my world famous book-tour, you bet Dartmouth Pres Lab will be a prime stop. Keep your eyes on the HB for postcards from the BH.
I love you all very very much, Deborah, Stephanie, Helen, Barb, John (in ref), Brian and Elizabeth... Thank you for the best 9 months of my life.