October 19, 2003

Please Turn To Page 19 In Your Manual

One of the tasks I liked best in all my years at Penn was the last one I did: analyzing, describing, and codifying my job in an accessible way for my successor. The indexed section of shared hard-drive I came up with was not-so-jokingly nicknamed, "Shelley's Brain in a Box," and I KNEW that the person who came in after me was going to be in great shape. Similar to the work I did as a student computer consultant at Brown, when I wrote a "quick and easy" guide to the word processing software because I realized that I'd taught so many people how to use it that I had it down to a system. Satisfying to learn a system well enough to be able to boil it down to its essentials and teach it.

October 16, 2003

Let Me Get Back To You On That

Here's something else I really enjoy: targeted research. Loved tracking down a replacement copy of my mom's high school yearbook. Loved figuring out where I could find census-based baby name frequency information when we were expecting. Knowing that what you want is out there somewhere and then finding it. Right now I'd love to find a few more hours of sleep.

October 14, 2003

Right Hand Gal

I've been scouring my memories, thinking about all the jobs I've had and what aspects of them I truly enjoyed, looking for patterns or trends. Some of my favorite memories of my time at Brown revolve around my work with Production Workshop shows, and if I could have seen my way clear to theater being a job for grownups (somehow I just couldn't imagine that), I might be working off-Broadway right now. In the long run, though, what I think I started to learn as I stage-managed my way through school was how much I enjoyed working as someone's right hand gal. Brown was where I really started to learn to be the source of my own satisfaction. Actors get applause, directors get reviews, and stage managers... know that the show wouldn't have gone on without them. I love the feeling of having someone turn to me to ask me for something and being able to say, "Yep, did it already, you're all set." That combined feeling of quiet mastery and saving the day. Of course this only works well if you like and respect the director.

October 12, 2003

In Other News

From today's New York Times: "Nearly three years into the worst employment slump since World War II, many unemployed professionals are finding that the job networds they have been tapping are no longer producing." Great. The emotional rollercoaster ride continues.

October 01, 2003

Clunky, But Doable

Okay, I've got the iMac and the Earthlink free webdesign tool talking, sort of. Enough so that I'll be able to put up a site over at home.earthlink.net/~butwait, although it looks like I won't have graphics capability. Sigh. One of these days I'm going to buy myself some software and a little server space to call my very own.