Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Update - New Job

I'm really sorry I haven't been writing lately. I've been busy. To make a long story short, after a week on/week off with the new job/old job, I'm now with the new job permanently as of the 19th. I love it! So happy I moved on.

I'm on the computer non stop at the NJ and quite frankly don't really want to leave 8+ hours of all-out computer work to come home and...get on the computer again. I'm sure you understand. So, probably the posts will be thin for a while.

We've also been having computer upgrades here at the house, so one computer was away and the other wasn't working properly, then vice-versa. All is well now, though. We hope.

Anyway, NJ. I've had two trainings via phone now and due to that can do most of what needs done with the job for now. Primarily, I manage the databases of users that are supposed to receive our materials. There are over 91oo users in one DB and over 34000 users in the other. I am supposed to be growing both of these databases at the same time I'm to be updating their information. It is quite a task.

The problem comes in that the person I'm replacing did a no-notice self termination. She just didn't come in. So, a LOT of things are left undone in the middle of projects, and we have no idea what she was doing. Most of them, though, are not pressing. So at least that's something.

I'm getting along swimmingly with my sole coworker/manager. I'm very glad about this. I'm also being treated like a human by the feds, which is a real switch from the OJ. I am also impressed with the new company. The previous company I worked for was run by incompetent single-cell life compared to the new one.

I will also be sent away for some more training within the year, possibly a few. One I am quite looking forward to. I was issued a govt laptop today, I hope to get the training on how to hook it up to my home network this week sometime. In this way, I will be able to put out the unclassified but sensitive information that we occasionally put out to the people who need it. With the laptop, I will also be able to work from home during the next blizzard we experience. Hallelujah.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Things I'll Miss About the Old Job

There are a lot of things I WON'T miss, but there are some things I will.

Of the many strange titles in the library's unique collection, this was my favorite

I'll miss working one-on-one with the students. Yes, the are mostly firefighters and no, I don't mean *THAT* kind of one-on-one....although some of my coworkers did. Ahem. I'll miss getting snowed in, and all the funny pictures that used to show up.

Maureen, the spider who lived outside my window

Oh, and let's not forget the strange dreams.

Paper-wrapped leg of lamb on my desk

I'll miss the beautiful interior with the columns and huge windows. I'll still have the gorgeous campus, though.

I'll get some pictures from my new building sometime soon.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mysterious Ways

I have 4 days of New Job under my belt. I think it is going to work out fine. It is VERY different than my old job. It is wonderful. And I enjoy my lone coworker a lot. The feds there treat us like humans, which is a weird feeling.

I wanted to talk a bit about how this happened, because it is strange.

About 2.5-3 weeks ago, I was angry, frustrated, sad, depressed, and while I was looking forward to our government-enforced week off from work (the library shuts down 4 weeks a year and we have the option to take unemployment, vacation, or leave without pay), I was still unhappy with the job and wanted a new one. Desperately.

I am not a religious person. Spiritual, maybe. Not religious. I tend to feel the universe works in its own way and you and I have no control over it. I also tend to think most of the time we get in our own way. I know I do.

I was watering the garden one evening, the sun had gone down, I was feeling down, and I was thinking about where I was in life and where I wanted to be (I have no clue) and I knew I wasn't making any headway on my own and whatever path I was looking for I just couldn't see. I could feel very strongly that thing had come to an impasse. There was nothing I could do at this point.

So, I gave up.

And I sighed and said (outloud, mind you): "OK. It's all yours. I don't know what I'm doing. If there is a path I'm supposed to be on, show it to me. If there is a teacher supposed to come into my life, bring them. Let's go."

Now, I have said these words before, but to be honest I didn't really mean them. This time, I meant every word.

And a week later, there it was. It is also not lost on me that this is the second time the same opportunity has fallen into my lap.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

New Job!!!!


It is the same position that I interviewed and talked about here. What a difference a year makes! The woman that did get hired went to Colorado a week or so ago....and decided not to come back. Her husband (who also works on campus as a fed) was left with breaking the news and turning in her key and badge. Additionally, she had the government laptop with her in Colorado. So. Not good. I cant' imagine leaving someone in the lurch like that.

Anyway, I was the next on the list last year so they called me on Tuesday, I had an interview on Wednesday, and they made an offer on Thursday. Very quick, I feel like I've been run over by a truck. I gave notice to my current job last Thursday.

This week, the library is closed and I'm taking vacation time, so I actually started my new job this week for 4 days. Next week (12th-16th) I'm working at the library again, then I start permanently with the new job on Monday the 19th.

I'll write more about the job later, but for now you can check out the website here. There is a brochure here.

I will be more MIA here until everything gets squared away. We are well, but stressed a bit.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Gettysburg, July 1 – My Family

Matt and I recently started watching the movie Gettysburg again. Coincidentally, it happens to be right about the same time that almost 150 years ago, the troops would have been converging on the town. I haven’t watched the movie in a long time. We made it through almost 2 hours of it last night, and it made me incredibly sentimental. So, I thought I’d do a series of three or four posts about what it is like growing up in an Extremely Historical Town. I’m not going to talk much about the battle itself, so many hundreds of thousands of people have already talked ad nauseum about the battle, tactics, etc. You don’t need to hear it from me.

Today, I’ll talk about my family history in the town. Tomorrow, I’ll talk about growing up here. Saturday, I’ll talk about the filming of the movie. Sunday I probably won’t talk about anything, as I’ll be on my way to Lancaster for a family get-together.

So, my family history in Gettysburg. My mother is the Keeper of the Genealogy for the family but, to be honest, I don’t know a lot of it as perfectly as I could. I know stories, and I know names, but I can’t place them on a tree very well without a lot of thought and considering. And besides, you don’t need to know the specifics so I won’t bother.

Suffice it to say my mother’s family was living in Gettysburg at the time of the battle and had been since the 1700s. They were German, and we have a lot of Millers, Kitzmillers, Garlachs, Mumpers, etc, in the family. Which is great fun when you’re talking about Great Grandmother Kitzmiller Miller.

I had two GGGGrandfathers that were in the civil war. One of them was in (I believe) the Battle of Chancellorsville which was in May of that year. He was shot in the gut. He lay on the field for a couple days, holding himself together (I'll let you imagine that, I won't go into details). The wagons came by to collect the dead for burial and he moved. They took him to a hospital where he actually lived and recupirated until the middle of June when they decided to send him home. You know, to the nice, quiet, pastoral Northern town of Gettysburg. Nothing going on up there, after all! Geesh. Right before the battle.

Gettysburg was a small town even then, but if you look at a map it is a hub of crossroads. They liken it to a wagon wheel. Most of my family lived in town, but some lived south of town. Most people don’t realize that the Confederate troops came into town from the West and North, while the Union troops came from the South of town. When the Union filed past my family’s houses outside of town, my ancestors skipped out very fast. I can’t blame them. When one family came home, they found a soldier dead at their kitchen table, shot through the back. He’d been in the process of writing a letter to home. We don’t know any more if the soldier was a Yankee or a Rebel, and we don’t have the letter….but we still have the table with the bullet intact.

Like I said, most of my family lived in town, and the Garlachs lived on Baltimore Street. A lot of people don’t really realize that the battle took over the town and the surrounding farm fields. It is a local joke that tourists will ask (and it does happen!) “Where is the battlefield?” as if they are expecting you to point them to a football field-sized fenced in area. But generally the reply is “You’re standing on it.” Because you always are.

Also, the 1-2 day of the battle was rough for the Union and they were forced to retreat from the West side of town THROUGH TOWN to the south side, where they regrouped. So, the entire Union army fled past the Garlach house, and that area of town was a hotbed for sharp shooters and snipers throughout the rest of the battle.

Anna Garlach was my Great Great Grandmother, and was about 18 at the time of the battle. Her father was a cabinet maker and was born in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany. This website has a wonderful description of what happened at the Garlach house during the battle, and we have these same stories as well as a hand-written account that have been passed down through the generations, too. There is also a picture of my GGGGrandparents, Catharine and Henry.

The best story, I think, was when Anna went out to slop the pigs and found Union Brigadier-General Alexander Schimmelfennig hiding in the pig shed. He had been cut off from the rest of the Union Army during the retreat and if he’d been caught he’d been killed. So, he hid. I would have, too. Anna fed and watered him and kept it quiet, and he eventually snuck back to the Union lines a couple days later.

After the battle, the heat was said to be incredible and I can’t imagine what town must have smelled like. Everyone in town helped find and care for the wounded and collect and bury the bodies. I don’t think any of us can imagine this. I hope we never know it first-hand. No stories were passed down about this part of the battle.

Only one civilian was killed in town, her name was Jennie Wade. She was at her sister’s house caring for her and the newborn baby when she was struck by a stray minie ball. After the battle, her sister sold the house and part of my family bought it. They lived in one half of it for the next 50 or so years, and my grandmother and her twin brother were born there in 1899. Sometime thereafter, it was turned into a museum and my family ran that for another 50 years.