Redeeming Information in an Information Age

As longtime, meticulously-detailed readers of the Wheelhouse know, I’m currently getting my masters in Library and Information Science. And it’s great! The degree is essentially concerned with how we create, store, access, share, and change information. This is a big endeavor. In this digital age, we are creating and consuming a ridiculous amount of data. Some estimate that we create as much information in two days as we did during the history of human civilization up until 2003. It’s astounding. I’m learning so much, and am looking forward to contributing to the field in terms of how we interact with and use information.

It boggles the mind. From mashable.com

Perhaps what has been the most disappointing part in my work over the past year, though, is the ambivalence people have toward the information in their lives. We are living in the information age, but are choosing to ignore the impact this information is having on us. It’s quite often taken for granted, and is usually only noticed during a security breach or hack into a major corporation.

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The Return of the Prodigal (New Yorker)

The sky was a perfect autumn blue–bright and crisp looking, not hazy with humidity or grey and pregnant with clouds as it is in late fall. Still, there were clouds, but those beautiful wispy kind that seem like cotton-candy, dazzling white against the blue backdrop. I broke one of my cardinal rules when in New York and I took out my phone and snapped a picture. It was just too beautiful to ignore.

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Photo credit: Juliet Vedral

That beautiful fall day felt like a moment of détente after a three-year battle that had raged between my hometown and me. Somewhere in the spring of 2011 all the sights and sounds and people went from being attractions to being distractions. There was too much to see, but never any time to see it, noise all the time, constant buzzing, roaring, honking, raging, and crashing, and too many people–all the people–people around everywhere and any time. After three decades of New York, I was done. Continue reading

Five Reasons I Love Fall– Especially This Year

Once I crossed the threshold of a school’s doors for the last time as a student (at the ripe old age of twenty-eight), a change overcame me. No longer was my favorite season represented by the hottest temperatures, longest days, and least amount of homework. I shifted my focus to a previously spurned time of year–a time of dwindling daylight, falling leaves, and cozy sweaters. AND BOOTS! (Along with decreased homework, the last decade of autumns have meant increased age and, therefore, sartorial comfort. Outerwear, thou art my friend.)

Three years ago, I was heavily pregnant during the fall. I decorated my belly for Halloween and hefted my growing weight around the kitchen, baking bread and nesting. Our son was born in early December of 2011. The singular benefit of that timeline for me was that I was not large and in charge during a Southeastern summer. This year, however, I type these words in September on a laptop propped against a gyrating belly. I suffered the summer months with barely-there dignity, the humidity and my contractions peaking way too often, and now that the weather is cooling and my girth nearly done expanding, I’m thinking more than ever about the benefits of fall. Especially for a woman about to give birth. Join me as I frantically talk myself into looking forward to this season’s offerings! Continue reading

The Church Giggle

The Church Giggle was an expert villain. It started quiet, tiptoeing tactfully in the shadows, then struck swiftly, leaving no survivors in its wake.

I sat next to my sister, Emily, in a wooden pew, our crisp skirts folded around our knees. We had shared our moments of brief giggles during church services in the past, but this morning we were determined to behave. We would be tranquil, attentive, and wholesome. We would prove to ourselves that we were mature 20-some-year-olds that didn’t laugh at childish things.

During the first half hour of the service, Emily snorted a nasally laugh out of the blue. I reprimanded her with large eyes and a slap on the knee. “Stay strong,” I whispered, and she pulled herself together. I sighed with relief, thinking we were in the clear. But little did we know that The Church Giggle had already targeted us as victims. Continue reading