Bookish has been rather quiet the last couple of months, and might continue to be quiet moving forward. That’s because I’m preparing for some pretty big changes in my personal life, including moving to a different country(!) and starting a master’s program.
This has been a long time in the making–I was originally going to apply to the program at the end of 2007. It was at this time total lunacy started breaking out at my former employer, and if it wasn’t directly related to my job it pretty much didn’t happen–and even if it was related to my job (like keeping mentally healthy or getting enough sleep) often it still didn’t happen. Good times.
Anyway. Between the prerequisite books I’m to read before stepping foot inside the classroom in September, boning up my Adobe skillz as required, and trying to prepare for life in a new land, it is time for Summer School at Bookish HQ. (Sadly, not the kind that includes trips to Venice Beach and a German shepherd wearing sunglasses.)
Here are the books I am currently reading, or will be reading in the next two months:
• Adobe InDesign CS4: REVEALED (It’s maaaagic!)
Last week I started an InDesign course at PCC, and we’re using this as a textbook. Interesting class. My mom and I thought we were choosing a traditional class over an online course, but our class is very non-traditional. Three classes–Intro to Word, Intro to Excel, and InDesign, are all being taught simultaneously. The textbook, in tandem with a PCC course packet, guide you through the work, and the instructor is there for support and grading. Our class time–three hours on Wednesday night and six excruciating hours on Saturday–is mostly just computer lab time. Attendance is not necessary as long as you’re getting your work done and are keeping in touch with the instructor so he knows you haven’t died. As my mom and I are sharing class materials and I was very sleep-deprived last Saturday, I spent a good portion of our class time napping on the bench outside our classroom.
• Help For Your Shy Dog
Author Deborah Wood used to write the weekly pets column for The Oregonian. Her book seems to feature mostly moral support, rather than specific practical tips, for owners of fearful dogs. While I have not yet finished the book, my faith in working with Atticus on his fear has been renewed. I also recently discovered that Rescue Remedy is actually noticeably effective, which has definitely helped Atticus during fireworks season.
Unfortunately, Wood does not cover fear aggression very much, which is Atticus’ issue when he’s around other dogs. We still even have to keep him separated from Rain, the new puppy. He’s very slowly getting over his fear of her, but he will still growl if she gets too close to him. And because she’s a rambunctious 11 9 week old puppy who doesn’t understand warning growls, she will always get too close. They remain separated for now.
• Lonely Planet Canada
About two months ago I got an email that began, “Dear International Student.” I chuckled. Yes, technically I am an international student, but not really, right?
Then a few weeks ago I was trying to wade through the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website to determine whether or not I needed to apply for a visa as a US citizen. The language was different than the legalese I was used to, and their 1-800 hotline didn’t work outside of Canada. It started hitting me: while I could be standing in the middle of Canada and not feel terribly out of my element, it turns out that yes, Canada is a different country with different laws and more confusing legalese that I don’t have a year to figure out all by myself. Now I assume that the International Student Office is going to be one of my best allies during the next two years.
Now that I have a new perspective, I need to study up. Lonely Planet guides have a great reputation for travelers trying to immerse themselves someplace else. The edition I have is not the latest, but I’ve had it for five years and it’s a good start that I don’t have to pay $26.99 to read. At some point I may also get Lonely Planet Vancouver and use them both for reference.
• Editing Canadian English
Humble Canadians to the core, the authors have chosen to write a book of suggestions rather than edicts. As Canadian English is usually a mid-point between British and American English, there is a lot of disagreement even between Canadian dictionaries on spellings, uses of hyphens on compounded words, etc. Although I love style guides and this is a prerequisite book, it stirs up my fears about looking stupid by unknowingly messing up some Canadian English. Fortunately, I can switch my Mac’s default dictionary to the Canadian one–I hope this will help avoid embarrassing situations.
A favorite quote so far: “Henry Fowler declared that American and British English should not be mixed, an injunction that must leave Canadians speechless.” –Peter Sypnowich
• A Confederacy of Dunces
“Like a bitch in heat, I seem to attract a coterie of policemen and sanitation officials. ”
Right now I have six boxes of books behind me, waiting to be sold back to Powell’s. The more books I get rid of, the harder it is to weed more out. My beloved set of David Sedaris books is going–serious sacrifices are now being made in my earnest effort to lighten the load.
A Confederacy of Dunces is only the second book to be fished out of the box. While I can easily get it from one of the great libraries I’ll have access to, there’s something to be said for being able to pull it out at any time for a comedy break.
• Publishing for Profit
If I’m to become a media magnate in just two short years (please note: this is not my goal), I need to know big business. What would Rupert Murdoch do? Already I’ve observed how PCC, with my InDesign class, is adopting a corporate model by minimizing expenditures and maximizing profit. But how can I be the front-runner in all things profitable when I believe that minimizing expenditures also leads to poor work quality–something I abhor?
While I do not wish to become more evil, I do hope to learn some successful business tactics reading this book. As a non-profit veteran, I definitely need to be schooled on capitalism. Right now, I’m not buying it. (Literally–ha!)
• Book Publishing I
Published by the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing at Simon Fraser University. A book of articles by students of the MPub program about various aspects of publishing.
•Basic Marketing: A Global Managerial Approach
A textbook about marketing. While I am excited to learn more about marketing, the 900 pages are putting me off a bit. While this is an older edition, I also suspect some new topics, such as marketing via social networking sites, will not be covered. Bummer.
• Essentials of Accounting (Workbook)
If you know me well, you know that math-like subjects are not my forte. You may also know that when I am dreading something, I tend to put it off as long as possible. (Infer your own conclusions from the placement of this title.)
That’s the list. I’ve got two months to read five textbooks, get through my InDesign class, secure my student loans, find a place for Atticus and I to live in another country that doesn’t seem to have a lot of dog-friendly housing, and then pack up all my stuff and move there.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to go take some valium…