Friday, November 22, 2013

Bruce Back On-Line - Starting a New Job


Dear Gentle Reader of This Blog,

I was hired as Systems Librarian at Dine College, up on the Navajo Reservation.  I started the job on November 11th, and left Lawrence, Kansas November 8th.  While back in Tucson, Little Egypt sent me word about a job up there in Navajo Country, so like all the other scores of jobs I applied for this past year, I hammered out the application, sent in the resume, and waited for the email form-letter type response from some HR Associate saying I was not being considered - if even that...

After a year of applying for jobs as a librarian, I found myself now with two job offers.  One back in Kansas (it would be just a half-time cataloger) and then another from Dine College.  

So, I am preparing to drive back to Kansas from Tucson- I have a phone interview with some great folks from Ottawa University in Ottawa, KS - about 25 miles from Lawrence.  I like them and they seem to like me - believe me after working with some pretty shitty people, mainly in academic libraries, I can pretty much sniff out the losers/the library and their staff that suck.  But this time I was talking to some real professionals - it was a relief!

They wanted me I was pretty sure, because the library director said she wanted to meet me and see if when I met them - we could make something work.  This was a bit different I thought - also the library director was South African, so maybe they do things a bit differently there.  Okay - cool.

For the Dine College job, I started emailing and calling the director - to put out some feelers, and to let him know that I was in Arizona, and if I was being considered as a candidate, I'd come by the college up there and check it out.

Well, people weren't going to be interviewed until late October the Library Director told me.  So I was on my way and thought I really didn't have a chance anyhow.  As I was driving home, almost to Hatch, New Mexico (which means I was a good day's drive into my trip back to KS) I get a call from HR saying that my interview for the position was to be in a few days...

HR people, no matter from what company or what organization - are retarded

I'm at Dine College as Systems Librarian because the HR Rep from Ottawa University (also retarded) fucked up some paper work - delaying me actually signing the dotted line to work at OU there in Kansas  - I was offered the job back in Arizona - more money, full-time, and a good position for a librarian with my skills - so I accepted the Dine College job, and sent a quick email to Ottawa saying I changed my mind.

See I had told Dine College that had they called me just a day earlier, I would have driven up to Tsaile, up in the Four Corners Region, and interviewed.  Now I was back in Kansas and I didn't have the money (I didn't mes amis...) to turn around and make a trip back even if I wanted to - so I declined an interview.  The Library Director worked it out so I could have a phone interview - so what the heck, okay that's good for me.  

And while waiting for Ottawa paperwork so I could officially start there, I was offered the job at The College.

Yeah, I had moving adventures - packing my shit up and maxing out my credit cards on hotel and gas - but I made it, Gentle Readers of This Blog! I made it!



My last night in Lawrence, KS - at the bike shop to get spare parts.


The Library, and my new office!


You must know Gentler Reader, that one big deciding factor taking this job in rural Arizona, is that the Navajo Nation-Dine College provided me with free housing!  Here's my trailer - TS-39, a small but pretty much brand new trailer.  I feel very lucky, and I am grateful to the Nation for this!

The trailer park and TS-39 are just about a mile from the Library, so as you can see, the Desert San Campus Bike is back in service!  The trailer park is for faculty and staff that work at The College, as everyone calls it around here.  Gas, food, everything out here is expensive - and its a long drive.  To save gas, plus since I've spent almost every penny I have to get up here for the job, I bike in to save precious fuel.


As always, click on the photos to get a bigger image of them mes amis.  So here after the first week I went out on the Desert San for a look around - wow is what I said too!

To see where I live, you need to Google Dine College - and to get a better feel as well, Google Canyon de Chelly.  I live about 30 miles from Canyon de Chelly Nat'l Monument.  Tsaile, Arizona is on the east end of the canyon, and Chile, Arizona is on the western side.  The road to Chinle from Tsaile is wide and a good road to bike on.  I'm sure when the time comes you'll see many photos of the canyon, the Visitor's Center - and all the sights in between!

I've brought the Mighty Trek and when I can (snow here now, Gentle Reader) we'll be back on the roads in Arizona!

Okay, so I ride down to Tsaile Lake, about a mile from the campus.  Tsaile is part of some words that The People use to describe the water and the sounds it makes coming down the mountains (Chuska Mtns) which forms the lake.  The lake waters flow down into where starts not far from these photos the eastern boundry of Canyon de Chelly.


That is Tsaile Peak on the left, and over on the right, Black Pinnacle.  It is a cool crisp afternoon as well, mes amis...


Up until about two years ago, a lot of the campus roads were like this!  This road will take you about 20 miles down to part of Canyon de Chelly, but then it ends.  Only a few people live out here, and there is no back road to get to Chinle, or so The People tell me - the problem is, they say, you would have to climb down into the canyon, and then climb out - which is impossible.


The Navajo way of seeing the world, living within it, and with a balance of Harmony, Reverence, and Humility, is something I'm trying to get my head around.  There is Purity on many levels here, and you can feel it in every breath you take - yet every single road sign, stop sign, billboard, everywhere you go - every inch of it - is "tagged" or  taken with blight, or the Other...  

What is Beauty?  What is Evil?  What is Wealth?  What is Poverty?  Would you see The People as poor compared to your material wealth?  Or would you see them as The People who live in the Mind of The Creator?


Tsaile Peak reflected in Tsaile Lake...


Another shot of Black Pinnacle - pretty much I'm just trying to get a feel as to where I am - you know it's a very primal thing - like being born again and waking up for the first time ; here I AM - where am I?  That is there, and this is there - that is over there... so I am in the world!


Some Navajo people I work with say, oh yes, you can go up there and get on top - you'll have to do some climbing!


That Arizona Sun, mes amis!  I think approving of my arrival into this country...


This is the fitness trail that you can take around the campus - people will run and walk, later ski in the winter.  This is up closer where my trailer TS 39 is and the campus are situated.


I need to get home as the Sun is going down quickly!  Here's the Library where I work.  We're at 7200 feet and I have to say that I can tell the altitude is having an effect on me - the roads I'm on are a bit hilly and I found myself out of breath often.  The first week I found I got tired quickly.


If by chance you are a reader of this blog, Gentle Reader, and you find yourself out this way, please do stop in and say hello.  I can offer you a place to stay - a floor at least, and of course a hot meal and a place to rest.  If you have your bikes, want to hike, or see The College - I will be happy to be your host.  My hope is that soon I'll know my way around - by bike, car, and by foot - so I can help you in any way I can.

Because my Internet is so slow - or sometimes it doesn't even work.  I'll probably have to write the blog off-line and then from work when I have a bit of time, up load everything.

Cheers!  Bruce

1 comment:

Big Oak said...

Good luck with your new position in Arizona. I'm looking forward to seeing photos from your upcoming bike journeys.

At that elevation, you are going to become one tough biker!