File Reading is FUNdamental…

Monday, January 28, 2013 by Raissa

A note about the title: If you’ve been to a library in California, you’ve probably seen the poster campaign “Reading is FUNdamental.”

 

Students and parents tend to be curious about what file reading means.  I thought about a few ways of showing you all how file reading happens:

1) An audio file of all the things I mutter as I read a file.  This seemed passe and could easily be taken out of context.  When I yell out “seriously” that could be a really good thing or a really bad one.

2) A video of me reading a file. This was easy to rule out. I’m not quite ready to be filmed in my pajamas. Yes, we sometimes read in our pajamas. Usually we are in our homes in pajamas.

3) A collection of photos and descriptions.  I hope this satisfies your curiosity.

 

Day 1

It takes a long time to get into a groove during file reading.  We typically read for 8-10 hours a day, if not more.  During file reading, you continue your normal office projects and responsibilities and read files along the way. The upside is that you often get to work from home.

Woke up early to start, drank lots of water, and my station was fairly ergonomically sound.
Woke up early to start file reading, drank lots of water, and my station was fairly ergonomically sound.

 

This year I have a better chair and I still read with my trusty Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones (it's now 7 years old).
This year I have a better chair and I still read with my trusty Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones (it’s now 7 years old).

 

 Week 2

My plan of staying home and going caffeine free gets foiled. I get tired and my back and neck started to hurt, so much for that better chair. I also got cabin fever.

My attempt at a standing work station. Notice that its darker, I'm drinking coffee and I have to use boxes to raise my keyboard and mouse. (I knew I kept those around for a reason). Not pictured is the gel mat I stole from my kitchen.
My attempt at a standing work station. Notice that its darker, I’m drinking coffee and I have to use boxes to raise my keyboard and mouse. (I knew I kept those around for a reason). Not pictured is the gel mat I stole from my kitchen.

 

I decide to leave my home and read elsewhere.

In my neighborhood there are a many options.  Here are a few of my gift cards and frequent visitor cards.
In my neighborhood there are a many options. Here are a few of my gift cards and frequent visitor cards.

 

My workstation at a local bubble tea place.  The guy next to me was watching Day [9] videos.
My workstation at a local bubble tea place. The guy next to me was watching Day [9] videos.
 

It’s really awesome when you find a coffee shop with reliable wi-fi. It makes connecting to HMC’s VPN smoother.  I tried to do this at the library.

I stared at this screen for a "few" minutes. If you can' t read it, it says "Application Server is initializing...Please wait this may take a few minutes." It turns out my local library doesn't like it when you use their wi-fi to VPN elsewhere. I was not happy with this explanation.
I stared at this screen for a “few” minutes. If you can’ t read it, it says “Application Server is initializing…Please wait this may take a few minutes.” It turns out my local library doesn’t like it when you use their wi-fi to VPN elsewhere. I was not happy with this explanation.

 

So I went home and drank from my trusty ARML coffee mug.

Here's my ARML mug.  I also decided to move to the dining table and out of my home office.
Here’s my ARML mug. I also decided to move to the dining table and out of my home office.

 

Week 3 

Today’s the first day of week 3.  I’m getting lonely so I invited myself over to read with some graduate school friends.  Hooray for PhD candidates who spend the bulk of their time reading too.

Preeti hard at work and Wendi "reading" on the couch.
Preeti hard at work and Wendi “reading” on the couch.

 

Today's sunset from their rooftop.
Today’s sunset from their rooftop.

 

Sometimes I manage to make time to do something fun

Reading files can be taxing, sometimes I just want to have fun. To escape file reading, I decided to go to the bookstore.  A little ironic, I know.

The Last Bookstore in Downtown LA. Awesome place.
The Last Bookstore in Downtown LA. Awesome place.

 

Downstairs they have new books, gently used books, a records section, a space for public readings, and sometimes a coffee shop (it has weird hours).
Downstairs they have new books, gently used books, a music section (as in LPs), a space for public readings, and sometimes a coffee shop (it has weird hours).

 

Upstairs is more awesome than downstairs.  Each book is a dollar.  That’s right just 4 quarters, 10 dimes, 2 half dollars, 100 pennies or 20 nickels, plus tax.

One shelf out of multiple color coded shelves of works of fiction.
One shelf out of many that contained  color coded works of fiction.

 

They have a sci-fi vault. Not just books but fun junk, I mean fun looking projects inside.
They have a sci-fi vault. Not just books but fun junk. I mean fun looking projects inside.

 

My favorite is the book tunnel.
My favorite is the book tunnel. It connects the sci-fi vault to the color coded bookshelves.

 

I managed to walk away with only a few books.  I just finished Susan Cain's, "Quiet: The Power of Introverts" and needed some after file reading, reading.
I managed to walk away with only a few books. I just finished Susan Cain’s, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts” and needed some after file reading, reading. I’m done with the first two.  The bottom two will keep me occupied for awhile.

 

File reading is full of lessons. These are the ones I’ve remembered so far:

1) Stop writing long emails to coworkers. They don’t want to read more than they have to. (Sorry folks)

2) I love making a well argued point.

3) Nine years later, I still feel bad about voting deny.

4) Coffee does not equal energy. Instead I should work out.

5) On a related note, the gym is empty  at 6 am and at 2 pm.

6) Last but not least, dogs have feelings too.

I agreed to dog sitting yesterday.  This is my friends' dog not understanding why everyone left for dim sum and why we're stuck at home reading files.
I agreed to dog sitting yesterday. This is my friend’s dog not understanding why everyone left for dim sum and why we were stuck at home reading files. My friend was nice enough to bring me leftovers but none for Gizmo.

 

Note: I was due for a blog post last week but couldn’t resist waiting for a chance to take a picture of Gizmo.