Wednesday, November 27, 2013

You look great

Hello esteemed Listserve audience,Yet another bright-eyed American has won the Listserve lottery, but please don't make haste for the delete button! I promise not to dispense advice, ask for advice, etc.

I. Librarians
II. JFK, Bill Hicks, and history
III. A note about the author

I. Librarians
As far as I know, I am the second librarian-type person in Champaign, Illinois (the other was Nanette D., a librarian at the Champaign Public Library) to win the Listserve lottery. My friend who turned me on to the Listserve, Ellen K., is also a librarian-type person who has won the Listserve lottery, but she is no longer in Champaign.

I have worked in libraries, have a master's degree in library & information science, and am currently/desperately trying to finish my PhD in that field. I like to think of myself as a rogue librarian - I seek out or tend to attract confused-looking people on the street, in grocery stores, and, of course, the library stacks. And I love to help because that is what I see as the essential function of a librarian: helping people find what they need.

II. JFK, Bill Hicks, and history
November 22, 2013 is the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States. In the US and A this is a Very Big Deal. When I think of the JFK assassination, my first association is with the American comedian Bill Hicks (1961-1994), who said some pretty funny/irreverent things about that. He said funny and irreverent things about a lot of stuff, and I wish he were still alive to shepherd us through this sad and beautiful world.

I have a subscription to this magazine Texas Monthly, and like most mainstream periodicals it is a vehicle for advertising punctuated by the occasional article. Anyway, the editor felt the need to justify why “the national magazine of Texas” didn’t make JFK their November cover story. He wrote “Its many reverberations in American politics and society have been considered from every angle...The job of discovery and explanation has been completed.” I found this to be utterly fascinating, in that it more or less exemplifies the prevailing attitude toward the application of history specifically, and the (diminishing) role of the humanities generally. Ho hum.

III. A note about the author
I’ve been a Listserve subscriber for a while, and have wondered what I would say if I won. I came up with the content for this message just now, save for one thing: I long ago decided that if for some reason you want to contact me, I’m going to make you work for it. Sorry, it’s the librarian-cum-pedagogue in me. For that reason, I’m not leaving my email address in this message; however, if you conduct an online search for “Caroline Nappo” you will see results for a doctoral student/researcher at the University of Illinois (me) and a real estate agent based in Atlanta, Georgia (not me). Contact your local librarian for assistance if need be.

If you’ve read this far, thanks a lot. It turns out I do have one piece of advice. A dear friend says there’s only one thing you need to say to a pregnant person: “you look great.”

Very truly yours,

Champaign, Illinois, USA

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