change

“If Librarians Were Honest…”

alphabooksIn honor of Banned Books Week, I have been thinking a lot about books mean to me and what it would be like to not be able to ever read certain ones again. A book is a powerful thing, it can offer new ideas, allow empathy to bloom, and shed light in inner emotions and connections. Which leads me back to a poem that I’ve been meaning to publish on here for awhile.

It describes exactly the way I feel about a book, any book, all books. How they change and impact you, how they can alter your perceptions and expand your world. There are few things in this world that have that capability, to have such a profound ability to kill you where you stand and raise you from the depths of your personal hell. They can make you laugh, cry, cringe, dissolve, reform, rave, rant, become more determined and understanding, waste an entire day, drink three cups of tea, fall off your chair, ignore the world around you.


If Librarians Were Honest – Joe Mills

If librarians were honest,

they wouldn’t smile, or act

welcoming. They would say,

You need to be careful. Here

be monsters. They would say,

These rooms house heathens

and heretics, murderers and

maniacs, the deluded, desperate,

and dissolute. They would say,

These books contain knowledge

of death, desire, and decay,

betrayal, blood, and more blood;

each is a Pandora’s box, so why

would you want to open one.

They would post danger

signs warning that contact

might result in mood swings,

severe changes in vision,

and mind-altering effects.

If librarians were honest

they would admit the stacks

can be more seductive and

shocking than porn. After all,

once you’ve seen a few

breasts, vaginas, and penises,

more is simply more,

a comforting banality,

but the shelves of a library

contain sensational novelties,

a scandalous, permissive mingling

of Malcolm X, Marx, Melville,

Merwin, Millay, Milton, Morrison,

and anyone can check them out,

taking them home or to some corner

where they can be debauched

and impregnated with ideas.

If librarians were honest,

they would say, No one

spends time here without being

changed. Maybe you should

go home. While you still can. 

(Source: http://www.libraryasincubatorproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Mills_If_Librarians_Were_Honest.pdf)

Original Work Friday: More

I’m not the girl I used to be;

stronger in some ways,

weaker in others.

Old cracks have been repaired

while new ones split wide open.

The past has an impact,

it filters through time;

there is no escape

but I decide how to handle it,

to let it influence or ignore.

The future is now,

no time like the present

to become who I want to be

and to stay who I am,

to know my own worth.

I will still make mistakes,

I will still stumble and second-guess,

but I am in charge of my fate

and I have learned from before.

I am more than I was.

katME

Song of Myself

tbc

I too watched “The Breakfast Club” last night on ABCFamily and as always, some new thought strikes me while I view. I cringe and laugh in equal measure and even cry alongside the characters, re: Johnson asking about what happens on Monday.

This time, it made me reflect back on my own formative high school years and how often I judge the generation that is now in those shoes. What stories and secrets are hiding behind the smiles and the cell phones? How has the world changed in terms of how people relate since I was in high school less than a decade ago?

So when I saw this post by Slightly Chic, I thought it would be a good time to evaluate who I think I am and who I thought I would become back in high school.

If you had asked my high school freshman self where I thought I would be in 10 years (holy crap, has it really been that long?!), I probably would have said something about living in California, maybe in med school, maybe living in a house on the ocean.

If you had asked my high school senior self where I thought I would in 2014, I would probably have said that I would be married and working at a well-paying job and own a house probably on the east coast but not in my home state. I may or may not have mentioned kids but animals would definitely have been present.


So what’s the reality? Who am I today?

  • I have a Bachelor of Science in Management from a top business school
  • I am currently re-enrolled in school, after a 3 year break, to get my Master of Library Science
  • I do not have a high-paying job but am currently a GA which pays my tuition plus a stipend (perks!)
  • I am not married
  • Nor do I have any kids yet
  • My cat died this past December, a fact that I am still not over, so no pets at the moment
  • I am a blogger
  • I am striving to be a role model to young women
  • I have written (and edited at least 7 times) my first novel
  • I am seeking a literary agent to help me get published
  • I am an avid reader
  • I am addicted to CWTV, in particular Supernatural and The Originals (I miss Smallville!)
  • I seem to keep moving further from my home state
  • I have no idea where I want my first house to be
  • I am once again living with family (living with children gives you an interesting perspective on life)
  • I have an amazing support system of family and friends
  • According to Jung, I am now an introvert, although I used to be an extrovert
  • I know I want to teach college courses later in life
  • I might go on to get my PhD

So what does all of this actually add up to? Well I’m not sure. But I think it means that I’m simply human. And in fact, I’m very happy with my life. Being in school is a great opportunity for me and if I could get paid to go forever, then I would. I want to make a difference in the world. I want to leave a mark, I want to be heard. I’ve realized that there are plenty of types of love that can fulfill you, not just romantic love and that true friends are always there for you.

There is no right or wrong answer to who you are, because you are who you are. You can change that and become who you want to be if you work hard enough (but most people don’t put in the effort). Labels are only powerful if we let them be. Example: I was watching the Disney channel (hey, I live with a 10 yr old girl now) and a great Friends for Change commercial came on with Raini Rodriguez (from Austin & Ally, in case you are wondering) who talked about a leadership camp she attended and how their discussions on bullying and labeling really impacted her.

I love that so many young people are getting involved and trying to make a difference in the world. And I hope that it continues to be that way. And that I get a chance to do the same. This blog (and my twitter: kataweb416) are my start.

So who am I?

I’m Katherine (Kat) Webber, author, poet, dreamer, introvert, friend, caregiver, sister, daughter, granddaughter, cousin, student, woman, nerd, reader, blogger, writer, foodie, traveler, planner, and enjoyer of life.

Who are you? Who do you want to be?

(PS – I stole the title from one of my favorite Walt Whitman poems  of the same name.)

Promote This Star: HeForShe Campaign

Found this campaign while on Buzzfeed’s 51 Badass Ladies article and decided to share it. I think it is definitely a cause worth supporting. After all, Emma Watson aka much-beloved Hermione Granger is the U.N.’s Goodwill Ambassador. Plus it was founded by another famous actor and is back by so many others that it probably doesn’t need me to talk about it but check it out anyway.

Click here to learn more about the HeForShe Campaign.

The Truth About Capitalism

A friend of mine recently posted this article and after reading it, plus some of the redirected articles embedded within, I am simply floored.

With joy and awe, that is.

Our nation is in crisis mode, and now, more than ever, we need people willing to stand up and say things like “Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.” Nick Hanauer, an ultra-rich capitalist, is the man who wrote that.

Finally, there is someone on the other side of the fence that is getting the right idea and putting it out for the public to see!! Hanauer goes on to talk about how the conversation about raising the federal minimum wage and the declining middle class shouldn’t be about injustice or pity but it should be about regaining what this country stands for: equality. And no, this isn’t a plea for redistributing the wealth but rather one to restore the balance of power.

“That is why investments in the middle class work. And tax breaks for rich people like us don’t. Balancing the power of workers and billionaires by raising the minimum wage isn’t bad for capitalism. It’s an indispensable tool smart capitalists use to make capitalism stable and sustainable. And no one has a bigger stake in that than zillionaires like us.”

Hanauer discusses trickle-down economics and how ineffective it is for allowing sustainable capitalism growth. The gap between the the upper and lower classes is rising and not shrinking and the policy writers in Washington don’t seem to grasp that workers and consumers are the same people. Higher paid workers have more disposable income to spend which in turn grows businesses. True, some small businesses might suffer at first under the higher overhead of a larger minimum wage, but the end result would be happier, more productive workers that can spend more as consumers. 

The article also addresses the constant cry of “supply and demand” and what it really means in real-world economics. A rich man doesn’t need more things than a poor one. They both require the basic necessities. And while the rich man might buy a wider assortment of products but no significant depth in any one category. Do you know where the rest of their money goes after all the purchases and investments? The bank. Same as anyone else’s. And do you know what it does there? Nothing. It sits and perhaps gains interest. But do you know what it’s definitely not doing? It’s not being put back into the economy. They already have all the shirts and pants and pillows and furniture they need.They already bought their car and their vacation home. So the rest of those millions that they earned? They sit, unspent, wasting space.

Read the article embedded at the top of this post. And definitely leave comments or reblog if it speaks to you in any way, positive or negative.

Walter Dean Myers

I am in the habit of stalking the Library of Congress’ Web site every few weeks or so for two reasons:

I think the organization is amazing (with an equally impressive building),

And I really, REALLY want to work for it.

On one such “stalking” session happened this morning. I went to the blog to see what was new and I stumbled onto this posting by Jennifer Gavin and it really spoke to me. In the wake of the death of a beloved author, Gavin posted the following: Walter Dean Myers.

I cannot get this story out of my head. How can a person have gone through so much and still be so heavily influenced by books? In many ways, it gives me hope for the future that maybe society can still be pulled back from the brink of destruction on which we find ourselves teetering. And further reinforces my belief that change must begin with our youth and how we raise our children will affect the next generation of leaders that they will grow into.

It’s not too late to change but we need to build good habits today that can grow into good principles for tomorrow.