dolorosa_12: (dolorosa)
[personal profile] dolorosa_12
Welcome, new people who have subscribed as a result of the friending meme. It's great to see so much activity here on Dreamwidth, and I'm really looking forward to getting to know you all.

Due to this flurry of activity, I thought it best to do an updated intro post. People who've had me in their circles for a while, please feel free to read or skip as you please. And both new and old people, please feel free to ask me any questions!

My name is Ronni, and I'm a non-EU migrant (the distinction, at present, between EU and non-EU migrants, lies in the immigration requirements each need to fulfill to be allowed to live, and live permanently, in the country. Due to the looming horror that is Brexit, this is liable to change) in the UK. My country of origin is Australia, and I emigrated from there just over ten years ago to undertake an MPhil in medieval Irish literature at the University of Cambridge. The MPhil became a PhD, and after graduating with the PhD I segued into a new career as a librarian, and somehow I never left! In Australia I worked as a sale assistant in chocolate shops, bakeries and patisseries, a child care assistant, for Cirque du Soleil, as a newspaper book reviewer, and had been miserably pursuing a career as a newspaper subeditor (copy editor) before deciding to throw in the towel and emigrate.

I'm married to Matthias, who is a fellow migrant — he's an EU migrant from Germany, although both of us now have UK citizenship as well — and who also initially wanted to work in academia before ending up in academic libraries. In his case, he did his undergrad, MPhil, and PhD in the same department where I studied; his PhD was in Old English philology/linguistics. Both of us now work in faculty libraries within in the University of Cambridge. The university has over one hundred libraries, because every faculty/department has its own library, as do all the affiliated research institutes, and all the colleges (colleges in Oxbridge meaning the places where students and academics live, eat, and so on; it's slightly more complicated than that so if you want me to go into more detail please ask), plus there's one big university library that is one of the six legal deposit libraries in Ireland and the UK.

'Academic libraries' tend to conjure up images in people's minds of dusty tomes, richly decorated manuscripts, and rolling stacks, but although I like an illumated manuscript as much as the next former-medievalist-turned-librarian, I have to say that my work has very little to do with books at all! My job involves providing teaching, training, and research support to students, researchers, and other library users in things like searching databases, using citation software, writing for publication, and reading and evaluating academic articles. I also conduct systematic database searches on behalf of researchers for their publications, of which I'm then a co-author. My PhD left me burnt out with academia, but it did teach me that I loved teaching, so I kept a lookout for any library jobs with a focus on teaching and training provision, and applied for the first one that came up, and the rest is history!

Neither Matthias nor I have library/information studies degrees (although he is in the final stages of one), and both of us were part of a wave of library staff hired in Cambridge based not on librarianship qualifications but rather on our experience of academia, teaching, research, and customer service in a library environment. The desirability and necessity of library degrees is something of a bone of contention at the moment in librarianship in the UK, and there's a lot of debate about whether current degrees are fit for purpose.

The cast of characters you're likely to encounter here, apart from Matthias, includes my four sisters — I'm the oldest, and following me are Miriam, Kitty, Nell and Maud; Miriam and I have the same father and mother, while the other three share a father, but not a mother with us. I also have lots of aunts and cousins, and am very close to my mother and maternal relatives in general. They all live in Australia and I sadly see them very rarely. Most of my 'real life' friends in Cambridge are people I met through the department where we all studied here, and we refer to ourselves as 'ASNaCs'. As most of them are either academics or academic-adjacent, they've tended to move around a lot, so very few of them are actually still in Cambridge, but are rather scattered all over the UK, the rest of Europe, the United States, and so on. My first two online communities were forums for Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy and Isobelle Carmody's Obernewtyn series. I'm still good friends with lots of people I met in both places, and refer to them as 'sraffies' and 'Obernetters' respectively. Both were fantastic starting points for online fandom, and I hold both to be the standard of online community to which all should aspire.

You can see the main things I'm fannish about at my comment on the friending meme. Generally I get fannish about books, with some exceptions, and I'm extremely loyal when it comes to fandoms, meaning that although I'll find new things to focus on, I never stop being fannish about anything, once those feelings begin! Some of the books that are closest to my heart I've been fannish about for close to twenty-five years!

This blog tends to be mixture of posts about everyday life, links to things I've found interesting, and reviews of/reactions to books I've read, shows I've watched and so on. I also talk a lot about migrant rights in a UK context in particular, despair over Brexit, and vaguely follow Australian politics when I can bear to. I'm also a bit of a stationery fiend, and always like talking about bullet journalling. I've just started to dip my toes into the fountain pen waters, urged on by people like [ profile] aliettedb, and am definitely keen to talk fountain pens with anyone who's a fountain pen user! I'm online to talk to people and have conversations, so I generally comment, respond to comments, and enjoy talking to people about the stuff that matters to them.

You can find me elsewhere online at Wordpress (where I have a reviews blog for longer form essay-type writing), Instagram, Goodreads, Ao3 and Twitter. I'm happy to be added at any of those places (although bear in mind that my Twitter is basically 75% despairing thread-rants about Brexit and the despicable way migrants and refugees are treated everywhere in the world). My only request is that if your username is really different to what it is here that you let me know who you are, otherwise I'll be unsure as to whether to add you back! The accounts are as follows:

[ profile] dolorosa12
[ profile] ronnidolorosa
Dolorosa on Goodreads
[ profile] Dolorosa
[ profile] ronnidolorosa

I used to be on Tumblr and LJ, and although I've not deleted either account, I don't post or read in either place any more. I also have a Pillowfort account, but I don't use it — I just joined so as to snag the Dolorosa username before anyone else could! I tend to do that if fandom makes noises about moving elsewhere, but my hope is that Dreamwidth will stick around being the space for the kind of fannish community I want to be part of.

Date: 2019-01-06 02:56 pm (UTC)
implicated2: (Default)
From: [personal profile] implicated2
Thanks for the intro! As an ex-librarian, I very much relate to having a librarian job that 1) isn't primarily about books and 2) isn't at all how non-librarians imagine it.

What is your favorite thing to teach?

Date: 2019-01-06 03:38 pm (UTC)
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
From: [personal profile] forestofglory
Thanks for writing all this up. We've moved in the same circles for a while now so I knew some of this but not all of it. You're job sounds awesome.

I did my undergrad at Cambridge but now I'm back in California where I grew up. But I still like hearing about goings on there.

Date: 2019-01-07 10:03 pm (UTC)
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
From: [personal profile] forestofglory
I was just there for the three years of of my degree. It's really lovely city though and I miss it.

Date: 2019-01-06 03:49 pm (UTC)
gingicat: woman in a green dress and cloak holding a rose, looking up at snow falling down on her (Default)
From: [personal profile] gingicat
Wow, this all sounds amazing.

Date: 2019-01-06 06:08 pm (UTC)
bruttimabuoni: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bruttimabuoni
*fistbump of solidarity* from a burned out PhD who ended up in (in my case) archives, doing things I actually love, rather than research. I also teach a bit, distance-learning, which is rather different I guess. But enjoyable.

My job means I'm not allowed to rant about Brexit in public (I work for the government, technically), but internally I do it constantly. My family is 50% immigrants (all my mum's side, from many places ending up in London), and both sides are horrified about the whole situation.

Date: 2019-01-06 09:07 pm (UTC)
maehymn: horns (Default)
From: [personal profile] maehymn
Thank you for doing this! I should do the same. So glad people are still here writing! Your education and job sound really interesting. So jealous you can live in the UK!

I always like hearing about library jobs. My last real day job was making films for the city I live in. I crossed paths with librarians a lot, and I was at first shocked at how much library work is not what I thought it was. I think it's interesting that they expanded to hire people outside the normal librarian accreditation. That is a smart move to diversify like that. Go libraries!

One day, I filmed some of the library staff in a library in a very underserved neighborhood here making 500 peanut butter and jam sandwiches. They had a long table covered in loaves of bread and giant jars of peanut butter and jam. They have so many kids come hang out in the library that have no food, they were like, OK. Then we'll figure out how to provide something for them. Libraries here have really stepped up to fill some unexpected roles, with underserved kids, and homeless populations.

I'm looking forward to hearing about Brexit from a personal point of view. I don't really have much of that, just what I hear on the news, and as a photographer/doc film maker, I'm really more interested in how what's happening is affecting the every day lives of people, and their emotional and mental landscapes.
Edited Date: 2019-01-06 09:08 pm (UTC)

Date: 2019-01-08 04:30 pm (UTC)
maehymn: horns (Default)
From: [personal profile] maehymn
Libraries really are all that, and I never understood that until I was on that project in particular!

Ah yes, screaming into the void! So, this sounds like it is not unlike living under the Trump situation! UGH. Truly, we are experiencing the same thing here, with the ugliness that was sort of kept at bay is now run amok. I didn't know that was happening with Brexit as well. I very much feel for you. We know what you are going through. :(

And yes, I hate to add to the despair, but the situation we have here is similar. The dipshits that voted for Trump aren't suddenly coming around to the colossal mistake they've made, but instead are reveling in their new license to be racist, homophobic, and sexist pigs, and blame is being shared around everywhere other than where it should lay.

One note of hope though? We are also experiencing something of a revolution, I think. We have a ton of new, amazing women and women of color in our House that just got sworn in. Some of the government have started to turn on Trump. If it can happen here, I believe it can also happen there. But it is a dark time, and I'm so sorry to hear that you all are having to go through this. Every day, since Trump got elected, it has been a task of waking up and discovering what fresh hell the country is facing, so I completely understand and empathize with your despair. There is a tiny beacon of hope now here, after two years of total bleakness, led by women and women of color, and some of the Republican Party who have realized they can no longer stand by and watch this dumpster fire burn. I am going to hold out hope that something will come around in the UK too, but faster than it did here.

Date: 2019-01-07 12:33 am (UTC)
corvidology: ([EMO] SPLAT)
From: [personal profile] corvidology
Ah, Brexit!

I'm English but I live in the US after coming here to graduate school and between Brexit and Trump, GAH!

Date: 2019-01-08 04:45 am (UTC)
aimedatthestars: (Default)
From: [personal profile] aimedatthestars
Ahhhh Obernewtyn!! I haven't yet read the last book because it took FOREVER to come out in the USA, but now I'm kinda scared to finish the series after waiting all these years.

Date: 2019-01-09 04:59 am (UTC)
cahn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cahn
OH, you're an ASNaC!! Most of my education is in technical subjects, but I did a year abroad at Cambridge during my undergrad and did ASNaC for that year (Gaelic history, Old English, and Medieval Welsh). It was the most amazing year of my life in a lot of ways, I loved it <3

Date: 2019-01-19 04:54 am (UTC)
cahn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cahn
For lecturers, I had Oliver Padel for Welsh and Andy Orchard for OE, both of whom I thought were excellent, but I especially loved Dr. Padel. (I can't remember whom I had for Gaelic history! Which I was terrible at, lol.) I was also there at the same time as Alaric Hall, who I'm sure doesn't remember me at all (we barely interacted), but who was very memorable :) (and even having said that, part of the reason I remember him after all this time is because someone else on my DW list linked to him a couple of years ago for -- Icelandic notes, I think it was?)

[edited to delete a couple of names etc. from public comment]
Edited (this time, I messed up the whos and whoms and it is bothering me, argh) Date: 2019-01-19 05:19 am (UTC)

Date: 2019-01-12 10:23 pm (UTC)
lyr: (Gromit: vamplover84)
From: [personal profile] lyr
Thanks for the intro! I love research librarians. We're doing a pilot course model at my university in which my research writing classes are each paired with a dedicated research librarian to work with my students. So far, it has been a smashing success!

Date: 2019-02-10 06:22 pm (UTC)
terresdebrume: A close up of Diana Prince from Wonder Woman. She is grinning. (Default)
From: [personal profile] terresdebrume
That's a thorough write up! Also it sounds like you've had quite the interesting life path, though Brexit falls on the unfortunate side of interesting :/

For myself (bc I don't have that kind of write up on my journal and I figure it might be of interest) I'm French, and strated specializing in language learning in high school, where I got classes in English, German and Mandarin Chinese (much of which I've forgotten by now). Then I got a degree in English language and literature pretty much without reading any of the classics I was supposed to, became a teaching assistant in Scotland (Glaswegian suburbs) for 9 months, and came back to France for my masters degree.

I completed my masters in three years, during which I learned some Hungarian, which I then forgot, except for how to say 'I want/would like water' and 'mushroom'. The third year was dedicated entirely to writing my thesis at home and having a lot of arguments/fights with my mother over being at home all the time, which led to a worsening of my already not-so-great mental health.

What that meant was that by the time I started looking for a job as a French teacher, I was pretty much ready to go anywhere and while I balked out of an offer in the Philippines (on the basis that the salary wasn't enough to live on) when what seemed like the ideal job for me popped up, it being situated in Cambodia wasn't enough to turn me off it.

I got there (joking that I didn't know how I managed it through my anxiety problems the entire time) loved the job, got better at it *and* at building a decent mental landscape and...stayed. and after a little over a year I came out as Trans to the general public which didn't go over so well with the family (hence the fact that I rarely talk about them, and then it's usually in locked posts) but much better with the friends I'd made on the web and in now I'm trying to figure out how to transition here which should be an Experience.

Fandom wise, I started writing fics in French at age eleven, following the theatrical release of The Fellowship of the Ring and later joined a community called Le Poney Fringant (the Prancing Pony).
It was a nice, courteous community that I still eventually left, in part because I was very embarrassed by the mistakes I made (I'd started out there at age 14ish, and most of the other users were women in their twenties) and in part because it felt like a very straight community...and while I did not know that at the time, it wasn't what I was looking for.

I switched over to English speaking Fandom after having read the 7th Harry Potter book before it was translated in French, and never looked back. Then in 2011, à uni friend got me into Glee AND Tumblr, where I made my little niche in the world of slashing and also discovered a lot of things that helped me understand my sexuality, gender identity, and bullshit brain make up in a way that made life much, much easier.

Don't remember why I made a dw exactly, but I did, and a few years later Tumblr banned explicit content and "female presenting nipples" and now here I am.

Date: 2019-02-12 02:17 pm (UTC)
terresdebrume: A screenshot of Tadashi Hamada from Big Hero 6. He is looking at the camera and looks exhausted. (tired)
From: [personal profile] terresdebrume
Hi, and sorry for the late reply, I haven't had the strength to look at dw all that much today ^^'

It'll be three years to the day since I arriver here on September the 19th! And I don't know if I'll still be here in ten years, but the next three to fI've years sound like a reasonable project to me, considering how much I like the life I've built here (plus if I'm going to learn khmer, I might as well stay and make it useful xD)

As for the fam, I'm mostly used to it, tho I have my lows. Thanks for the support though, it's always nice to receive ♡

I'm also hoping more people will come here! I'm not big on pillow fort and I like it here so, that would be the best outcome for me xD In the meantime I fully intend to have fun and try to make some friends here ^^

Also, I forgot to ask the first time around, but what kind of job did you do for the Cirque du Soleil?
Edited (Forgot a bit of the message) Date: 2019-02-12 02:20 pm (UTC)

Date: 2019-02-13 03:34 pm (UTC)
terresdebrume: A close up of Diana Prince from Wonder Woman. She is grinning. (grin)
From: [personal profile] terresdebrume
Lol, I wouldn't call it a plan per se, but I like it enough that I don't want to leave yet so I guess it's close enough xD

Yeah these are the same things I like about DreamWidth too. I don't think I'll fully let go of tumblr because that's where I made my closest internet friends and I don't want to give that up, but overall it's much faster than I like things to be, and I like the fact that DW just won't happen unless I make it happen xD

Haha, well I guess the setting twist is enough to make a classic job a little more exciting anyway^^ Plus yeah, I can understand how that would be an exciting thing to a fan :D


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