Category Archives: 7 Questions

7 Questions with Michael Brundin

This month’s issue of 7 Questions with AAAL Members features Michael Brundin, Web and Discovery Services Librarian at MacEwan University Library.


mrb1. What is something interesting you learned in the last month?
Although admittedly an esoteric interest, I found it revelatory to realize that the Hungarian Gypsy scale was like the natural minor scale with a raised 4th, or the Hungarian minor scale with a lowered 7th (the Hungarian minor scale is like the harmonic minor with a raised 4th).

2. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
The central towheaded character in Sigur Ros’s official video for their song Glósóli (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz8iEJeh26E). The coda or denouement with the Peter Pan–inspired flight of fancy is quite poignant and affecting: “second to the right, straight on to morning.”

3. What is your favourite thing to binge watch?
I don’t tend to “watch”, let alone binge watch, but apparently, I seem to follow a roughly decennial (every 10 years) pattern, wherein I intensively revisit Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, the thirteen-part television series presented by Carl Sagan in 1980.

4. What is your favourite quote?
I don’t have a favorite quotation, but two literary passages that I am fond of are the following:

and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed with a

sudden flash of the alchemy of the use of the ellipse the

catalog the meter & the vibrating plane,

who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through

images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the soul

between 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs

and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping

with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus

—Allen Ginsberg, “Howl,” Howl and Other Poems, 1956

 

The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice.  It looked good-natured, she thought: still it

had very long claws and a great many teeth, so she felt that it ought to be treated with

respect.

“Cheshire Puss,” she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it

would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider.  “Come, it’s pleased so far,”

thought Alice, and she went on.  “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go

from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

“— so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.

“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

—Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865

 

Finally, although not really a quotation, I am also partial to this expression:

“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.”
—Expression in linguistics used to demonstrate syntactic ambiguity

5. What is your favourite colour?
Green. And more specifically, Shamrock green or Irish green. (This is the shade of green in the national flag of Ireland, and the state flag of California.)

6. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Somewhere in the Big Sur region, which is the region along the Pacific Ocean coast between Carmel and San Simeon in California.

7. Who inspires you?
Archimedes (ca. 287 BCE–ca. 212 BCE). The depth and range of his discoveries in mathematics, and the creativity of his engineering inventions, are truly inspiring.


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7 Questions with Claudette Cloutier

This month’s issue of 7 Questions with AAAL Members features Claudette Cloutier, Associate University Librarian, Research and Learning Services at University of Calgary Libraries.


Picture of Claudette Cloutier1. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
I have eclectic tastes that were informed by, television my parents’ albums and growing up in the ’80’s. The soundtrack to my life would include anything from Abba, Neil Diamond, Olivia Newton John, Beau Dommage, and Simon and Garfunkle. Throw in a little Bonnie Tyler, Cyndi Lauper, The Police and Lionel Richie and you have made my day! When I got married, I walked down the aisle to “Early One Morning” or as most of us know it the theme song from the “Friendly Giant”.

2. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
I have always wanted to be Anne Shirley. Anne of Green Gables is my all time favourite book. Who knows why I want to be an orphan growing up in turn of the century PEI…I think it was for the adventures and her sense of self.

3. What is your best piece of career advice?
The piece of career advice that I share with everyone I meet is that the world is a very small place. Always be kind, honest and professional with everyone you meet because you never know who will be your next boss.

4. What is your favourite thing to binge watch?
I am a sucker for action adventure and mysteries. This winter I have binge watched “The Librarians”, “Marvel’s Agents of Shield”, and “Father Brown”.

5. What do you do when you’re not working?
I know it is cliched, but when I’m not working I’m reading. That’s after running my kids around to their various activities and volunteering.

6. What is your favourite colour?
My favourite colour is electric purple, you can tell by the purse I carry. I’ve loved the colour since I was 3 or 4 and convinced my mother to paint my room that colour. She toned it down to lilac. When I’m buying clothes, if purple is an option, I will choose it.

7. What is your favourite cake and why?
My favourite cake is chocolate. I grew up in a family of chocolate haters so the only time I got chocolate cake was for my birthday or if we ate out at a restaurant (which was very rare). The great thing about this is that no one but me ate my birthday cake so there was always lots of leftovers!


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7 Questions with Mark Black

This month’s issue of 7 Questions with AAAL Members features Mark Black, Manager Library and Archives at Banff Centre.


MarkBlack11. When was the last time you were nervous?
Every time I have to speak in front of others especially in a professional setting – so probably this morning.

2. Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad, but it turned out to be for the best?
There was a job I interviewed for, was shortlisted for, and really wanted that I ultimately didn’t get. I was devastated about it and struggled with why I wasn’t a fit. Coming close to something and not getting it makes you re-evaluate the direction you are taking in your career. I moved on (mostly) and sought out opportunities that would help me take the next steps in my career. I still dwell on what if’s, but I’m happy with where I am.

3. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Top 5: Books About Miles Davis – The Ergs!, Definition – Black Star, Wish Fulfillment – Sonic Youth, The Last – Childish Gambino, Gossip Folks – Missy Elliott

4. What is your best piece of life advice?
“Is there blood?” This came from Janice Fiander, my manager at Cole Harbour Library. It has served me well and I have passed it onto my own staff. Before stressing out or panicking in a situation and making a rash decision, take a breather, and ask yourself, “How serious is this? Is there blood?” Take a second to figure out what’s important, what’s at stake, and then (try to) make the right decision.

5. What are some of your favourite podcasts?
My Favourite Murder, Surprisingly Awesome, Dead Authors, Baseball Tonight

6. What is your proudest non-work related accomplishment?
I wrote a book about the punk band NoMeansNo. I had a lot of help and it happened because of the good will of so many. I never properly acknowledged the support, patience, and encouragement provided me by my partner at the time. I could not have written that book without her.

7. What is your favourite quote?
All bad things are exaggerated in the middle of the night. When you lie awake, you only think of bad things. Julian Barnes


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7 Questions with Yvonne Phillips

This month’s issue of 7 Questions with AAAL Members features Yvonne Phillips, Librarian at Red Deer College Library


yvonne-hi1. What is something interesting you learned in the last month?
I rarely travel to warm places, so I learned on a recent trip how avocados grow on trees – hanging individually on a vine! I also learned that if you try to take them home in your suitcase, you’ll get caught.

2. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I play music, but I wish I could sing.

3. What is your best piece of life advice?
I have a quote I found somewhere, “Over-prepare . . . then go with the flow.” In other words, be organized for your intended path, but be willing to take a different one.

4. What do you eat for breakfast?
My usuals, in order of preference: Homemade granola and yogurt; two eggs and toast; cooked oatmeal. I’m not above breakfast chocolate either.

5. What do you do when you’re not working?
I’m well-known for the variety of my activities. Play concert band clarinet and music group recorder, read newspapers and books, run, bike, hike, XC ski, play hockey, back-country camp, travel, snowshoe, go to concerts and theatre . . .

6. What is your favourite quote?
From Voltaire’s Candide: “Les chagrins secrets sont encore plus cruels que les misères publiques.”

7. What is your favourite colour?
Blue.

7 Questions with Pam Ensslen

This month’s issue of 7 Questions with…AAAL Members features Pam Ensslen, Borrower Services Assistant at John L Haar Library, MacEwan University


1. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Sew clothing from Vintage Vogue patterns

2. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Anything from the 1967-1970 Spiderman cartoon series

3. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
Yogi Bear

4. If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?
Translating a mystery novel from German into English

5. What would you name the autobiography of your life?
Full Frontal Nerdity

6. What is your best piece of life advice?
Dare to be extravagant and don’t shy away from challenges that test your mettle

7. What is your proudest work-related accomplishment?
Creating a patent instruction manual

Bonus question: What do you eat for breakfast?
Coffee and a sugary snack

7 questions with Michelle Bezenar

After a brief hiatus, the 7 Questions blog series is back! This month we’re featuring Michelle Bezenar, Manager of Borrower Services at MacEwan University.

Michelle

1. When was the last time you were nervous?

I had an interior designer come to my place to help me with my kitchen renovation. I never had a “professional” come in and look at my place before – suffice to say I was worried about my decorating skills (or lack thereof)

2. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

Play the cello

3. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?

Both sides now by Joni Mitchell (I sang it when I was about 10 years old!) ; All the way by Frank Sinatra ; Heart of gold by Neil Young

4. What is your best piece of career advice?

Don’t sweat the small stuff

5. What is your proudest work-related accomplishment?

My 35 years (and counting) at MacEwan University!

6. What is your favourite quote?

If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.

7. Who inspires you?

My mother – even though she passed away about 9 years ago, she still continues to inspire me.

7 Questions with René Martin

October’s installment of 7 Questions With…AAAL Members features René Martin, Director, Learning Services of Alberta College of Art + Design


1. When was the last time you were nervous?Selfie
I am very rarely nervous for myself; however, I have discovered a whole new level of nervousness with my eight year old daughter. Standing back and allowing her to try things, and possibly fail, is so hard. You want to protect your children from failure and hurt, yet as a parent, you know that’s an important life lesson. So I’m so often nervous for my daughter when she puts herself out there, but I put on the brave face so that she can reflect it.

2. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Be patient. But since I’m pretty sure I’ve missed that boat, speak other languages fluently

3. What is your best piece of life advice?
Learn to laugh at yourself. You cannot take yourself too seriously; if you do, life can be crushing. I think the ability to laugh at yourself translates into the ability to forgive yourself for your failings. With that forgiveness comes the ability to work on those failings, and keep trying until you can feel good about yourself and the choices you made.

4. What are some of your favourite podcasts?
Stuff you Should Know; The Daily by Michael Barbaro; This American Life

5. What do you do when you’re not working?
When I’m not spending time with my husband and daughter, I’m often found reading, enjoying delicious food and cocktails, and hanging out with an absolutely fabulous group of gals. And yes, sometimes all of those things at once.

6. What is your favourite quote?
“Thoughts become things, so choose the good ones”. The Universe (theuniverse@tut.com)

7. Who inspires you?
So many of my inspirations are women. Sadly, we still have to work harder, do more, overcome more, wade through the criticisms that come with it all just to be noticed. Just to be seen as equal. So women who have done this with graciousness, courage and strength are my inspirations. And even those that come through it all with with gracelessness, fear and weakness inspire me, because they still came through it.