I spent the week tweaking my cover letter to apply for the Sophie Aberle fellowship at the Center for Southwest Research at UNM.  This fellowship represents the best of my ambitions – a chance to get paid to do research and work on a library project at the same time.  Specifically it is a project to choose historical state documents and digitize them into the library collection: “The fellow will select documents for scanning, create descriptions, and load them into the CSWR image management system, CONTENTdm.  The fellow will also write contextual information to help users, especially students, understand the events leading to statehood as well as New Mexico society and culture in the statehood era.”  My cover letter stresses my digitization experience and the fact that I have worked with CONTENTdm on several other projects.

Anyway, it sounds like a unique opportunity, and fits perfectly (20 hours a week, spring and fall semesters) into my schedule for next year.  Perhaps more importantly, it was the push I needed to make the decision to accept the GA position and go to school full time.  I was riding the fence when the fellowship was advertised, and it definitely seemed like a sign.  Whether or not I get it, it was posted three days before I needed to decide whether or not to sign the GA contract.  While I would have gone with my instinct regardless and may have made the same decision, who knows?

I am not really a new-agey believer in portents, but I do think signs are useful indicators of what we truly want to happen in our lives.  I felt a rush of excitement when I read about this fellowship, telling me what I needed to know about seeking new challenges and opportunities.

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