Recently I have been decidedly not-hard at work. I haven't subbed for a week now, mostly because teachers are hesitant to take time off this early in the year, and ISTEP testing is going on this week, meaning that teachers are needed to administer the tests. This gives me a ton of free time (too much, some of my housemates might say...), which I have been using to read books, scrapbook, and putter about.
One way that I have really enjoyed using my free time is spending time at the public library. Public libraries are incredible, amazing places. I could probably just people watch there for hours, snooping on people's magazine choices and watching the variety of people that come through the door: punk high school kids with baggy pants, post workers, grandmotherly types, gum-chewers with loud cell phone rings, mothers with small children, etc. But I also love being surrounded by the quiet coolness of shelves of books, discovering new gems in the stacks. I love being around other people who enjoy reading and learning. I love that libraries can be havens for the kids who have nowhere to go after school and for people who need to slow down and read a newspaper or find a new book.
I recently discovered the joy of the Goshen library's CD collection: unlimited access to the beautiful Putumayo World Music CDs that I love to listen to, but do not have the money to own. I am currently enjoying one called Latinas: Women of Latin America, which has a song by a Dominican woman which caught my eye. I also brought home Music from the Tea Lands, which will keep me company while I'm whipping up dinner using garden tomatoes and zucchini in a few hours.