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September 28, 2013 / Christian M.

My First Month in the NLM Fellowship

I just completed my fourth week of the fellowship and the month is just about over. Boy do they keep us busy! I know I have been neglecting you all, but honestly, when I get home, my brain is tired and I haven’t felt like writing. However, I promise to (try) and do better. I don’t want my blog to get dusty.


My cubicle — I love having two monitors!

So you may be wondering, just what have we been doing that would make me so tired? Weeelllll……

  • We had a few orientation sessions to learn what would be expected of us
  • We posed for a group picture and headshots
  • We attended three welcome receptions at NLM, and one black-tie gala in DC
  • We attended a 1.5 day Board of Regents meeting
  • We attended a library operations All Staff Meeting
  • We’ve had ten meetings with senior staff members–deputy director, associate directors, deputy associate directors, etc. NLM has a lot of senior staff — I think there are still some more meetings to come.
  • We went on a half-day field trip to the NIH Library.
  • We started curriculum units. So far we have had collection development, collection access, and production of NCBI literature databases. The curriculum units will continue through January. Next week we will have organization of information.
  • In addition to curriculum, we will have 1-2 small fall projects to complete. The different divisions/units in NLM have submitted proposals and we can choose from the list. We received the list this week, and we hope to make our choices by next Friday.

See what I mean? 😉


The view of the Capitol from the rooftop garden where the gala was held.

There have been some adjustments to get used to. For one thing I have a much longer commute now. My previous job is ten minutes from where I live.  The NLM is a little farther (about 40-45 minutes with no traffic). However, since the fellowship is only a year, and I don’t know where I will be employed next, I chose not to move closer. I didn’t feel like going through an apartment hunt for something short-term. I’m regretting that decision now. Since I’m commuting during rush hour, it takes me at least an hour each way. I’ve never had to drive that far on a regular basis…I’m spending ten hours a week in my car…but I try not to think about that too much. This kind of commute is the norm for a lot of people in the DC/MD/VA area anyway, I’ve just been lucky up until now to not have to experience it.

Another adjustment is wardrobe. My previous job I primarily wore jeans & t-shirts ( and I love to dress casual). Now, I have to wear professional attire. Which means dressier pants (or skirts) with blouses and blazers or cardigans. Oh, and dressier shoes. So, I’ve had to do some shopping…and I’m still adding to the wardrobe. It requires a little more thought when picking out my clothes for each day. On the plus side, I am slowly finding a better sense of style.

However, overall, the positives of the fellowship experience far outweigh those small inconveniences. 🙂

So that’s all for right now. I hope to be able to write a few more posts this weekend to further reflect on some of my experiences so far. I’m very excited to be at the NLM, and I’m looking forward to all that is to come!


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