The Tragic Optimist

About Ann

About Ann

Hi! I’m an academic librarian who dabbles a bit in blogging.  I am currently the Head of Reference & Instruction at a small undergraduate library in Minnesota.

Ann’s blogs:

  • Ann the Librarian: Adventures in too much information.  Thoughts about academic librarianship — in particular, the role that staplers play in an undergraduate library.
  • Little Four Eyes: A community for parents of young kids in glasses, eye patches, and contacts.  The site has resources, tips, tricks, photos, videos, and a list of books for kids about vision issues.
  • Tragic Optimist: my personal blog mostly devoted to thoughts about my life, gardening, parenting, with some thoughts on what it means to parent after infertility.

Why “Tragic Optimist”?

I have a comic strip, clipped from the paper, from years ago in which a boy is talking with his friend. His friend asks if he’s done his homework. No, he replies, but maybe that’s ok, maybe it was all just a test to see if he really is independent and willing to think for himself, and if so, he’s just passed that test and bound to get an A. “You really are a tragic optimist, aren’t you?” replies his friend. The concept of one so optimistic as to border on tragic really struck home with me. Later, as we battled with infertility, it seemed even more apropos. Month after month, failure after failure, I kept holding on to this hope and running calculations. Was this the month? If so, when would I be due, and what kinds of clothes would we have to buy for the baby? What clothes would I need? How would I tell friends and family? . . . You get the idea. A tragic dose of optimism is still tragic.


  1. momerabilia

    I’m glad you found me! It looks like we have a lot in common. Sometimes I forget that people outside my circle actually read my blog.🙂

    BTW: Although we started out using Patch Pals, we’ve since moved to the Framehuggers patches. They are really great. My daughter isn’t able to peek over the top of them, and she can’t take them off herself. They are also made to the specific dimensions of the glasses, so they fit much better.

  2. Jess


    I’m making an informational DVD for parents and carers of young children and I need a photo of a child with an eye patch. I was wondering if I could use your photo of your daughter?

  3. Chelsea Hurst

    Ann, so glad you found my blog. Read today’s post to see updates. (Lasik postponed.) Feel free to email me if you want more info. It sounds like you’ve done your homework and you’re pretty educated. It took a long time for me to be able to put into words my eye issues. I’m sure your daughter will be the same way, so if you ever have any questions about anything, you’re welcome to ask. I’m 24 now and just now starting therapy. I’m anxious and excited to see what can happen!! It sounds like your daughter is a lot like me.

  4. Dear Ann the Librarian

    Pardon my tracking you back to your blog.

    In surfing the net I accidently stumbled upon an August 21, 2008 blog by Mark Stoneman, and your follow-up comment in which you said:

    “As an aside, my good friends live in DC and were recently bemoaning the fact that there were such long wait-lists to even get in on a CSA, so it sounds like you’ve got a good thing going.”

    If your DC friends are still seeking a CSA membership, a friend of mine, Allan Balliett runs the Fresh and Local CSA out of West Virginia which serves NW metro DC and is seeking additional shareholders.



  5. I am Randy Kazandy. Please visit my site and play some free games at They are designed to strengthen your eyes. I too needed glasses at 17 months old. I didn’t like them at first but with the help of my parents I love them now. I love being me! With your new glasses on, you may find the hidden glasses in my new book Randy Kazandy, Where Are Your Glasses? They are in the funniest places. I love being me! You can love being you, too!

  6. Karen Alley

    Randy Kazandy, Where Are Your Glasses is a dose of a good thing. Kids that I read the book to want to hear it over and over again. I think it is the rhyme that attracts them. We talk about Randy and how he didn’t like his glasses as so many kids don’t and how he learns to love his glasses at the end. Just loving words from his dad, “Look at my glasses, they’re new, Now I will look a bit more like you” So precious and heartfelt. The book is the favorite in our home. Bravo for Randy Kazandy!

  7. Ann, thank you for commenting at my Healing Salon. I commented on your question about what I meant about forgetting. And I’m so glad to meet another librarian (even though I’m not working in a library)!

  8. Could I send you an email?

  9. Hi

    I’m making an informational website for parents and carers of young children and I need a photo of a child with an eye patch. I was wondering if I could use your photo of your daughter?

  10. Every life has stories. It is good when stories are shared to help ourselves and others continue down life’s path.

  11. Michelle

    Hi my son has +10 prescription in both and retina problems hadn’t developed. I’m worried he’s going to b blind as a young adult could u help resume me

  12. padma

    Very helpful blog dear Ann

  13. Leli

    Hi Ann. My 4 and half years old son has a prescription +5.00 and +4.00 .the doctor said he has a lazy eye but I started to do exercise to him and when I ask him he answer correctly. And his eyes are not crossed .when I patch his good eye in the beginning he has little bit hard time to see but after 2 or 3 minutes he starts to see OK. Can you tell me if he will need the glasses for the rest of his life?

  14. zahid

    H R U


  1. moved « Ann the Librarian
  2. Awards to award! Plus, a bonus rant stream of conciousness. « Infertility Rocks!

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