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Archive for the ‘school’ Category

… I write a mental letter. Thoughts from this week:

Dear yappy dog next door,

Dear other drivers,
Your car windows are transparent. I can see you picking your nose with both hands.

Dear students,
Stop a-speakin’ the Spanish in class. Wait and make fun of me when I’m not standing right in front of you.

Dear dog,
I thought your species was supposed to enjoy lying on their people’s feet. WHY WON’T YOU LIE ON MY FEET? They’re cold. Help a sister out.





Posted on: 11/12/2011

I am one.

I blame the system! The man is getting me down!

… Actually, school is eating my brain. Over the past couple weeks I’ve had two group project presentations to prepare for, and one ginormous assignment to do. Once I finally finished those, I barely had brain waves enough to enable me to function on the most basic level.

Y’all, grad school is a whole ‘nother animal. I’ve been in school for almost 20 years total (oh dear sweet Jesus, that is depressing) but I don’t ever remember feeling physically exhausted upon finishing an assignment or a class session. Now, that’s a regular thing. Once I finish a class meeting, I feel like someone has literally taken out my mind and strrrrrreeeetttttccchhhhed it just as far as it will go, and then put it back in. I continue to be amazed by just how much stuff the information science field encompasses, and how much I need to know and be prepared for when I become a practitioner instead of a student. I came into this thinking I needed to learn how to have story time for kiddies … things like collection development, censorship and intellectual freedom, computer systems, management, ethics – none of that ever entered my mind. Not to mention my newfound interest in reference librarianship!

And another weird thing? Although the work itself is certainly not easy, doing the work is easier. It’s endlessly fascinating and I enjoy what I’m learning and I’m so eager to learn more, the act of getting my work done and going to class is easier than it was in college or high school. I’m trying my best to finish up and graduate as quickly as possible, but I could easily stay another year and just keep taking classes. I actually felt disappointed at how many classes were offered but couldn’t be squeezed into two years.

What have they done to me, you guys. Who have I become? I DO NOT EVEN RECOGNIZE MYSELF.


Posted on: 11/07/2011

*jazz hands*

Today I was looking over my cataloging syllabus and I realized, that class only meets two more times.

Two. More. Times.

And that is all. Then it will be over. I will never have to go again.

True, we still have one group exercise and an individual final exam, but the important thing here is: TWO. MORE. TIMES.

Two of my classes will have met for the last time *before* Thanksgiving. You guys, seriously? My sore muscles began to feel better as soon as I had this realization.

Also? Four of my five students will be off campus on Wednesday, which means I only have to teach two days this week! It also means I have another day to work on my reference assignment!

Plus also? Today was a good hair day. I was rocking a ’60s-style beehive-type ‘do.

The cranky cuss has disappeared; you will find in its place a bright, shiny piece of glitter. Yay!

Hi, I’m Leslie, and I’m a procrastinator.

Of all the stupid things I do … and I do a lot of stupid things … procrastinating is the one thing I do not understand and do not see the point in doing. And yet I do it.

Case in point: today I had two different assignments I could work on. (reference: yay!) (cataloging: boo!) Neither is the longest assignment I’ve been given this semester. I didn’t get a sub call for today so I was home alone, except for the Cheese Puff (that would be the puppy, Queso. Queso … Cheese Puff … see what we did there?) I do my best work when the house is empty and I can turn up the music as loud as it goes. So, conditions were right. Group members were waiting on my answers for one of the assignments, and we’re having a meeting about it tomorrow. So what do I do?

I mop the floor. I unload, reload, and start the dishwasher. I clean the remnants of Sister’s Halloween costume off the kitchen table. I bathe the puppy. I make lunch plans with a friend.

I do this even though I know, I know, that when a due date is looming and I do nothing about it, it worries me to death. All I can think about is the assignment and how I’m not doing the assignment and how I should be doing the assignment. I feel guilty for doing whatever I’m doing that is not the assignment. I lie awake at night thinking about how I didn’t do the assignment today and I really need to do it tomorrow, no seriously, I really do. I plan my entire day around the assignment and schedule time in which to do it and write myself notes in all caps in my planner.

Just sitting down and doing the darn thing is much better for my mental health than putting it off, clearly, and yet I continue to put things off. Whenever I’m faced with something I don’t want to do, my first reaction is to want to dive into bed, hide my head under the pillow and hope it will go away. Even though yes, I know, it won’t go away if I hide from it.

Fooling people into thinking I’m a grown up is really exhausting, you guys.

Why no, I’m not writing today’s post during an online class, why do you ask?

Listen, Wednesdays are busy, okay? And I’m still getting used to the whole “posting every day” idea. But I refuse to let NaBloPoMo kick my butt this early! Blerg, as Liz Lemon might say.

(Am I watching too much 30 Rock? Nevahhhh!)

Anyway, give me a break. We’re doing group presentations in class tonight, and my group isn’t presenting. After I post this, I may very well move on to FarmVille, and I have the knitting project I began last night right here ready to go, too. (I’m making a Ravenclaw scarf! It’s going to be SUPER cute.) Show me someone who claims they don’t multi-task during online class, and I’ll show you someone who lies like a rug.

Anyway! Uh. I need to sit down and make a list of NaBloPoMo post topics. And probably go ahead and write a bunch for scheduled posting. Thanksgiving break got a little hairy last year, if I recall. But! This year I have a pretty pretty pink iPad. Her name is Minnie. She’s sparkly. So what I’m saying is I should have more access than I did, and maybe that will help me not to miss a day.

Well, the first presentation is starting and I should be a good classmate and go watch the slides. I suppose. Peace out!

I was just linked to a fabulous article on Facebook, from The Atlantic: “What People Don’t Get About Working In A Library.” (Apparently this is part of a larger article or series pointing out things about many careers that people don’t know or don’t understand. I only read the part Relevant To My Interests.)

At orientation last month, we got to hear from a panel of practitioners in the information science field. What impressed upon me the most were some words from a school librarian; she said that the most important thing for us to do is advocate for ourselves, our field and our jobs. As most people probably know, government funding for public libraries is in danger and in this age of Google, people are often questioning whether libraries and, by default, librarians are even relevant and necessary anymore. I can promise you, they are! People have no idea what is really available to them at the library, and our job is to get that information out there.

You can read the whole article here, but these are my favorite bits (especially the last quote!):

“We are not mere cart pushers, let me assure you. This job requires a Masters degree for a reason.”

“I am an aggregator, a citation machine, a curator, a specialist in whatever it is you want to know about.”

“I use Google, and I like Google, but no, not everything is available on the Web for free.”

Ahem. Well. It’s been a while. Hi, how are you. I’m a bit rusty.

I’m not even going to start about how I’m totally going to blog more, no really, I mean it this time, because we all know how that one works out for me. Although I’ll be here come hell or high water for NaBloPoMo, I will promise you that. I am spending a lot more time in front of the ol’ laptop these days, for what it’s worth, so you can make of that what you will.

Well, I have officially started grad school! (And it’s eating my brain, as you have probably discovered if you’re my friend on Facebook.) I’ve been in class for about three weeks or so, and my mind, she has been blown. I was really intimidated after my first class met – most people in my program are significantly older than me, and I came away from the class meeting feeling like they were all smarter than me and how could they possibly accept me into this program, I’m not smart enough, I can’t do this! But that feeling didn’t last too long, thankfully. There are only a handful of us who went into the program straight out of undergrad; one of my professors said she thinks it’s because the information science field is a career change later in life for a lot of people. Anyway, it was pretty intimidating, and it’s definitely odd to feel like the “child” of the class!

My classes are all online, which is very cool – and the main reason I’m now in front of the computer so much! We have synchronous classes, which at first I didn’t think I’d like. We all log in to our class space at specified times, and we can hear our professor lecture and see their slides. We have buttons for raising our hand, agreeing and disagreeing, etc., and there’s a space for text chat where we can all discuss things. And although our classes are 2 hours and 40 minutes long, each, they are very rarely boring and I usually come away excited and with a feeling of ahh, these are my people!

(Am I making you want to barf yet?)

So far this semester I have a pretty good routine, although technically I have 3 part-time jobs (if you count school as a job, which, in my house, we do). Here’s the craziest part: I’m teaching a class. If you know me at all you’ve probably heard me vehemently insist that I do not want to be a teacher, no I don’t, don’t even go there. And here I am, making lesson plans and lecturing (sort of. I try to get the students to talk back!). I teach a basic level writing class for international students at the university where I got my bachelor’s. I have students from Brazil and Chile, and they’re very nice and very smart students with very shaky English. It’s a struggle to understand them sometimes but we all manage to get our points across, and we usually have a good laugh about it. And as if that wasn’t enough, I’m also signed up to substitute teach at my high school. (Glutton for punishment, me? No, why do you ask?) I haven’t got a call yet, but I expect they’ll probably start rolling in soon as cold and flu season arrives. I’m hoping sub days will be good opportunies to dig through the mountains of reading I have for my own classes, as long as I don’t get stuck in a room full of absolute heathens. Ha.

One last thing, I wanted to share my glee and delight over a new toy I’ve recently discovered. Have you heard of Pinterest? If you’re looking for a time-suck, ladies and gentlemen, look no further. On Pinterest you make pinboards, and anything you find on the Internet that inspires you in some way, you pin them to the board. I have boards for outfits I like, crafts and holiday decorations I’d like to make, new recipes, my dream kitchen, and stuff I’d like to put in my future theoretical office. Go have a look around, and if you want to join yourself let me know and I’ll send you an invite! (You have to be invited by someone, or you can sign up at the site itself and be put on an invite waiting list.) Go on, it’s fuuuun.

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