Archive

Posts Tagged ‘mlis’

Friday Fun! (Reflections and Looking Forward)

December 31, 2010 11 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  Today is the last day of 2010, and it feels to me like it just flew by, in spite of everything that happened during it.

As far as this blog goes, 2010 was my first full year of blogging.  I really think I’ve solidified what I want my blog to be and look like this year.  My layout and sidebars really reflect who I am, and I think I’ve finally got a solid style going for my reviews as well as weekly schedules.  I hope you guys think so too!  In 2011, I’m hosting my first reading challenge (sign up here!) and now that I’m out of grad school, I expect my non-review posts to be slightly less librarianship focused.  But you never know.

On a personal note, 2010 was the first year I lived entirely in one place since I was 15 years old.  It’s been kind of amazing, and I’m loving having the feeling of having roots somewhere.  As my first full year living in Boston, I’ve been able to fully experience all the thrills of living in such a historic, academic city.  I enjoy every aspect of it–even the ones I complain about.  I love it that I can eat any variety of foods pretty much anytime I want.  I can’t get over the fact that I can get a veggie burger at pretty much every single pub.  I learned how to ride my bike in city traffic and experienced the joy of riding to the park to spend the day on the grass reading while others read, toss a football around, or play volleyball, and cap the day off with a walk to get some bubble tea.  I discovered local independent bookstores and their fabulous used book basements that have killed my tbr pile.  I went to a free Dharma and meditation session for the first time and found out how awesome it is to be quiet in a roomful of people.  I’ve had the bonding experience of struggling with public transit on rainy days and in blizzards.  A recent immigrant who barely spoke English once shared her umbrella with me when waiting for the bus, and it was the highlight of my day.  I tried container gardening for the first time and encountered the community of urban environmentalists.  So many new experiences in so little time.

This year also saw the end of my first real relationship.  It’s been sad and a struggle for me, but I view the entire relationship from beginning to end to now as a wonderful experience, and I wouldn’t undo it for anything in the world.  My only regrets are some of the mistakes I made, but how else can we grow and learn?  Now that I know what a relationship *can* be, I’m working on being ok being alone until the next one comes along.

This year also saw me complete my Masters of Library and Information Science!  The last two weeks have been the first time since I was….what?  Four years old?  That I haven’t been a student.  I’m thoroughly enjoying having time to myself to do more of what I’d like to do.  I’m nervous about the next step of my career–hunting for a higher paying job with the blessings of my current employer–, but I’m also thrilled to see where I end up.  Part of me still can’t believe that I’m a white collar, highly educated, young professional living in a city.  Someone pinch me!

I also hope in 2011 to really get down to business with my writing.  I want to finish at least one novel, hopefully two, and start shopping them around to publishers.  I have faith in my writing, and it’s time to start acting on it.

Don’t worry; this blog won’t suffer.  It’s so closely tied to my favorite hobby of reading that I have a hard time imagining ever not blogging again.  I’m looking forward to 2011.  I’m eager.  I will strive for my goals and take everything life throws at me.  Anytime I start to struggle or feel down, I just remember how shocked and proud 14 year old me would be of 24 year old me, and I smile.  I can’t wait to see what 2011 brings.  Everything is a learning experience, and I truly feel that I am beating down more and more demons as I get older.  Bring it on, 2011.  I’m ready, and I’m not afraid.

 

Friday Fun! (Graduation and Strategizing Season)

December 10, 2010 8 comments

This week I finally finished all of my graduate work not only for the semester, but ever!  My MLIS will be officially awarded in January, but as of this week, I don’t ever have to do homework or go to class again!  I am so excited, not only to finally be done, but to officially be a professional librarian.  🙂  Not to mention that I’ll have more time for reading and writing for fun, hehe.

In other news, the winter cold has finally hit Boston.  I am so glad I managed to find a nice, cheap pair of warm boots just in time.  My pair from last winter fell completely apart by the end of the season.  I blame salt and all the walking I do all the time.  Thus we have entered what I refer to as the strategizing season.  Bostonians start walking that line between looking cute/fashionable and actually being warm.  There of course is a whole urban dweller look to being warm though.  The multiple layers.  The knee-high boots for the ladies.  The various versions of gloves that still let you use your smartphones and iPods.  My personal favorites are the commuter gloves that you let fold back the fingertip of the glove to use your smartphone, but glomits (fingerless gloves with a mitten flap you can fold back) seem to be the most popular on the bus.  Personally, I currently have two pairs of fingerless gloves.  I need to get the commuter gloves.  My fingers can’t take it.

Then there’s the how to stay warm at the bus stop strategies.  There’s the stationary dancers who hop from foot to foot.  The leaners who attempt to block the wind by leaning against something.  This strategy makes sense at bus stops with a shelter.  At ones without a shelter though, they wind up leaning against a telephone pole, and I honestly think any warmth they feel is psychosomatic.  Then there’s the stoic crowd that I’m generally a part of.  We stand there firmly in one place either staring the direction the bus is supposed to come from glaring at it or employing the watched pot never boils concept and looking the opposite direction.

But it’s not just the commute that’s cold.  If you have to pay for your own heat, your apartment tends to be not as warm as one would like either.  The layering employed for the commute gets extended inside, only the coat is replaced with a sweatshirt in an attempt to trick yourself into thinking that your apartment is actually a bit warmer than outside.  At least there’s no wind inside.  Personally, I acquired an electric blanket to put at the bottom of my pile of blankets.  This means that I’ve been winding up in bed earlier and earlier every night.  Since the tv isn’t in there, this means a lot more reading is occurring.  I’ve also heard of other strategies, such as running the oven, doing jumping jacks, drinking tea repeatedly, running the hot water in the shower, etc…  Ah, winter.  How we’ve missed you.

I actually don’t mind the cold that much.  I’ve lived in New England my whole life, so I’m used to it.  I do, however, think it’s a travesty when it occurs without snow.  I love snow! You hear that, weather?  If it’s this cold out, you may as well make it snow….

Friday Fun! (Inception and General Busyness)

August 27, 2010 4 comments

Just a quick check-in today my lovely readers.  It’s a busy Friday!

I had a lovely week in spite of the rain at the beginning.  I actually found the cooler weather to be a nice relief, both to me and to my electric bill!  I went to see Inception this week, and while my friend and I would have had fun watching Joseph Gordon-Levitt in pretty much anything, the movie itself is truly great!  I loved following the plot during it, then thinking out all the possibilities after.  (I might possibly have lost some sleep doing just that).  I also really enjoyed the soundtrack.  I believe it’s by the same composer who did The Dark Knight.  In any case, it’s just as powerful.

I finished my final project for my summer session online class, although I still have a bit of forum discussion left to do before it’s officially over at the end of this week.  Naturally, my fall online class starts earlier than Simmons–this week to be exact, so I’m getting a bit of an overlap.  I have a scheduling strategy though, so thus far I’m not too stressed about it.  This semester is my final semester of my MLIS program, and I’m going to be so incredibly happy to be done.  I’m not looking forward to my face-to-face class at all.  It’s cataloging, which I’ve put off for last for a reason.  (I really hate the technical services aspect of librarianship), but it needs to be done, so I’m planning on grinning and bearing it, haha.

Two of my friends are also moving this week, so I’ve been helping them when I can.  Last night they crashed at my place as they had a one night apartment gap.  This weekend I’ll be cooking a special dinner to help ease the stress for them and also helping clean their previous apartment in preparation for the security deposit check by the landlord.  It’s busy, but it’s always nice hanging out with them, even if it is working on something or just them sleeping on my couch.  (I have a couch that’s very disproportionately large for my apartment.  It’s amazing).

How about you guys?  Has the busyness of fall started to catch up with you or are you still in summer relaxation mode?  What are your stress management strategies?

Friday Fun! (Long Weekend, Job Hunt)

Hello my lovely readers! As ya’ll know, last weekend was a 3 day weekend for moi.  I am pleased to report that I managed to hit up some Memorial Day weekend sales with my gal pals.  The rest of the weekend was mostly devoted to being lazy, as it should be.  I also had my first veggie burgers of the season.  I know you can eat them year-round, but for some reason I prefer them when it’s warm out.

Since I’m acquiring my MLIS in January 2011, at my yearly review a couple of weeks ago I talked to my boss about my position.  It was newly created when I was hired, so whether they wanted to keep it paraprofessional or make it professional was unclear.  Well folks, they want to keep it paraprofessional.  I’m welcome to stay, but also have their blessings to start looking for a professional position, which I’ve been doing.  So I’m looking for my first professional job.  You guys know how job hunting is; I don’t need to go into that.  It has, however, been taking up a bit of time.  If any of you guys happen to hear of anything or can put a good word in for me, I’d appreciate it. 🙂

This weekend I’m looking forward to trying out a longer bike ride again to see if I’m getting any better.  This undoubtedly will be combined with picnicking and reading.  Happy weekends!

Wolf Bite Wednesday (Impossible Graduate Assignments)

February 10, 2010 2 comments

Dear professors and adjunct professors who teach graduate level courses,

I’m imagining there must be some super-secret meeting of you folks where you all agree upon how to be evil to us as some form of rite of passage to earn our graduate degrees.  It’s not enough that we’ve already fought our way through high school, the SATs, freshman year of undergrad, the rest of undergrad, and the epic painful life choice of what the hell am I going to do for a career.  It’s also not enough that most of us are working real jobs while we also partake in endless hours of class and homework.  For some reason, these are not enough dues paid.  We must pay more.  Enter the class work or homework that you, the professor, know has no answer or solution.  The unsolvable problem.  The unattainable quest.

I have never encountered this in my education before.  I may have banged my head against the table attempting to solve for x in high school algebra, but I was always confident that there was indeed an answer.  My teacher could never be so cruel as to assign an unsolvable problem.  Other things may have changed throughout my education–citation style desired, writing style desired, form notes should be taken in–but this one thing remained true.  There was always an answer to the problem.

Then grad school came.  I will never forget the endless hours I spent attempting to figure out how to update a mythical library’s computers so that all of them would run in a similar capability level within a certain budget only to find out after the assignment was handed in that the problem was impossible! Hah!  See, what I learned there is, in the real world, sometimes there is no solution.

Well duh!  I know that sometimes it sucks in the real world.  I know sometimes there’s just not enough money for what you need.  I didn’t live on a intern’s salary of $120 a month and expect to be able to eat anything beyond pasta and olive oil.  This, however, is not the real world.  This is school.  You are not being creative.  You are not teaching us a valuable lesson.  If you really were concerned about this, you could do something like tell us in lecture that sometimes your budget isn’t big enough to do what your boss wants you to do.  Or sometimes databases suck and won’t work to find what you need.  Or you could create an actually useful assignment that doesn’t lie to us and tell us “your boss is being an asshole and expects you to do all this with this minuscule amount of money. Figure out the best solution you can that might make him happy.”

You are not being creative when you make us do class work consisting of attempts to find articles in databases that you know won’t be there.  You could just tell us “this database is only good for these types of things.”  I mean, isn’t that what grad school is for?  To teach us the librarian-fu secrets that will make us look bad-ass on the job?

For the love of god, we are paying enough dues already.  We’ve been running on less than healthy amounts of sleep since we were around 16 years old.  We’ve chugged unhealthy amounts of caffeine, studied endlessly for standardized tests, filled out confusing as fuck application forms, and more.  Grad school should be about helping us, not giving us more hoops to jump through.

So, please, please, stop giving us assignments you know are impossible to solve.

If you don’t, I swear I’ll stop caring about them altogether.

Sincerely,

One annoyed grad student

Friday Fun! (Grad School Returns)

February 5, 2010 4 comments

Grad school is fully back in swing.  While I still wish I could miraculously have the copious amount of time I had over winter break when I was just working full-time, instead of working full-time and attending grad school part-time, I don’t totally hate my classes this semester. Yet.

One of my classes is on being an academic librarian in science and technology.  The professor is an adjunct, which means he works in the field and knows what he’s talking about.  Miraculously, I have yet to loathe any of my fellow students in that class.  In fact, I even like some of them.  A couple of them were in my medical librarianship class last spring, and I enjoy hanging out with them while they smoke on our break.  They don’t have this false sense of being superheroes a lot of students in the program do.  They just want a good, stable career, like me.

My other class is an online one on academic libraries.  I’ve found I learn more in online classes, not sure why.  I pretty much can’t stand any of my fellow students in it, but that’s ok.  It’s easy to just roll your eyes at the statements made when you’re not trapped in a classroom with them.  I like the professor though, and the assignments seem like I’ll actually learn something from them.

I’ve reached the climax in the novella that I’m writing.  I’m excited to get to edit it and send it off to a friend for critique.  I seem to actually be following through on my, totally not officially made but thought about a lot, resolution to write my novellas/books more.  I really feel like the time I’m spending working on improving my writing is well spent, which is a pretty darn good feel good pill.  Maybe someday you guys will get to review my books! Lol.

Happy weekend!