The interview was a formality. I still went in nervous and came out wincing by things I'd found myself saying in the middle of it all, but in the end it turned out not to matter one way or the other. I got to fill out some paperwork and was told they'd have my official acceptance in the mail. Yay! I'm an official grad student!
Once again I'm reminded how little I knew going into this as an undergrad. Apparently there are courses one needs to have under one's belt in order to be certified as a school librarian. These courses are generally taken at the undergrad level (and, in fact, a major in education is vastly preferred over a major in, say, library science). Oh well. All that means is that I'll need to take a few more credits in order to get certified, that's all. And I can do that while working as a librarian, I believe, as long as I'm being monitored from time to time so they know I'm not just letting the children run amuck.
From the movie, The Mummy:
Evelyn Carnahan: Look, I-I may not be an explorer, or an adventurer, or a treasure-seeker, or a gunfighter, Mr. O'Connell! But I am proud of what I am!
I use Google's Chrome browser almost exclusively... except when I want to watch videos on youtube. Ironically, though youtube is owned by Google, Chrome chokes on them. What do I miss about Firefox? Not that much, actually. A few nifty extensions, maybe, but I've been with Chrome for a while now and I have not yet felt the urge to run back to Firefox. Besides, it's right there on my quick launch bar if I need it, along with IE and Opera who I imagine are viewing this Chrome newguy much as Woody saw Buzz. It's a rough start, but eventually - through comedic trial and error - everyone will get along and be friends.
posted by hilary at 7:12 PM |
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links to this post Matriculation.
A couple of days ago I got an email from school telling me I needed to come in for an interview as a last step in the application process. I called the office and set up an appointment (for tomorrow). During the conversation, I was given the distinct impression that this whole "interview" is basically an advisor appointment wherein I would lay out my graduate school path and be officially matriculated.
Yay for me getting into grad school officially!
I'm a little nervous about planning the details of my future, but I think I can get over that with a new Grad School Interview outfit and a haircut.
posted by hilary at 8:31 AM |
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links to this postMonday, October 20, 2008 Nope.
Two weeks ago, I was assigned this research project. No big deal, I thought. It won't take that long to do it. I was under a time crunch for another class at the time, so I didn't even start the thing for a week. One week ago, I sort of looked at my research project and mapped out a plan of attack. Four days ago, I actually started. Yesterday, I realized I still had many hours left of work to do on this monster before I was done. Due date: yesterday, midnight. So that's what I did all day yesterday. From 9:30am to about 8:00pm I was chained to my computer. The project came out pretty well I think. I mean, I wasn't flailing and putting stuff together all mish-mosh. I did a good job, I think, despite the effects of procrastination.
The strange thing is that, at some point during my marathon computer-use, something crawled up the sleeve of my sweater and bit my arm. I have no idea what it was, but damn! It didn't hurt at all when it happened; I didn't feel a thing, which seems incredible when you see the size of the itchy bump left behind. Seriously, no exaggeration, I have a red lump a little bigger than a quarter (I measured) a few inches above my wrist on the underside of my arm. I saw nothing, I felt nothing. What the hell bit me? Ninja spider?
posted by hilary at 11:01 AM |
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links to this postFriday, October 17, 2008 Vladivostock FM
So I've been playing a wee little bit of GTA: IV lately. I rented it a week ago and I have to turn it in by Monday or I own it. Because I rented, I don't get the privilege of reading any literature that came with the game, including (I assume) the names of the awesome songs that play on Vladivostock FM. Luckily, the web exists and my soundtrack list is just a Google search away! Hooray for technology! Now I can fill my ipod with Russian pop music.
posted by hilary at 10:23 PM |
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links to this postThursday, October 16, 2008 Pumpkin p0rn.
There is a bird of some sort (I think it's a tufted titmouse) who has discovered that a halloween decoration hanging on my porch will move and make sound if it flies by very close. I saw it happen once, but when I went out there, the bird stopped. Less than a minute after I went back inside, I heard the decoration - a witch gliding on a parachute that wiggles and cackles to sound and motion - go off again.
Fricking bird is gonna run down the batteries. But, at the same time... awww! So cute.
posted by hilary at 9:51 AM |
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links to this postWednesday, October 15, 2008 Messy desk is messy.
I love my desk. It's this heavy, solid wood antique thing I bought at a yard sale for $60 and convinced two burly men to move into my office for me. It's beautiful, but I can't remember the last time I've seen it. Between my monitor and keyboard/mouse is an ocean of paper. I don't even know where it comes from. Every time I file things away or toss the out of date stuff, new piles seem to instantly materialize to take the place of the old.
Right now, I'm staring at: - a can of air (for frequent dusting) - a bill for a doctor visit - instructions on using a prism - a checkbook - a spray bottle of water - 3 CD-ROMs (two games and a rosetta stone disc) - 1 boxed game (monopoly here & now) - 2 packs of photos (dating back to my summer vacation) - the Rosetta Stone curriculum text (Mandarin) - 4 file folders filled with pertinent information - a mason jar full of change - a box of sun prints - the latest issue of American Libraries - a letter from my Aunt (containing tickets to the Nutcracker) - a manila envelope from my Dad - a birdwatching book - a bag made of newspaper from Georgia (the country not the state) - a story I wrote for a class i took in Spring 07 - a Calvin Klein ad/poster folded up - and at the bottom of the giant pile... a folded, brown, paper bag. empty. wtf?
posted by hilary at 12:48 PM |
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links to this postSunday, October 12, 2008 The Socratic Method.
Three years ago I decided to be a library science major. As soon as I got my BS, I realized that I probably should have picked any major besides library science. Grad schools don't particularly care what your major was as an undergrad, and certain tracks are best suited to those who have previous degrees in other areas, like history or education, or pretty much anything besides library science. My minor in computer science is useful, but only barely.
So I've been working in an elementary school library for the past couple of years. I use the term "working" very loosely since I do work, but I don't get paid for it. It's not exactly a volunteer job either since I started out there to fulfill an independent study course, and have since gotten school credit in other ways as well.
The SMS (school librarian) suggested that now that I have my BS, I could sign up to be a substitute librarian for the school system. Signing up is actually a lot more intensive than it sounds and requires background checks and fingerprinting and a whole lot of paperwork. But still, it's exciting to think that I could actually teach a library class by myself.
Wait. Hold on. By myself? What have I gotten myself into?
I see my mentor teaching these dull-eyed kids day in and day out. The little ones are fine; you read them a story and they're happy. Once they hit 2nd, 3rd, 4th grade though, then you're supposed to instill some information acquisition education into them. I hear her lecture for five minutes and then ask the class a question. *crickets* It's like Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller. Anyone? Anyone?
So if that doesn't appeal to me, why the heck did I get into this business in the first place? The thought of teaching an entire class who stares back at me obviously wishing they were anywhere else is just terrifying.
So I stumbled onto a teaching method called The Socratic Method. I am a fan of Socrates (though I do not recommend reading both Republic and Symposium at the same time, which I did my last semester as an undergrad in simultaneous philosophy and english classes; it's confusing). There's an excellent example right here: http://www.garlikov.com/Soc_Meth.html That sort of teaching looks fun and exciting. Since a school librarian isn't a classroom teacher, I only see kids once a week for instruction. I think I could pull that sort of teaching off with such limited time available.
I'd start simply, by asking something easy - "What's the difference between fiction and non-fiction?" for example - and build it from there to teach them how to find information using the catalog. In my little fantasy class, I get the kids to use the catalog, pick out one non-fiction book (with a vague understanding of how the Dewey Decimal Classification system works), and then give them 5 minutes to absorb some information from the book. At the end of the 40 minute class, I'd have kids stand up and share one piece of information they learned from the book if they want to.
This site is a mess. I don't even know what happened to my blogroll which is supposed to be over there on the left. Sure, half the blogs I had listed have gone private or abandoned in the past two years since I checked them, but there were some gems in there! Two days ago, I visited the blogroll site and found they'd been hacked by some web graffitist who either likes Allah a whole lot, or wants people to think he does. The next day, they were back online, but they disavowed all knowledge of my account. And now my blogroll links have disappeared. Fer pete's sake.
I suppose I should redesign cluttered life, assuming I am actually going to keep up with it. And I will! I'll get right on it... right after I finish designing a library web site and portal for a final project, oh and all these pesky papers and research assignments. And maybe after I finish the latest David Sedaris (I'm currently #28 on the library's waiting list).
Speaking of David Sedaris, I discovered a new author I like a whole lot. Haven Kimmel. She's sort of like a small town, heterosexual Sedaris in her writing. Wedged between the autobiographies of various politicians and faded entertainers at the used book store, I found A Girl Named Zippy and She Got Up Off the Couch. Really fun and funny writing with some life lessons learned and poignant stories sprinkled throughout. I heartily recommend them to those who like that sort of thing.
posted by hilary at 12:59 PM |
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links to this postThursday, October 09, 2008 Melvil Dewey
In my 503 class, I was assigned a paper to write on someone important to libraries. Who is more important than Melvil Dewey? No one, that's who.
Everyone knows he was famous for the Dewey Decimal Classification system (and if you don't, for shame!), but did you also know that he devised the system when he was still a student at Amherst College and working as an assistant librarian? Yup, it's true. Also, at the ripe old age of 25 he was instrumental in creating the American Library Association. Not only that, but he started the Library Journal to go along with it. He was kind of obsessed with simplification and standardization, so much so that he actually created a company which sold standardized office materials and furniture to libraries.
He was so obsessed with simplification, in fact, that he shortened his own name from Melville and dropped his two middle names. He even tried to shorted Dewey to "Dui" but I guess that just caused more trouble than it was worth. A proponent of the metric system for its ease of use, he tried to organize a movement to change America over to metric, but it didn't take.
Dewey's accomplishments were pretty awesome, but he was probably kind of a jackass in person. For example, he started a resort in Lake Placid, near where he was born, called the Lake Placid Club. They had a strict No-Jews policy, which ended up biting him in the ass when the Jews pointed out that it might be a bad idea to have a bigot in the position of State Librarian of New York. He lost his job, but his Lake Placid club did, indirectly, lead to the 1932 Winter Olympics. Dewey never got to see it though. He died at age 80 in 1931, in Lake Placid, FL. What? There's a Lake Placid in Florida? Yes, and there's even a strangely spelled hotel there which Dewey opened in 1927 - the Lake Placid Loj. A bit of a Mr. Potter, he took over the town and had the name changed to Lake Placid.
Assuming you just read that whole post, I hope your brain files the new information away somewhere easily retrievable. You know, just in case you find yourself on Jeopardy! or in a heated game of Trivial Pursuit, or something like that.
posted by hilary at 4:39 PM |
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links to this postWednesday, October 08, 2008 Not much to show for it.
I started playing World of Warcraft in May 06. Pretty easy to check out the old blog to see proof positive exactly when my brain was sucked into a virtual world. It's tough to admit, but there it is. For the amount of my life I dedicated to a game, you'd think I'd have something to show for it. I guess I sort of do. I mean, I can type like 100 wpm without looking and I can edit a pretty spiffy video using Fraps and Adobe Premiere. These are the skillz I took away from 2 years of gaming. We will not talk about the width of my posterior.
I'm done. First of all, what a fricking waste of life. Secondly, I'm in grad school now, which is way harder than undergrad school. These people actually expect me to use my brain as opposed to memorizing and regurgitating information. You know what? It's hard. But I like it.