Post-scholastic stress

Posted by lynn on Jul 29, 2005 in Random

Well, I don’t know if I’m stressed. Just really tired and not feeling up to doing work. I had to write an essay on what I felt I would one day contribute to the field of librarianship for a fellowship application, and lemme tell ya’, folks, I SO didn’t want to do it. I wanted a little time off before writing another essay. I did it though. Because I’m tough and because I need the money.

On another note, I emailed a librarian here at work who actually wrote one of the articles we used in our group project. She was so tickled that we actually found and used that article that she ended up giving me a bunch of advise on what kinds of classes to take. Awesome.

I think that’s as much school stuff as I’m gonna do for at least a week or two. I’m pooped, y’all.


I survived…

Posted by lynn on Jul 23, 2005 in News

The final kicked my ass, but I’m done. I AM DONE!

I’m going to bed, y’all.


If you’re curious…

Posted by lynn on Jul 23, 2005 in Random

We took group photos this morning – the morning where I decided it would not be a good idea to bring my camera to class. Go me.

Fortunately someone else has posted the pictures, so if you want to see my instructors and my group, just click here.


I am alive

Posted by lynn on Jul 23, 2005 in News

I know – I haven’t posted in a while. Things got really hectic here with my “tracking assignment,” group project, group process paper…

I’m now sitting in the GSLIS building, taking a break from studying for the exam that starts at 1:30. I *think* I know the material and concepts and I hope that they don’t fall out of my head the minute the test starts.

After the exam I’m swinging by the bookstore and then I’m going to get a beer. Only one beer though because I am SO FRICKIN’ EXHAUSTED that I would probably pass out after two. Have I mentioned I’m exhausted?

I love all the people I’ve met over the ten days, and I really feel like I’ve bonded with them. I think my instructors, Leigh Estabrook and Maggie Kimmel, are AMAZING! Maggie even made us cry this morning with her story about magic and how we can transform the world. I feel I have learned so much and I’m really excited about the next five semesters.

Still, I really miss my home – my friends, my boyfriend, my cats, my bed that does not have plastic on it. I’m really looking forward to seeing all of that tomorrow.

So I’m going to go back to studying about “Literacy and Reading: Exploring the purpose of libraries (Lecture 3).” Wish me luck.


Sarah RULES!

Posted by lynn on Jul 18, 2005 in News

I got back from laundry to discover a note on my door – I had a package at the front desk. Lo and behold, Ms. Sarah sent me a beautiful bouquet of roses with a very positive and supportive note.

The roses are currently adorning my room, and I’m the envy of my floor. My room smells nicer too.

Thank you, Chica.

A picture of this wonderful surprise is now up on the gallery, along with other new pics.


Greetings from the Basement of Wardall Hall

Posted by lynn on Jul 18, 2005 in News

…where I sit, typing away, as my laundry gets done. Thank God for wireless, right?

I should be working on my paper, but at this point if I look at one more DMCA article, I will go crazy. Instead I’m working a bit on our group project on the Open Archive Initiative. I’m supposed to do the group web site and hand out.

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday. I woke up at 6:30 AM with the firm intention of working on my paper. We didn’t have class until 3:30, so I figured that would give me plenty of time do to my work. However, as I got into the work, and as the band camp on the floor below me began to tune their oboes, I realized that the real challenge of this paper was to search, find, weed out and summarize when there is so much on a particular topic and there’s so much to write about. I mean, the DMCA, it’s HUGE. So I had a mini freak out. The workload, all the information to process, the noise, the paper – all this stuff added up to a “What in the hell am I doing?” moment. Obviously, I’ve worked through that.

Once I got to the computer lab to print out my draft and saw that some people were just beginning to work on their research, I felt much, much better. Other people were also struggle with the amount of information and issues that surrounded the topics. It was comforting. What can I say? Misery truly does love company.

I had lunch, and by the time I got to class, I felt a little better. Class went well, and so did discussion, but I’m a little frustrated by how discussion appears to be working. They asked us to do all the reading before we showed up, and then they ask us to do very specific reading-oriented activities in discussion. Like yesterday I was supposed I was a particular author we read and talk about the future of libraries with the advent of the Internet. That would be fine if I hadn’t read that article 3 weeks ago. I’ve been skimming the articles nightly to refresh my memory, but these tasks really seem to favor the people who do the readings for the first time each night.

Anyway, after discussion, I went to dinner with a bunch of my colleagues at a pub on Green Street. It wasn’t the most awesome place, but it worked. I had a burger, fries and a beer for $7, and really, that’s all I wanted. What was interesting is that during dinner, all we could talk about is the stuff discussed in class – the beliefs and profession of librarianship – not ourselves. We argued whether or not certain books should be taken off of shelves in certain contexts, professional perception of librarians and the role of support staff in libraries. It was like class, only with beer (which I’m all in favor of, by the way).

So after dinner, I came back and continued to pound on this paper thing. I did get a very rough draft done, and huge thanks to my editors extraordinaire, Phil and Sarah, for volunteering to look at it for me. At this point, fresh eyes are required.

I went to bed around 12:30, and I seriously planned to get up at 6:30 and work out. I couldn’t do it though. I was really tired for some reason, so I slept until 7. I got to class at 8:30, afterwards our group met and laid out our plans for the project, I grabbed a salad at the crappy McDonalds in the Union, and headed here. My hope is to get a little of the web page for the project done and to do some more editing on my paper before class at 3:30. I’m still feeling a little stressed, but I do feel like I have things somewhat under control. We’ll see how much longer that feeling lasts.

I still haven’t updated the gallery. I hope to do that tonight, so check back with it later.


The Heat is On

Posted by lynn on Jul 16, 2005 in News

So today started off with a brunch. When I hear “brunch,” I think eggs, potatoes, bread-type items – maybe some bacon or sausage. Apparently GSLIS thinks bagels. Bagels are okay, but I wouldn’t call them brunch. Anyway…

Today we crammed in two class sessions and a discussion section. Somehow I walked out of that discussion section with a one page writing assignment and the job of writing up my mini-group’s talk about public good, commodification of information and “library faith” and putting it on the group bulletin board. Considering I’m still trying to eke out a first draft of my 4-6 page “tracking assignment,” I’m starting to feel a little pressure.

I did take a nice break today and have lunch with a fellow student, Nalani, at an Indian restaurant. The saag paneer was quite yummy, but the naan was HUGE. Seriously, the naan took up almost my entire tray. So the restaurant guy saw my name tag and that I was from LA, and he asked, “How’s the Indian food here compared to Los Angeles?” I responded: “It’s about the same, but the naan is much bigger here.” He got the biggest smile on his face. You go, dude. Be proud of your monster naan.

So class. We really started to get into the nitty-gritty of the course today. We covered some of the historical background of libraries, but really the instructors have been trying to focus on the complex environment and issues that surround librarianship and the information profession. We’re discussing mostly public libraries, since that’s something almost all of us have visited at one point or another, and we’re talking about censorship, collection selection, ethics and more. It’s really kinda hard to sum up here, but it’s all very interesting and dense. There’s so much to take in, think about, analyze and react to. It makes writing all these assignments even more difficult; I’m afraid of leaving something out.

I have finished the bulletin board and one-pager though. I’m now back to my tracking assignment draft.

I did take more pictures today, but I’ll probably post them tomorrow. I wanna finish this draft.


Another Day

Posted by lynn on Jul 15, 2005 in News

So we’re settling in a bit, and the cliques are forming to some extent. I’ve managed to start friendly relationships with some of the people in my group, and I feel less weird wandering around the campus.

Today we got the tour of the Library. You know, in the Gallery (which has no new pictures today – sorry), the “LIBRARY.” Apparently the stacks are limited to grad students, staff and faculty only. Undergrads have to page books from the stacks. I think this is probably a safety issue, as the stacks are, well, grim. Okay, only 1/2 of them are grim.

So they have 10 floors of stacks, not counting the half floors. Yep, they have half floors. There’s a 9.5 right between 9 and 10. And in the old part of the stacks, the ceilings are low. It’s very warm. It’s kinda dark. It makes the Doheny stacks look bright n’ cheery.

In the “new” half of the stacks (I think they’re called the West Stacks), it’s very cold and bright. They also have those moving shelves.

Anyway, the Library staff seems awesome – particularly the librarians in the Library and Information Science Library (yep, we have our own library). They put together research tips for our paper. God Bless you, Sue Searing and the rest of the LIS Library crew. I’ve got them open as I type this.

For lunch a group of us headed over to Bevier Hall to eat at the cafe run by Food Services students. The cafe is open limited days and hours, which is honestly too bad because the food ROCKS. I had the most awesome portabello and Gorgonzola cheese sandwich (on fresh bread!) with homemade French fries. That and a soda were only $5.75. Cheapest meal I’ve had so far, y’all, and the best.

Then it was back to class. We learned HTML (okay, I didn’t. I read CNN) and how to use our on-line class tools. I’m feeling pretty confident in using the technology. It’s still the paper writing that concerns me.

Anyway, we had our first real class today. Our instructors, by the way, kick ass. One, Leigh, was the Dean of the school up until 4 years ago. Maggie was a consultant for Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood for 20 years. Oh, and she’s a department chair at Pitt’s library program too. Very top notch, eh?

So now I sit here, blogging, instead of reading the DMCA. I also had a beer with my burrito at dinner, and I’m kinda enjoying feeling not keyed up at the moment.

Tomorrow we have brunch with the first group and begin really diving into the class work. Wish me luck.


Day 2

Posted by lynn on Jul 14, 2005 in News

I think I slept mostly okay. I woke up a couple of times because I was sleeping on a plastic-wrapped matress, so the “crinkle” would occasionally wake me. I also woke up a couple of times in a “Is it time to get up yet” way. But still, I didn’t feel sleep deprived when the alarm went off at 6:30.

Today’s meetings were mostly informational, but I did come away with this:

* There are some people who literally have not looked at anything the school has sent us. Some people didn’t even know we had a paper to write or that there was reading to complete.
* A lot of people didn’t finish the reading.
* This is going to be tough 10 days, even for someone who did finish the reading.
* There are the requisite “I know it all and will tell you all that too” people, “I’ll ask you a question that you just answered 5 minutes before” people, “I’ll ask you a question that you can’t answer and continue to ask you about it even after you tell me that” people and the “I think I’m the funniest person in the room but I’m really just an asshole” people.
* There are 55 people in my “cohort,” and 41 of them are from Illinois. There are 4 of us from CA – two from Davis, one from Long Beach and me. Sarah, there’s someone from Burlington, VT (she grew up in Waterbury Center though).
* Everyone was suffering from the humidity by the end of the day like I was. I swear, I must have sweated out a gallon of water by the time I left.
* Everyone thinks the dorms are kinda depressing.
* Everyone is as nervous/scared as I am.

Tomorrow is going to be more intense. We have a bunch of workshops, start class and apparently get our first assignment – a non-graded writing task so the TAs can gauge our writing abilities. So I may not blog tomorrow. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’ve updated the gallery with new pics and added captions (which are shown with sometimes redundant titles). Daddy, I haven’t found your frat yet (what street was it on?), but I did find the Armory. It was too big to get a good pic of, and by the time I found it, I was really, really hot n’ sweaty and in desperate need of coffee. I’ll try to snag a picture later.

Oh, and if you’re curious, here’s a map of campus. Wardall Hall (part of the Illinois Stree Residence Halls) is right across the street from the Krannert Center.


Random Bits

Posted by lynn on Jul 14, 2005 in Random

So before I sit down and compose a post about today’s proceedings, I wanted to add some stuff to yesterday’s post that I forgot.

* As we approached campus yesterday, Jenn turned to me and said, “See that? That’s the new Engineering Library. They hired Illinois grads to design and build it. Guess what? They can’t put books on the 4th floor because if they do, the building will collapse. It’s the joke of the University.”
* Bunny rabbits frolic in front of my dorm. And they’re big bunnies too.
* I went exploring in my building last night. I discovered that Wardall laundry facilities include ironing boards and irons! They also have what appears to be a very nice exercise room. I say “appears” because I discovered this morning that only one out of 3 stationary bikes work.

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