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Holy Crap!

Posted by lynn on Mar 15, 2006 in News

So I got an A on my monster 8-page literature review that I did for my Use and Users class. I’m totally shocked because even now, 9 weeks into this class, I’m still not sure I have a complete idea of what is going on and I certainly didn’t feel like I knew what was going on when I wrote that thing. I guess I fake it well.

I hope I fake just as well on everything else!

 
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Last post from the Union…

Posted by lynn on Mar 7, 2006 in News

Today is my last day here until June, and when I return I shall be staying the dorms. Ah, the dorms – how I didn’t miss them. Anyway, no more awesome Union until the Fall probably. So I am especially savoring my non-fat latte that I did not have to put on a coat for today.

Anyway, yesterday I had cataloguing. Not a bad day, and it went by pretty quickly. My instructor is a bit wacky and doesn’t respond to challenging questions very well, and my class is full of a bunch of people who work at libraries who don’t know how to ask challenging questions very well. So there were some moments where tempers rose for a few seconds before someone realized that they were just a student and the person in front of them had a PhD in cataloguing and had say over their grade. I thoroughly enjoyed the Dewey Decimal exercise though. Who knew DDC could be so much fun? BTW – 633.83 is for spices and condiments. Did you know that?

It snowed again yesterday after lunch, and we had to march back to the Agriculture library in it. The snow was very pretty, but the wind blew hard enough to push the snow into our faces. I’ve decided that I don’t like that very much. I don’t recall liking that very much as a kid in Kansas either. Anyway, I’m done with the snow.

On a library note, our instructor took us on a more in-depth tour of the main library stacks. The last tour I got was during bootcamp and we stepped inside the stacks only for a minute before we realized they were ridiculously warm and airless. Well, even in snowy weather they are ridiculously warm and airless. I have now been on the 9 1/2th floor and 6 1/2th floor (yes, really). But all in all, this is one hell of an awesome library. The Asian library collection alone is just awe-inspiring (if you’re into that sort of thing like me).

So today my plans are to run a few last errands here in C-U, eat lunch and then head back to warmer weather. If I’m smart – and that’s questionable – I’ll read some articles on the plane.

 
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My users class on Friday

Posted by lynn on Mar 5, 2006 in Random

So Friday I had the all day session of Use and Users of Information. All in all, I have to say this is a very good class and very worthwhile. I also have to say that it’s killing me slowly. Way more reading and much harder assignments than Electronic Publishing or anything else I’ve taken. I’d say it was just me, but everyone else on Friday was whining softly about the workload. But anyway…

I have been putting a lot into this class – partly because the assignments are all weighted heavily in the grade and partly because the class material is very esoteric, dense stuff. I stress a lot about whether or not I’m actually grasping all the “frameworks” and “models” and “theories” presented. My instructor is sympathetic, but the assignments are still pretty demanding.

So, on Friday, we were to turn in an 800 word paper on what we were doing our sample user study/literature review on. This was a bit stressful since this came only a week after we turned in a 1600 word literature review and, of course, we were all traveling to C-U for class. We also had to do a presentation on our project for class. I turned that 800 word thing in on Wednesday night; I didn’t want to mess with it on Thursday night. I had no idea what kind of internet access I would have. I wanted time to work on my presentation after all.

Imagine my surprise when I showed up in class and most people had not turned in this paper. Some hadn’t even started it. Some weren’t even sure if they were doing a user study or lit review. One person, for her presentation, literally just thought aloud as she wondered about how to learn about creative writers. I think possibly only three of us had prepared.

So I left feeling partly frustrated and partly encouraged. Frustrated because I feel like I’ve burned all this energy and I still don’t have anything to show for it (none of our papers have been returned yet) and encouraged because I feel like I have my act together at least. Or maybe I don’t. Ugh – this class is hard.

I have cataloguing tomorrow. I feel a bit better about this class, so we’ll see how tomorrow goes.

 
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Sidenotes

Posted by lynn on Mar 5, 2006 in News

Before I break into my discussion of the one class I had on Friday, I wanted to add some side notes to the last post:

1) On Friday night, as Erin, Alisun and I headed back from dinner (which we purposely arranged to be as far from Green Street as possible in hopes of avoiding the chaos), a young man charged in front of us screaming, “I’ll lead the way, follow me! Wait! What street is this?” before he veered off into someone’s lawn.

2) Last night we went out for a couple of beers – $2 each, y’all. For *any* beer. I had three Harps for $6. I would think that was totally and completely awesome except I came home smelling like an ashtray.

3) Who was silly enough to go for a 40 minute walk in sleeting rain this morning? Me! Except for the ice bits hitting me in the face, I actually thought it was sorta warmer out than it had been the past two mornings.

If you’re wondering, yes, I am back on the first floor of the Union with my non-fat latte. I have an article open in false hopes of reading it. Like that will seriously happen….

 
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Greetings from the Union

Posted by lynn on Mar 4, 2006 in News

Greetings from the first floor of the Illini Union. Yep, I’m back in C-U again, but this time I have the good fortune to stay in the Union. I have to say, this is a pretty sweet student union: hotel, food court (with McDonalds and sushi), bowling alley, ballrooms, and the coffee shop and free wireless. Slight side note: an infomercial for visiting the state of Wisconsin is playing on all the TVs here. Did you know the miniature horse capital is in Marquette County, Wisconsin?

I actually have today and tomorrow free. I had my Use and Users of Information class yesterday and I don’t have cataloguing until Monday. I was going to sleep in, but the racket of other guests trying to get to the free continental breakfast in the room across the hall and the bing of the elevators that are also across the hall got me up at 7:30. So I got up, took a brisk walk around part of campus (and I mean brisk – 30 degrees outside, y’all), and put myself together. Now I’m here on the first floor, enjoying a nice latte (hooray for Espresso Royale!) and wasting time until the library opens at 11. Then it’s homework time.

I have to just share about yesterday though. So yesterday was “Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day” here. I get conflicting stories as to whom is responsible for this event, but either the bars or the undergrads made this event up to make up for the fact the holiday usually falls during UIUC spring break. Usually the bars open at 7am on this auspicious day, but Champaign insisted they wait until 11 this year. Lemme tell you, folks: that did not slow these kids down. At lunch time, my class presentation partner Ben and I dodged shirtless young men painted green (and it was in the 40s), people dressed as leprechauns and just mobs and mobs of very drunk, hyper people in green. My friend Erin spotted someone with bagpipes. I really can’t describe how sorta outta control it all is. Of course, by nightfall, there were police and ambulances here and there – people were sick, gotten in fights, passed out. As I told Phil – it was very interesting, in a sociological kinda way. Otherwise it was really silly.

If you’re wondering how I’m coping with the colder weather, I have to say I’m doing pretty well. Last night dipped down into the low 20s, and then I was truly cold despite my coat. Otherwise I’ve been fine. Thank you, Sarah, for the coat. I’m sure I wouldn’t be so fine without it.

I’ll post later, y’all about my classes, but for now it’s back to schoolwork…..

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