Thursday, August 29, 2013

The purpose of this blog

As I begin my time at Catholic University of America, I think it's important to state precisely what I intend to do with this blog and how I intend to use it. This blog was originally created last summer for class assignments for ILS225, a basic intro to computers and technology for my undergrad. It largely consisted of quotes about aspects of libraries and technology and a collection of blog entries in which I interviewed local academic librarians. When I visited Kansas in December I continued to blog about my time there, scanning and digitizing my grandparent's slide collection and family pictures. Since then I have used it more or less to record my time at PBS, thoughts about corners of the Internet, and note important milestones in my path to graduate school.

This program has similar assignments as my undergrad, so the blog will continue to serve as the platform on which I post those entries. However, I have already had a few posts sitting in the back of my mind prompted by this week's classes, so I will also post my thoughts on those. I do invite any readers to respond and comment as I would love to have some conversation around the topics I discuss in posts. In the coming months are several different symposiums and events I will be attending (Ruby on Rails at CHNM, the Cultural Heritage Symposium, etc), and I will post about those as well. I hope other LIS students here at CUA will be encouraged to attend these events and will feel more comfortable by reading about my experiences.

To clarify, I'm going to continue using the blog as I did before but with (perhaps) a little more purpose and decorum. There are now links to this blog on my page (which is on my business cards and most social media sites), so now it is more public than before. With that in mind I will attempt to address issues relevant to my profession and what I learn. This does not mean I will stop putting gifs in posts or stop putting up pictures of wookiees, but it does mean that I will be a little more conscientious when I do.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

In which I deal with having too much of a good thing

Earlier this year when I was accepted to CUA I spent the time to create a finely honed and crafted spreadsheet of classes I wanted to take that would fit well within my focus. In addition to this information I added when they were offered and created a basic plan for the next several years of my life. It looked something like this:

It felt so great to have my next two years planned out. Seriously, it felt great. Then I went to #CURATEcamp and rethought my life. Not quite so dramatically, but I did rethink my classes. After spending some time on the CUA LIS website and browsing the recommended courses for my focus, the spreadsheet got really complicated and I just made a list that looks like this:

I have serious feelings and issues at the moment. I can only fit 36 credits (a total of 12 classes) into my degree, and that's including the four core courses. That means I can only take eight classes of my focus into the next two years - and I need to narrow down the list of twenty by next summer.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Admissions office? Where's that?

It's been about fifteen years since I spent much time on a physical college campus aside from the occasional jaunt to UMD, GMU, and of course Trinity. Getting my grad experience started has been an interesting re-introduction to campus life, and I spent much of yesterday meandering from office to office and getting to know Catholic University. It was a gorgeous day, so I joyously donned my Vans slip-ons and ventured forth to the green and hilly campus.

Columbus School of Law (right)

This is near where I'll be taking several classes. Recently, the School of Library & Information Science (SLIS) was changed to a department in the school of Arts and Sciences, so it is now simply an LIS. Since last year's earthquake damaged the beautiful Marist Hall, the offices of LIS moved to the Columbus School of Law, one of the most modern and striking buildings on campus.

Standing in front of the Columbus School of Law, looking toward the lawn

 I'm incredibly fond of this area. There are benches and sunny spots, chairs, trees, and it's just filled with fresh air.

The Kane Center
The whole reason I went to campus yesterday was to hand in some records to the Graduate Admissions office, but lo and behold they sent me to Student Health Services at the Kane Center. . . which was closed due to it being the summer and all. . . . I scanned the forms at the library and sent them to myself, so I'm still kinda waiting for the bureaucracy to sort itself out. (update: WHICH IT HAS JUST DONE)

The great upside to being on campus yesterday was that despite not REALLY getting anything done, I did get some other things done. Recently I met my new friend, Liz, via Twitter. Actually we were introduced on Twitter by a fellow student at CUA who I met at my monthly #DCHDC meetup, which I've gushed about here before.

Columbus School of Law (left) and "The Pryz" (right)

Since the Internet introduction, the two of us have met up for dinner and tweeted back and forth regularly about our classes. Liz and I met up for coffee and sat in the sun while ruminating on major questions in life as well as how on earth we were both going to learn the Library of Congress cataloging scheme (answer: online tutorials, duh). We're taking a class together this coming semester, so I'm grateful to have someone to sit next to in class. Sometimes being back on a campus just reminds me how easy it is to feel alone, especially when starting something completely new.