Student Snippets

A WINDOW INTO THE DAILY LIFE AND THOUGHTS OF SLIS STUDENTS

One Rather Late Semester Wrap-up

So... it's been a few weeks. My first semester of grad school ended five days ago and since then I've been processing, and recovering, and "making it up" to my family. Those last two weeks of class were kind of a whirlwind. And even though I had jotted down ample notes for a blog post, I just couldn't take the time to sit down and type one out. I poured all the time I could into my final projects and trimmed everything "non-essential," or at least able to be put off for two weeks. I scrambled around doing the bare minimum to take care of the kids and the house and let me tell you: bare minimum is not pretty. The kids (aged 4 and 2) were super great considering my parenting could be described as something resembling benign neglect. Or in other words, "Have some goldfish for dinner and watch all the TV you want and sleep in your clothes tonight." I still shudder now to think of it and it was all I could do that last week to keep the mom-guilt monster at bay. I think this blog is supposed to be about real life so there's some real life for you.

Wow my first semester of grad school is over! Only about five or six more to go! You know, this first semester really was a big experiment. It's been seven years since I graduated from college and I had no idea how it would be getting back into school with two little kids to care for. Honestly this week has kept me so busy I'm wondering how I did it with homework on top of everything else. But you know what? I did do it. And for most of the semester I felt cool, calm, and under control. Not only that, but alive and thriving. I packed so much into every day that when I collapsed into bed at night I did so with a full and satisfied feeling of accomplishment and gratitude.

This week I have felt strangely listless and apathetic. Yes, I am relieved the semester is over and delighted to be able to spend leisure time with the kids without the nagging tug of homework in the back of my mind. But I have also struggled to find the motivation to do and to care about some of the other duties and responsibilities in my life. I thought it would be so lovely to have some of my free time back to tackle a list of to-dos. But as it turns out, in the absence of the pressures and demands of school I feel a tad directionless. Or, as my husband told me earlier in the semester: "You're better when you're busy." It's not the busyness in and of itself, of course. I still felt plenty "busy" this week without school. It's being engaged in the pursuit of a clear and definable goal that I care deeply about that makes me better. It's the work that broadens my understanding, challenges my perspectives, and stretches my capabilities that makes me better.

The biggest surprise of the semester was the core technology class - LIS 488. I was a little apprehensive going into this class. In our family, my husband is the "techie" one and I'm the "bookish" one. I've never considered myself very interested or inclined toward technology. Throughout the semester we learned the basics of technology issues and troubleshooting, software/hardware, computer components, the Internet, and web design. Our final project was using everything we'd learned in the class to create our own personal websites - writing the code and uploading it to Simmons' web server. That's right folks, I made a website! And it was so FUN. I got totally hooked on coding this thing and I feel so much pride and ownership for the final product. Suddenly I'm considering new directions for my coursework and career that I never EVER would have thought suitable to my talents and inclinations. I'd heard the advice before to take as many tech classes in library school as you can, but now I genuinely want to do that because I feel like I could really enjoy them! Not to mention how marketable those tech skills are.... In short, library school will teach you to embrace the tech, not fear the tech. The most important thing to bring to your introductory tech class is an open mind and faith in your own ability to learn something new.

So that's it for now, folks! Stay tuned for posts about my summer class which will begin in three short weeks (and who knows, I may even have some thoughts to share with you over break)!

-Megan

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