Student Snippets


Fall Beckons!

My penultimate semester at Simmons has begun and the summer is officially over. I'm at this stage of my school journey in which things are beginning to feel very repetitive. Here I am: getting up before 6 am every Saturday, driving the same route to South Hadley, Mass., stopping at the same places for gas and a bite to eat, walking the same paths to familiar classrooms, seeing the same faces, eating the same lunches at the SlIS West office.... This is not to say that there's nothing unique about this semester, just that it's begun to feel very routine.

In many ways, though, this semester is unprecedented. For the first time, both of my kids will be at school for some portion of the day, giving me chunks of dedicated homework time in the mornings. The kids' school schedules force all of us to be up and at 'em fairly early so there will be more discipline and more routine. And I'm starting this semester with more planning, motivation, determination, and better personal organization than ever before. As my program has progressed it's become increasingly important for me to stay on top of my stress and anxiety and manage everything in my life so that the most important things do not get neglected.  

So how am I accomplishing this? First of all, I spent the weeks leading up to this semester organizing everything. My house and my own personal space is cleaner and neater right now than it's been since we moved in. I've attempted to do something similar in my mental space: relaxing, organizing, preparing. All of this has been aided and informed by an amazing book I read called The Organized Mind by Daniel Levitin (a neuroscientist). The book explains how the brain receives, organizes, processes, and retrieves information and details various strategies for organizing your home, time, social life, and workplace to maximize your brain's ability to deal with today's information overload. I think it should be required reading for every librarian/aspiring librarian. The author included multiple references to information organization, records management, and devoted a whole section to information literacy.

I've devised a system for managing my time and my schoolwork that should help me stay on track, determine whether I'm spending too much or too little time on things, and recall what I've read all week so I can engage in discussions in class. My archives class has only 6 people in it and is very heavy on readings and discussion...which means none of us will be able to hide if we've slacked off that week! So I'm feeling quite optimistic about this semester and excited for the cooler weather which is clearly on the way. Bring it on Fall!!

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