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Seoul Much to Say

Now that it is starting to get colder (basically uninhabitable in this poor Floridian's mind), I wanted to take the time and reflect back on warmer summer days. You guessed it, it's finally time for my long-awaited South Korea blog post! Just as a little refresher, I was lucky enough to travel to Seoul, South Korea, this past summer as part of Simmons partnership with Yonsei University. Six other Simmons students and I took the long haul flight to Korea as part of our summer Metadata course taught by Jeff Pomerantz. We were in Seoul for a little over two weeks and we tried to cram as much as we could in those two weeks! From gorging ourselves on all the delicious food, hiking up a mountain every night to our dorm, and dragging my fellow travelers on several skincare focused shopping adventures, this was an unforgettable experience that I will be jumping at the opportunity to talk about for the rest of my life.

I have always been someone interested in traveling so when I was looking at graduate school I was also always on the lookout for a program that allowed opportunities to take students beyond the classroom. I had planned on taking metadata as part of my degree at Simmons, so it was really a no brainer to seize this chance at taking it as part of a travel course. Majority of the class was taught online throughout the summer on moodle (just like any other online course taught at Simmons), then we had two weeks of class at Yonsei University, then finished the course back online. While this was a lot to juggle over the summer since I was also working a full-time internship, knowing that I would be in Seoul soon enough made it all worth it!

After a very long flight over the north pole (not joking you could see the ice outside the airplane window), my classmates and I finally made it Seoul and our adventure could really begin. Our time spent is Seoul was jam-packed with all sorts of cultural site visits and (obviously) library tours, it's a little hard to keep track of it all.  Another Simmons professor Lisa Hussey (shoutout to my Fall 2018 LIS407 class!) joined us as a sort of a cultural guide since she has taken students to Yonsei in previous years. This was fantastic given she knew basically all the neighborhoods and all the best things to do and see in Seoul. Some of the highlights included going to Seoul Tower, spending a day at Bongeunsa Temple, and even going to a Doosan Bears baseball game! Our fellow Korean classmates were also excellent cultural guides taking us on many shopping, sightseeing, and foodie adventures. The best of which I included a picture of below with our "perfect day of eating" fully of tteokbokki and bingsu! I also included some pictures of our other adventures below.

"Perfect Day of Eating"

 

Gotta love a good, cheesy photo-op

Yonsei University Campus was stunning (even if it was full of treacherous hills)

Classes | Fun | International | SLIS | Summer


Summer Life

It's hard to believe that July is almost over! I've kept busy this summer with studying, even though I am not taking any summer classes. I took the reading MTEL Communication & Literacy Skills subtest in June, and I have the writing exam next week. The MTEL Communication & Literacy Skills is an exam SLT students need to pass before they can do their last two semesters of practicum experiences (student teaching). Luckily, I saved my eighth grade grammar textbook and brought it out to Boston! Princeton Review has been very helpful in my studying. I also listen to a podcast called Grammar Girl to review the basic grammar rules.

When I am not studying, I've been applying to part time jobs in the fall. I've applied to a few at Boston Public Library, one at Cambridge Public Library, and a couple of library assistant positions in local school districts. With six library job applications submitted, it is waiting time. Waiting to hear back is definitely the hard part, but at least I can catch up on fun reading while I am waiting. Speaking of reading, the best part of my summer so far has been visiting Ireland for a couple weeks, which included checking out some libraries!

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I went over to Ireland to volunteer at a Catholic summer camp, and after camp concluded, I visited friends. In undergrad, I studied abroad for a semester in Galway, Ireland, but this was my first time back since studying abroad. When I visited friends in Cork, the library student in me definitely wanted to see the library, and even do a little networking. The first day in Cork, my friend Jack showed me where in the city the library was so that I could go visit the library on my own the next day. It was huge, but not as big as Boston Public Library's main branch!

Getting to go inside the library was quite exciting. When I first walked in, the children's room was on the left. It was really nice chatting with the children's librarian there, and bonding over how we both share a passion for encouraging children's love of reading. In the library collection, there were children's books by authors from the United States, Ireland, and the UK. After exploring the children's room, I was already brainstorming ways to learn about library services in Ireland, as well as how we can make learning more global for students visiting their school library. Showing students children's books written by authors from other countries can help the students learn about different cultures and expand their imaginations. I look forward to the next time I can visit a library in Ireland, but for now I am studying hard for my MTEL Communication & Literacy Skills exam next week!

International | SLIS | School Libraries | Summer


April Showers, Bring Last Half of Semester Jitters (and Good News!)

March was a complete blur for me. As cliche as it sounds, I can't believe it's already April! March was a crazy month since it started off with Spring Break and I had some major assignments due. To start off though just a quick, little humble brag about how I was able to go over to Scotland to visit a friend there for spring break in the beginning of March. It was an amazing trip full of hiking, pubs, and castles! Oh, and lots of Highland cows (photos for evidence because it's too cute not to share), which are just as adorable in person! My brain always seems to get a little fried mid semester and being able to take a week to decompression is such a blessing as a student.

Speaking of having your brain fried, this may not come as a shock to many, but grad school is hard, and in my personal opinion graduate level online courses are even harder. So coming back from break was a little rocky at first! Don't get me wrong I love my courses and LIS439 - Preservation Management has been my favorite class so far but sometimes you just need a second to catch your breath! It hasn't helped either that this has been my first real winter and seasonal depression is totally a thing I did not take into consideration. I mentioned in an earlier blog post how with online classes, I really still wanted to make sure I didn't turn in to a hermit and not just sit in bed and do all my work there, but it is really hard to pull yourself out of a funk when you haven't seen the sun in so long.

Luckily for me it is now April and (knock on wood!), Spring is around the corner. I am quickly learning Spring just means a lot of rain for New England, but I will take it over snow any day. With Spring also comes the end of the semester, aka, crunch time. My internship at MassArt has been really fun lately since in addition to creating a finding aid I am now helping my supervisor with an exhibition on studio life throughout the years. We found some really amazing photographs from the late 19th century and it has been really fun helping her set up the display cases and writing the labels for the images and resources.

A final thing that I have been working on this past few weeks has been my application to study abroad in South Korea! That's right everybody, you're girl is going to Seoul! Simmons is offering LIS 445 - Metadata as the SLIS Summer Travel Course, and it was the perfect opportunity since I wanted to take a summer course anyway and LIS 445 was a class I wanted to take eventually! As part of the course we will be in South Korea for two weeks in the end of July/beginning of August. I am beyond excited about this opportunity and am so excited to not only take a course in something I am extremely interested in the field, but also learning about some of the different international perspectives of the field. I also, of course, have plans with this trip to pack a nearly empty suitcase to fill with enough K-beauty products that would put Sephora to shame!

 

Classes | International | Internships | Relaxing | SLIS


International Opportunities at Simmons SLIS

One of the great things about Simmons SLIS is how many events are hosted each week! We have a very active student body and there are more panels, workshops, field trips, socials, etc. than anyone could ever hope to go. While being a graduate student is synonymous with overbooking your time, I have made an effort to attend a few events, specifically anything that has to do with international librarianship. I have always loved to travel and learn as much as I can about different cultures. So any chance I get to combine this passion with my passion for libraries, I will seize it! In this past month, I went to two really amazing presentations from faculty about their work abroad.

The first was with Professor Lisa Hussey, who I currently have for 407, and Professor Nanette Veilleux on their Summer course in Rwanda. This program is only a year old but offers students interested in international librarianship, archives, and computer science an opportunity to gain hands on experience working with a handful of schools throughout Rwanda. Listening to both professors and past participants stories about working with the Rwandan students was really inspiring. It also helped that Professor Hussey is an amazing baker and brought goodies and Rwandan tea that was so delicious. I could see anyone interested in working in a school library really getting a lot out of this course as both professors stress how wonderful the students are, and how eager they are to engage with Simmons students.

The second event on international librarianship I attended was put on by the Student Chapter of the International Relations Round Table (SCIRRT) which is a student organization on campus that while inactive for a brief period is making a come back! The event consisted of a panel of faculty speaking about International Librarianship and Libraries in Iraq. Faculty members included, Caryn Anderson and Michele Cloonan (who is also my advisor in the Cultural Heritage Concentration). I honestly could have listened to both of them talk for hours about their experiences working with libraries and archives throughout the Middle East. Professor Anderson started the discussion with her work as an Information Resource Officer in Iraq. She explained she did a lot of work helping to develop libraries, providing resources with a focus on modernization. She had a funny story about how because of the difficulties of being in such a warm climate frequently without AC libraries resorted to storing laptops in the fridge to keep them from overheating and crashing! Next, Professor Cloonan talked about her experience working with the Zhean Archives helping to work with preservation of newspapers, historic records, Kurdish documentary and journalistic heritage. Both professors stressed the importance of flexibility, openness, self-reflections, and following up with people.

After having attended both these presentations I am fired up to start looking up international opportunities that would best fit my interests in the library science field!

 

Events | International | Librarians | People | Presentations | SLIS