Sunday, May 10, 2009

Purpose Statement

This quarter features more of those "Why am I doing this??" moments than the previous two. First quarter I was too overwhelmed to really think about what was going on and last quarter was a rather relaxing stroll through reference and statistics. LIS 530 is proving to be challenging - mostly the thrilling sort of challenging with spikes of the terrible challenging that makes me anxious and unable to sleep. Some of this is surely latent gifted child syndrome ("Everything was easy and perfect when I was 11 and, despite my brains, I can't figure out why it isn't now!"). Some of this is that the professor for 530 intends us to struggle, to not dance straight into perfect quiz scores. I appreciate this on an intellectual level and am left kicking my feet and pouting on a five-year-old level.

While finishing a paper, working on a quiz, and trying to plan out the next step of another major project, I kept thinking about all of the other things I could be doing at that exact moment if I wasn't in school. A late weekday afternoon featured running, reading novels, knitting, bringing the house up to a state slightly above hovel, and fencing. When I wasn't in school I had vacation time and money to spend to go on vacation. I didn't have to worry about tuition rates, Internet outages, or due dates.

Oh, due dates. My eternal nemesis. How many hours did I spend avoiding you with the vain idea that I "produce better when I'm under the gun." Now that I am officially too old to pull an all nighter, I hate due dates even more because I have to work ahead of them. I am much, much better at organizing my time than I was as an undergraduate or in my first grad program, but I still find myself overwhelmed. All I do is school and I'm terrified that in the future all I'll be able to do is work. Is this something I love enough to want to do it all the time? Most days, yes. I am a big fat nerd about most of this stuff and love when I can see what I've learned playing out at work. I know that what I want to do won't necessarily take the absorbing fanaticism that an English PhD would have required (unless I manage to become that cataloguer). Is this what a career means? Will I have to live and breathe it or is it that I have a tendency to live and breathe whatever my goal of the moment is? My history shows an ability to hyper focus with abandon...

I'm not sure, and I have a lesson plan to write and 8 readings on indexing and cataloging to get to...

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