Friday, February 26, 2010

There's a light...*

The end of the quarter is virtually in sight. I have a cataloging paper due on Sunday (LCSH!), then a justification of my class participation for my management class, and then the two final papers (case study of IBM and a catalog critique). In a matter of moments I'll be meeting online with my group to hash out how we're going to lead a discussion on the challenges of managing Sandy Berman (certified badass). My diet today has consisted primarily of coffee and doughnuts, so I feel less than sharp. It also doesn't help that I've been watching episodes of the BBC series Who Do You Think You Are? Monstrously emotional journeys as celebs trace out the more snarled bits of their genealogy. A lot of sympathetic crying and not much in the way of tightening my discussion on subject heading choices.

This is not to say that the quarter is a waste - the very opposite in fact. Working on blind authority headings yesterday, I was struck by how much I now understand when looking at an authority or bib record. Searching makes more sense because I now really get what the system is looking at, what the fields in the record actually mean. I keep feeling that a quarter of this program involves relearning stuff I already knew, a fair amount of learning things I never knew or considered, and a fair amount of learning the rhyme and reason behind things I thought I knew. It's all very enlightening, but it often feels like I'm re-indexing my head on a weekly or even daily basis when new information or new links between old ideas are forged. Exhilarating, but exhausting.

Group chat time...

*...shining at the Epcot Center.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I can't decide if it's the classes I'm taking or if it's simply getting used to the program that makes each progressive quarter seem more manageable than the one previous. Once the first week passes and I have a sense of when things are do and when I have to read/listen to lectures, the rest seems to fall into place. As an added bonus, there's been very little fighting with technology this quarter - no websites going down or contrary coding. I read and think and write and post and drop things into drop boxes and call it a night. That's not to say that this isn't satisfying or enjoyable - it's both. Rather, I think I have finally figured out how to make school a part of my life. Apparently the fifth quarter is the magic point for me.

The other day I sat down to decide what to take next quarter. I am nearly done with my last core class, so everything is electives and "culminating experience". I realized that after next quarter, I'll only have 17 credits left. A little over two quarters. I just really hope that there are jobs starting up when I'm done with this program. I am willing to move and work at whatever professional level, but I think I would lose all momentum if I had to wait a few years before a job opened. And now I'm going to stop thinking about it, lest I freak out.

Other than falling into a rhythm with classwork, this quarter is running smoothly because I'm so interested in the material. My cataloging class guarantees me at least "Ooh, so that's why we do X" moments a week. It's interesting, after all this time working with bib records and MARC, to finally understand why it works the way it does - why the author name in the 245 doesn't match the name in the 100, for example. Incredibly simple moves, but it feels earth shattering to me. We're working on LCSH this week, the part of cataloging that made my friends' heads explode, so we'll see how optimistic and enthusiastic I feel after that...

Tomorrow morning I'm up early to do a plyometric work out with the boy, so to bed for me...