First Week Back

Classes only began for me Wednesday. But I officially began the second year of library school at 8.30 last Thursday morning when I volunteered to help out at one of the new student orientation events. One of the centerpieces of the SI orientation experience is showing students what it’s like to collaborate by throwing them together into groups of four or five and having them go out on a scavenger hunt around central campus for an hour or so. The students then come bnack and take an online survey (of course) and compare experiences. I wsn’t able to participate in the most significant part of the event, which was the second-years tossing in their thoughts about the previous year’s hunt, but I did help with a few minor logistical details at the start of the event. And I got up in front of the lecture hall of 80 or 90 first-years and introduced myself and gave my student organization affiliation, something I would never have been able to do five, ten, or fifteen years ago.

Then, a couple hours later, I helped staff the LILA table at the student organization fair at West Hall, which was also a good experience. More people stopped by than I would’ve expected, and a couple of people I had animated conversations with (about California, Michigan weather, small talk; but nonetheless). There were a few people who studiously avoided our table’s corner of the room, and a few who passed by the table with downturned mouths, but by and large it was a positive thing. And our table, needless to say, was the most festive one in the room (one of our group brought his rainbow-colored feather boa to drape the table with).

The class schedule is not as hellish this term, mostly because most of my classes are either afternoon or early evening. I much prefer that schedule to rolling out of bed at 7.30 almost every day as I had to do last fall. So far I’ve had good luck in class selection. All have been uniformly interesting and compelling, though as usual at SI, they will be heavy with work. I have one more course that hasn’t yet met, at which point I will decide whether I’m keeping all of my units.

The schedule (so far) this term includes Government Documents, Cataloging (under a different name), an Information Policy seminar, and Online Searching, as well as my work at SPO and a directed field experience at the Government Documents room in Hatcher. I also have a poster presentation to prepare on my summer’s work at the IPL.

It will be a busy term. But if I get through this term okay, I’ll have fewer units to contend with my final term, and I’ll be able to devote more time and attention to 502 (Choice and Learning), which is the one Foundations course I haven’t completed (I dropped it last spring because of the load I was trying to get through) and the one course that I am most dreading.

Update [9.21.04]: I ended up dropping out of the Online Searching course, which was not a function of the merit of the course (it looks like a great class), but a function of my workload and my desire to fight my tendency to bite off more than I can chew. So my schedule now is still hectic and busy, but at least it’s rational.