How many days to go? …6?

I’m trying not to get too bogged down with the whole work + school thing.  Although I have made an interesting observation:  this is that Library School is in actuality having a job which I pay for which will teach me job skills so I will be able to get a better-paying job, once it’s over.

Yeah, well — maybe not “in actuality,” but it helps me to think of it this way.  Instead of having a 40-hour work week, I have an 18-hour commitment to my job, and a 30-hour commitment to school.

1 hour per unit x 3 units = 3 hours per week, homework, for each unit

each class = 3 units = 9 hours per week homework

3 classes at 3 units each = 27 hours per week homework

+1 hour lecture per class per week = 30 hours of study per week, total.

So basically, I have to be prepared to work a 48-hour week.  This isn’t as bad as it would seem, when I factor in that my commute is, on average, very short.  🙂

I do kind of wonder sometimes if it’s worth it, though.  The big reason to stay in the program is that I am hoping that I won’t have to worry about being “conventional enough.”  Plus, I actually am being exposed to knowledge that I didn’t even know existed.  As far as…working as an Information Professional is concerned, it is really interesting.  But it’s fairly evident to me at this point in my LIS career that I am not well-suited to be a Librarian — at least, not one in a Public Library system.

In particular, the classes I have taken so far which have been Library-focused (that is, service-focused) have mostly been either uncomfortable, or blatant turn-offs.  This is for various reasons, but largely…people who have been representatives of the ALA (in my classes, not in my workplace) have tended to strike me as idealistic and myopic (sorry to say).  Maybe it’s the, “American,” part of, “American Library Association,” which I’m grating against.  I can deal with the ideology so far as respecting others goes, but that doesn’t mean I want to give up myself, my own experience, my own hard-won ethics, to become it.  (this would actually tend to point a finger at the ALA’s low percentage of “minority” members…)

I do have to get going in a few minutes; I will try and find the book I checked out before on options for using a MLIS degree which are outside of the Library system; I think it will be useful.

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Nine days to go!

Well, I’ve got a couple of assignments, down.  I completed the last Discussion Post assigned for Intellectual Freedom (will there be another one? unsure — but at least I did what I could).

I was sitting around trying to figure out whether to write and what to write and where to write it, or if I should just go and draw/write in my art journal, when I realized that this would be a good opportunity to stop procrastinating and get some work done so that I can break the anxiety/avoidance cycle.

All procrastination really gives me is anxiety, and anxiety makes me want to hide, and hiding is detrimental to the goal of getting work done, which is detrimental to the goal of staying in the program, which is detrimental to the goal of having a stable career, which is detrimental to the goal of having leisure time for writing and art.  (The work does have to be done, eventually; and while there is a place for self-care and nurturing, it cuts down on the total anxiety I feel dramatically when I get the work done earlier, rather than later.)

So there are several things left to do now, but the majority of them do not have to be done immediately.  The exception is my Subject Guide for Diversity, which I have the parts for, but which I haven’t assembled, yet (largely due to being grossed out over the dirtiness of the library books).  I have most of the day to work on it tomorrow; it is due the day after.  But if I can turn it in early, that sounds like a better plan than delaying until the (absolute) last minute.

I can also work on my final group project…which majorly involves research (I have a date tomorrow night — by which time I’ll need to have done some work).  In particular, analyzing web sites.  Joy, right.  (It would be more interesting if I didn’t have so many other demands.)

Then I can add in my Reflections on my Librarian Interview paper and turn it in early (it’s already nine pages!!!), plus get started on my Privacy paper (which is as yet, unstarted:  due nine days from now).

As well, Discussion #3 and my course evaluations can be completed:  the latter, at any time.  After that, I just have to worry about my Competency paper and the final Quiz for my Database class.  After everything’s submitted, I should archive it.  Then — I think — I’ll be done.  Of course, there will be more work thrown in there around my Database group, but if I stay on top of things, it won’t matter.

I do wish that I had been listening in on the “Help Sessions” for Diversity class…if I’d known they were either required or extremely useful, I would have been.  But they were called “Help Sessions,” not “Lectures,” and I missed the data in the Syllabus.  I don’t even know if I was expected to read the entire textbook; which, I might have known, if I were listening in on the “Help Sessions.”  Something I can mention in my evaluation.  However, I have learned a number of things, this semester:

  1. Read the Syllabus deeply and thoroughly at the beginning of the course!
  2. Don’t be afraid to include outside research in your answers, even if it is just a Discussion question.  Cite your sources in the document — ALA format.
  3. When you’re responding to a question, don’t assume anyone will remember what the question is or was; as portfolio evidence, you don’t want to have to include the prompts as a separate file.  Either paraphrase the question in your response, or quote the question in your submission.

And, I think I’ve finally managed to learn how to use the Portfolio tool.

I can’t think clearly enough right now to organize this into a list, but I’m pretty sure these are all the commitments I’ve got (besides work).  And I have a little over a week in which to do them.

I’m not sure if I should save getting my pens until the 13th, just to give myself a break and a reward for powering through these last days…

Preparing…hoping…(engaging and loving are needed)

Well, I do suppose that I’ve been either taking care of food, hygiene, or study since the time I woke up.  I guess I can do something not required…

Late last night, I was able to come up with a vision for a book which may or may not be made.  Actually, there are at least two main paths I can take:  bound on the side, or on the top.  I’ve noted these down in my Sleep Journal (pretty much the only thing I was awake enough to draw and write in).

I keep having dreams about photocopying 18″x24″ sheets of comic works in order to reduce and print them…last night what was coming to me was the uses of large-sized Layout paper (scan, resize and print the original images going into each panel, then paste them up them behind the Layout paper, and trace the images through the paper for a final layout and inking).  What also came to me was the possibility of using acrylic inks as a color overlay on top of the Layout paper, utilizing frosted acrylic or polyester sheeting (I’ve seen it called “vellum,” but that term also applies to other art surfaces; it may only apply to the texture).  Then both the Layout paper and the sheeting can be scanned in and aligned in Photoshop, with the color layer set to 100% transparency.  At that point it can be printed at less than 8.5″x11″, cut and hand-bound.

Then there are the uses of graph paper, or paper with dots every 1/4″ (I’ve seen this as well; more often in Japanese stores), to fit a comic layout to a grid.  I think that most of the papers I have are not as big as 18″x24″ (as in my dreams), though!  It would be laborious to draw out something that big, anyway.  I’m sure I have something around 11″x14″ or 14″x17″, but I’m not sure the sizes match.

Anyhow, I’ve been thinking on how to make the story I began last Spring into an actual, fleshed-out, written story.  But I don’t know whether to narrate it in prose, or whether to use it as a basis for a series or body of art pieces.  I do have a bit of a dream of putting it in a book:  but books can contain much more than, well, writing like I’m writing, here.  I can put in illustrations and storytelling, and prose poetry (it gets better with editing, which I don’t do much of, here).  And if it’s an art book, it will probably be OK.

I haven’t posted about the topic of the story recently, because if I do plan on going big with it, it wouldn’t be to my direct advantage to speak about it in its natal stages.  On the other hand, I probably don’t have to worry about anybody “stealing” my story, because that is in effect, impossible, just from my disclosing synopses.

The story is born from me, it is spun from me; that individual touch is going to permeate it and distinguish it from any inspiration others may take from my ideas, in order to make their own stories (which would actually most likely be about a different set of concepts than my stories are).  Authenticity and cohesion is palpable, and multiple people can take the same prompt in very different directions:  another thing I learned in Art classes, which wasn’t as visible (if you will) in Writing.

I have decided to go ahead and get a couple more packs of these Signo 207 pens, though, for drawing practice.  They’re just…really nice, even if they aren’t waterproof.  I’m also, as I said before, scared of ruining the good pens (my Microns and Copics) with pressing too hard on them during practice (and not even necessarily drawing anything serious).

This happened to me with a Micron 005, where I bent the fiber-tip and then had to hold it weirdly to be able to get any ink out of it, and it was starting to happen with the tiny Copic nibs (I purchased the disposable ones, so there is no going back and replacing the nibs on these pens, as is possible with the more expensive, refillable Copic fineliners).

I realize that the Signos, being roller-gel pens, are not going to discourage that habit (they have metal tips, not fiber tips, and will in fact incise the paper in finer nib diameters); but at the same time, they’re relatively inexpensive compared to Microns — about $1.50 each.  They just have a nice feel — like I could play with them and run the ink out of them and not worry about messing them up, or about whether anything I happen to draw with them has to be “good”, or worthy of the use of such expensive instruments (as Microns or Copics).

Originally, I was going to give them a pass:  then I was playing around in the margins of my notes the other night and used both a Medium (0.7 mm) and Micro (0.5 mm) tip on a few of the drawings I’d made (really just doodles, but it’s…kind of astonishing, to me, that my mind does this).  The very fine distinction in line width actually matters.  It’s visible.  It surprised me.  While I wouldn’t use the Micro to write with, it comes in handy when illustrating details, and anything you don’t want to have a heavier line weight.  The 207s come in an Ultra Micro (.38 mm?) and a Bold (1 mm), as well.  I’m planning on picking these up for more options.  (Plus, I get irritated when I can’t find any good pens…)

Of course, though, I am in Finals; so my only sure time to be able to play with these hardcore is coming up in — HA, 10 days; though I work on five of them.  I’ve just got to be sure to prioritize things appropriately, given that I have somewhere along the lines of 242 hours left of the semester.

I did spend three hours at the library today, researching and collecting items for a Diversity assignment (fairly interesting, I’ve got to say:  I have three days to work on it), and trying to do research for my last group project (the meeting for which would have been rescheduled to Sunday, but I ran into people online anyway; the take-away from that meeting is that we may need to simplify our approach).

Luckily, I did stay up late last night to complete the paraphrasing of my Librarian interview; so the hard part there (the part I was dreading and avoiding) is over.  (It helps that I was a Creative Writing major; I can extrapolate the meaning of my interviewee’s words and restate it, rather than aiming for exact word-for-word transmission [which would not be possible without a voice recorder, which I don’t have].)  What remains is to add my Reflection piece and edit; then I can turn it in (even though yes, I am scared of getting below 85% on it — my professor is tough).

The only other big thing is a paper on Privacy, which…hasn’t even really been assigned, yet, though I can start working on it after I finish my Diversity paper.  Then there is something to write up as practice for the last element of the program (!) …yeah, okay.

Those are the major assignments; plus saving my records to my friggin’ portfolio (which I don’t entirely know how to do, yet; I should search for tutorials).  I have a hard copy list of everything in total that’s due before the 12th, though.  It’s not looking nearly as bad as it was last night, so that in itself is awesome…