Straightening out my thoughts.

Okay, I’m going to take some time to write, now. Today…well, today…what happened? Shopping, mostly. I did pick up some good things to eat, which is positive. I also tried some French Brie, today. Usually, Brie is a bit strong for me, and textured like compacted dehydrated tofu, but this is creamier and milder. I like it! We also got some pears, and organic grapes, so this is going to be good. 🙂

I was also able to do some reading. I understand now why the reading is given over a week, which makes sense given the density of this chapter.

No work done on the ePortfolio, today. At least — yet. (It’s 9:30 PM right now, though I have work tomorrow, so I shouldn’t stay up until 2 AM, like I can.) I’m hoping I won’t need to drop Collection Management later on, in order to get this done. What I have realized, though, is that it’s possible to draft the majority of a Competency essay in one day. Filling in the gaps is something else, as is tracking down evidence, but the latter isn’t hard. The former is what may require extra work.

I’m aiming to get a first draft of all my essays done, by Halloween. (After that, I have roughly 20 days to edit anything remaining.) Today was the 40th day before Halloween. I have 39 remaining. If I can’t think of anything to do, I should read over some of the ePortfolio examples. I think it would diminish apprehensiveness, and keep me from wasting time.

Just yesterday, I was out taking care of some mental health stuff. I did raise the alert about my last remaining major psychological issue, which I’m working on now. I just hope it doesn’t take up too much of my mental space, when I need my mental space for these next 39 days.

But I can do this, right?

I’ve also gotten the idea to write a biography. I probably, should. In my writings elsewhere, I essentially began this. Maybe I’m feeling pressed for time because I spent two days, basically, drafting this.

That’s probable.

There’s that, and the sleep hygiene thing, where I stayed up late Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and crashed on Thursday. And the Saturday and Sunday prior, I was drafting the narrative. Meaning…what was I doing on the Thursday and Friday prior?

Looks like I was blogging and getting over being sick. That sounds about right! And the week prior to that (Wednesday to Wednesday), I was wiped out with a cold. Less than a week before then, our visitor left.

So it’s not as bad as it looks. What I need to be okay about is not starting new activities to distract myself from working on my ePortfolio and my work in Collection Development. The biographical writing and the blogging on art and gender are the two things that I have done that I haven’t absolutely needed to do, though both have been constructive, even if disruptive.

I suppose I can’t block life out all the way, can I?

And I can deal with it if I have to turn in my interview late (or not at all). I’m already in an Honors Society and I’m in my last semester of classes. A “C” won’t ruin me.

How in the world can I say that? 🙂

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Am I being too tough on myself?

I need to set up a timetable for work on the ePortfolio before I get sucked any further under. Today…well, I can say that I was pretty much out of commission until about 5:30 PM. Looking back on it, I had been running with a sleep deficit, since Monday. Maybe it isn’t that surprising that I slept so long?

I did sit through lecture today, and have started in on this week’s reading (as versus next week’s reading, which is what I was doing, earlier).

I also need to learn to ask people to turn off the TV so I can study, instead of going back to bed because I can’t concentrate on anything over the noise.

So apparently, the next 2.5 weeks will be the busiest of the semester, for Collection Development. I’m not really looking forward to it, but it’s stuff I need to know…and a window into the Academic Library setting, as I’m using my research hours.

I haven’t gotten any work on the ePortfolio done, today, though I did review a key document, yesterday. I’m still dealing with not knowing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing, so my energy is diverted to a task which is clearly defined (watch the lecture, read the book, etc).

Tomorrow will be the weekly produce run. After that, I’ll need to finish reading Chapters 3 and 4 of my book so that I’m somewhat prepared for the interview I’m supposed to give someone, of which I don’t know the content, yet. I’m still waiting on confirmation of whether I’ll even be able to talk to this person, yet, and it has to be done within the next two weeks. Even a, “no,” will mean that I can move on to another option.

Well — when I put it that way, it doesn’t look too bad. It’s actually closer to a week and a half.

Maybe I should be giving myself breaks to draw, and stuff like that. Even if it’s just, “I’ll screw around with a pen for 10 minutes and then get back to work…”

Revisions and new possibilities

About an hour ago, I completed a paper for Collection Development. Five pages of content, two of references, and a title page. I was seriously just happy that I got it in a half-hour before midnight.

Oh — and that I was just barely under the maximum word count!

It would be nice if I were able to deal with my ePortfolio, now that I’m back in the world of the living. I really, seriously, need to get over my intimidation on it and just start writing stuff out. It won’t get written if I don’t write it, that is.

The driving factor here, is time. I have two months left to get this done, and the more I don’t work on it, the more it’s going to feel like I’m taking three or more classes, towards the end of those two months.

Realistically, I need to submit an average of at least two essays a week — probably more, now that I’ve wasted two weeks being sick, and catching up on work I didn’t do while I was sick. But I’m only taking one other class; I have time if I have motivation.

The big thing about it is getting back into an academic mode, as versus a vacation mode. The good thing about being in Collection Development concurrently is that the second class is structured, and forces me to get out of bed and engage.

I’ve just taken a look at my ePortfolio, and I’ve realized that any foundational work that I can get done on any Competency, will be good. This is because it makes things vastly less intimidating when I’m not looking at a blank form. And I can always update and edit work that is there.

The other thing that has happened is that I’m using one of my memberships which I have heretofore ignored. It’s encouraging the direction of my energy towards Librarianship, though it also can be a time sink: I spent two days authoring something to help someone. That’s time I could have used, working on my ePortfolio. But it did help. It really helped me, too.

I have realized that I would be a very good fit for a Public (or Academic) Library position. One of my papers is on the intersections of Social Justice, Civil Rights, and Intersectional Feminism, and I found myself shifting back into that mode and speaking on diversity issues. Now I’m involved. 🙂 Ruh-roh. 😉

I have realized, however: I’m a very good candidate as a Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, or American Studies scholar, as versus or in addition to having possibilities towards Japanese-language/-diaspora Special Collections, and the possibility of becoming an Art Librarian. I’m thinking, though, that Gender Studies…might be more interesting, and might help the world, more. And I’m not convinced that I need to go back to my alma mater for it.

I still remember someone there saying that I couldn’t have an opinion on gender identity unless I had read Foucault, first. Which is just elitist hogwash. I kind of know something about gender identity, from, you know, having engaged with and lived the problem. Did he? (On that note, I probably don’t even need a degree in Gender Studies to be knowledgeable in the field. I’ve done Master’s level research. I’m in Library Science. I’ve written papers. I have some knowledge of Social Science. I have a grounding in Feminism. My fundamental grasp of the topic is apparent. I can deal with it.)

In comparison…the Web Design stuff is looking unimportant. Weirdly. Though right now I would likely have to work in either general Reference or Technical Services, given my skill set. I want to and may need to extend my reach deeper into Information Organization, however. That includes re-taking Cataloging.

Coming up…I will very shortly have an interview with a Collection Manager, and I need to read Chapter 4 in preparation for that (and I have been advised to read it more than once)…though this week’s Module just now opened up. Chapter 4 is just 30 pages, though — not a problem. I could get the first run-through done tomorrow, if I needed to.

I’m still waiting to hear back from my contact, though; I’m not even sure this will follow through. I might have to interview someone in a different system. Maybe I should get the contact information of an alternate person, from work.

Speaking of which, I’ve gotta be there in the morning. Maybe I should get some sleep and stop running myself into the ground. 🙂

Resting, uneasily

All right, so this is basically, epically, procrastination. (Epic.) I’m still sick, but seem to be getting better. The drawback to this is that I feel like I’ve gotten almost nothing done in the past 5 days, while I’ve been sick. Though…it feels like more than a week.

Of course, I know that it isn’t quite true that I’ve gotten nothing done — I’ve sat through a lecture, done 3.5 out of 4 readings, and have been mentally preparing to do the activity due tomorrow night (!), which I’ll probably be late on. But I’ve called my Professor. (It seems like Collection Development is a class we’re seriously expected to commit at least four hours of work to, per week. Not every Professor holds to that guideline, but some do.)

In the meantime, I’m still not sure if my form has yet reached my University (it will be two weeks in the mail system, if it hasn’t), I’ve called in a counselor to try and get that information to them an alternate way…and I still need to work on my ePortfolio. I feel like not much has moved forward on that last bit, but that’s because I was just collecting evidence for several Competencies instead of writing out the essays for them.

I’ve got to remember that not everything has to be as thorough/excellent as my first and easiest Competency to fulfill (which was on diversity).

And…now, I’m getting tired, again. Amazingly.

Maybe going over my archives with my eyeballs glazed over will be easier than writing…

I just opened up another tab to do something and promptly forgot why I did it. (Ah — right. I was checking to see when the last day to drop Collection Development was. I can only do so if I get a “W” grade, at this point.)

Maybe I should just try and rest…

Or, if I feel the need to read my own work: go back over my archives and start sorting things. Just…it won’t likely be useful to read, here, for a bit…

I also am concerned about not being well enough for work on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I guess I’ve got another day of healing before I have to think about that (and if I am well enough for work, how much energy will I have after it???)…

Dividing sick time.

I seriously just want to get back to studying Japanese language!

I did watch this week’s lecture, today…though not much else has gotten done besides my helping M with her homework, and refilling my fountain pen. And, yeah, eating, sleeping, drinking water, and blowing my nose.

I did realize that the Maruman Sept Couleur notebook I have is excellent for use with the Pilot Metropolitan (fountain pen) with Iroshizuku ink. Didn’t know it, though, until writing kana in it for M, and seeing the thick/thin lines that I was able to form with the nib (I’m using a Fine nib — I got this to be able to practice kana and kanji with something special). It’s something that hasn’t shown up on other papers, including the Kyokuto Expedient notebook I have.

Maybe it’s a sign that it needs to be cleaned? Maybe I’m breaking it in? Maybe I’m holding it at a different angle? I don’t know. 🙂 The variation in color, line width, and the feel when writing is different, though. I can actually tell what the pen’s orientation is when I’m using the Maruman, which I can’t, with the Kyokuto. The Kyokuto’s paper just feels more yielding. (This, in turn, is making me want to go back to my art, but I’ve been too sick to do much for the last couple of days.)

I’ve recently been enabled to post from bed now, though, and that’s the only reason I can get this out to you all. I should really be asleep, but I’m thinking there’s no chance of my being well enough to go in to work tomorrow, anyway. I’m aware they’ll likely need me; I’m also aware that I’ll need to sleep and that going in to work means I’ll probably expose others to whatever I’m battling, and possibly pick up a few more bugs while I’m at it. I DO NOT need to get pneumonia in an era of drug-resistant bacteria. (Neither does anyone else.)

I think I’m eight pages away from being done with the chapter reading for this week (which I’ve got to get in by Monday night); I still have three other readings and an assignment to do, there. I’ll also have to get up the nerve to touch my ePortfolio, though I suppose I should remember that I don’t actually have to turn in what I write in my first draft!

The weekend will be good for this, though. Tuesday through Thursday were pretty shot, for me (although it was more of a slow bleed, after the possible food poisoning Tuesday night, whatever happened on Wednesday [I believe this was going in to work sick], sleeping nearly all day yesterday and sleeping nearly all day today). Come to think of it, I had work Tuesday morning. I had no free time, then. And I may have started to get sick on Monday night, when I went to bed with my hair damp.

I don’t know what I was doing, Monday. I was probably watching people rush to get their homework in (or adding on to my own work for Collection Development).

Actually, now that I look — I was starting a plan for my ePortfolio Conclusion (particularly the part about plans after graduation). It took a few days of thought, but I have what appears to be a solid plan, and can now write that section in a somewhat prepared manner.

I also have three other sections I can deal with (FINISH) in the coming days. When will I do it?

I am not sure, but I have no set due date for this project. I just know that it’s better to get it done earlier, rather than later. I would write out a plan, but I know that I’m not going to stick to it, and that it’s going to worry me for the rest of the semester.

That sounds kind of fatalist.

I might get the nerve to crunch out a plan, over the weekend. The major problem is that all of this lies ahead of me; I don’t know right now how long any of it is going to take. Which is a reason to work on it as much as possible, now.

Giving myself time: one plan towards two ends

I’ve got a plan as to how to handle the tension between Web Design and Librarianship, though I’m not sure if I’ve already written it here. I think I’ll remember it, but just in case:

Since I am on the edge of getting an LIS degree, and will therefore soon be able to move into a Library Assistant or Librarian position, it makes sense to take one of those jobs immediately after graduation. Either one has a much higher pay scale (compared to what I’m doing now) and at least the possibility of benefits. The LA position is paraprofessional; Librarian positions are professional.

If I do get the Master’s, I plan on re-taking Cataloging through the ALA. I will also have the income then to take additional courses. There are a lot that I’ve wanted to take, but didn’t have time to. Continuing Professional Development will be expected of me as a Librarian, however.

I will likely also have the income for tools and books to further my interest in and study of Web Design. This includes up-to-date graphics programs (though the most fundamental are currently cloud-based), a DSLR camera, and a graphics tablet. (The tablet comes first.)

Depending on my living situation, I may also be able to put some money away towards the possibility of tuition and fees for a MFA in Design. Right now this is so far out of reach, that it’s unrealistic to think about blowing all that money on something I’m not even sure I’ll like.

However, during my time as a Librarian, it will be possible for me to work on my Web Design skills, learn Web Design and Development via the Internet as much as I can, and work on the website of a library via a Technical Services and/or Virtual Library position. It will be possible for me to be a Webmaster in that arena, though probably not for a while.

Some time later, after I have the money to be able to take on a Design MFA without breaking myself (timewise or financially), and I have identified a school at which to study, then I can decide if I still actually can use an MFA, or if I know what I need to know, already. I will also likely know by then, if I actually would rather stay a Librarian (that is, if I like being a Librarian).

This matters because becoming a full-time Web Designer would be a change into a very competitive, for-profit field, and also would likely entail a cut in pay and benefits. I would be able to work independently, though. It’s also a more creative position, but there are other ways to be creative that aren’t, you know, careers. And this is assuming that there is still a Web as we know it, by the time I reach this point.

Given that thought, it would be best to invest in soft skills, as well as technical ones.

If I worked in a Public Library, I could feed my need to be creative by helping with art and craft programs; if I worked in an Academic Library, I could feed it by developing study aids and doing Instructional Design. (Not quite the same thing, but the same feeling of accomplishment when things start to come together at the end.)

Right now it looks like weighing the benefits of creativity and integrity against each other, although as I think I’ve said before — I’m not even totally sure I am still a creative person, on medication.

Medication can also change…so that’s a variable that I should keep in the back of my mind. I may not be on what I’m on now, for the rest of my life. Before my symptoms were controlled, I was constantly creative (in a way that I actually produced things), but I couldn’t care for myself as well. There’s kind of a trade-off there, I mean.

I’m starting to get a headache, here: I went to bed at 5:30 PM, about, and woke up at 9, then watched some cartoons and the first Deadpool movie. It’s now 2 AM; I can get back to sleep. Tomorrow, I can plan on working on some of my ePortfolio tasks…particularly, essay writing. I hope I’ll be up to it.

And yeah…I suppose it is possible to “dabble” in Web Design…but either Web Design or Librarianship could take up all of my time.

I spoke with someone who says this sounds like a solid plan, though I was talking over his head at some points. I hope it’s a solid plan…

And yes, I did just totally forget about my desire to learn Japanese language and work in Special Collections. That is the alternate pathway, if I don’t end up liking (or just can’t or don’t want to do) Web Design. I should have time to study nihongo alongside everything else too, in the early stages…

Hmm. Exactly where and how would I work that in, though?

If I don’t go for a Design MFA, though, I could still put the money I saved towards a Japanese Language and Literature MA…!

Some ePort work done…

I’m actually feeling pretty good, today, after getting comments and a Passing grade back on my first ePortfolio segment!

Today, I’ve been doing what I intended to do yesterday. I’ve been reading through and polishing old assignments from 2012. Pretty soon, I should have Competencies A-C fulfilled, and won’t have to depend so much on material I completed six years ago!

Really, what got me out of bed (besides the fact that I realized I was on the fast track to, “not graduating,” and letting the past three years be a waste of time, effort, support, and money, if I let anxiety and frustration at internal politics take over) were two conditions. The first condition is that both my parents were studying their own stuff — meaning that the TV was off and things were quiet. The second condition was that I got a Passing grade back on my Comp C submission, meaning that I was doing things all right and could move forward with the other pages.

This…has made me feel better than sewing would have. I did, however, rest before beginning. Sometimes I’m just not ready to dive in, you know? I wasn’t ready to deal with this immediately after waking up; I needed about two hours to gather myself. Maybe tomorrow I can take this into account and do something not requiring heavy thought right after waking. (Maybe knitting? Or reading.) Then two hours after I’ve woken, I can start working on the ePortfolio, or on my Collection Development homework?

I still need to revise my Chapter 1 submission for Collection Development to “prove” that I read it, though I’m thinking that in a Master’s program, I shouldn’t have to…

I’m also thinking about re-taking Cataloging and Classification if I do get the Master’s, though I’ll have to do it on my own. But how could it be worse than taking it the first time around through a digital interface?

Probably this is enough time spent on this posting, for now. I can get back to work. 🙂