YUS!

heyyyy. I got my paper turned in on time!

Despite my recent surprise at having mysteriously gained a couple of pounds (it was likely from two donuts, two ice cream bars, and juice over the past week — my metabolism is wrecked on Prozac)…I went and got some ice cream after work today.

It was THAT BAD, YO. I got a double scoop. it was THAT EFFING BAD. I’m like is this actually half a pint of ice cream? How the **** much ice cream is this–

I knew I was comfort-eating (in addition to dealing with crashed blood sugar), but I also knew that the ice cream would give me a break from my anxiety and allow me some time to collect myself. What I didn’t bet on was that it would keep digesting for a really long time (it’s still in there, not kidding). Because it takes so long to get into my system, the fat in the ice cream leveled off my blood sugar (unexpectedly). Now I may weigh three extra pounds tomorrow, or have stupid high blood lipid levels tonight, but I just need to exercise. Trying to manage my weight just by diet is going to make me angry.

(What’s weird is that it actually calmed me down, which I expected; but the calm continued way after I ate it. But I was working out a strategy to attack this paper, on the way home.)

Amazingly, yesterday I went 1.75 miles on the exercise bike (15 minutes), and my legs ARE NOT SORE. (I don’t know how.) Which means I can probably do a lot more than I think I can. (I should probably start stretching before going on the bike, too, as well as after; torn ACLs are not something to envy. Speaking of which, now that I look it up, an ACL isn’t in the same place as I thought…)

I don’t talk about it a lot here, but I’m vulnerable to blood sugar crashes, where I start feeling awful and thinking unclearly, if I don’t eat enough of the right things at the right times. Apparently, I didn’t eat enough in the morning, or at break, or at lunch…I did eat, I guess it just wasn’t enough.

So today I was super stressed out about having to write the paper I just turned in, anyway, because I didn’t think I’d make it in on time (and was planning to tough it out until 3 AM)…then there is my group project (which I’m behind on), and then a study guide I have to make. On top of that, I’m going to need to record an oral presentation within the next week. But the PAPER THAT WAS WORTH 25% OF MY GRADE IS NOW TURNED IN. Gah.

And I think I got a B, but anyway…it’s not a C. It would fit in with the rest of my grades, in that class.

So now I can concentrate on my group project, which isn’t terrible, especially as I volunteered to do data entry (I am not confident in my ability to implement databases, anymore). Can I take a back seat with this project? Can I actually give myself permission not to lead the intellectual work of this project?

It’s not something I’m used to.

But, let’s see…tomorrow I can get back on listening to the lectures, and work on what I’m going to present in my oral presentation (the scenario for which, I have to look up, still). If I get bored, I can start working on my Research Guide, but I think what I’ve mentioned will be enough.

And — and — I have remembered why I took the Digital Services pathway: because I wanted to get foundational skills in Web Publishing. Cataloging wouldn’t have focused on this. And it would have trapped me with skills only relevant in Library Science.

Seems like a lot of my life revolves around production and publishing, though…(informal as that may be, right now)…Art, English, blogging, Japanese, Web Design…

That is what I wanted to get out of it, even though Cataloging might be more practical (even if old).

Yeah, I’m starting to sound like a Young Adult, now…I wonder if it’s ever permissible to have an aspiration to be like the next generation…

Advertisements

Tired again.

Right now I’m having a bit of a time with wanting to post and not wanting to sit at my computer. Apparently, my old tablet was able to be fixed, but I’m also not working on that, either.

I have a lot to do over the next week, and I’m not really happy about it. I only have four weeks to go in the semester, however. It just feels like I’m wasting my life by planning for the rest of it…but that’s about how I felt through all of high school. It’s also apparent that what I am doing is likely the most valuable thing I can be doing right now.

I just really hate group projects. Not to mention that I’m not comfortable in Database Management and feel like I’m slacking because I’m a week behind (largely due to a month full of family visitations — which can be nice, but they take up resources of time and energy).

And…politics are a bit scary. But the only way I’m involved is by existing and living a normal life, so…

(said every commoner under a tyrant ever)

I also did get curious/fatigued enough to look at my watercolor lightfastness chart. I REALLY REALLY should not use Alizarin Crimson! It’s been about four months since I put that thing in the sun. (Aureolin is still going strong.) The Crimson has just…noticeably faded. I checked that one (as a known fugitive pigment) to see if anything had faded at all. It’s kind of shocking.

After the next week is over, I can try and post some images. I was looking over my backposts and I realized I really, really miss working with color.

Maybe I’ll start looking at tutorials online like I’ve seen others doing, to help me with subject matter and looseness.

Otherwise…I’ve got to go to work tomorrow, and am not sure if it is an additional stressor, or a relief from stress. (Is it procrastination to go to work when you have unfinished assignments?)

I’m also questioning whether I should have stayed in Cataloging despite almost bombing my Beginning Cataloging class (which is the only grade I’ve got at this point which is not some version of A). The thing is, I can’t use Cataloging outside of a library system, whereas I can use Digital Services skills in Web Development and Web Design (which is where I think I want to be…it just may be much more lucrative to be a Librarian).

I am just really hoping that not all Web Development is as math-based as my Database Management class…I work well with languages, but logic problems are a different thing. I should be able to find out whether I picked the wrong path in Intro to Programming, though…and I only have one month left of this semester.

And come Fall, if all goes well, it should be my last semester.

I have a feeling I would be good in Collection Development, too…

Refresh

I’m writing right now because I feel the need to. What comes out may or may not have to do with the two hours I spent observing at Reference in a local library today. There’s just something that has to come out. I don’t know what it is, yet.

Reference was a mixture of dull and hectic. I went in not knowing to expect, and aware of my nervousness. The thing is, nervousness can easily be retranslated into excitement, I think: it just has to do with the way the energy is directed. I could expect bad things to happen, or good things to happen…

Because I was working with a pair of librarians instead of one, this made it very difficult to concentrate on what one or the other was doing at any given time. My attention was divided, and I don’t think I gave the absolute best impression (as I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be doing in the first place, having forgotten to either print out or bring the assignment description).

This is likely compounded by the fact that I’m socially awkward just generally, miss social cues, and don’t realize when I’m unintentionally giving off social cues. I don’t really figure this out until after the fact, though, because I’m not thinking about it at the time.

What was really weird: during the course of the two hours I spent at the desk, I ran into three people I knew from other venues. One was my supervisor back when I was a volunteer, one I knew from community college, and one was Manager of Public Services, whom I had interviewed before.

I went in being concerned that the same thing would happen as did when I got my first experience out of the gate as a volunteer for a local community library: that is, that someone would try to get me to do what I was not there to do, or would try to get into my life in a way that was unwelcome. This didn’t happen, though, which is relatively amazing.

The observation assignment was this morning; after that was a trip to the produce market, to get a tea and pastry (I didn’t eat breakfast), and then back home.

Once I was home, I started working on the other major assignment for this class, which is answering a large number of Reference questions of my choice, using a variety of sources. I’ve figured out that it is related to a reading assignment given a few weeks ago, which I had forgotten about — until I looked back in my Bullet Journal and saw that I had neither completed nor forwarded this task.

Luckily, though, I was able to strategize, and am now confident that I’ll be able to knock out a good number of these questions in the next week and a half. I have wiggle room in my GPA, so I don’t have to be perfect.

The (minor) trouble is that I’m supposed to be recording how long it takes me to answer each question, and right now I’m still flipping around in my book doing readings which greatly simplify finding the answers. This is reading which I was supposed to be doing a while back, and just didn’t.

Now I have pointers which say where to look and what to look for, out of these approximately 500 pages. And that was caused by my taking time out to write down all the chapters and align the questions I had picked, with said chapters (in order to prioritize my reading). That was not wasted time.

Now that I’m reading parts of the chapters (instead of trying to force my way through them by reading everything in order), I am finding other questions which are easier to answer than some of the ones I’ve picked out. This is a good thing. They didn’t look easier, but with a knowledge base, they are.

The thing is, I’ve been skipping around from question to question when I can’t move forward on one or another, and that isn’t really conducive to timing myself, but it is conducive to the way I work, and it is conducive to the way I saw people working, today.

Given that the actual work of answering the questions will be much more labored if I don’t read first, I think it’s also not wasted time to do the reading (or at least, parts of it) before attempting to solve the problems.

So…I’ve been doing that, especially as I realized that my major Instructional Design deliverable isn’t due for a couple more days (not yesterday, like I thought — I should just get it out of the way, though; I have an idea of how to tackle it). On top of that, this Professor doesn’t mind resubmissions for full grades, so I don’t need to stress if I get something wrong, or if my ideas aren’t fully formed.

After that, I have two more chapters to go in Database Management before I’ll be caught up, there. I will, however, have to listen to (and read) the next week’s material, and soon: but there isn’t a group deliverable this time around, so it’s just my grade hanging in the balance. Which is a nice change — especially, as I can use accommodations if I need them.

This is actually looking doable, now, and it’s only about to be Friday. Tomorrow I’ll have a full day off, and will be able to devote time to this, which sounds really good.

I didn’t really realize it, but maybe things do get energized when I deal with other people. I had mentioned that I’m not even sure if I’m a, “people person,” because there have been so many mitigating circumstances in my life, but…I know Reference work is looking possible to me, now. Even though I normally shy away from people. Structured interactions are different from unstructured ones.

As M said when I spoke to her about this, not everyone who works Reference is a, “people person,” but it just might help. 🙂

What if (things had gone differently)? Math and Design:

I know I was told to stop blogging late at night, but it’s hard when you feel like you didn’t wake up too long ago. I did finally accomplish that shower, though, and I have taken medication already; so I should have a limited amount of time between now and the point where I can’t think in words, anymore.

Right now, I’m wondering how my proficiencies might have been different if I had continued within the Graphic Arts program, as versus the (Fine) Arts program, in community college. I am aware that the Master’s program I’m in now features various Design possibilities, but this is high-level stuff, and not all of it is related to Graphic Design.

For example: Instructional Design, Database Design, Web Design, Interface Design, Interaction Design, Design Thinking…

That’s much broader than I think they would have taught me at the place where I first started looking into Graphic Arts. There were three things that discouraged me from following through with it:

  • A comment from a teacher stating she thought I, “could do more,” than being a Graphic Designer. (I believe she meant Fine Arts or something along that line; by the time I was in her class, I already had a BA in Creative Writing.)
  • My then-dislike of dealing with people; I was told that what people ask you to do is generally not what they actually want done, and it would be my job to find out what they actually needed (much like the premise of a Reference Interview, but I wouldn’t know that until later).
  • The fact that I was told I would either need an apprenticeship or a graduate degree in order to be successful as a Graphic Designer.

And then, there was this bit:

  • Being harangued off of a (supposed) Graphic Design email list for not using my legal name.

At the time, I was not thinking about graduate degrees at all. My prior undergraduate experience (in Creative Writing) had been so stressful — mostly due to the fact that I had a disability that I was only beginning to realize the scope of, and treat — that I didn’t want to deal with the stress of assignments, grades, and tests, again.

Of course, though, work was a scarier prospect, especially as I knew I was starting out from a (theoretically) compromised position. (I have a bunch of intersecting minority statuses that together, well, they work out in the form of my being underemployed, now. Statistically, it’s not surprising.)

I did end up going back to school, but that was to community college. Initially it was to a bunch of art and computer-related classes. Then I got into a Vocational program because I wanted to be employed. I started the Master’s program in Library and Information Science, got culture-shocked, and withdrew for three years (it’s also likely that my symptoms flared because of the stress, now that I think about it).

During that time, I completed an Art degree from the aforementioned community college district, and made decent headway into a General Business certificate (which I decided to pull out of, after Microeconomics and Intro to Marketing caused me to wonder if my business model was actually viable, and what I was actually selling, if I was selling jewelry. At the time, I hadn’t done the introspection on the latter, and as for whether the jeweling angle was viable…it might have been, for someone who didn’t need health insurance, and was working in metal).

With support and about ten years down the line, I did go back to the Master’s program. I’m hoping to graduate this December. This is expressly for my own financial independence, leading to my physical independence. But I am finding that I like the, “Information Science,” portion of this, more than I expected. At this point, I’m wondering whether I will want or need further skills, and if so, in what?

Web Design? Information Science? Computer Science?

When I was younger, I did well in Math until doing well in Math contributed to making me a target of harassment and group exclusion. Because my experience was so horrible (it was: I would literally dissociate staring at my homework), I really didn’t want to take Math again in undergrad work (this is why I didn’t major in a Hard Science). I have dealt with Math four times since high school:

  • In Statistics (completed)
  • In Accounting (dropped)
  • In Calculus (dropped)
  • In Database Design and Implementation (in process)

…And I’m wondering whether to go back, in order to further work with computers.

As I’ve mentioned before, I only dropped Accounting because I got seriously ill during the class (I’m pretty sure it was the flu, and that I was not only sick but contagious) and did not feel I could catch up. I dropped Calculus because I had no idea if I was doing things right (and was too shy to engage the instructor for help during Office Hours).

It doesn’t help that I’ve been used to having so much Math homework that it was impossible to complete and check it all, within a night’s timeframe; so for a number of years when I was in Math, I just didn’t check my calculations. I’m also not certain I remember how to, anymore. (In addition, the utility of what we were being taught was never divulged; and I learned to play before working because the work would never end, otherwise. Not a great program.)

At this point I can see the usefulness of taking a gamble with one’s GPA in order to actually learn new things. But it feels easier to play it safe than to risk a poor grade. Of course, though, risking a poor grade also means that I might surprise myself with a spectacular performance, and I’d learn something I didn’t think I could.

I do suppose it depends on what I really want to do (or who I really want to be or become). Or what blocks I want or need to burst through.

I did just remember that there are a couple of places online where I can brush up on my Math skills. Plus, I work in the Library field: we have resources. If I want to enter a program on Information Science alone, I can see that I would need to work on this before taking a graduate entry exam. But what would I do with those skills? I can see being a Full-Stack Developer or something, but…

Hmm. I haven’t thought about it…

This was a good day.

It’s…been a day!

So yesterday and tonight were spent working on two assignments for my Reference Services class. That, itself, has been a ride. I’m glad I took this class, even if I don’t end up working in Reference. Right now we’re finishing an Ethics unit, and I turned in a paper based on an (awesome) interview with someone who helps run a large urban library.

Tomorrow looks like it will be full of studying for my Database class, and my Political Advocacy class. If you count this as the early morning of the 22nd (I have about 23 hours left), I only have about six more days to turn in everything for the latter, so I better hop to it. After this week is over, though, I won’t have to deal with that one class anymore, and I can focus on the other three. (Nice thing: I haven’t had to use Accommodations yet! And I’m in 10 units! In a Master’s program!)

I should, though, catch up on the group work that I’m dealing with: I put it off on Tuesday and Wednesday to get what was due (technically) last night, done. Now it’s early Thursday morning and I’m wondering what to do with myself, given that I didn’t take medication until about 12 AM. I doubt I’ll even get tired until about 1:30 AM.

I also just realized that after my Advocacy class ends, I then have two weeks free from having to go in to work…unless I volunteer to be on-call. Should I? Or should I just concentrate on catching up and working ahead in my classes…? (I don’t think I can answer that, now.)

Well, like I was saying, work today was — well, hectic. I was only on desk for an hour, but I was running around to keep up with everything, by the end. I also helped seriously knock out a backup of carts-to-be-shelved (the lineup was full when I got there, and nearly empty when I left. [That’s what happens when I’m not on desk!]).

The problem is running around so fast that I get confused as to what I’m doing or where the extra receipt came from and why it was there and did I hand out something else (I figured it out after I slowed down and gradually remembered what happened. I had to let the adrenaline rush go a little bit, though). I was trying to complete processing of an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) cart by the end of my shift, in addition to keeping the return bins clear and helping patrons sign up for cards and checking out materials…when I should have just left a little of the ILL cart for the next person, and not stressed so much.

But I’m so totally not hating my career choice, now. 🙂 What’s weird is the difference between the humanities-and-research-oriented side of my curriculum (Library Science), and the technical side (Information Science). I’m very sure they’re using different parts of my brain. What I haven’t been sure about, is where I’m going.

…Though thinking back, I’m certain I wanted to be a Web Designer and/or Web Developer (though this was before I was feeling so good about public service). I just haven’t decided to take the MySQL class, yet, or the other two small tech courses I can fit in. If I do all of it, my Summer is going to be packed. On top of that, it’s only a start. It will be a foundation, but not anything in which I believe I’d be able to be immediately employed. There is the opportunity to work in the Virtual Library; we’re just not sure if it’s located too far away (ironically).

Right now, the vast majority of my job experience has been in Public Libraries, along with some Academic work (I was briefly a Student Assistant, acting as an Editor for course texts). I think that ethically and values-wise, Public Libraries are a fit; but interacting with people so heavily is new to me. It wasn’t until I spoke with someone high up in Reference somewhere else, that I realized that customer service and public service wasn’t just part of his job; it was the focus of his job. (I also didn’t realize how many people in the Library field are genuinely accepting and kind!)

That is, my experience as a Library Aide is atypical for my branch. Most of the jobs of most of the people I work with, heavily involve dealing with people; and I’m just sheltered from most of it because I’m support staff and in a relatively junior position. They have to do Outreach, Advocacy, Programming, and Marketing. For the public-facing part of my job, I’m just tasked with Circulation.

I deal with the athletic stuff (lifting, sorting) and the stuff that requires high mobility (crouching, reaching) and high accuracy (everything needs high accuracy), with limited responsibility to staff a public desk. But the Clerks deal with the public more than I do; so do the Library Assistants and Librarians. The only other position at my branch is Head Librarian, and even she does staff Reference.

So I’ve been trying to get more comfortable with dealing with the public, and have been reaching back for help when I need it (like when I forget a rarely-used policy, as happened today). Now that I know that my time on desk is quality time in which I’m acclimating for a higher position, I’m not so upset about it, anymore.

I’ve also realized that my workplace…doesn’t work as well as I think many would wish. But that doesn’t mean that all libraries are dysfunctional or that the entire system is corrupt (as has been suggested to me). And it doesn’t mean that I’ll never get tough enough to deal with routine interpersonal problems. We do the best we can, you know? I’m just seeing patterns now that I hadn’t seen, before, and it’s informing my process.

I’m also learning a lot in my classes, and that is also helping.

I should probably get going so I can get up sometime before 11, tomorrow. 🙂 I was concerned on Monday about being able to get all this done by the end of Wednesday, but it seems I overestimated the time it would take for me to get things done. I also probably underestimated my ability to write to a deadline…

Yes, I made it!

A lot of hard work, starting at 7:30 this morning, and…I’m done with everything due tonight (with about two hours to spare), except for a reading with statistics I don’t understand. Luckily, I don’t think I’m expected to — at least, not now.

Right now I’m sitting here in a fleece throw blanket. The blanket allows me to sit on the couch and read instead of laying in bed and reading (which will apparently inevitably lead to me falling asleep). Or, as I’m doing now, sit at the computer and actually have some semblance of warmth.

What’s next is a paper on an interview and a discussion topic, due Wednesday; so I have about 2.5 days to work on this. After that, I’ll need to wrap up my advocacy class: I have about 8 days to do so.

After that, I should have more time to get into my readings, including the back reading for my database class. And…then I have about two weeks forced vacation (they’re updating some stuff at my library). It will likely be horrific when I get back, but I hope to be caught up (or ahead) with my schoolwork.

I’m still unsure as to what I should take during Summer and Fall semesters. Ultimately, the big choice is between a MySQL class and an Academic Libraries class, but I’ve also been thinking about Marketing (which could become a big part of my job, if I work in a Public Library). I had been putting off Marketing because I’ve already taken an Intro to Marketing course, at a different college.

…but, I just checked, and it’s a moot point: Marketing won’t be given again, before my graduation. It wasn’t given this semester, either. Hmm…

Regardless, I’ve been told not to worry about these decisions until I’ve stabilized.

And I also did, on a quick search, find a SQL tutorial; it’s just not specifically, MySQL. I’ve seen that MariaDB has replaced MySQL in some places, online.

I think maybe I’ve just gotta remember that I want to work online…not on the front lines. Even though databases are hard (they are!), at least at first.

It could be cool to be a tech-oriented librarian publishing cool resources online, though, no? (I have the urge to take 5 units during Summer, but don’t know if I’d be shooting myself in the foot [like I did with taking 10 units this semester]. It’s possible, though, just to take the Programming and Cybersecurity courses, and only deal with a couple of units.)

I’ve also got to remember that no matter how awesome Reference Librarians are, that doesn’t mean I in particular would have the temperament for it, and I might be better in a database/web design/web development role. That actually is where I had been pointing, until, “database design and implementation,” got real. With maths!

And actually, that’s where I’ve been pointing for years. I shouldn’t forget that.

Yeah…

I just looked over at my bookcase…I have some unread Graphic Design texts that I really do want to get to, including one from Builders Booksource…my sibling took me there, once: it’s a bookstore for architecture and design. I mention it by name because I don’t want to forget the name — like I just did — and have to look it up by location.

Also, there’s that whole Barnes & Noble layoff thing. I just looked at the TechCrunch article and got sick of seeing all the junk loading in my tray along with the desired information (I left because it’s anxiety-producing, even with high security), but…yeah, it doesn’t look good for B&N. The bright side of being a specialist bookstore is that you probably have regular clientele who might prefer to sponsor local business, rather than Amazon.

I don’t remember having mentioned this, but Oakland actually has a hidden but thriving art and design scene. Having Builder’s Booksource nearby is probably a great community resource…and they’ll only stay there as long as the money comes in.

Of course, I’m probably going to be busy for a while. I think I’m only on my fourth week of classes.

And maybe one of these days I’ll try and dip back into the maths. (I just like calling it, “maths.”) There are places around where I could build and/or rebuild my skill…

Yes, I’m still here. Actually. Really. :)

I don’t even know how long I’ve been away from this blog, but the temporary state of being in de facto, 12 units, while preparing for graduation is…apparent. Not to mention taking care of general University trainings.

It must have taken me 30-45 minutes the other night (I can’t remember which night and I didn’t write it down) just to figure out everything that is coming due this week. Luckily, I should be able to get in my second exercise for my Database class and be somewhat prepared to talk to a new contact, by tomorrow. The next deadline set is Wednesday.

The major issue is so much reading, though at least it’s easy enough for me. There’s that, and listening to audio recordings (which just take time and attention) and research. The other major thing is sedation, which I’ve been experiencing as the Prozac leaves my system (I was taking the Prozac to counter the sedation).

I realized a couple of days ago that I have (or had) been really irritable/angry/triggered, and I am no longer certain whether it’s my life that is the cause, or if withdrawal is distorting (or clarifying) my perception.

In any case, I realized last night that I hadn’t logged on here for…my Stats read a week or so, if I assume my last posting was the last time I was on. Actually, though, I did start drafting a post about 2/3 of a week ago, and then went and took care of the issue instead of writing about it.

There’s been a lot of stuff happening; mostly around death in both sides of my family, now. My office is pretty messed up (particularly the small papers all over the floor off to one side of my terminal) and I’ve ceased to worry about it, but I do need to do some laundry and clean the bedroom so I can get back to using the desk (and have clothes I look good in). I also really need to shower; maybe I can do that tomorrow morning before heading out (I just don’t want to dry my hair, really).

I also have not contacted any of my professors yet re: Disability accommodations. I kind of feel like it helps me be lazy, and in the real world, I’ll need to work to deadlines. The problem is that going without sleep for too long, or having dysregulated sleep for too long, may trigger an episode in me. It’s better to turn something in 18 hours late and maintain my health, than it is to pull an all-nighter and be damaged and unable to fully function for 3-4 weeks…which is why I have the accommodation.

Tomorrow, I might go out for some more pens (I use color differentiation to tell where one set of notes ends and the next begins, but all of my colored gel pens are running low). I bet that will help me get out of bed at a reasonable time.

And…the Bullet Journaling is actually helping, though it’s not a big deal to look at. I basically have been writing tasks down for the week, every week, with due dates.

I’ve also decided that I don’t want to be a back-end Web Developer. The Database class is kind of like a math class…oddly enough, I think I may be happier in a front-end Web Developer or Web Designer role. But it’s a good thing I found that out.

Alright. I think I can get back to homework, now; taking time out for this journal/blog constitutes caring for myself. Sometimes it’s just good to have a place to record what’s happening so you don’t forget it because of rushing so fast to get everything done…