Yes, something happened.

One good thing:  I restarted reading What’s the Alternative?:  Career Options for Library and Info Pros by Rachel S. Gordon.  This…helps.  Having options outside of working in a library is a good thing, even though I get the sense that this is a political issue with some.  That is, I get the sense that some would feel “betrayed” if I decided to take a different path.  But the Library world is weird like that.

For me, though, the “outsourcing” of library work to other specialized groups, means that I can work for some other specialized group, as versus working directly for, say, a Public Library:  the work in which, I’m not sure is a recipe for happiness, for me.

Also, the track I’m on (Digital Services), includes most of the path of Web Design/Info Architecture plus more.  All of the core courses are covered, and some of the “Recommended” courses in the Web Design path that aren’t in the Digital Services path, aren’t even given.  So it’s a good bet, if I do want to go into Web Design, to hold steady.  (I doubt that Design will be as Computer-Science-centric as Web Development…)

I will, though, have to educate myself on the aesthetic dimensions:  a lot of my work so far has dealt with usability, coding, and organization.  Which are all fine…but as someone who is into Art, too, I might want to look into visual elements of Design.

And — ha!  I have some books on Design that I haven’t read, on my bookshelf right now.

Wow…a lot of them, actually.

I also came up with the idea of interactive textbooks, but did a little research, and Pearson already has started working on this.  (Maybe I can work for Pearson?)  In addition, there seems to be a lot of work on this as regards Apple (another possibility), on mobile and tablet devices.  The interlacing here of technology, creating teaching programs, writing the textbook, and gamifying is interesting.  For the first time we have the option of making our “textbooks” into interactive multimedia computer programs…that might be able to be either downloaded or carried on a MicroSD card, or similar.

I doubt I would have come up with the idea, if it were not for my Nintendo DS…yes, probably a bit outdated by this time, but The Legend of Zelda:  Phantom Hourglass was the first time a game ever asked me to write an answer to a puzzle (I’m wondering if it used anything related to “Least Squares” in sensing what my answer was)…would it be that different, say, if you were watching a language-learning video or reading a passage of text and could practice writing in the textbook?  With scores or something to show you how well you did, and without using up physical space with blank paper on which to write?  And what about voice recording and recognition?

What else has been happening…I’ve been slowly getting my reading for User Experience done, though I’m not certain if I’ll have to work on anything due this weekend (I’ve kind of been having a tough time for the last several days, and haven’t even checked the message boards).  I know I have one thing due in one more week, but it shouldn’t be hard.  Though I will have to drag myself back over there and see what’s due.

Anyway.  I just think that I’m not a very social person.  But I’m being graded on my engagement, so there’s that.  Whatever.

Oh, right:  the art and craft storage area has again been rearranged.  There’s…a lot more room, now…

And I think that it’s best to ignore my sibling’s insistence that I write a story before attempting the artwork for it.  The time I came closest to actually having a story and a graphic novel, that story developed out of my drawings.  And I’m going to have **** drawings if I wait until after I’ve written a story before I try to draw anything.

That makes sense, right?

I should get some rest…

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Growing up?

I suppose I can start off this post with an apology for staying away too long.  There has been a recent death in the family, which is why I was unable to…I believe, do anything at all on the computer, yesterday (now that I think of it).

Actually, no — I did finalize my class schedule for Summer (if all goes well on their end, I am good to go), although I am hoping that this is going to be a class that I really want to take.  I still have yet to do anything about the required books, which I should get on as soon as I can, but until yesterday, I hadn’t been committed.  Right now I’m on a break — M said that going in to work would be helpful in getting my mind off of things.  I’m not sure if that’s correct (for me), but I only have a little more ways to go, anyway.  Right now, though, I’m skipping lunch to write this.

I am wanting to post some of my photos from the other day, under a Creative Commons license.  Basically, my hesitance to post anything at all has to do with not wanting to be ripped off or have to go to court to prove that I took the photos, therefore they are my intellectual property.  Creative Commons kind of works around that issue by acknowledging that anyone (including me!) can use them.  I’m not really a litigious type, but the concept of intellectual ownership of images (“I looked at it, it’s mine!” [?]) is kind of…well, a bit scary.  I don’t have the photos with me at the moment, but I can look them over once I’m back at my normal workstation.

It was actually really peace-inducing to go out, the other day.  The thing with photos, especially photos of flora, is that the light is never going to be the same again, and the plants are never going to be the same again.  It applies strongly to images of blossoms — they’re so temporary.  I have been giving thought to photographing the people in my life as well, though my life has been so full of staged photographs of loved ones that maybe it turned me off.  Most of my photos are of natural things (my aunt was telling me that one of the counters used in Japanese depends on whether something has blood or not, heh — I take pictures, mostly, of things “without blood”).

In any case, I’m doing probably better than would be expected.  It’s kind of difficult to know what to feel in these situations; I’ve been advised to just let myself feel what I’m feeling.  Of course, there is the fact that it’s hard to know exactly what happens when someone dies.  I’m just hoping that the person who is gone is in a better situation now than he was, before.

There is also the fact that I’m in my mid-thirties and not entirely independent, yet; which makes the prospect of my own family no longer being able to help me, be a scary thing.  I do have people around me who would help me out, though, even if one or both of my parents died.  I’ve been told that the conversations have already taken place, so not to worry.  It is weird, though, having memories from when my parents were half their current age!

I suppose I have lived a long time with them.  The time I spent in student housing at college was the only time I’ve lived alone.  It was…an experience, I guess?  😉  I was at a relatively strange school, so…

Right.

Right now, I suppose, all I can do is hold down my current job or get a new one, and try my best to graduate actually with the Master’s.  The good thing about taking a technology-oriented track is that there are some things I’ll be able to carry away with me, even if I somehow end up failing.

But, it’s hard to learn without taking risks.  And my Vocational program plus the grant I got last year are defraying the monetary risk, somewhat.  I’m still thinking that maybe I should be actually applying for scholarships, and engaging more with the school.

For instance, I have worked out a system under which I’ll be able to take everything I will need to, for the Digital Services track (though I am not sure this applies to my County’s Virtual Library positions — I might want to make some inroads to speak with the new person in charge of that).  However, I’m not sure it’s optimal — I have four semesters remaining during which my classes will all be valid — two Spring, and two Fall.

I know what to take in the Summer following this one, as well.  I’ve got the course rotations somewhat in hand, so I know what is given in only Fall, or only Spring.  I also have searched out what I can of course prerequisites, so that I should be taking one of the only courses I need which will open up new courses to me, this Fall.  The major issue is whether it’s optimally arranged.  As best I can envision it, I would have to email a copy of my spreadsheet to a Counselor.

I just…am shy, have been shy, that’s part of the reason I’m in an iSchool (besides the fact that doing otherwise requires relocation).  I mean, I didn’t even want to get the social media accounts that I had to, for the program.  This is the major reason why I’m not hot on being a Public Librarian — I’m ordinarily withdrawn, not gregarious, and some of my more outgoing coworkers even get strained by working Reference.

The Virtual Library sounds more like my style (I do worry about being attacked, at times — one of my coworkers in the past knew someone whom this had happened to), but I am not certain how many shifts they take, answering phone calls and chats.  And as technology continues to improve, the barrier between myself and my clients is likely to somewhat fall (for instance, video chat could become a norm).

Anyhow…I should get back to work.  And after that, it’s sure to be reading.  *sighs*

Where do I want to be in five years? 10?

I wouldn’t be back here quite so soon, except that I had been considering the track of working within a Public Library, as versus on the Web…and realized that I should take a long-term approach when planning this stuff out.  I can see that the Digital Services path — the one I originally wanted to take — is something that will give me a foundation, at least, in tech work.

I won’t be ideally suited to be a Reference Librarian (though I am not sure any other part of me besides my idealistic and ethical [and somewhat lazy/comfortable — seriously, I can work elsewhere] self leans that way)…but I’m fairly certain that I do want to move on into Web Design and into Web Development, when I outgrow Web Design.

Salaries in Web Design are higher than in Graphic Design, but they still top out at ~$60,000/year.  It’s not that I would need a whole lot of money — except for the fact that I live in an area with a bizarrely high cost of living — because I’m single without children and don’t plan on children.  Health care is something else, though; retirement is something else; and there is the question of whether I’ll ever partner with someone.  If I won’t, I’ll need my own emergency cushion.  Web Development, on the other hand — as a next step after Web Design, has a higher salary range.  It’s something I wasn’t looking at when I was researching careers:  that is, branching off into a related career with higher top pay.

And given that, it’s kind of a mystery as to why I would stay in Library Science when I could just get a Graphic Arts degree and move on to an apprenticeship…though of course, that will be training to work for the person I would be if I did get the LIS degree with a specialty in anything digital.  And even if I fail the degree in LIS (there is a looming “e-Portfolio” which I’m not sure I am going to do too well at — here’s hoping I’m not too much of a minority for the ALA), that won’t necessarily matter in Design, if I have acquired skills while in the LIS program which others don’t have.  At least, that is, if it’s like Art:  where no one cares what degree you have, as long as you’re good.

So right now…I have a fall-back position that I just figured out.  If the MLIS program doesn’t work out (I presently fear being put on academic probation because of the Cataloging course, and then getting a B- next semester [which means I get kicked out and still have to pay back all of my debt]), I’m going to re-enter one of my past Community Colleges and work at the Graphic Arts program (it takes two years to complete this cycle).  If I use all of my resources, I may be exempt from the rule which says I can no longer utilize priority enrollment.

I will also want to move into a different job, part-time.  For the experience, for networking, and for higher pay.

Right now I can’t even think five years ahead, because I have an assignment due in a week which is worth 1/6 of my grade…and I’m rocking a C- right now (I checked today).

Yeah, I should get back to trying to catch up…(there is a saga to this that I don’t feel like re-relating, right now.)

…After, that is, I note that I shouldn’t let other people’s philosophies and issues keep me from doing something I may enjoy.  I didn’t continue on with Ceramics because some kid said it was “for old people.”  I didn’t continue on in Graphic Arts because I was told I “could do more.”  I didn’t go back into Graphic Arts because my Fine Arts teacher wanted us never to give into the aesthetics and desires of others in making our own work.  I continued on in Library School in part because a Librarian — and my family — and my counselor — wanted me to.

But none of that is about me, though I’ve internalized all of it.

Anyhow.  I should get back to work…

Remembering why I’m in the LIS program

I’m being told to “do my homework,” or otherwise all my planning will be for naught…

Despite this, I am now aware that now is not quite the time to be doing homework (it is 10:45 PM, here), and going to work today reminded me of why I wanted to work in a library.  It was only a six-hour shift, but it was surprisingly pleasant — even with the babies occasionally crying.  😉  It was okay, she was really upset.  😦

I think that my vacation distanced me somewhat from the reason I’m in Library School (“LIS” = “Library & Information Science”) in the first place, and the realities of dealing with the workplace, as versus the curricula and the teachers (and the history and politics).  Knock on wood, I have been witness to very little trouble over at least the past six months — though this could be because I am now working only two days a week for 3/4 of a day, each.  (Given my workload this semester, I was overloaded at 18 hours a week of work and 30 hours a week of school.)

I am also seeing what the technical track looks like at my school, and am wondering if maybe it actually is going to be easier for me to deal with people face-to-face than online and on the phone (I don’t really envy the people trying to communicate through the phone).  I’ve been also doing some digging around job specifications…and I don’t think it has to be as hard as I’m making it.  I also don’t think that I should take “I don’t work well with people” as an axiom by which to live my life, as all that’s doing is limiting me and my choices.  Even if I do have autistic traits (not enough to be called “autistic,” though, I’ve heard) that doesn’t mean I have to define myself by what I think autism is.

My major qualm is losing motivation while I’m in school because of having an unclear and unresearched end goal.  Right now, the only places I’ve worked have been Public Libraries…which I know pretty well, and which I am getting acclimated to.  What I’ve found with the Metadata and Cataloging courses is that I probably don’t want to be a Cataloger…and maybe I don’t want to try this path again with Digital Services (i.e., try it and see if I like it:  what happens if I don’t?).  What I’ve found with my prior courses, particularly the Intellectual Freedom course and the Diversity course, is that I may very well be more aligned philosophically with the institution of Public Libraries than I thought.

In the absence of any clear better ideas…library work does seem suited to me. Maybe the variation in quality in regard to my experience of public service has more to do with that experience starting from ground zero (when I didn’t know how to set limits with people, and thus at times have had my boundaries overrun.  That is a much rarer occurrence, these days).

When the Clerk positions open up, I’m planning to get tested and hopefully get on the list to be considered for hiring, especially as I’m doing most of the job of a Library Clerk now, but am not being paid for it.  I asked my supervisor today to alert me when that happens, though I think I can get notified of this on my own.  I did this because I can recall having a dream where I was saying that I didn’t resent the work, so much as didn’t feel I was being compensated fairly for it.  (Yeah, I dream about work…when do I get a rest?  I don’t know…)

It is…pretty clear that the job I have now is preparing me to be a Library Clerk (which in turn can move up into a Library Assistant, though they are parallel paths with different skill sets and endpoints).  Clerks get paid a wage at which one may be able to support oneself; I, as an Aide, don’t.  It is the case, though, that I may not be able to take on the workload of a Clerk (I can probably do 20 hours a week, max.) while still in Library School.  But Library School should be over in two years.

I’m not certain about this — I have tonight plotted out a course which fits in everything I can take which is of the Public Library track — but I think that more Humanities/Social Science classes will be easier for me than the tech stuff, which I have wanted to do (before I started in on it and started getting some of the worst grades of my life).  Although I have wanted to do tech work, I’ve lost some confidence around that.  In particular, I find it stressing me in a different way than people-watching, stressed me.  In this case, I feel like there actually are right answers, and that derivation from that is easy to spot.  It’s also very possible that my mind does not work in a standard way, which doesn’t help me catalog in a standard way.

My program should also be built around Library service — as versus, say, Information Architecture, which they do give a specialization towards, but it’s the same class over and over again with different topics.  In contrast, the Public Library track is fairly diversified.

Once I can finally get my Driver’s License (I’m close, but not quite there yet), I will then be able to become a Library Assistant and drive around the county to fill vacancies (which is very much not what I want to be doing, but it is experience toward becoming a Librarian, and that means one step closer to financial independence).  The upshot of this is that I don’t have to work when I’m overloaded with classwork…although reading, papers, and oral presentations are things I can easily do.  Coding is something else.  It’s simple when you’ve got the framework down already…but I don’t know if I want something that simple, and the framework…well, it’s complex.

The higher jobs specific to the Library, oddly enough, also look easier than the Clerk jobs, and pay more (sometimes, much more).  I’ve realized as well that I don’t have to stay within this community, although the ones I’ve worked with have generally been pretty decent.  The surprise for me came with the prospect of working as a Librarian in Hawaii…which I believe would contain communities that I would in no way feel bad serving.

I’ve also gotten over a bit of the fear of people I had when I initially got this job…years of being treated decently (by surprise) will do that to a person, eh?

It’s now 11:30 here:  I should get some rest and try and work off this jet lag…

Irritated with a wide array of things: brainstorming a fall-back position

I hope I have previously mentioned the question of what people normally do when they exit high school or earn their Bachelor’s degree.  I asked this of M recently and she said, “they just get a job.”  So as I’m dealing with school pressures in my ******* Master’s program, it would be good to keep in mind that I can, just, “get a job,” like the vast majority of people.

I’ve actually thought of at least one position — no, actually, three — which I can enter with the amount of education I have at present.  One is becoming a Clerk for an art supply store; the other two are becoming an Admin Assistant and becoming a Library Assistant.  The first two are more appealing than the last one, though that may be because I have a relatively clear idea of what LAs go through in a Public Library system.  Being an LA in an academic library, though, might not be quite as interpersonally difficult.  The problem in both these cases is that LAs cannot move up without a Master’s.

I could also try for an internship in a Publishing house, though I’m not entirely certain where my strengths lie, when it comes to that field.  Although my Creative Writing degree did prep me for work in Publishing, I got that degree 12 years ago and stopped writing fiction shortly after.

I could work for a bead store, though those are getting few and far between; or a craft or fabric store.  Or a ceramics supply outlet, or a jewelry supply store.  I could try working for an online outlet…though that is more of a vision for after I get out of the LIS program.

I also don’t think I’d mind taking care of inventory or being a stock clerk (I’m not sure this is the right title) for a place like Costco.  And, lingering from before, is the idea of working at a produce market.  Museum work is also something I’d be interested in, though I’m not sure what kind of job I can get there without a Master’s or a Bachelor’s in Art History.  I can, however, also intern there, and try and figure things out that way.

The reason I’m even thinking about this is because of my ******* Cataloging class, which may end up trashing my GPA (but Voc Rehab doesn’t want me to drop classes that they helped pay for).  The prof (this time!) didn’t send out an email alert that we were assigned a new module at the same time as we were working on the last test, so now I’m a week behind — even though Spring Break just ended.  (And I just want to say that I’m really, really irritated by this professor, and I have no idea why my school hires some of these people, except for name recognition [which obviously enough means jack when it comes to whether people can actually teach].)  I also have two assignments due by Sunday night, which I haven’t started on yet.  Intimidation.

On top of this, I just got back from vacation.  I’m not sure if anyone noticed the reduced posting frequency, but that happened for what I feel are relatively obvious reasons (although I thought of logging my trip daily and then just delaying the posts’ release, it’s something I didn’t do).  I still haven’t quite gotten back in sync with regular life, yet, either.  Today was a trip to the produce market (to replace the old produce in the refrigerator), which would have been very nice…except for the fact that I was unable to find several things there which I know have been there before, including wakame, a type of seaweed.  My family apparently threw out my stock because it was so old; although I’m not sure dried seaweed ever really goes bad.  However, I’m pretty sure that at least some of that stuff was from around the Fukushima Daiichi era, as I remember being concerned about radioactivity.

Cue trying a Japanese food market, and the vast majority of the seaweeds I saw there had CA Prop 65 Warnings on them.  This means that there are carcinogens which the seaweeds have taken up from the water:  the two I read which were specific noted, “lead and lead compounds,” and, “arsenic.”  Because I’m in California, companies are supposed to disclose whether there are known carcinogens in food items…something that I don’t think is true of Hawaii, which is where I have been for a while (eating this stuff, to be clear).

The reason why seaweeds are supposed to be good for one is that they pick up trace minerals from the water (along with iodine); but in polluted water, they also bioaccumulate (toxic) heavy metals (and potentially, radioactive iodine — though I saw no hint as to this, today; I’m not sure if there are people with Geiger Counters scanning things as they’re imported).

As much as I like seaweeds, this was enough to scare me away from the onigiri/musubi  (rice balls) and the norimaki (sushi), for lunch today.  I’m told that there should be locally sourced dried seaweed at the produce market, but it would not be with the Asian foods.  It’s something it looks like I’ll have to keep an eye out for, if I want to eat seaweed again.  I do wish I had the language skills to be able to determine the country or region of origin of some of these things…

So anyway, it’s probably apparent that I’m irritated at the Master’s program, pollution, Voc Rehab, and…not so apparent…that I am really kind of saddened by the urban growth and urban decay of Honolulu.  It’s like we find someplace nice on the planet and then ruin it by going to live there.  But then…we aren’t the first to abuse natural resources.  I was reminded of this by viewing the feather cloaks at the Bishop Museum…a topic so deep, and on which my knowledge is so partial, I’m not sure I want to get into it now.

I also want new job experience, but feel locked into my position at work.

I want to learn nihongo (Japanese language), I want to relearn how to throw and finish ceramics…have access to good fresh produce (which is scary in Hawaii from concern about parasites), and have access to good health care (including mental health care).  I have two of the four of those things.  While I can move on from my job, it’s beneficial when it comes to the goal of becoming a Librarian, to work in a library while going to Library School.

Thing is…I’m there for the money, benefits, and safety.  And community.  If I could find that elsewhere…

…well, maybe I’m unlikely to find all of that at once…but I feel myself to be a craftsperson, most naturally.  Problem is, it would seem that in the U.S., that is not a stable way to survive…

…although I did just remember something else I’ve wanted to do, which is work in Web Design — or at least use that as a starting point, and work upwards from there…

Notes to myself

Alright, so…a few things.

One:  I have found that planning out work to be done on each day significantly helps.  What also helps is stating to myself, “I will get X and Y done tomorrow,” as versus “I hope to get X and Y done tomorrow.”  It’s a little difference in phrasing, but it makes a large difference as to my motivation and expectations of myself.  The latter phrasing more often than not, leads me to rest in bed instead of work.

Also, while I’m on this:  when I lie down during the daytime, now, it has helped very much to set a time as to when I’ll be okay with getting back up.  Usually I don’t fall asleep, so this helps set limits on rest, which allows me permission to rest but ensures I don’t waste too much daylight.

I’ve also realized that taking notes during lecture really, really helps.  When it comes to completing Discussion Posts on, say, two out of five readings and one out of three lectures, I can actually remember the lectures pretty well, if I’ve taken notes.  (And $1.50 notebooks from the dollar store are not inferior to the $7 notebooks from the office supply store!)  What I’ve found with the reading I’ve been doing is that, I think, just highlighting the text isn’t enough.  I’m thinking that it just doesn’t get into my brain as well, when I don’t write.

When I was in high school, I’m pretty sure, I would take notes on the readings, because the books weren’t mine to mark up.  It’s the same thing I’m doing with Research Methodologies, where I don’t own my book.  The other two classes, though…hmm.  It would take more time to take notes, and it might feel extraneous, but maybe it would help with recall when I have to do things like papers.  When I’ve taken notes, it’s like I’ve written things out beforehand once, already, and so I kind of know what I read and how to regurgitate it.  (It probably doesn’t hurt that I’ve been hardcore studying for Metadata for a while, now.)

As for my position in regard to my work:  I’m caught up with Cataloging, though there could still be some work in regard to the results of that.  I haven’t seen the new lecture posted yet, either.  I’m almost entirely caught up with Metadata, though I still have a Discussion Post which I haven’t done, and I’m not sure how long ago it was that I skipped it.  …Ah…I see now.  It was during the third module, and the (long) reading was in my textbook.  And right now I’m two weeks behind in Research Methodologies, but I have a break coming up to catch up with it, so it shouldn’t be too hard to re-sync.  The only irritation there is that my book is pretty gross because it’s a rental…

Otherwise…I had been on the fence as to whether to cut my hair off or not, given the fact that the cold season is ending, here.  I had wanted to take the bulk of it off, given that it is voluminous and unruly when it’s combed out and unbound; then I took a shower and deep-conditioned it, and it’s much more manageable.  (I was actually able to crush it down for the first time in months, without it being strawlike and stiff.)  I’ve got to remember that conditioner — and wet-styling, including combing things out with my fingers and conditioner in the shower — makes a world of difference.  I may get the damaged sections cut off soon, but I think I’ll try and hold on to most of it, so that I can eventually braid it.  The braid is coming sooner rather than later, it’s a sure thing.  😉

What I am still considering is the possibility of getting bangs cut…especially given that when I try and wear a mid-level or higher ponytail, it stresses my hairline (my hair is thick, dense, and heavy).  This means that the weight of my hair is pulling on my scalp so hard that it’s hurting the follicles right above my forehead.  If I do that too often, my hairline will recede (not to say it hasn’t already minorly recessed).

I also need to start wearing earrings again, if I want to retain my piercings…

I’ve also (re)started using a prescription medication for my face, but I’m going to try using it only once every two days, and see if it still irritates me to the point that I can’t use it.

Creatively, I haven’t been able to get much done in the past couple of days, though that’s understandable, given the circumstances.  I should probably try and schedule in play periods as well as work periods and rest periods.  What I’ve been doing is basically working all day at my schoolwork, but casually, so that if M needs me to do something or if I get hungry or thirsty, I can stop what I’m doing and take care of it.  I’m…not?…entirely certain that’s the best way to go about things, though, because that can lead to guilt about doing things that I obviously don’t have to do, but which I want to do.  It’s different when I obviously can’t work, then there’s no loss in doing something else; but when I’m fully functioning and I know it may be temporary, it’s hard to get away from the obligations.

And…the issue about being unable to write fiction without triggering myself…I need to bring up with someone, because I really do want to try making a webcomic, and I don’t necessarily want to make it epic or dark.  I understand I may have little choice about that, but maybe I can try not writing about my trauma, you know.

Of course, maybe it wouldn’t be trauma if I could avoid it…

One more thing, before I forget:  I did substantially better on the last Cataloging test than I did on the assignment right before it.  Although I made a lot of errors, still, they’re minor.  I’ve found that maybe I don’t have to give up entirely on becoming a Cataloger; however, I’m going to have to teach myself what I don’t know.  As for Digital Services…to be honest, I don’t have enough data to permanently aim myself down either track, right now.  I need to see what happens over the rest of this semester.  I should remember, though, that I do have a printout where I was comparing both paths, and if things happen next semester as I’ve planned, I should be taking two classes which apply to both tracks.

I honestly don’t know how that’s going to work out.  I feel like I’m just getting a taste of things, here — and I don’t even know if I’m using the right format to archive my work — and I don’t know who to ask about it…but, well, maybe…maybe it’s OK?

It would really be nice to know what I was doing…

Ah, right. Tests necessitate review.

And…I didn’t really do that great of a job at taking notes on the Cataloging lectures; I just read and highlighted them.

Positive point:  I’ve made it through all the Metadata lectures, to date.  Now, for that class, I can focus on just the 1-2 Discussion Posts to complete.  I’ve also located the necessary lectures to answer the Cataloging test questions, and have labeled what I could label.  So this should help between now and Monday morning, when I’ll need to submit my answers.  I’ll want to review the sections in question tomorrow, after work.  This will free Sunday to do the actual answering (though I should make notes to help myself as I review).

(I forgot that there is a Help session I can watch, though I can do that — and maybe read the Dewey manual — after my lecture review.)

On Sunday, I should try and assemble my thoughts on the Discussion Prompt and then write out an answer and submit it.  If I get this out of the way first, I will have the rest of the day to refine my answers for the Cataloging test…on which I should aim for a high grade (that is, I should try and care about it).  Last time, I wasn’t aiming for a high grade, I was just trying to get it out of the way, and it showed.  I wasn’t betting on all grading being tougher because I’m in a Master’s program, but at least I avoided getting a 0 — which some people did get (I’m not going to get into the bizarre box-and-whisker graph which showed the grading statistics, but let’s just say the statistics broke the graph).

For reference, the grade was a reflection of the massive drama which is my Cataloging course.  I don’t want to get into it, but I will say that I got an extremely bad grade and my prior GPA was 3.7:  higher than normal for me, but I usually hover around 3.4-3.6.  Below 3.0, and I will get put on Academic Probation and kicked out if I then get a B- or below.

It doesn’t help when, out of self-protection, I start telling myself that my grade doesn’t matter because this situation is ******, because getting below a B average can get me kicked out of the program.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?  It will require rethinking my career path if it happens, which is what I’m trying to avoid (though because of Metadata and the introduction to programming I’m getting, I’m now thinking of training in Web Design, and moving up from there.  It’s less lucrative, but it might be less bizarre, or a better fit).

So, I didn’t get any creative work done today, but I did get 5 lectures out of the way, and as such have significantly narrowed the gap where it comes to catching up.  I’m now only one Discussion Post behind in Metadata (I was freaking out so much about Cataloging that I got a week or more behind in my other classes — to say the least.  The stress triggered an episode of mental illness which I’m still recovering from, which for a couple of weeks prevented me from concentrating, which meant that I couldn’t comprehend what I was trying to read).

And yeah, being ****** at the Cataloging Professor isn’t going to really help me, here.  I’m in school for me.  I’m not there to let his issues obstruct my goals, although I know now that my past aim of becoming a Cataloger is laughable, so long as I train at this University and don’t go out of my way to learn elsewhere.  And as I’ve heard, there is another Professor teaching the same course who is even worse:  not in the manner of being unreliable, but in the manner of being cruel.

Anyhow, I don’t mean to stew, but I should record this somewhere.

I also have work, tomorrow.  I’m wondering if I really need to stay in my current position:  I feel like I’ve learned what I can, and that if I’m going to have to do customer service anyway, maybe I should look for additional experience that differs from what I’ve had to deal with for the last six years.  The sweet part of this job is the scheduling flexibility…but there are a lot of little irritations.

What’s ironic is that my vocational program may be holding me back from moving forward (by limiting my options and encouraging me to commit to something in which I had no prior experience), more than it is helping me.

And…now I’m just really angry again.  But it could be the illness.  Chemistry, you know.

Maybe I’ll try and do some art before bed, and see if it helps…