Good work done today. Resting ’til tomorrow.

Today I dedicated a number of hours (approximately five) to getting a major research assignment done. I need to schedule approximately five more hours before Friday, to complete it (we have a meeting to discuss the results on Sunday, and on Saturday, I’m not available). The professor had said not to leave this assignment to the last minute because it won’t get done; at least now I know approximately how much time to dedicate.

Luckily for me as well, my next assignments aren’t due until Wednesday night (of course, it is now Tuesday morning!). I should still get on the other, weekly Reference Services homework — it shouldn’t be that bad, it will just take time. I also need to get back on my Database homework. For both of these classes, I have some pretty substantial work to do. My third class, Instructional Design, has more lenient scheduling, and nothing due for two weeks.

I was also able to update my Instructional Design curriculum, which was great — it’s starting to actually look competent, now. I didn’t realize I had such a wide variety of information already available on the subject I chose to tackle. Nor did I realize that I had such a wealth of information accumulated from past study and experience (mostly extracurricular).

My workstation here, I’ve realized, isn’t designed perfectly ergonomically, so I have to be aware of how long I’ve been sitting and whether my body (particularly my back) is tightening up. It isn’t as bad as it has been in the past, but the tension is enough to have caused me to wonder whether I should be spending any recreational time at the computer, at all. The alternative is saving my sitting hours for homework, and avoiding this seat as much as possible, in the meantime.

But…it’s not that bad, yet. As long as I keep changing positions, I can delay cramping.

What’s happened is that I think I just have made the decision that I have to immerse myself in this Library stuff if I want to get out with good grades, and with the experience I wanted when I signed up for the classes. I’m actually, honestly (really), 😉 getting to the point where I kind of do want to be a Librarian now, too.

I’m not sure where that puts me if I work in a Public Library: as Reference Librarians are also often responsible for Programming (like Library Programs, such as Movie Nights — not as in programs such as Java), and I’ve taken two Programming classes if you count Instructional Design (the other was Library Services for Diverse Communities). I don’t think Programming would be my strong suit, though.

I am more suited to work on the back end of things…it’s just kind of unreal, realizing that I’ve unwittingly developed skills in Public Service in the past seven years. I’m still an Aide, which is the lowest-ranking paid position I can be in at my Library (largely due to trepidation and fear and feeling like I need to be prepared before I move up — while others with less internal resistance and fear of incompetence take on higher positions), but I do have some of the duties of a Clerk. (Not all Aides at my branch, do.)

Surprisingly, that’s helped me. I know I’m not being compensated in a fair way for my work, being a kind of combination Aide/Clerk and paid as an Aide (although I am working very few hours, to be honest), but really I’m there for the experience, and to build myself up. I’ve grown a lot in this job.

I also only have one more year to go before I’ll be through with Library School. At that point, I’ll be able to become a Librarian (and before then, I’ll be able to become a Trainee, which will prepare me for the Librarian position).

After Library School…that’s still up in the air, particularly right now. But I think it’s best to concentrate on what I can see ahead of me, for now, and worry about the future when it’s closer. After all, between now and then, I’ve still got to get everything in order, including my ePortfolio.

As for creative work, I haven’t been doing much art, because I’ve been working hard at catching up on my assignments. Maybe tomorrow, though…maybe I can try and think of a silk flower arrangement (or more than one), and draw it out while playing with color schemes.

We have something that looks kind of like a hurricane lamp, which came with tulip bulbs which sprouted and bloomed, and is now empty. I want to fill it with some kind of pebble substrate (I’m undecided between glass pebbles and acrylic) and maybe some paper, and put silk flowers into it. I’m also thinking about clear acrylic tubing and shapes.

Eh, that sounds kind of expensive, doesn’t it? Hmm. I have enough to play around with sewing and embroidery again, and that is either noncommittal, or a long-term project — but it’s sounding good, about now! I have some beautiful fabrics; one looks like ikat, and the other is a batik, both deep indigo in tone.

I also found the unfinished toile (practice garment) I was making with the Folkwear Nepali Blouse pattern years ago, but I don’t even have to try it on to know it doesn’t fit, anymore. I’m fairly certain I’m a size 16, by now (and though I have reasons why, I’m not going to get into them; I’ve been over them, before). If I want handwork to do, I can complete the toile.

I’m still undecided as to whether I need to re-purchase the pattern. It depends on whether I kept the cutaway pieces, and I haven’t sought that out yet. Also, the sleeves are a bit tight, and I’m not sure I want them that way. But stitching that pattern by hand, could be very soothing. If I wore the piece, I would just need to wear a tank top or something similar and close-fitting underneath — there are slits at the side seams which show waist.

Right now I’m thinking about light organza bias strips to bind the seams…


Yeah, that sounds good. 🙂

…really good. ^_^



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. 🙂

Just typing through some stress.

I have an assignment to complete for Instructional Design, but to be honest, I am not really into it and am not sure at this point how exactly I will do it. I think that I need to work alongside Steps 1-4 (which I still have to edit and resubmit) with Step 5, rather than trying to draw things out of that flawed document. I’m writing now in order to give myself some space.

The last week has been taken up with trying to catch up on things I didn’t do, before…and I think there’s something about staying up after midnight studying for at least two days in a row that…makes one not want to get out of bed in the morning. Especially when one knows that there are multiple walls of study waiting for them.

I didn’t go to a movie last night and didn’t go to breakfast this morning, to give myself some time. The problem is, I can’t schedule everything else around my waking hours when I stay up after midnight: sometimes I actually do need to get up at 7 AM. Most of the time last night was spent hardcore studying. Most of the time this morning and early afternoon, was spent sleeping.

At this point, I’m kind of wondering how people who have multiple interests outside of their field of study, and a job, and maybe (!) are taking care of themselves, make it through a Master’s program. (Without, you know, gaining weight and losing sleep and needing to see a counselor regularly.)

I did, however, submit my Candidacy (to graduate) form, yesterday, so at least that is out of the way. I have realized that I’m actually 7 units beyond the minimum that I would need to graduate, and as I’ve been planning on taking more classes during the Summer and Fall semesters…well, yeah.

I think at the end of my degree, I’ll be 15 units above the minimum.

And then there is the entire issue of my ePortfolio. I’m thinking that I will need to start working on this in Summer at the latest, meaning that I should likely only take Cybersecurity (1 unit) and Intro to Programming (1 unit). This is as versus taking a MySQL course, which I can do at any time on the wider Web.

I suppose that’s not to mention that this will all be over in 9 months, if things go well.

AND…I did actually make the time to shower and wash my hair last night. That was a good thing. It’s also a good thing I didn’t go out to breakfast, because I wasn’t that hungry.

Okay, I think I’m about ready to start working on Step 5 of my Instructional Design thing (–! seriously, I don’t want to be doing Instructional Design, but it’s a competency I have to fulfill).


But I guess you can see why I majored in Creative Writing the first time around: writing actually calms me down and helps me get my thoughts together, most of the time. When I was younger, I felt like that was the only constant in my life (though that wasn’t entirely true: family was the other constant).

Right now I’m looking at my bookshelf/personal library, and…there are so many books I want to read, but I don’t have time to read them now.

I should probably make some time to consolidate this stuff, so it’s all in one case (or reasonably close to it)…

Photo of last night’s fern frond:

All right,

I have three things to finish reading and then research after that, which would be easier if I were going in to work (but I’m off until the middle of next week). I just don’t think it’s going to get done: the deadline is in less than eight hours and I have dinner and family things to attend to.

I will do the readings, but all of that…is a bit much. Especially when I’m socially inhibited and have trouble even talking to people I like, let alone ask them for free help.

So below, is what I did last night:

embroidered fern frond
Not the best focus, but you get the idea. 🙂

I started out trying to use stem stitch for the main stem, but a regular backstitch worked just fine for the rest of it. Though the stem stitch looks a little better, if I can control its path (each stitch slants diagonally, and this gives the path a tendency to curve)…

I had been wanting to try this variation with petal stitch (that’s what each of the little leaves are), as versus fly stitch, which looks more like a pine frond:

fly stitch sample
Fly stitch sample, done December of last year.

Heh. Kind of nice to have a media library on WordPress. 🙂

Anyhow, I’m doing this instead of frantically reading right now because I think it’s what’s best for me in the moment. That is…I need to give myself a break. It’s possible that missing this Discussion will lower my grade to a B automatically, but I can’t be sure at this moment.

My GPA is fine, though. It’s enough to get me into an Honors society, meaning that I’m in the top 10% of my class. (Who knew.) Right now I’m just not sure exactly how long my GPA will be high enough to stay in that society…

But maybe they aren’t, you know, evil. 😉

As regards the little fern thing…I know that I could do this on a larger scale with more fronds, but I’d have to be sure of where the light and shadows are coming from. It would make more sense to put the lighter green at the top, yeah? 🙂 unless this is very dappled light, which in the natural world, it would be. (Fern under conifer?)

I will get back to studying now. 🙂 Thank you all for your support!

Assessing where I am, and looking forward:


I have made it through Wednesday and today! (I didn’t expect that.) It was especially difficult to get myself out of bed, today, because I knew I had to update an Entity-Relation diagram and had no idea how I would do it. (E-R diagrams are used to plan database architecture.)

I ended up resting for a bit (even though I felt guilty as I did so) and then evolving a plan for how to tackle this…and, unexpectedly, it worked out!

I’m not sure if I should write down how I did it here, or if that will be too arcane for everyone else who reads this blog…(I can write it down in my notes, before I forget). But for one thing: giant paper helps. Color-coding also helps, and 3″x5″ cards help! I also think that because the diagram forces one to think abstractly, it’s likely a good thing that I’m the one doing it.

There’s also the point that I’m not entirely certain how my brain works. I mean, apparently, it knew how to go through the process. I just needed to be open to it.

Back to essentials, though: I seriously need to wash my hair, and I seriously need to exercise. I also seriously need to clean up my office! There is so much paper trash in here. And my bedroom…needs to be dusted, so I can get back to using my desk.

Luckily, I don’t have to go back to work for two more weeks, unless I choose to, so I have some extra time that I can use to either study or take care of myself (including cleaning up weeks of entropy). I’m hoping to get ahead in my schoolwork, but I’m not betting on it.

A few days ago, I did see my prescribing doctor. I’m thinking that I’ll stay on the same medication I’ve been on. My doctor suggested bupropion (Wellbutrin) to lower my appetite, but every time I start a new medication, I have to adjust to my mind working differently.

I’m already on one medication to counteract the side effects of another medication (drowsiness); the bupropion would be to counteract another side effect, which is the tendency to eat constantly.

As far as I’m aware, I could go on treating side effects of medications that treat side effects forever and end up on way more drugs than are necessary. It’s possible that all I need to do is drink water first, when I find myself hovering around the refrigerator.

Anyhow. I know that the next three days will be a bit tight where it comes to academics, or at least, I’ll have things to do. It would be great to get some exercise in, in the early morning. Today, it was basically storming (which has been rare, this season), so I didn’t go out. Not to mention that what I had to work on, was a group project, and so I couldn’t let it slide.

And I also did finally see that most of my professors have their email addresses on their “Home” pages, not under “Contact”. I’m not sure if that does mean I’m supposed to contact them about accommodations? Hmm.

Well, that train of thought just died.

I suppose that I could also get back to reading. I have one class (Instructional Design) which I may have to do a lot of research for, depending on whether my proposal goes through or not. The way the project is set up, I have to have an Information Literacy basis…and I’m not too familiar with that (which might be surprising, as I’m in a Library & Information Science program).

Also…I’m not sure whether I really want to do MySQL this Summer, or hold off on that and use Web tutorials to learn MySQL, while taking Cybersecurity and Intro to Programming. My fear is that 5 units in Summer Session is going to be way too much, like I could barely handle 10 units this semester, while I had them (my 1-unit class ended yesterday).

Last night I was thinking of just doing Programming and Cybersecurity, and doing MySQL on my own…which still sounds like the balanced route. If I can commit to it.

The weird thing, though, is that I’m not too bad at database design; and I didn’t expect that to be the case. Though my professor did say that Entity-Relation diagramming was something of an “art”…

(sounds like me)

…I did end up using my art supplies to mark out rough drafts of my diagram. It would have been tougher without the materials.

Man, there are so many books I want to read…(I’m looking at my bookshelf, now)…particularly the Japanese language and Graphic Design ones. It’s funny that right now when I look at pages of my Japanese language writing in my photos, I can’t really distinguish them from my English language writing, unless I’m writing vertically. (It all merges into “text.”)

But it is such a big power-boost to be able to write in kanji.

Yes, it would be nice to clean up in here so I have the space to do whatever I want. (I briefly pondered practicing my sewing, today, but just didn’t do it.)

I could also get back on assembling my e-Portfolio, which has had to take a back seat for the past few weeks. The major issue there, is where to host it, and where will it be secure?

But that could be a fun project (especially if I code the pages myself)!

Hmm. I’d just have to keep them securely backed up…that actually does sound fun. And productive. I wonder if I should have a cloud backup, too, just in case…

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.


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…