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*

Growing up?

Deities of Creativity?

It’s been interesting.  I realized the other day that I might need to take a look at books on creativity, because I was taking a fairly negative angle towards my own.  Then I realized that I have easy access to these resources — much easier than most.  Turns out that all I have to do if I want resources on “creativity” is to look!

On the way home I realized also that if I’m going to spiritualize my creativity, maybe I might want to look up (pre-existing) Deities of creativity…which could go into Neopaganism…or into a syncretic religion.  It’s been a while since I’ve been involved with anything Pagan — I used to hang out with a bunch of Pagan Reconstructionists online, so I know a bit about the cultural aspects of it; participating without violating, etc.  And actually, that does cross over with what I was talking about before, only the view taken would be from within the home religion as versus external to it — and most people don’t classify themselves the way others might.

(If you know what I’m talking about…you are very educated!)  😀

The major drawback here is, well, social dynamics.  It can be hard to be a creative person among people who like clear divisions between categories…not all people are like this, but I have a bit more “flow” than I’ve found some others can tolerate.

I’m actually thinking that an African-diasporic religion might be…worth checking out, though the only people I know who are into that, aren’t the greatest representatives.  I’d have to do my research and see which systems, if any, are somewhat like my worldview (though given that my worldview is sourced from one of my parents’…the likelihood of hitting on something is high).  I’ve even had issues in the past with mixing up Orisha and Lwa, so…right.  And though one side of my family does hail from Louisiana, that doesn’t quite make things easier:  I know next to nothing about the place, except that Louisiana, and in particular New Orleans, is different than much of the American South — because of French influence.

I’ve actually been feeling better today.  I’ve been on an upswing since I started engaging my more masculine energy, last week, even though that was accompanied by some communication flubs.  (There is some passion there, and some aggression…which makes the concept of engaging with life easier.  I don’t know exactly why.)  For some reason, I feel more alive and attendant (by this I mean, “present”) when I’m able to express this.

And I suppose it does say something about my intuition that I would pursue being creative as a life purpose even if the Deity of Creativity was maligned…I did realize that I probably put some people in a tough position, though; where they might want to encourage me in my creativity (healing!)  but not in my conception of my creativity (prohibiting!).

It may well be, though, that I’m using an archaic concept of creativity in which it is feared because it brings change — and some people at one time, didn’t like change.  At least, writing what I did, did clarify why I had a sense of conflict over being creative.  Maybe it didn’t need to be made public (I can see where massive confusion may have come from trying to communicate it to people outside my mind), but at least I made the connection.

Earlier today, we went out for dim sum, then I came back and went outside for a while…and just got out the shower (which I’ve needed for way too long).  Granted that I have a Discussion Post due before midnight tonight, but there is no way that I’m going to be able to complete all my readings and lectures before tackling it.  And everyone in the class will be able to see that post.  I think it will be obvious that I haven’t done the reading, but the upshot is that I’ve been taking care of myself.  It was just a very nice day, and I haven’t been out in extended periods of sunlight since we got back from Hawaii.

I did take pictures, too!  But right now they’re still my babies.  I have a hard time letting people see through my eyes while having been subject to verbal attacks from people, in the past…

But yeah…flowers.  ❤  🙂  It’s very colorful outside, this time of year!  (Well, here, at least!)

I’ll try and get on my homework, now…

Deities of Creativity?

Feeling better, a bit.

So…it’s now officially midnight and I’ve been awake for 14 hours — doing required work, some of it late.  And I was able to concentrate today, even with all the external noise.  That means there actually was something wrong when I was constantly distracted.

I had decided prior to skip the Easter visits today, that wasn’t a big decision; but I also didn’t realize that I’d be cutting it so close with the amount of work I had, and the time in which I had to do it.

I did just realize that I inadvertently skipped a lecture, which — along with a project which should be relatively simple, for the same class — I can tackle tomorrow.  I can also see if I missed anything for my Research class, though I think that’s all done (except for filling in the remains of a chapter, from last week).  Otherwise, I think we’ll be moving on, starting tomorrow morning.

I’m actually pretty proud of myself for getting four different graded assignments tackled in the same day.  I’m also really glad that I’m in my Metadata course, as it shows that things actually can (!) get easier with the advent of computers!  I’m not sure what kind of grade I’ll get in Cataloging, but hey — at least now I know not to be a Cataloger, that much is certain.

My goal for that course now (as versus learning the material) is to get out with a C- or above…somewhat sadly, but not really sadly.  It’s gone there.  Right now my best option is to mitigate the damage that course will do to my GPA, and I only have one graded assignment left, so…it’s water under the bridge.  Right now I kind of wish I had held onto my test so I could check my answers with the various scattered data about this class (some in the lectures, some in the Discussion fora…), but again, water under the bridge.  It isn’t due for another nine hours, and I could have held onto it, but it would have stressed me.  It’s more my style these days to just do it and let it go, although that might be a liability (though not necessarily, as when I “corrected” one of my answers away from the right one).

And…you won’t particularly believe this, but I was able to gain access to the one book on Japanese woodblock printing (i.e. mokuhanga:  moku = wood, hanga = print) existent at my location, the other day…so I now have that to peruse, in my off hours.  It’s kind of weird.  I didn’t go there looking for it, I looked up the subject on the OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog) on the spur of the moment, there was one book in the system, and one copy was on the shelf — and it was filed correctly.

Speaking of serendipity, I’ve had that word strike me from three different places within what seems like the last three days.  I am feeling a lot better with Cataloging now, though; to the point that I’m considering taking an actual LIS course during Summer Session, as versus Ceramics.  D has stated that it’s hard to make a living as an artist full-time unless one gives up one’s autonomy in the process, and sometimes people have big issues with the latter.

I figure that I only have two more years to cram everything in, in regard to the LIS program, though (I think Ceramics will still be available later — and if it’s not, maybe I can buy or otherwise access a kiln), and I haven’t even factored in the class, Issues in Special Libraries.  Given that I’m hoping to enter a nontraditional field upon graduation, that class becomes an unofficial priority.  However, I’m looking at my documents now, and that class isn’t even listed as core or recommended…and why would I take that if I could get deeper into XML or another tech-oriented course instead…something that will actually help me get a job, as versus knowledge I can (or will) acquire in the field…

And yes, I…if I can stay in the program, I definitely want to aim for Web Development as an eventual goal.  It’s probably better to say that now and mean it, than to be wishy-washy about it and not tell anyone that I want to work in tech because then I’d lose my Library cred, or something.  If I’ve got an idea in mind and a direction in mind, I need to just go for it, even if someone will finance my schooling if I say I’m into Library Automation (…I am not even going to get into that).

In my Research class…I’ve been investigating why people in positions similar to mine either leave the Library field; or never enter it, after graduation…and it doesn’t paint American Library institutions as particularly healthy in regard to retention of bright, qualified, excellent candidates (as I’ve read).  Not to say I necessarily am that (maybe I am), but…it’s a known pattern, and I have some idea of why the pattern exists, because I almost never came back from Withdrawal status, and with the exception of Cataloging, I’ve been doing relatively fantastic.

Right now my degree should help with Digital Services and Digital Library work, and help me get my feet wet with programming and User Experience.  It’s not a usual use of the skillset — in fact it isn’t a traditional skillset for Library Science at all — but I like it that way.  Otherwise, I’d likely be attempting to learn how to code, however I could (if I was even aware of that as a valid employment option, and if I could get beyond the gender stigma/barrier/stereotypes I’ve read about in the male-dominated tech field).  In that sense, it is good I am in LIS, (Library & Information Science) or at least, in the IS part of LIS — it allows some comfort of being in a relatively safe, traditionally feminized field (where there are more people like me) at the same time as it opens doors into a more cutting-edge field (perhaps made more cutting-edge by the inclusion of people like myself).

And…I’ve only got two years to go (!), though I hear that in the old days, a Master’s degree only actually took two years of training…

Feeling better, a bit.

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…

Remembering why I’m in the LIS program

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…

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

Looking up from the reading

I’ve been reading fairly constantly since about noon, but I think I’ve earned a break.  If I were at work, I would have had at least one break already, and be due for the next.

I’ve been trying to keep things fresh by switching between readings when I start getting tired of one.  Less than 20 pages to go in the Metadata text; I have no idea how many in the Research Methodologies text; but the Cataloging reading is all done.  What’s left for that now, is play, and the graded exercise (which I’m telling myself not to stress about — but nor should I let it slide until the last minute [which would be Monday morning]).

I’ve completed my graded work for Research Methodologies for this week, though I still have to finish Chapter 4 and listen to a lecture or two (not due yet).  The more difficult work is in Metadata, because of the technicality of the reading (I really don’t have a background in Computer Science), but I’ve encouraged myself on with that because if I want to work with computers and the Web, the Metadata work is going to help…and I’ve actually started to be able to read and understand the coding in examples in the text.

Of course, that’s XML (information organization) instead of HTML, but it’s…interesting to get the 19th-century version of information management, as versus the 21st-century one, so long as I don’t bang my head against the wall and declare Cataloging to be ancient enough not to bother with.  After all, it is still currently used.

I did have, somewhere around here, a paper or electronic copy of classes I would be taking if I continued on an Information Organization and Retrieval (IOR for short) path, but I’m not entirely sure where it is.  I think it must be in hard copy, somewhere.

Okay, I found it, and have been using the last 20-30 minutes cross-referencing that hard copy with my newer track.  I’m switching to Digital Services.  There are only two classes I would have taken in IOR which I won’t take in Digital Services, one of which rotates and which I can take if it comes up.  Under Digital services, I have two classes which I’m kind of “eh” about (one of which, Marketing, is something I can take on top of everything else, as I already have had a Marketing course in undergrad), and two which I really want to take (Database Management, Web Usability).  Then there are the two breadth requirements that I need for ALA accreditation, both of which would be essential if I were working in a library setting.

I might be able to switch one or both of those out if the opportunity arises, but pretty much this is looking good.

…And I have three classes, only, which are given both in Fall and Spring (though luckily, one in each semester before the final one).

At least my analytical skills are sharper than they used to be.  If I’d been this sharp before, I would have known not to take Beginning Cataloging…and the two Library-oriented classes I took last Fall.  And I would have taken the technical course in my first semester, so that I wouldn’t have had to take non-technical courses in my second.  Right now I know I will need a class in XML and Project Management — I might be able to take either or both of those, during the Summer, but they’re offered on rotating bases (basises?), so I can’t really bet on it.  I might also be able to take either or both of those with University Extension, or online; or in Special Session after graduation.  (Actually, XML doesn’t look hard — even though it’s fairly required — maybe I could earn an independent Certificate for that, or…maybe it just won’t be that hard because I’ll have taken Metadata, before.)

Right now, my past, current, and projected courseload is split about 50/50 between Library work and online work.

H*ll, maybe I could even take 12 units, one or two semesters (though XML is only taught in Special Session [which I’m not in] and in Summer)…I’d just really have to focus and get serious…

Looking up from the reading

Getting it together

Last night, I was talking with some people about how things are, or were, going.  I realized that my resistance to doing my homework is likely largely related to the fact that I had been betting on being able to work as a Cataloger, but my Cataloging class is very 19th-century, and my Metadata class, very early-21st-century.  What I am learning from these two classes is along the lines of not knowing what I was getting into…and not particularly knowing where I’m going.  I have also reached some kind of point of what feels like disillusionment with cataloging…at first I was excited, then, not so much.

The upshot is that I still have ample time to switch gears, and the two or more times when I have questioned my path through my MLIS, I’ve done work to plot out alternate courses.  What I am thinking of right now is gaining Information Science skills, but not necessarily going on to work in the Library field, after graduation.  In this case…I can take classes focusing around working with coding and computers, and hope to be able to apply them in applications after Library School which are not necessarily focused around the institution of libraries.

I also mentioned last night that I am looking for additional work experience, but am afraid to leave my job while I’m in the middle of the Master’s program…because it will likely take up at least 20 hours a week of my time, and would require learning a new set of skills at the same time as I would be trying to focus on my classes.  I’ve realized that writing, art, and to some degree, jewelry, are all contract-based (if one is lucky) or freelance positions.  This is what I found after a while of looking through career books.  The publishing field has also been said to be shrinking, due to influence from the ‘net.  (Not to mention that libraries have had to drastically reframe their goals to remain viable, in a post-Web world.)  What I didn’t realize until I talked it out last night, though, is that I can likely start out in freelancing while I’m still working at the Library and working on my Master’s.  The hours of a freelancer are flexible, after all.

One other thing I realized is that the multiple tracks I have out in front of me are things that overlap to a strong degree, though I didn’t realize it earlier.  Right now I’m taking two out of the three uniquely Cataloging-oriented courses which I have access to.  That isn’t bad, especially when a lot of what I had planned to take for Cataloging does also apply to Digital Services, which in turn is just a technology-oriented position dealing with Virtual Libraries, and the like:  which is really what I want to be doing.  Well, that, or helping with the back end data management of a group which deals with art or jewelry.  Then I asked myself what could help me get into a job like that, and I realized:  in absence of a Computer Science degree…this.

I still haven’t re-tried my hand at fiction, and don’t really know if I will be able to keep myself healthy while doing it.  But this blog has enabled me to keep some of my skills at writing nonfiction, and I’ve read that’s where most of the writing jobs are, anyway.

Alright, I’ve got to go, for now…

Getting it together