Hibernating?

For some reason, I slept through most of the day. I’m not entirely sure why, though looking forward to getting a computer back into operating condition is not really my idea of a great time. (I’ve also been having issues with heart flutter, likely related to caffeine sensitization; but neither does it speak well about my level of stress.)

So…let’s see, I was offered an interview to become a Library Assistant, but I’m not too hot on the position — it’s a Substitute/Floater position, just like the one I was offered from a different county. The benefit is that it will give me experience: the drawbacks are many, but primarily the first few weeks to months will be hell, as all the creeps in the area introduce themselves to me.

I must have checked something that said I was interested in this…which I shouldn’t have, as three declines get one kicked off the list. I don’t know if that’s for a year or a lifetime, though.

And actually…I’m not really interested in that position. Kind of like I’m not really interested in the class I was offered for Spring semester…I mean, I really need a rest!

For now…well, it would be nice to take some time to calm down. I know that I’m looking for an entry-level position in an Academic Library, ideally. I want to spend the next few months reviewing HTML and CSS, then moving into JavaScript.

The class I was offered by Open University is a Tech course, but until I learn a Programming language for real, I don’t even know if I want to be in this path. I know that Database Management (DBM) was not where I wanted to be; I suspect the others of these classes may be like DBM.

I initially intended to go into Digital Services, but didn’t realize …just how technical it was going to be. And that I get intimidated by learning technical stuff, even though I’m drawn to it. (And yes, there is a gender component, here.) I’m thinking, why be in school unless you are learning something you can’t learn any other way?

As well: there is the matter of my Japanese-language study, which I’ve had to lay off of totally in order to focus on my schoolwork. I need to get back to that. And I want to take Cataloging and Classification, again. (I also want to read the various materials I’ve collected but did not have time to read!)

I mean, what if I actually am better off being a Cataloger or an Academic Librarian (or a Collection Developer?), rather than a Techie? What if I actually want to go back for an MA or MFA or PhD in something I love, and become a Subject Specialist in it? I’ve been afraid to limit my options, but if a specialized option is the best one…?

Talking to people isn’t so bad! It’s just when they push your boundaries and start dealing with you personally, that’s hard. Librarianship is a Service position, and along with that goes dealing with people you would rather not. It’s just that in an Academic Library, the service community is not necessarily, “anybody who walks in the door.”

What I had been looking at with Digital Services, though: that’s merging into an Information Sciences field. I chose this majorly because of having been ticked off in Cataloging & Classification, and not wanting to deal with the public, but still wanting to help a Library.

The major scare of this for me is the tough time I had in (Honors) Math, the distaste for math I’ve had since then, and my lack of having practiced it in any regular sense, ever since my Undergraduate work.

That, I think, is where the actual sticking point is: I’m an Arts and Humanities (and minorly, Social Sciences) person with interest in how Technology can further these; more than a Hard Sciences, Math, and Engineering, person. I do think, though, that I could handle talking in front of a group more easily than I could handle applying algorithms to Big Data.

Hmm. Maybe I should write to the person I spoke with recently, about this…

Anyhow, the following are my ideal priorities for the next six or so months:

  • review HTML
  • review CSS
  • learn JavaScript
  • review and extend Japanese Language
  • review/retake Cataloging & Classification
  • gain Entry-level position/experience in Academic Library
  • Read

I mean, that is basically, what I want; and I have time to deal with getting a job I’ll actually like, rather than one I’m forced into because of monetary concerns…

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work-in-process.

Well, even if I don’t get this term paper done to my own satisfaction in a few days, I at least have a good enough start on tracking down my topic, in order to continue the work after the semester is over. If, that is, I retain access to Library resources — I may not.

Actually, I just looked it up: I will not. Time to search through my Public Library memberships.

Anyhow…I did a good amount of research today, and identified 12 articles of interest, four of which I’ve read through entirely. The other eight are no longer than 15 pages, each. I also found a few e-books which will help on the deeper side of things, though I’ll need to target my reading for the next few days. I probably won’t be able to trace citations as much as I’ll want to.

I feel kind of disharmonious for having retired to bed so early last night, and neglecting to get up at 5:30 AM this morning, which is when I seriously awoke. I had planned on getting up early — but before sunrise was not anything I expected. As it turned out, I only really became functional after about 10:30 AM, I think (I’d have to check my sleep log).

Tomorrow — that is, after the sun comes up, this next time — I should be able to devote entirely to studying and writing. Well, that, and laundry. I’ve left some notes to myself in the papers I’ve located.

I might also want to prioritize the newer articles.

While part of me wants to put notes about my paper down, here…there’s no upshot to making them public. The only reason to write them here is to either publicize my work, or to avoid writing by hand…

…the latter of which, is kind of sad. I’m sure the urge to do everything on the computer is familiar, though. I should be keeping notes on thoughts that come up in longhand, not only within my files…

It’s cold and dark. Lots to do, but not all of it, necessary.

What’s sad is that it’s so cold that the computer warming my lap is welcome. I didn’t get any work done on my paper tonight, so far, and it’s taken an intentional effort for me to write here instead of space out watching the television and waste the time that way. It would take an even larger intentional effort for me to work on art.

In comparison, reading seems fairly…well, passive. Those two books I crammed into one night a couple of weeks ago, I can barely remember, now. It makes me want to re-read them just for the sake of writing up a review, and write the reviews for the sake of my own recall.

I haven’t been on this blog as much, recently. After finishing my ePortfolio, I have basically gone into reading. It’s difficult to have content to put up here without going through the additional process of living. It’s also difficult to live after having gone through as intensive a process of study as I’ve been involved with.

And…a lot of time and energy has been concentrated on obtaining things. Mostly, texts; but also some other stuff, like winter and professional clothes, and stuff for art and writing. But I think I spoke about that in past posts.

My due date for my term paper got extended to the middle of next week (as versus what looked like tomorrow night). At this point, I’ve re-read the applicable chapter, and looked some terms up, prior to doing hardcore research. The major issue I’m having now is not knowing my exact, most productive search terms, but I should be able to find those out in the process of searching.

I just…get anxious about searching. If you knew what kind of anxiety I have to deal with on a daily basis, you would know how much I hate routinely exploring online, on my own machine. Of course, I’m running a system which I’ve tried to make safer, but still.

So…I should probably get a plan together for the next three days. I know I want to have the majority of my research done by Sunday night, and to be writing by Monday. What really threw me off was going to work this last Wednesday; I should probably have held off for two more weeks. I just thought that since I would technically only be working on one class, it would be okay to have fewer available hours to study.

But also — it is a Master’s program.

Huh. It’s also harder to write here, I think, because most of my recent writing has been academic. It has been easier to channel my creativity into academic work, however. I’ve been wondering whether “arts” are just the most recognized outlet of creativity…

Aside from all of this, I still need to help clean the house, do some laundry, and…I think that’s about it. If I get my term paper done, I should be able to work on cleaning the house by Thursday, though I should work on my laundry before then.

And water the plants. And take another shower.

I think I’ll be okay. Today and yesterday were rest days. Tomorrow is work and study. The two days after that should be wholly study, and I can try and get this thing in early if I need to (just to have it over with), though I can also edit on Tuesday, given that I need to use APA format (and writing to a format is not easy).

Overall, I think my energy feels sapped because it’s cold and I haven’t been getting enough light. It is an idea to get out and start my day earlier, or to use the mood light in the morning. It looks like the sun is coming up at about 7:15 these days, so that’s about 9-10 possible hours of natural light.

It’s also possible that my energy feels sapped because I’m recovering from the stress of completing my ePortfolio, but I’m sure the season has something to do with it, too.

As well, I’ve noted tonight that I need to lay off drinking juices, again. For the last three weeks, I’ve been off of tea (camellia tea, I mean) and chocolate, due to heart flutter; and I think drinking sugar (and stress) has caused me to gain 2-3 pounds. Not too happy about that, but most of my clothes should still fit, as I got them recently.

I know I should still be able to drink kombucha, kefir, coconut water, and limited vegetable juices, in addition to barley tea and caffeine-free herbal tea (mint, chamomile, rooibos, elderflower, hibiscus, ginger, etc.).

That does make me feel better…

Feeling optimistic.

It’s fairly amazing, how fast things are changing. As has been stated, my Culminating Experience requirement has been turned in, so I know I’m graduating. My paper for my other class, however…has not been. The major push on this is for me to actually learn something with my term paper. I have until Saturday to get that done, which will be…a lot of work. But it all ends, this week, and it looks like it’s going to be all right.

Yesterday…I think it was yesterday, we went and visited J-town, a.k.a. Japantown, a.k.a. Nihon Machi. We had originally intended to go to a Christmas fair, but there was an accident on the freeway, and — to be honest, I wanted to go to Japantown, more. This was largely to visit a stationery store that has pens you can try out.

I didn’t realize for a long time, that the value I put on writing, reading, design, and art, might be related to my ethnic heritage. But it’s weird, in that…I think it is. (I wouldn’t have known why without looking into it, though.) I ended up buying a clear Pilot Prera fountain pen with a Calligraphy Medium nib. I AM NOT DISAPPOINTED AT ALL!

It’s actually really beautiful, in both form and function. I’m also glad that I took the trip over there to compare and try the pens. I wouldn’t have known that I actually really did want a stub nib, otherwise.

I also got a little Rilakkuma and a Korilakkuma plushie. So, two. They are…entirely too cute. I still haven’t cut the tags off of them, though! I haven’t decided whether to put them away so they retain their value, or play with them like the stuffed toys they are.

For some reason I never got into human-looking dolls, but plushies are different (like that whole Beanie Baby thing I got into, in high school). One of my parents used to animate them for me (given the chance, I think they still would). ๐Ÿ™‚

So…I really don’t need Christmas presents, at this point! Actually, I am not sure what, if anything, is happening for Christmas, although it will probably be drama-ridden.

I also have the subject of my final paper selected…which was helped by going to the bookstore across from the stationery store. One book is called Bad Water…I’m thinking it will be interesting reading, when I have time. I’m pretty sure it’s about environmental crises in the 19th and 20th centuries, in Japan; which ties in with my awareness of the itai-itai (an illness from toxic mine drainage) stuff. I think they may be talking about the same things.

I know I have to get through this next week: but that’s more for me, than for anyone else. Then I have to get on finding a new job…and I can rev up to more hours at work, to try and acclimate myself to working more. I can also do some reading to help me out for when I do become a Library Assistant or Librarian (I have two slim volumes I had to take off my desk because I had books everywhere); and I can get back to studying my coding and Japanese language! And I can write stuff that doesn’t have to be written! Awesome!

I’m also intending to read a lot more that I haven’t gotten the chance to, while in school…

I should note that as I was cleaning up the books that were littered everywhere, I realized that having paper volumes let me know what resources I had at my disposal, while digital volumes go unseen. It’s a reason to buy things in hard copy (two of these books I need to buy next year, when their new editions come out), though then there is also the fact that they are not backed up to the cloud.

However, I don’t have to have an e-reader or a computer to read them, so I never have to worry about my device running out of battery, dying, or otherwise failing.

…I’ve been dealing with this in Collection Development (the tension between print and digital)…can you tell? ๐Ÿ™‚

Literary magazine perusal

Last night I was looking though Granta (144) and the Iowa Review (48)2. This issue of Granta is fairly heavy for me; I didn’t read the beginning of it before picking it up, but patriarchy is the theme of this issue (as stated in the Introduction). Apparently, Granta has a theme every issue, if I were to take UlrichsWeb as authoritative (which is a fairly safe bet).

UlrichsWeb is a database of information about serials, though I have mostly used it for academic work. I had thought it was free to access, but it looks at this point like it is a subscription database.

As I’ve found to happen often, sexuality goes along with gender concerns, in this issue ofย Granta. I’m not sure why the two are so often linked, unless sexuality is what gender is about, for some or most people. As I’m kind of unmotivated on the sex portion of that and also gender-nonbinary, I suppose that it wouldn’t be something I would necessarily know a lot about, except as an observer.

I think I’ve just spent so much time dealing with gender issues that I kind of miss the stuff outside of my own context. Sometimes all of this just gets overwhelming.

There’s something different about reading a printed paper copy of the literary magazine (litmag), though, as versus a digital surrogate. It’s something to keep in mind if I ever get to the point of publishing, offline. Depending on the publisher, though, the articles may be available anyway via digital access.

The most obvious point of the difference between digital and print, is the lack of a nearby dictionary. (I didn’t bring my phone with me for a period, today.) Just like the old days…

Over the course of investigating periodicals for my Collection Development class, I’m kind of getting more insight into…well, serials publishing. I probably don’t have the time or patience to go into all of it now, but digital surrogates of print journals (including peer-reviewed material, magazines, trade publications, etc.), so far as I can tell, are becoming almost the norm. Then again, I’m biased, not having easy in-person access to my own Library.

The thing is that the growth of the cost of licensing these resources (for libraries) — at least had been increasing at unsustainable rates in the recent past, leading to novel funding schemes from pop-up vendors, publishers, and the Open Access movement. I’m kind of holding back some information here, which I didn’t start this post intending to share. Maybe later I can come back to it, or maybe after I do more research, I can come back to it. Before I endorse anyone, I should be sure they’re actually legit, that is.

Publishing online is just a method which enables wide distribution at relatively little cost, as versus paying for printing and binding and shipping, in addition to editing, promotion, and design.

I almost started getting into this big thing about database licensing (when the databases carry journal articles or links to such), but I probably shouldn’t go there right now.

At the beginning of this post, I was intending to write about having connected some ideas last night. The good part is that I have a feasible story concept. The thing about it is that it’s basically literature/speculative fiction. I’m not certain I have it in me to make that story, in specific, and in full, into a graphic format; it’s just so rich in detail that I feel it may be beyond the level of my current art skills.

Of course, that provides me with reasoning to practice my art skills, but still. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m wondering whether concept art might be of more use right now than attempting a webcomic, or maybe I could sketch out some (not all) sequences into webcomic format (for its own sake), and let the literary narrative (likely to be much more extensive) stand on its own.

I had thought of making this an episodic, speculative-fiction slice-of-life, possibly paranormal-incorporating webcomic series…but to understand the whole of it would take knowledge granted in multiple installations.

But that would add interest, and an episodic series would mean I only directly work on one part at a time. Maybe I can do it?

Right now, I don’t have an idea of how long this story will run, largely because I have a premise, my own background to draw from, and one subplot. It’s also tough to develop this and keep it relatively offline: right now, it’s just on paper.

I also need to stop writing about it, and start writing it.

Wow. I didn’t know *that* was in there…

Let’s see…tonight I was able to submit another segment of my Culminating Experience requirement. Last night, I submitted my paper for Collection Development, meaning I’m probably not going to have a problem with that class. I only have one more big assignment, there.

Time is ticking down for my remaining essays: I have 2.5 weeks to complete 5 essays, plus one which is mostly-done, and two more which are my Philosophy and Conclusion essays, which I’ve already put serious work into; those two shouldn’t be hard. Right now, I’m pushing myself to give myself a break. Although, maybe I shouldn’t be.

There is still some study to be done to keep up with Collection Development, though it should be fairly straightforward, as compared to the more free-form (but still scaffolded) Culminating Experience stuff.

Luckily, writing isn’t too difficult for me, and I work relatively well under pressure (unless the task is just straight-up too difficult and sheer, due to multiple hidden tasks; then I just freak out and freeze, as started to happen before I got an extension on my last assignment).

If I reach a time in the near future where I want to work but can’t think in words, I can assemble the skeletons and scaffolding of my last six essays — or, the five which need it, I guess. It does take time. That’s the hardest part: trying to estimate how long it will take, and hoping that I’ll have the capacity to do the type of work I’ll need to do at the time I’ll need to do it.

The only way I’ll get into trouble is if I have to do hidden research for one or more essays, but I think I’ll be OK.

Well, there’s that. It’s pretty well-settled. I…am wondering if it is a good idea to go out, soon; or stay in, listen to my lecture, and basically catch up on the Collection Development material (which isn’t really, “catching up,” if I’m not behind, yet). Not to mention that I can look over the voting guides.

I think it would be easier on me to stay home tomorrow, actually, rather than going out when I don’t have to.

What was interesting, was investigating my college, the other day, and realizing that they have a pretty sizable Art budget. That, in turn, gets me thinking about going back to Art classes, or Computer Science classes, and the possibility of an MFA…and if an MFA, whether to do that in Web Design, or Studio Arts…and if Studio Arts, what do I plan to do with that? If Web Design, is that broad enough to do what I want?

I think it is an okay thing, right now, to really…start looking beyond the next two months. I know that December should see a lot of tension being released. January should see me beginning to look for new jobs…and getting back in touch with who I actually am.

I’m looking to be employed for at least 20-30 hours a week in my next job, which may be a Library Assistant or Librarian position, a combination of my current job with an internship, or a non-Library job.

If I don’t get any of this, I may start doing things like pulling prints or otherwise working creatively, and selling the results of that in my spare time (though as I’ve said before, I’m not entirely all that hot on Etsy, at the moment — I might want to find an alternative vending platform).

There is a third route, but I’d rather not do it, at least immediately (take Intro to Computer Science, and a one-unit class). I also need to learn Javascript, especially if I want to work in Technical Services.

And then…there is a story idea that I’ve had, which I’m not sure is related to dystopia or utopia, which goes into what might happen if the state of culture changes so that, in the majority, we decided to avoid irrational thought. A lot of things would go, including much of culture and religion; and I’m not sure what would replace them. I’m…curious about that problem, and kind of want to work it out on my own, to see where it would go. The thing is, even rational thought, based on false premises, leads to statements that aren’t true.

It does seem to be a timely idea, and it’s one I had to turn the TV off to remember, which means it’s good I’m writing it down somewhere, because just telling people about it, barely helped me recollect it.

As for whether I’m good enough at drawing to make it into a graphic novel or series, I’m not sure…but maybe that’s not the point. It doesn’t make sense to make something into a visual form, when there is no need to do so. I’m better at the written word, anyway; and one of the reasons I got into Art was because I was getting to the point with literature, of being able to actually say things that mattered, and I was afraid to do so.

Yeah, and…I’m thinking about another dream I had, which challenged my previous conception of a couple of characters I’ve had, from way back. That dream was seriously adult-themed, though; I mean, it might even set people with trauma, off. (By, “adult,” I mean that you need a moral grounding to be able to comprehend it and not take the situation as acceptable.) I’m not sure if I should write it…but it might help. It might help me get beyond it, that is.

On top of that, we got a new book in at the Library about Critical Thinking, which I want to read, but am somewhat concerned that I’ll have to challenge the book to successfully get through it. I’m not sure if the author is intentionally doing mind-trips to make their readers think, that is, and I won’t have the extra time or energy to try and puzzle it out, before December.

What’s kind of crazy (in the colloquial sense [like “crazy” is ever non-colloquial]) is that if I get back into literature and decide that’s where I want to be, a Public Library setting would feed me, by surrounding me with literature. If I get into Art and want to be an Art Librarian (subject specialist) in a University setting, then I might well need an MA or MFA in an Art-related field.

(The thing is, do I like Art well enough to do that?)

But maybe what I need to get used to, is being okay with expression? Or unafraid to express things, maybe I should say. It’s that which got me into writing, in the first place…I could write things I couldn’t or wouldn’t talk about. (That’s also what got me onto the Web, which relatively freaks out some people.)

And I guess I do, now, have the life experience to kind of know what I’m talking about when I write, which I didn’t, fresh out of undergraduate training.

Yeah… maybe I’ll go back and give writing a shot! It doesn’t cost a lot in anything but time (and maybe, books). On top of that, I know a bit of coding, and can look up the schema used to encode Kindle books, which I could then, self-publish. Or…I could try and publish through a traditional venue, with a BA in Creative Writing and a Master’s in Library and Information Science under my belt…

Hmm. Gotta do the writing, first!

(And I can go back to school for an MFA in Fiction, if I want…it’s a terminal degree, though. But I would be able to teach, then [as well as work in Publishing], and I would be very well-prepared [formally, at least] to be a subject specialist in Fiction writing…)

It makes sense, though, that if I want to really publish, I need to be reading: yesterday, if not sooner. Maybe I could line some stuff up for January?

Recovering.

Right now, I’m just writing so I’m not in bed. For the past four days, I’ve been dealing with food poisoning (and the course of recovering from food poisoning). This morning when I weighed myself, I had lost almost five pounds — though I’m not sure how much of that is due to dehydration and how much is because, until about 24 hours ago, I couldn’t digest food.

I was going back and forth between writing this out by hand, and writing this out online…I guess you can see which won out. I intended to journal last night and ended up dropping off to sleep by accident — twice!

Last night was a little worrisome, too. Because I couldn’t keep anything in, I hadn’t taken my regular medication. So when I realized I had double vision at about 8:30 PM, I didn’t know if it was from dehydration, lack of food, reading things too close for too long, electrolyte imbalance, or withdrawal. I took medication early last night and tried to drink as much water as I could, and it did self-resolve (thankfully).

I also realized that the wedge pillow I got to do computer work in bed, also works really well to allow me to read in bed, and to prevent me from experiencing what might be the beginnings of sleep apnea. (I think I’m snoring, that is, and I think the snoring is leading to anxiety while asleep, about not being able to breathe — though that might better be categorized as a panic attack.)

So basically…Tuesday night I started feeling sick, and Wednesday was just a wash. If I hadn’t taken the time off of work previously, I would have been (seriously) sick at work. Yesterday, I did manage to work on my homework for Collection Development (the Prof finally put up the correct link, and I read through the assigned chapter). Nothing much else has happened, except I realized how much of Intro to Marketing I had forgotten, while reading about Marketing. (I need to rework that section of my ePortfolio.)

Except — I did start reading in this book I got a while ago, called The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web is Changing What We Read and How We Think, by Eli Pariser. I think it was copyrighted in 2011, and it’s regarding the Web, so I’m kind of surprised it’s still accurate. It’s about how Web search algorithms have been designed to show us what it predicts we’ll want to read, and how that isolates us from ideas outside of that.

Immediately when I was reading it, I started thinking about the widening political rifts going on in my own country, and how much of it may be due to people never being exposed to ideas outside of what they already think. I’m pretty sure Pariser isn’t saying we should stop using the Internet, but rather as with any form of technology, we need to be aware of the hazards inherent in how it works (which are largely hidden from us, and the workings of which, none of us entirely understand).

And yes, I do want to get back to my art, but it looks like I’ll need to be working on completing this degree for about the next month, pretty seriously. I’m just glad I’m not drowning in assignments, yet.

I’m also glad I allocated myself enough time that I could just forget about my work for a day, and it’s probably going to be all right.

For the rest of today…I should get on finishing my other two readings. One of them is 53 pages long, so I doubt I’ll get much else, done. Tomorrow, unless I get sick again, I should be going in to work. Then there is a Discussion Post to do, and the rest of that time — unless I start working on my Collection Development paper early, I should be able to work on my ePortfolio.