Taking a break

I’m just taking a moment right now to unwind from work. Amazingly, things weren’t too bad — this is the first time I’ve been back in two weeks. And…oddly enough, I’m not feeling bad about it. It helped that I got an ice cream afterwards. 🙂

The major issue I’m dealing with now is switching back to a work/school schedule, as versus just a school schedule–!

Also, I’m a bit off because, outside of my Reference Shadowing opportunity, I haven’t been dealing with people outside my family, for about two weeks (and I was socially “off” while I was shadowing, as well). In particular, when signing people up for library cards, I’m having a harder time accessing my, “Welcome to the Library,” speech.

I also received a bit of ease in my assignments: my last professor has now been contacted about my Disability accommodations, so I don’t have to worry about that, anymore. I might want to go ahead and try contacting my Vocational program again…we just never met, before the beginning of this semester. Things are just now starting to look doable, for me.

I have been advised that there is a Trainee program in my County which allows me to enter what is in effect a junior-type Librarian position in my last semester, or shortly after graduation. This will likely be a good experience, if I can either drive or arrange transportation for the period (I really need to learn how to drive!).

It looks like the Reference assignment that I’ve got isn’t going to be as easy as I’d hoped: our Reference section at my library has just been massively downsized, and the same is about to happen at the library at which I shadowed the Reference staff. I have a week to get all of that work done, though I think most of it, I can do online.

And I should expect next week’s work to start up shortly, meaning I should get on it.

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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. 🙂

Not too stressed yet…

Yes, I am only three days into the semester, but one of those days I worked during the day, the next I slept nearly all of the day (I took medication after midnight!), and today…I got new shoes and earrings, instead of studying all my waking hours. (12g spirals! I won’t be able to put them in, though, for about 3 or 4 more weeks: I have to wait for my piercings to acclimate to their current size.)

I suppose the bright spot in there is that I have been studying at night, and I have been studying in the day, even though classroom attendance and reading short chapters, doesn’t seem like it’s really “studying.” Nor does introducing myself or keeping up with everyone else’s hellos. (It helps that I got slightly ahead [one chapter] in my politics class, before school started.) Also, I’m only working 11 hours a week, at this point.

I have also (tonight) restarted using my Bullet Journal. I’m juggling four courses and have needed to put all my tasks into one place so I could see what, exactly, needed to be done, and by when. Whether I’m doing it “right” or not remains to be seen — and that may not matter, as long as it’s working — but it is helping me visualize everything that I’ve got to get done by next week. And what has to be done isn’t overwhelming; it’s just tough to keep track of.

I think it will be best if I retain one page for each week of assignments.

I don’t think I can hold it all in my head at one time: I tried, and all it does is build intimidation and a slight aversion to checking what I actually have to do, not what I think I have to do. The latter is scarier.

I found out right before the semester started that I only need one to three samples of work for each of my e-Portfolio categories. This vastly simplifies what I thought would be an arduous process; I had upwards of 10-12 pieces of evidence in each category, prior (where I had that volume of work). But the Culminating Experience is not too dissimilar to my capstone class for the Art AA.

Luckily enough, I also think that my “week” turns over mid-week, not on Sundays, for most of my classes. I also have much less that I “have” to do, in terms of work and family responsibilities, than many other people, so I feel fortunate in that regard. It’s even possible that I might be able to work more, after February. I’m not sure, though.

I still haven’t gotten in touch with anybody about Disability accommodations, but I think this semester will be better than last semester, just because I’m learning how to learn and how to keep up. That is, I’ve got to be proactive in finding out what I need to do, and work against procrastination as I’m actually accomplishing the tasks. I have heard that I’m not the only person who can delay working on an assignment for longer than it takes to actually do the assignment! Is it bad that it makes me feel better? 😉

And how is it that grad school has gotten easier?

I also need to make an appointment with my vocational counselor, although I’ve already notified her about this. I’m not sure if it just fell between the cracks, or what, but I’m just trying to be compliant.

And with that…I should probably get some rest. Early morning, tomorrow!

Almost completely done.

I completed what work I had to do, last night — amazingly enough.  Though I wanted to post this last night, I ended up going to sleep at about 2 AM, having spent about 12 hours total at my workstation that day.  Accordingly, my upper back and shoulders weren’t up to more sitting at this terminal.  D has said that he’s not sure how I do it (he can’t sit for long in my chair), but he’s much leaner than I am.

I did learn a couple of things:  one, before turning in a quiz, be sure to carefully reread the question and make sure you’re answering all parts of it.  I got some points off on my cataloging quiz unnecessarily because I neglected to see that I was being asked to do something that I’d never been asked to do, before.

The second thing had to do with my oral presentation:  I ended up repeating myself a number of times because of the structure of the paper, which I transferred over to the structure of the presentation (although I have heard that repetition isn’t bad, in an oral presentation).  I also learned that if I freeze up, it’s best to stop recording as soon as I find it happening, catch myself, and then restart.

I went over the time limit by about four minutes, even though I found myself talking quickly and quietly (something I’m known for, and have been trying not to do — and didn’t do, the first two times).

Otherwise, there has been a lot of family drama, to understate the obvious.  I don’t know how much I want to get into it, here…but that — and being afraid to start the Annotated Bibliography — is something that kept me in bed for a while, today.  I did get up earlier, but then I lay back down and stayed there until a little less than an hour ago.

In any case, all that’s before me now is the Annotated Bibliography, backing up my assignments to my portfolio, and possibly watching one lecture I didn’t watch because I ran out of time.  And, ah, right — transferring over some notes into a notebook (I used the giant pad of paper and a Sharpie, which is going to destroy what adjoins it if I just cut and paste it).  Otherwise…I’m pretty much done.

Kinda hard to know what to do in this situation, eh?  I can work on the funeral program, though…

Remembering that mission…

I…feel like I should be doing something else, but wanted to record this impulse while I had it, as it may possibly mark a turning point as regards this blog — I can’t tell for sure, though, in the moment.

I’ve been attempting to record as much as I can, when I can…both to keep up my writing skills, and so that, months down the line, I don’t forget what I was thinking (maintaining continuity has been a historical issue with me — before I began journaling, it was apparent that I’d get caught in potentially infinite loops and not realize that I’d come to the same conclusions, before).  I think a couple of things have been happening, though:  one, being a stagnation of what I’ve been doing outside the blog (although I don’t know why I would argue that, as I just got back from a two-week vacation [albeit one in which I had to take along my studies]), and two, wanting and needing to devote energies elsewhere.

For instance, the art and craft area at my home has recently been reorganized; so the amount of freedom I would have to utilize my art supplies is fresh in my memory, at this point.  As well, I’m now officially behind in my work, again; though the extent to which this is because of me, I question (I’ve learned not to trust one of my Professors, because of this; though at the same time I’m not sure what I can do except trust him…and possibly, fail because of it).

I’ve read a good number of pages, today…I have at least 20 more to go, I think; before everything should be clear(er) in the lectures; but I’m still, basically, two lectures behind, and doing classwork which I should have started before Spring Break (though I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THAT).  I need to get the reading out of the way and then look at the online tools; I think our next graded assignment will be given out on the 13th (in four days), and this is the class where I’m currently carrying a C…so I need to get equal to or above that in the next couple of assignments.  Because of that, it takes priority over my other two classes (in which I think I presently have As), meaning I’ll be behind in those as well, most likely.  I hope to get what was due at the beginning of this week, done before Friday (I don’t do assignments well when I’m stressed — at least not when I actually have to think about them).

Anyhow, time has become a limited commodity, and I question how much using it to repeat myself here (I’ve started to do so, so that new readers don’t have to look through previous entries) is a great use of it (particularly given what I think is called a “chilling effect” from a recent legal change).  There is the fact that I can work thoughts out here and reach conclusions which I might not have come to, otherwise; and WP’s algorithms do help when I’ve written something similar before that I’ve forgotten about.

I don’t always have something new to write about, every day.  Then, also, sometimes I do have something new to say, but I don’t feel like saying it online.  An example of this is sharing my images of Hawaii…most of these are floral images, and I get irritated at myself for not sharing them, but then I also still want to keep them private, at least until I myself can use them as source images for artwork.  Once I’m done with them, fair game, right?  But I’m still dealing with a feeling of protectiveness about them, although I know setting them free is the most ideal way to ensure they survive.

I’ve also, recently, seen my Stats trail off a bit — as happens when one doesn’t post regularly (I think I made three posts over the two weeks of vacation, compared to one every two to three days, before I started ramping up and trying to get as much work done as I could, prior to vacation) — but I’m not sure that what I’m thinking about (that is, pulling back from writing here, a bit) is entirely due to that.

I think what’s happening is that there’s too much writing and not enough living.  It’s an imbalance that I noticed, too, at the end of my Creative Writing program.  It’s hard to write about things when you aren’t living new material from which to draw your writings.

I’ll try and get some of this work done, and it would also be nice if I could get the art done, as well…but I’ve realized that the work will finance the art, that the art is for pleasure and healing, and that this blog may be more of a liability than not…in this era.

And yeah, I…don’t want to be political, though I feel that as a writer and artist, it’s expected of me.  I would also dislike being truly apolitical, but it’s possible to have an opinion and just not say it (at least in public) until it’s appropriate, you know?  I know there is power in numbers, and we can’t know how many of us there are if no one says anything; because then we’re isolated — and isolation breeds fear, and power exploits fear.

It’s just that it’s not my goal to be an activist, again.  I actually don’t want to be an activist.  I just want things to happen in a way that feels correct, but I don’t know if that will happen without my voice.  The only problem with speaking…is that when I’m speaking, I’m seen; when I’m seen, the safety cloak drops and I know I may have to fight.  I don’t want to fight, because I don’t want to be harmed, or to harm anyone else.

Then again, I don’t want the world to die, either, because I didn’t do what I could, when I could.  That then gets into solipsism, however, and…life choices, responsibility, trying to shape who and what I want myself to be, in this world.  What energies I want to emit; whether I exist for generation or destruction.  I’d rather be a healer than a warrior…and maybe on some level…I need to be a healer; at least to heal myself.  Maybe once that’s done, I can reassess where I stand…

but…yeah.

that may just be the spirits speaking through me.  Which is the reason I write and make art.  I shouldn’t forget that.