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. 🙂