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…

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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.

Yeah…

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…

Yes, I’m still here. Actually. Really. :)

I don’t even know how long I’ve been away from this blog, but the temporary state of being in de facto, 12 units, while preparing for graduation is…apparent. Not to mention taking care of general University trainings.

It must have taken me 30-45 minutes the other night (I can’t remember which night and I didn’t write it down) just to figure out everything that is coming due this week. Luckily, I should be able to get in my second exercise for my Database class and be somewhat prepared to talk to a new contact, by tomorrow. The next deadline set is Wednesday.

The major issue is so much reading, though at least it’s easy enough for me. There’s that, and listening to audio recordings (which just take time and attention) and research. The other major thing is sedation, which I’ve been experiencing as the Prozac leaves my system (I was taking the Prozac to counter the sedation).

I realized a couple of days ago that I have (or had) been really irritable/angry/triggered, and I am no longer certain whether it’s my life that is the cause, or if withdrawal is distorting (or clarifying) my perception.

In any case, I realized last night that I hadn’t logged on here for…my Stats read a week or so, if I assume my last posting was the last time I was on. Actually, though, I did start drafting a post about 2/3 of a week ago, and then went and took care of the issue instead of writing about it.

There’s been a lot of stuff happening; mostly around death in both sides of my family, now. My office is pretty messed up (particularly the small papers all over the floor off to one side of my terminal) and I’ve ceased to worry about it, but I do need to do some laundry and clean the bedroom so I can get back to using the desk (and have clothes I look good in). I also really need to shower; maybe I can do that tomorrow morning before heading out (I just don’t want to dry my hair, really).

I also have not contacted any of my professors yet re: Disability accommodations. I kind of feel like it helps me be lazy, and in the real world, I’ll need to work to deadlines. The problem is that going without sleep for too long, or having dysregulated sleep for too long, may trigger an episode in me. It’s better to turn something in 18 hours late and maintain my health, than it is to pull an all-nighter and be damaged and unable to fully function for 3-4 weeks…which is why I have the accommodation.

Tomorrow, I might go out for some more pens (I use color differentiation to tell where one set of notes ends and the next begins, but all of my colored gel pens are running low). I bet that will help me get out of bed at a reasonable time.

And…the Bullet Journaling is actually helping, though it’s not a big deal to look at. I basically have been writing tasks down for the week, every week, with due dates.

I’ve also decided that I don’t want to be a back-end Web Developer. The Database class is kind of like a math class…oddly enough, I think I may be happier in a front-end Web Developer or Web Designer role. But it’s a good thing I found that out.

Alright. I think I can get back to homework, now; taking time out for this journal/blog constitutes caring for myself. Sometimes it’s just good to have a place to record what’s happening so you don’t forget it because of rushing so fast to get everything done…

One paper down; gaining some breathing room.

I’ll try not to make this a long post. I started to write something here right after I got out of bed, today, but instead diverted myself into a paper that is now completed and turned in. That…did take around nine hours of work, minus an evening meal.

Now I have to figure out what is due next, but luckily I think I’ll be able to complete the vast majority of it before I have to go back to my job.

Study for tonight had to do with inferring how a database was set up in a website of my choice. It was actually…really interesting, once I started to get into it. The prof for that class has also stated that the readings are there if we don’t understand the lectures, but not required.

I might dip into Chapter 2, but as his lectures were a total of 3 hours, and I was taking notes, I think I got most of the content. My major concern is needing to access the book later on, and if I’ll be able to do it if I haven’t read the earlier chapters.

What’s amazing and a little frustrating is that for a different class, I have three separate lectures to listen to, but together, they’re only about one hour long. I wish that the professors would give us page counts and/or the lengths of what we’re supposed to listen to, before we click through to begin the work.

Not to mention, that some of our professors are laying out things for the next week, while others are laying out things for the next three weeks. And they don’t always give due dates on the readings. So on looking at the itinerary, we’re swamped with all this work…which is altogether due in three weeks?

Anyhow, I should have some wiggle room in my time, tomorrow, possibly enabling a trip to the produce market, and/or exercise. And…if I do poorly on the Power Mapping exercise, the class is only one unit. It can’t impact me that much.

I’ve also decided (for now) that if I do get time to spend freely, working on the sewing project feels like it will be most structured and productive.

Right now I’m just not certain whether to buy a certain book (to help me with that) as an electronic version or paper…

I started this post freaking out over school, now it’s just over weight.

Yeah, there are things more important than classwork…

I suppose it wouldn’t be too much to admit that I am now somewhat seriously freakin’ out over the workload I’ve set out for myself.

It is, however, a good thing that I stayed home today to listen to the three hours (!) of lectures I had for one class, or else I’d really feel like I was drowning. Today, what I got done was that (yeh, I’m kinda changing up my writing voice, for now), and a good set of abdominal exercises (aiming for 60 reps balanced per exercise, 30 reps to either side per exercise) plus over a mile clocked on the Exercycle (where I actually surpassed [!] 9 MPH, tension level = 6 [that detail probably won’t matter to anyone else]).

So after I listened to the lectures for my database class, I then went through all four of them (the classes, that is) and noted everything due this next period. I’m kind of getting irritated (that’s not the word I’m thinking of) at being expected to schmooze for part of my grade. I just don’t do that, well. And I’ve got serious “stuff” to attend to, like analyzing freaking websites.

And…yeah, I’m kinda getting “dark” here, like not “dark” as in “lost” but “dark” as in “angry.” It’s likely due to stress and a reduced amount of medication (which would normally help me deal with the stress).

My weight is still going up, by the way, but I’m pretty sure that little bump on the scale means my muscles (particularly my thighs and abs) are building, not that I’m taking on a bunch more fat.

(My belly fat is continually shrinking, by the way. Yay for resetting metabolisms! I wouldn’t be concerned except for the fact that Prozac use is linked to Type 2 diabetes, which in turn is linked to abdominal fat. And I just lost someone from diabetes [ongoing kidney failure, necrotizing bacteria] and had a friend who also lost someone [if not two people] from diabetes, not to mention others I know who have to live with it.)

What I need to do, really, is likely just stop drinking juice like I restarted doing when I stopped the Prozac. That was the big thing that caused me to stop gaining weight when I was still taking it, and…realistically, I’ve got 35 pounds to drop before I’ll be at optimal weight (I did actually break the 170 barrier yesterday, though that was after food and drink, not first-thing-in-the-morning stuff; at minimum, I’m at 165, meaning 30 to drop).

Hey, if I could be stable at 165 and hourglass and strong and lose the fat from under my jaw, I’m not sure I’d have a problem with it.

Then there is the entire grad-school stress…thing. That also contributes to the weight gain.

Why am I in this? I am in this because it’s important to M that I get a Master’s degree. I don’t know why; it has something to do with some nightmare couched in the phrasing of not, “working at McDonald’s.” Which, you know, I never had to do, but the same can’t be said of others in my family. So, you know, maybe it’s something they “know” about that I don’t.

But also, how many other people do you know that go through grad-school horrors because their parents want them to?

Well, there you go. A’ight. Who wants to do this? (or be a doctor or lawyer [or banker or teacher]?)

Oh, right, the other people in my program…

…well…why?

I did have the option with Voc Rehab of choosing a blue-collar job for my “vocation,” (electrician!) but I just didn’t. I can’t even really remember why I chose this line of work anymore, except that I already had an English degree and wanted to monetize it — and, right — that I was considering work in Publishing. Library work keeps you around texts, at least for the present day. And I thought it would be quiet.

Ha!

Well, that, and I didn’t (and don’t, still) feel entirely comfortable taking money from people. But in Capitalism, that’s what you’ve gotta do if you’re gonna survive; the money has to come from someplace, even if it’s going into your old coffee cup (which I’m sure we wish it wouldn’t). And even if it’s coming out of taxes.

I have dreams for Publishing, but they’re probably about 15 years in the future. Pearson is doing some work on it, last I checked (interactive books). Though I’m thinking interaction paired with social media, that (due to abuse of the system, which is fairly likely with college students) could become a Public Relations nightmare fairly quickly.

And, right: I didn’t want to enter a majority-male field and have to deal with the, “but you have the wrong ‘bits,'” for the rest of my life. HOW CAN I LOVE METAL IF I HAVE THE WRONG “BITS?”

Okay, I’m going to stop now.

Hey, at least I’ve still got a sense of humor. That’s something.

I should likely schedule some time (no, I mean really, schedule) to work on something creative. I’ve just got to determine what exactly that’s going to be, and when it is going to be. And when I’m going to do everything else.

Also, I’m a bit concerned about what kind of food my parents did bring back from the produce market…I sacrificed those hours to work on readings, today, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ve got a ton of apples and nothing else…

Yeah, I…I should get to bed…

Gettin’ serious, now:

Okay, so I guess attending class this morning does count as classwork done. Plus, I went to work (which wasn’t bad, this time).

There are actually a good deal of Library Assistants, Library Clerks, and Aides/Pages in my classes, which is causing me to think about getting back on the Clerk list. It would likely be less shocking a transition than going straight into an LA position. I’d just have to refresh my typing certificate, to apply.

I also have three more pages of reading to do before I can start in on all the little assignments due on Wednesday, and I should get on listening to the lectures.

Aside from that, and maybe starting in on another article (the one I’ve printed), that should be enough to think about, for the night.

If I really can’t sleep tonight, I can work on my own personal tech reading (e-books, tutorials), especially as my Database class will not cover MySQL (I found this out, today). I doubt I’ll have that much boredom, though.

There are some additional thoughts I’ve had in regard to listening to everyone’s different experiences…and my own workplace dynamics, but this isn’t the place for them. I should put them in a personal journal, or get back to work…

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!