Thought I’d record this before bed…

Alright, Exercise #2 on learning the Dewey Decimal System is complete.  This is tough work! — at least when you are unfamiliar with the rules, haven’t done it before, and are under time pressures.  I’m fairly certain that I should be able to at least complete Exercise #3 tomorrow night, meaning that I will only be one exercise behind, come Tuesday morning (when I shouldn’t have to go to work, anyway, and can finish it — if I wake up).

Dewey is just something that you kind of don’t want to rush…it’s very detail-heavy and technical, and it’s quite easy to just overlook the notes on how to use the system.  And when that happens…one wrong step, and everything after that is wrong.  Kind of like math.

On the bright side (was that a dark side?), I’m thinking that my time spent working for libraries hasn’t gone to waste.  I should look into getting into contact with the people in my system who take care of Graphics/Design and Cataloging…and maybe talk to my old co-worker again, who has moved on into a different branch (it’s been a while since I spoke with him).  Basically, the biggest thing that I think would bother me about becoming an Adult Services Librarian would be having to act as a security guard.  But maybe that isn’t necessarily part of the job, in places other than my County.

I’m also getting a better idea of what Information Services entails, which is not necessarily “talking with the drunk lonely guys,” or “being random homeless guy’s personal secretary,” or “untrained acting Social Worker,” though that impression has been what stuck with me from my first years on the job (and who would WANT that?)…well, the creeps asking this of me would want that, I guess.

This is largely due to the fact that I didn’t know how to set limits with people, back then; and the concept of “public servant” as equivalent to “slave” (as a noticeable minority of people may treat us) didn’t die easily.

At this point, our patrons — the library community, that is — mostly recognize me, because I’ve been working this position for over five years.  (Community work, I’ve found, can be very satisfying — but do I really need to be the person on the front lines?)  What’s interesting to note is that I have outlasted many of the people who used to give us trouble; and that I apparently am intimidating to some of the ones who used to do so, as well.

I also have realized that this issue with shying away from dealing with the public is something I’m working on, and is in an ongoing process of growth.  Cataloging is the most obvious route out of working in Information Services, though I could also likely work in an Academic or Special Library, where I wouldn’t have to deal with the general public.

And actually, Academic work would seem pretty sweet — because of the environment, the patrons, and the quality of the resources!  I’m not sure if I’d have to be a subject expert, though…although, hey, I do have a degree in English, so…

I just notice that a lot of the books I really enjoy come from University presses; and Academic (College/University) Libraries often have more highly detailed and historic works than Public Libraries.  Academic Libraries are geared towards research, whereas Public Libraries are targeted to the general public and geared towards civil service.  Also — areas with high concentrations of college students (from my experience with University and college communities in Northern California) tend to be more caught-up with the current zeitgeist, and more affluent, where it comes to culture.  That isn’t necessarily the case around Public Libraries…

Of course, this could just be me beginning to get a very thorough taste of Cataloging and Information Management and realizing that yes, this is very technical; but also realizing that Cataloging itself, because of its high cost, is probably something that a lot of people are looking to find digital solutions for.  I can actually see something like the beginnings of that happening here, where on the Reader, the closest fitting Tag (or so says WordPress’s algorithms) appears next to the titles of our entries.

However, Linked Data and the Semantic Web is very, very exciting.  I’m not sure if I’ll be able to move forward on that front with just an MLIS, as versus an advanced degree in Information Science from someplace like UC Berkeley…(though hopping over there, I see that I would need quantitative and analytical reasoning skills…and I haven’t completed a math class in some time).

As things are, I’ll likely want to learn MARC coding and XML, from what I can tell — as a start.  That…is just the impression I’ve gotten from the last 2 weeks of readings and lectures.  Once I learn that, though…well, if I keep on in a technical bent…maybe I will acquire the vocabulary and not be so intimidated by all the acronyms?

Now that I look at it, though:  what is appealing to me most (now that I am not so shy of being in an Information Services position) is the possibility of Digital Services, again.  Looking at the two pathways, there are a number of places where the paths join up.  Maybe I should focus there, over Summer and/or next semester (Fall 2017).

I can work on my spreadsheets and see where I can fit in the Foundation courses for the Digital Services track, in case I decide to look at an alternate path.

Actually, just took about 45 minutes doing that, and have to go to work tomorrow; good night!


OMG. Drowning…

I don’t have a lot of time to write, here, but I thought I’d get something started. Writing things out helps me to get things straight in my mind.

I haven’t been writing so much because of a couple of things, the most pressing being the fact that I only have one week of classes left, and so it’s really getting stressful. I think that I’ll be fine in my Painting class, but as for Special Projects in Drawing…not so much.

There’s just a lot of work for that class that I’ve taken on. When overwhelm sets in, I tend to freeze up and sleep a lot. The latter could be an outgrowth of a desire to escape the stress, or it could be just not wanting to face the fact that I’m behind.

In any case, before this time next week, I have four drawings to work on (at least). What I really want to be doing is playing around with gouache, watercolor, and acrylics, but I won’t have time for that until after the 20th. And, well, I really want to be reading and writing. It’s kind of a compromise that I’m even here, typing this.

I’m really thinking that I should not have gone along with this portfolio proposal. It was required for the Intermediate students and offered to us in Special Projects. As it is, it’s a lot more work than I’ve done for either of the prior self-guided portfolios. What I’m doing is taking up a lot of time with detail work and color application (most of the other students are not appreciably using color)…I’m just not rushing through it, and as a consequence, I have four more drawings to complete by the 16th (I’ve completed two).

I do suppose, though, that I’m more or less teaching myself how to use my materials.

As regards Painting — that’s straightforward. I need to re-gesso both sides of my board, lay down and paint through both of the stencils on Side 1, then trace through the acrylic sheeting I’ve got so I can stencil that down to the back side of my board. After that, it’s cleanup, then I’m done.

I wish it were so straightforward with Drawing…

In addition to the four pictures I have to make, there are two papers — a Self-Evaluation and a two-page paper on the Van Gogh I saw on the field trip. Maybe I’ll start the latter, now. It’s less intimidating than working on the drawings…

Having a hard time getting out of bed and off the computer.

I found the blog address of the person whose mandalas I was talking about before.  For both your and my reference, it is here:

Shilpa Sharma Online

It seems there haven’t been updates for a while, which is why it was difficult to find.  It also looks like the artist has been using fineliners, not necessarily regular pens, in contrast to what I said earlier (I was going off of recollection).

While I’m at it, here are three other blogs that feature mandala drawings, or, in any case, pen and ink drawings, a media that I find personally compelling for my own work…

Inkwork by Linda


Designs by Eri

I’ve found these recently as I’ve been scanning tags related to mandalas.  All four blogs have some really nice content.

Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten to work on the art much over the last several days, due to my job and this class.  I also have a bunch of stuff I want to read, which I don’t have time to read because I’m working on the material for this class.  In addition to being mildly internet-addicted (it’s hard to get off of the computer and do non-interactive things like drawing or reading), I am not entirely sure I’m good at being single-minded.  For the past two days I’ve been going to bed after midnight and spending the afternoon asleep…though this is likely related to my medication.

I realized that I was using caffeine (tea and chocolate) to help me stay awake, which was leading to some tremors (an irritated nerve firing off and causing an annoying vibrating sensation), when all I really need to do in order to be wakeful is cut the medication which is most sedating.  When I cut it by 1/3, I’m much more awake in the daytime and at night — the drawback is that if I do this too drastically and suddenly, I risk a relapse of what it treats.

The good part is, the class only lasts for about a month more — four weeks — and after this week, I should get some time off in my job schedule.  I’m trying to hang in there.  Falling behind would not be a good thing, at this point, as all the assignments build on each other.  It’s also a pain having to work on assignments immediately after I get home.

I’m having the issue of being irritated by this class, though.  I think I may be a bit old for it…I find myself in a minority position because of being not-white and not-straight and in my early 30’s, so a lot of the younger students are still experiencing and exerting peer pressure and groupthink.  (I said something which was shouted down.)  At this point I will probably stay in the class, but the teacher doesn’t share my experience either — she’s not in an ethnic minority — and so I find myself again with someone who experiences one of, but not all of, my intersecting oppressions and doesn’t seem to understand intersectional feminism.

Yeah, I’ll try and hang in there…I can’t expect to be accepted and understood everywhere — and maybe it was just my error in thinking I would have been, here.

Tired again.

I am really ready for Spring Break to come.  It’s a good thing I wasn’t called on to know anything about Chapter 22 in Art History, because I didn’t do the majority of the reading.  However, that class doesn’t meet next week, and then the week after that is Spring Break.  So I have three weeks to catch up on two chapters.

I think I’ll go work on my painting.  I haven’t wanted to do it (I am leery around chemicals), but it seems like the best thing to do, right about now.

Real freaking work versus academia

So I got myself out of bed today with the thought to check here and spray my Figure Drawing assignment with fixative.  I’m not sure if this is related to my Studio Art work, and/or my time at the Library, but I’m seeing a difference between academia and actual work.

Of course, this could be because I have at least one more chapter to read in Art History before Tuesday bedtime…and a &$%*ing group oral presentation due at the same time…and I really don’t want to do it, right now.  At the same time, I don’t want to get kicked out of my group for slacking, come Wednesday, even though I know I’m probably one of the better-prepared members there.

I should probably go and read instead of whining about it on the ‘net, but I’m thinking that, having had about 5 years total experience in the Library so far; and taking mostly Studio Art classes this semester…there’s a difference between work which feels more practical and reading + reporting on the reading.  The latter is more enrichment and viewing how things can be or have been done; the former is labor.

And yeah, I’m getting tired of college.  Really …tired.  I do only have about two semesters left before I’ll be able to get my Certificate, though, which is the only reason I’m still in school.  (And, accordingly, the only reason why I’ve committed to a Certificate.)  This entire “protect your GPA” thing and “don’t let your fellow group members down” thing is just so much manipulation, though.  I’ve gotten to the age where I know that classes are like games.  Work is like a game, too, though at least there I get paid.  And then, well, capitalism is also a game.

I did come to the realization that the reason communism is seen as a bad thing in the U.S. (e.g. the remnants of McCarthyism) is because the companies run everything here.  Not that I’d really want to go to a communist country, but socialism (actual socialism) is something different.  But then I’d probably not be able to participate because they don’t want an influx of foreigners fleeing capitalist systems… 🙂  And the U.S. isn’t going to become socialist anytime soon — and if we do, that will be scary, because there will probably be one racial/ethnic/political/religious group in charge of the government.

In any case, even though I’m enmeshed in a triad of games at the moment which are all seeking to control what I do with my time, energy, and labor…well, I don’t have much choice, do I.

I would, though, rather be self-guided in this.  And right now I’m even wondering if I should take that crazy late Figure Drawing class in order to have less on my plate for Spring ’16.  (NO.)

Or I can hope they open another section…