DONE!!!!!

It’s official – Everything’s in and approved.  My e-Portfolio is done!

YAY!!! *happy dance*

I’ll be marching on May 15 with the SLIS convocation.

Success!

Woo hoo!  One of my competencies was approved!  Now it’s on to the next one.

She said that one was almost perfect, and gave great feedback on the other I submitted at the same time.   So I fixed those and submitted another one tonight.  Let’s hope that she likes all 3.

I also discovered the recipes for a couple of drinks that I really missed from the Star Trek bar in Vegas.  The bar closed a few years ago, and Vegas just isn’t the same without it.  The drinks are called the Warp Core Breach and the Borg Sphere.  They can be found at http://uglycouchshow.com/quarks-bar-drinks/.  Yum yum yum.  And yes, they do taste better with dry ice.

Progress

I spoke on the phone with my professor last week.  She was much kinder on the phone than in her emails.  I was able to figure out exactly what she wants and she even said “Comp K is almost perfect.”  Woo hoo!

I need to write 2-3 competencies each week to meet the deadline.  So I revised Comp K, turned in Comp B and Comp E, and now I’m waiting for a response.  I hope these go more smoothly now…

I think I hate school

I have spent so much of my life going to school.  From the age of 5 until now at nearly 30 years old (with a 2 year hiatus in there) I have pursued formal education.  I have jumped through the hoops that these various “teachers” have put up to get a passing (or better) grade.  I have worked to meet whatever requirements I was told I needed to meet, and now I’m wondering why.  What is the point of all this formal education?  So that I can receive some stupid paper that says I’m somehow more qualified that Joe Shmo down the street for the job I want?  So that I can show the world that I bought into this farce and went into debt and played the game that other people want me to play?

Until this semester, I never seriously questioned the validity of formal post-8th grade education.  I never really wondered if the hoops I’m being forced to jump through are worth the “paper” prize.  I was unconcerned with the fact that some stranger, whose qualifications have not been proven to me, would have the ability to say that I’ve jumped through their hoop satisfactorially.

I have spent so much time in school, and I am tired.  I am tired of spending money that I don’t have on classes to receive a degree that I don’t really believe has a place in this world.  I know that this will raise the hackles of every MLIS holder and student, but this is how I’m feeling right now.

This all stems from the past 3 weeks in this final semester at SJSU’s SLIS.  I wrote what I thought was a solid paper for the e-portfolio I have to complete.  I wrote the same type of paper I’d written for any number of courses, but somehow it just didn’t fit the bill.  It wasn’t “satisfactory.”  I was asked if I’d even read the handbook.  (For the record, yes, 3 times).  I was asked if I’d looked at the examples.  (For the record, yes, at least once a semester since I started).  So, I asked for better guidelines and rewrote the paper based on that.  Apparently my head is so far up my ass that I can’t write a decent paper.

I followed your damn format.  I used more formal language than I ever use. I tried to jump through your hoops, to answer your rudely stated and poorly spelled demands only to be basically told that I’m too dumb to write a paper.  Thanks.

You know, since you’re basically my supervisor for this semester I’ll let you in on a little secret.  Even when you’re telling people they’re wrong, stupid, or somehow failing your expectations, you need to tell them something nice.  Otherwise they’ll wonder why they’re even trying when you obviously don’t think they can do anything right.

So I’ll talk on the phone with you as you requested.  Somehow I’ll find the time for it in between the 12 hour work day and taking care of my home and family.  But I’m not confident that it’ll do much good.  You see, I’m pretty sure that you don’t like me.  I’m pretty sure you’ve read this blog and you don’t like what I’ve had to say.  But that’s OK.  I’ll find a way to jump through your hoops.  I’ll figure out how to earn that “satisfactory” grade so that I don’t have to deal with you any more.  And then I think I’m done.

Before this semester I’d thought about attending more classes, focusing on computers/web design.  But now?  Now I think I hate school, and I have you, dear adviser, to thank for it.

First Three

I’ve written and submitted the first 3 competency statements for my e-portfolio.  It’s a bit nerve wracking, since I don’t know what, exactly the adviser wants.  She’ll look at them, give me some feedback, and I’ll revise it based upon her comments.

I wrote the 4th competency today, but I’m a bit concerned.  I feel like I don’t have enough evidence, and two of the competencies seem to be the same thing.  I’ll figure something out.

In wedding news, my hunny picked his best man.  Finally!!!

We also picked our cake design.  My sister ended up drawing it using MSPublisher since I couldn’t find a picture of what we want.  It’ll end up being 3-tiered, white buttercream icing, with royal blue ribbon along the base of each tier.  In front of the ribbon will be chocolate covered strawberries.  Above the ribbon there will be chocolate cutout hearts in the different shades of chocolate.  They won’t be lined up, but placed whimsically instead.  On top of the cake we’ll have the cake topper with the bride dragging the groom behind her.  Next step… tasting!

The Beginning of the End

If everything goes well, this will be my last semester at SJSU.  I’ve enrolled in Libr 289 – the E-Portfolio.  I also started writing the intros to my competencies.

I’d like to say that I’m sad to be looking at the end of my formal educational career – and in a way I am.  I’m one of those freaks who actually likes school.  I like to go someplace and work towards something larger and try to get the best grade I can.  But I’m also looking forward to free time.  I really miss being able to be crafty.  I miss being able to snuggle with my hunny whenever he wants, not just when I have time.  I just know that I’ll miss not being in school once I’ve had a break.

As you guys probably know, I’m a planner.  I have goals for 2010, 2015, and 2020.  So now I’m feeling like I need a plan for after graduation.  What will I do with myself?  Be crafty and snuggle go without saying, but what else?

Finally!

I turned in my last paper for this semester. Yay!

The semester was tough for me, and not because of wedding planning and library opening either!

I’m one of those weird people who has to be challenged in school to maintain my attention span. If a class is too easy I stop trying, do the bare minimum, and then don’t get the grades I know I could have gotten. That was the problem with Libr-286, Interpersonal Skills for Librarians. I loved that the professor posted all of the assignments ahead of time, and said that we could do the work at our own pace, as long as they’re in by the deadline. He seemed to be an easy grader too, which helped. But then I started slacking off… neglecting the bulletin board posts, the article reviews… *sigh*

The other class, Libr-232, Issues in Public Libraries was challenging for a different reason. The professor went MIA a few weeks into the semester with no explanation, changed due dates without telling us, and we only got the grades back for the first paper a couple weeks ago… after we turned in the next two papers. The content was interesting, but it’s hard to pay attention and want to do the work if the teacher isn’t there.

Oh well. It’s the end of a semester, and I only have one more to go. E-portfolio (and graduation!) here I come!

Fall 2009 Classes

Fall classes started this past Monday.  So far the teachers and the subject matter seem to be OK.  The interpersonal communications teacher has posted all of the work ahead of time and has encouraged us to work ahead.  As long as the work is in by a specific date, all is good.  The issues in public libraries teacher has only posted the first week’s assignments.  I’d really like it if she posted more than that so that I could plan my time better.  As we all know, though, each teacher has a different style.

My boss laughed the other day.  She said “You’re taking a class on interpersonal communication?  With all the issues we deal with here, you could probably teach it!”  Too funny.  I figure the class will be a good refresher of the information from some of the County run communication/management trainings I’ve taken.  And with this one, I get class credit!

My hunny has also signed up for classes this Fall at Ohlone.  He’s taking a couple of courses on Cisco stuff.  I know he’s really nervous – he and formal education do not get along.  He’ll be trying anyway.  His reason is that the school offers a Cisco equipment lab that he can use.  It’ll save us about $1000 since we shouldn’t have to buy any equipment to build a home lab.  Let’s hope he succeeds with these classes.

He’s also finishing up his Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer thingie (sorry, I’m not technical).  One test to go.  He was trying to schedule the test last night, but the website was all weird.  I hope he schedules and passes it soon.

That’s all on the education front for now…

SJSU Libr 263 Mid-Semester Rant

This summer I’m taking 2 classes, one of which is Libr 263, Materials for Youth ages 5-8, taught by Shirley Lukenbill.

I signed up for this class thinking that I’d have some fun, especially since I knew I’d be taking a difficult, labor-intensive class (Libr 285, Research Methods) along side it.  After all, children’s books are supposed to be fun and interesting.  Unfortunately I am sorely disppointed and incredibly frustrated by everything about this class.

What kind of a teacher posts a greensheet (syllabus) talking about herself in the third person (“Mrs. Lukenbill would like it if…”)?  And then, later in the semester posts another “updated” one where she talks about herself like a normal person and adds some more rules for her class?

The syllabus is nothing more than a listing of rules and regulations.  “I won’t accept…” “Be sure you…” “If you don’t…”  WTF?  Then, the assignments are broken down into steps that are each due 2 days apart.  Ummm… Last I checked I was a Master’s student.  You don’t get this far by not budgeting your time properly.  I really don’t need to have each part of my assignment due every 2 days.  But, apparently this teacher thinks that it’s truly necessary for all her students to jump when she says, so, I worked with her timeframes.

So, I knew I would be going to Vegas to celebrate my birthday, and I knew that I’d need to turn all the pieces of my project in before I left, and therefore before they were due.  I worked on them all, and did them according to the guidelines she posted in the assignment descriptions and syllabus.  I figured I’d read my project over again a couple more times before I turned it in to make sure that I didn’t leave anything out.  I’m sure glad I did, since 2 days before the first part was due, Mrs. Lukenbill posted a REVISED assignment.  I figured, mistakes happen, so I revised my project to fit in with her revision.  Then a couple days later, she posted ANOTHER revision.  So again, I revised my project.  I wrote an email to Mrs. Lukenbill explaining that I would be going to Vegas, and that I would be turning my assignments in before the due dates according to the most current assignment descriptions.  I also told her that I would not be bringing a laptop with me and that she could call me if any part of the assignments were revised again.  I didn’t receive phone call, or an email, so I assumed that no revisions were made.

Could you please tell me why she revised AGAIN?  And then graded my assignment down because it didn’t follow the revised assignment?

Is she truly so bad at making lesson plans that she can’t figure out the basics of describing an assignment?

Is she truly so uncaring of others’ time and efforts that she would revise assignment requirements with little to no warning?

And please, tell me why she would have us pick thematic collection development topics before we’ve had a chance to become familiar with the products that are out there.  And require that we include positive reviews of the items we’re including, when so few AV items are reviewed? 

I think I hate this class.

This is one of the few teachers that I will probably write a formal complaint about once the semester is finished.

Edit: Apparently so many people had problems with the first assignment due (ironically called Assignment 2) that she’s allowing us to revise the pieces that were turned in previously and turn them in with the last piece of the project.

University Fees? Why?

Taking classes online can be great.  I can talk with classmates in my jammies, I can view lectures at 3AM, and I can budget my time as I see fit…  all without stepping foot on campus.

I’m not that far from San Jose State, but I’m still far enough away that I choose not to visit the campus.  As a student, I have never set foot on campus.  I’ve never gone to a sporting event, checked out a book from their library, used the student health center, gone to a concert or play, or received a student ID.  Since I don’t have children, I couldn’t have ever used the on campus childcare.  I’ve never ridden Light Rail, let alone gone to campus on it.  So, please tell me why I must pay $514 this semester for all of these activities.  Anyone?  I hear crickets!

All in all, this semester is costing me a little over $1800 for tuition and fees.  The tuition I can understand.  And $100 of the fees, I can understand since each class costs an extra $50 because it’s considered an Information Science course.  But seriously, the other $514 is ridiculous!  All of the classes in the MLIS program are 100% online now.  None of them are even hybridized.  So why should anyone in the MLIS program have to pay these fees?

I know that money is tight at the school, but why punish the students for the chancellor’s poor fiscal management?

Why should I have to subsidize someone else’s entertainment?

Why should I have to pay for someone else’s child care?

I have no choice.  If I don’t pay, I don’t get that little piece of paper that says I’m qualified to be a librarian.  I just think it’s incredibly unfair to charge people for services they’ll never use.

As my hunny says…  It’s interesting the way prices go up when you don’t have competition.

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