Accomplishments

Today’s blog prompt asks: What’s the single most important thing you accomplished in 2010?

This one is also a bit difficult for me to answer.  As you faithful readers know, 2010 was a big year for me.  So I guess it all comes down to where your focus is in life… which also doesn’t help because I don’t have one major area on which I focus.  There are really two or three areas.  All of them are important because they all intertwine and are reliant on one another in some way to succeed.

So, let’s start with work.  I work at a library and supervise the people who check your books out and the people who shelve them.  I have a great job but I always want more and I almost always have a plan.  One of the most difficult parts of my plan was completed this year when I got my Masters in Library Science.  That accomplishment has resulted in doors that are opened wider, and a feeling of greatness on my part.  I know that I wouldn’t have been able to do it as well or as completely if I didn’t have two other areas in my life to rely upon: my family and my health.

On the family front, by far my biggest accomplishment was getting married.  It’s not like it was a surprise or like planning the wedding was super hard work or like my husband and I had some major crisis to overcome in getting married.  But I guess it counts as an accomplishment because we’ve always known we’d do it even though it never felt like the right time.  Finishing school and being healthy were two major components in us deciding it was “right” to get married last year.

Healthwise the accomplishment isn’t something major like beating back a disease or coming through surgery, but it is something that’s every bit as difficult for most Americans – keeping weight off.  I wasn’t 100% successful with this accomplishment since I regained about 15 pounds that I lost, but I could have regained a lot more.  And I know that the healthier food choices I made gave me the energy to finish school, plan a wedding and honeymoon, and deal with all the stress of the latter part of the year without having major health complications of my own.

So, those are my accomplishments for 2010.  What are yours?

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.

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.

Twitter

I signed up for twitter as part of a class assignment for my marketing class. It’s enticing because it requires less commitment than a blog post, but still allows you to put your thoughts out there. I already have 1 follower who isn’t a classmate. Either way, if you want to look me up I’m danieBOB

Summer School

I registered for Summer classes a week (?) ago.  I got into both of the classes I wanted, although I wasn’t thrilled with the choices.  SJSU SLIS says that the classes aren’t paid for/subsidized by the state, which limits the amount and types of classes offered.  Either way, this means that I have 1 year to go!

So I registered for a class on Evaluating Programs and Services, and another on Materials for Youth ages 5-8.

Done!

I did it!  I finished my 15 page research paper and turned it in, along with the long overdue article critique (my teacher was nice enough to grant me an extended extension due to mom), and a grant proposal.  None of it is my best work, but I think I did pretty well considering all the stress I’ve been under.  Now I can focus on the AMHS proposals I need to read for work, wrapping presents, and relaxing just a bit before I start up again next month.

There’s conflict on the homefront with my siblings, but hopefully they’ll realize the error of their sloppy ways. 

Still working on losing weight, but you can imagine how little time I’ve had to devote to that goal.  Tomorrow night I should be able to exercise while my hunny cooks dinner – it’s good to have a great, supportive, helpful man to lean on when I need it.

Alright, it’s time for bed, and I’m exhausted.  I wonder what wiped me out: the parent with dementia and other disabilities, cleaning a house, writing the last 5 pages on my research paper, cooking 3 meals, or arguing with my siblings?  Hmmm…

Tomorrow will be a much better day.

Graduation at 10th Grade?

This morning I got up and did my normal Friday morning thing.  I turned on the computer and looked at Yahoo’s front page news to read what they thought the world should know.  Yahoo posted an article about New Hampsire schools allowing kids to graduate during their sophomore year by taking a test.  The kids can take this test as many times as they want/need to take it.  If they’d like, the kids can stay at their high school through the senior year and take a much more difficult test so that they are better prepared for a University as opposed to community college.

The idea behind this is that allowing the kids to graduate in the 10th grade will save the school disctricts billions of dollars, which they can reinvest into early childhood education.  New Hampshire also says that the kids can then go to technical schools or junior colleges sooner instead of waiting for their 12th grade graduation.  And they note that the US is 10th in the level of education that its workforce has.  Other countries who are higher on the list than us allow their students to graduate in the 10th grade, so why not copy a model that works?

Continue reading

Halfway

I’m about halfway through the Fall semester now.  I’m not enjoying these classes nearly as much as those I took previously.  Part of it is the subject matter, and the other part is communication.

This semester I’m taking (1) Library Finance and (2) Information Secrecy.  The Finance class has had some good information, but a lot of it I’m pretty familiar with already.  I know that once we get to the grants portion of the class I’ll be learning a lot more…  but so far it’s all common sense.  The Secrecy class doesn’t really get me going either.  I guess there’s something disillusioning about learning the different ways/reasons that information is kept secret from the public. 

I think it might be the communication aspect that’s really bringing me down.  For those who don’t know, online classes usually have a participation component that requires posting a certain number of messages on the discussion board.  The Finance class’ requirement is that we answer the question the professor posts.  Everyone dutifully answers the question, but nobody discusses the answers with one another.  If a question is posted by another student, it goes unanswered.  That leads to a boring class.  The Secrecy class requires that we respond to the reading every week and to other students’ responses as appropriate.  My problem is that so many of the students are conspiracy theorists, and if you try to bring up an alternative point of view they attack!  I really don’t want to post my thoughts in a class with such unwelcoming and unfair students.

One of my coworkers asked me if the students behaved this way because the class was online.  He thought that perhaps there’s a disconnect between the way a person would act if they were discussing a view in person as opposed to the way they’d behave online.  I’m unsure if this is the case.  All of the students are adults, and they all seem intelligent.  I think that perhaps the class subject drew a group of people with a very similar viewpoint.  It’s just hard to be the dissenter sometimes.

So, that’s where I am so far.  Next month I’m supposed to pick my classes for Spring 2009.  Let’s hope those choices are better than the ones I made for this semester.

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