My MLS Capstone is tomorrow.  Two years of the hard slog in grad school comes down to this - putting together a 10 minute presentation showcasing what I learned in those two years and praying that I learned the right things (as far as my professors are concerned, at least).  So, in honor of the occasion, I have a couple of theme tunes floating around in my head.  The joy of having a blog is that I get to annoy share them with you all.

1. Theme from "Rocky"



2. "My Way" by Frank Sinatra



Dear Sweet Gallifrey, this whole thing is making me loopy.  I'll be glad when it's Monday.
 24 hours.  I HAVE WORKED 24 HOURS THIS WEEK, PEOPLE!! *joy*

Okay, okay, this might not look that impressive to you full-time 9-5 working stiffs, but for someone who has only been able to secure part-time work for the last year-and-a-half, this is momentous news.  Especially since in a couple of weeks, I'm signed up to sub for 31 hours in one week (including a couple of 8-9 hour days.  Well, the nine-hour day is including an hour lunch break, but I'm not going to get paid for that, obviously).

So, I've been working.  And it's made me tired.  But it's a good tired, like I've said before.  The only complaint I have is that I've been working more hours in the backroom than actually with the patrons.  It's not like I'm on a probation where I can't help patrons until I have so many hours being the grunt girl and then I can work the front desk because I've done plenty of front desk hours so far.  It's just how the scheduling works - sometimes you're up front, sometimes they hide you in the back where you lug books, shelve DVDs and sweat your armpits off (if there is any justice in this world, that little chub on my tummy will melt off from all the lifting and running about I've done).

Though I will admit, just looking at the stuff I've had to check in - kind of makes me want to start reading or watching some of this stuff.  I've never seen any of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but the library has it and there's no reason I couldn't check it out and watch it (I think it's on Netflix too, if I wanted to go that route).  Same with Battlestar Galactica.  And there's so, so, SO much YA stuff that looks good too.  There's a manga version of "Much Ado About Nothing" and I actually squealed when I saw that sitting on the cart (the other circ staff looked at me like I was nuts, but I didn't care).  I'm also a little curious as to what the big fuss is about authors like Janet Evanovich and Dean Koontz.  Not curious enough to put myself on the hold list for those books, mind (for those hold lists are long and legendary - I've hardly touched a copy of "Sizzlin' Seventeen" without a hold slip being spat out at me), but just wondering why those books are so popular.  Besides, I've checked out plenty of other stuff that I'm enjoying, so let me get through this stack before I start borrowing more crap.

In the meantime, I have a paper due on Monday that I decided to change topics on mid-stream.  Off to toil away!
 After about a month of training (which was actually a few days interspersed throughout a month), I finally got to start picking up shifts at the library!  I am super-excited about this because it has been entirely too long without having some kind of set schedule for myself.  I did get some of my internship hours in while I was training, so it's not like I was a completely lazy bum during that time, but still - nice to have steady work hours after being semi-unemployed.

However, my body didn't want to admit that I am a working woman again and I came back after an early before-hours shift (I was there at 8:00 pulling holds and sorting delivery items) and thought I'd lay down for a short nap.  Yeah, three hours later - THREE HOURS LATER - I wake up, still groggy and not quite sure where I am.  Oy...

Still, I'm just happy to have a job, even if it's just subbing.  But I have to say (with an incredible amount of knocking on wood) that this is by far the job I've enjoyed the most.  Today I was scheduled to be the backup circulation person for an hour, which means if the main person on the circ desk gets bogged down, I come in to help.  But even after we'd taken care of all the patrons, I just didn't want to go back in the backroom so I stayed out front (more or less under the pretense of "I'm still new and want to get more experience on the desk."  I don't know if that'll work in a few months).  It's not that I didn't like being in the backroom - I'd just rather be out in the library helping patrons.  Even if it's just making small talk with the kids operating their self-check-out - I just don't want to be someone who sits in the back and never sees the people coming in and out.

Something about just being in the library - whether I'm on staff or an actual patron - just soothes me.  It's not like other jobs where I'm deathly afraid that a manager is going to come and chew me out for some itty-bitty mistake.  Even if I do screw up, they're really forgiving (knock on wood, knock on wood, knock on wood).  And, dude - it's the LIBRARY!  I just love it.
(I had this all typed up, but for some reason Chrome decided "Backspace" means "Go back to the last page you were on and erase everything in the text window." -_-')

Monday night I went in to do my internship at the library.  Now, I'd had a pretty crappy day on Monday and I toyed with the idea of calling my supervisor and telling her I wouldn't be able to come in (they're pretty flexible with me since I'm not actually acting in an employee capacity).  But I figured the sooner I got my 120 hours in, the better.

I went to the reference desk and my supervisor gave me a project to do which required my full attention, but it was a bit tedious.  I was actually happy to have the task because I was ready for something slightly mindless, but that needed to be done.  While I was doing that, a seven-year-old girl came up to the desk and asked me if the library had any books about "rare creatures."

After getting through a few specifics (which is what they trained us to do in library school), I figured out that she wanted books on endangered species.  I started searching through the database and found some nice children's non-fiction picture books that I thought would work for her.  But before I could show her what I found, she told me she wanted "big thick books with lots of words" and she didn't want anything with very many pictures because that was kids' stuff.

Hand-over-heart, that's exactly what she told me.

So, I scrapped my last search and started looking for adult non-fiction books on endangered species.  I found a few titles and I took her to the animals section of adult non-fiction.  I found one title - and it was this huge biography-looking thing.  Even after our reference interview, I was still a little nervous about giving her something too advanced for her.  But she took the book from me and cuddled it like it was her favorite teddy bear.  She even said that her parents didn't let her read that stuff because they thought it was too old for her, but she would sneak her dad's books out and read them.
 
On the one hand, I didn't want any parents upset at me.  On the other hand, it's library policy to give patrons whatever they want - regardless of how old they are (unless they're kids with restricted cards - and even then the only thing we can restrict is R-rated movies).
 
We found some other titles she said looked good.  She said she wanted to look around on her own for a bit and I went back to the desk. About 45 minutes later, I was helping another patron when she came back and ended up talking to another librarian at the desk.  In addition to the books I had found for her, she had about three more books and was asking for more.
 
It just made my heart all warm and fuzzy to see a kid that age asking for books like that.  And being dead serious about it too.  The best way I can describe her attitude was "Don't patronize me with that childish BS."  Kids like that give me hope for the future.
 
I love my job :)
 It's not like I'm not on LJ all the time - but I just peruse my comms and get on with my day.  But lots of good things have happened and here they are - 

1. First, the BIG THINGS - Salt Lake County Library hired me as a substitute librarian.  Which means I check online once a week (or so) and see if there are any open shifts in the system (there are over 20 library branches in SLCo) and take as many shifts as I want up to 30 hours a week.  I don't get benefits - BUT the County is constantly hiring internally, so it's likely I will get moved up as the system grows.  Shoot, they're building three brand new libraries this year - I'm sure to get in on a permanent basis soon.  Even so - JOB! MONEY! FREEDOM! (er... something like that).
    1a. I'm also working on a practicum ("internship" with a fancy word) and my practicum supervisor is a branch manager and she said she started out as a sub and just worked her way up to being the Head Boss Chief Big Cheese in Charge.  So that's heartening.

2. My dear friend K, after years of going to school and paying dues and putting up with crap from family, friends and neighbors about her family situation, has also gotten a job.  She's the Family/Consumer Science teacher at a local high school - in fact, she's THE Family/Consumer Science teacher - the ONLY one.  So she's in charge of that department and she gets to teach these kids whatever the heck she wants (so long as she follows the state curriculum).  She's excited to get started and I'm insanely happy for her because she deserves it.

3. My mom called and said that this family in our home branch is finally moving!  Now, this family has pretty much gotten on my mom's, my sisters' and my brother's nerves for the past year or so.  They've been coming in on our ranch and telling us how to run our place and take care of our cows and we've all just about had it with them (but we can't tell them to leave us alone because that wouldn't be "very nice" and they actually do good work with helping us and a bunch of other crap that I just don't want to get into here DX)  But, they're leaving and I shouldn't be as happy as I am, but I don't care -THEY'RE GONE! HAPPY DAY!
 
4. I've just about finished my (ahem) SOOPER SEKRIT project for my little niece (who will be making her appearance in the next few weeks or so).  I will post pictures because, frankly this thing is too cool for words (at least, I think so.  But I'm biased ^_^)
So... I tried to post from my phone while I was at the Utah Library Association conference earlier today.  And I have discovered that my post never appeared.  I swear I hit the "Submit" button... but alas - nothing.

In an effort to actually post something here that's useful and not just the usual fandom stuff like I have been lately, here are some of the highlights from today:

- Teen Authors Panel - There were actually two of these and none of the other offered workshops tickled my fancy, so I stayed for both.  And it was GLORIOUS!  One thing I struggle with is speaking up to strangers, especially in professional settings.  When I think "OMG - this could influence my career, thus affecting my entire LIFE!" my brain goes stupid and I just can't talk.  But at this panel, I got up the gumption to raise my hand and ask intelligent questions of the authors.  I even gave some of them my business card with my book review blog on it (cjsbookshelf.blogspot.com) and told them I'd be interested in reviewing their books (maybe I'll get emails from their editors - one of the authors asked me if I did author interviews - which would be AWESOME to actually do).  I had never heard of any of these authors before, but they had some cool stuff.  One of the authors was a Sheila Nielson from the Provo City Library who wrote a book called "Forbidden Sea" after a bunch of girls in her library said they wanted mermaid books and she just didn't have them.  Two of the authors co-wrote a book called "Blogs of Wrath," which sounded fun.  The one book I did buy at the conference was "I Kissed a Zombie and I Like It" by Adam Selzer.  He was hilarious - I wanted to buy more of his stuff and have him sign it, but I resisted and just bought the one.

- Morning Business Meeting - I snuck in for that little nugget of joy at 8:00 this morning (considering I had to get up by 6:30 just to get ready and be there... oy...)  It was mostly awards and junk, but one thing that happened gave me a glimmer of hope for myself.  One of the presenters in the meeting was plugging the Mountain West something-or-other academic history library.  Before she came up, she was sitting next to a guy who just graduated from library school and was looking for a job in an academic library.  So while she was up at the podium, she pointed this guy out and then pointed out one of the seasoned historical librarians (who had just been awarded Librarian of the Year) and told the two of them to talk after the meeting.  It was meant as an example of networking and it just imbued me with the thought of "I can do this!"  And the people I talked to today were so nice and excited to hear that I was new in the library field, so that was encouraging.  It's good to know that the kinds of people you want to work for are friendly and won't eat you if you misspeak or something.

- President's Reception - Oh, this was fun!  They had door prizes and snacks and lots of exhibitors with TONS of free stuff!  I actually won a signed copy of "Write More Good" by the people from @FakeAPStylebook.  The funny thing is that I'm staying with one of my classmates and she is good friends with one of the authors of that book.  We actually were talking about that book last night before bed because I'd picked up her copy and was flipping through it.  It's funny.  A little crass, but I got a good laugh out of it (I'm turning into a heathen, aren't I?)

Tomorrow is when most of the workshops are.  And there are some pretty good ones to go to, so I'm excited about it.  Oh, and I also sent my resume to the Salt Lake City Library for one of their Library Assistant positions - fingers crossed!! (please, please, please)
This morning I had a meeting with the assistant manager of the library where I'm going to be doing a practicum this summer.  The way she talked to me and asked me about my goals and what-not, I almost thought she was ready to hire me (oh, how glorious that would be!)  Even so, she mentioned that the Salt Lake County Library system is going to have three new libraries open in the new year or so and they're going to have piles and piles of new positions soon - many of which are the kinds of positions that are very relevant to my interests (teens and children's services and what-have-you).

It doesn't mean anything (yet), but I'm taking it as a good sign.  Especially where I will be unemployed come the end of May. *fingers crossed*

In the meantime, I am SUPER STOKED to be starting this practicum - you have no idea.  The more I see and the more I talk to people, I'm convinced that this is what I want to do (which is a good thing, seeing as how I'm more than halfway done with my degree).  The staff at the library as really nice and awesome and they were all doing cartwheels (well - sort of) when I introduced myself and told them who I was.

This is going to be fun :)
Just a quick check-in today.

I finally got an email back from the Books Inside people (after almost a week), but the guy said that he'd been out of internet commission for a few days (I can understand that).  So, I guess this is finally going to happen!  I love it when things actually come to fruition after lots and lots of talk.

(May I make a note here - this entire endeavor took less than a month to develop, orchestrate and execute.  I think there are a few business-types out there that can take a lesson from my experience.  I'm not naming names, but from the times I've observed business deals - whether real estate or otherwise - takes months and even years to go through, I've just decided that stuff gets taken to ridiculous levels of ridiculous-ness and I say to heck with it).

Also, yesterday I got talking with my cousin-in-law, who was recently elected to the school board (in the same district I work in - full disclosure).  We were just talking about random things with school and such when he mentioned the superintendent of the district had asked if I would be interested doing the Alternative Route to Licensure (which I've mentioned before) because it's possible the principal out here may be retiring soon... maybe.  Possibly.  Actually, nobody knows.  I don't even think the principal knows what he's doing yet, but evidently the district's thinking about the future (which is their job).  Nothing's set in stone yet - it's just an idea (one that's floated in my direction before).  But it means that the super is starting to look for someone to take over and be in charge out here and I guess I'm a pretty good candidate at this point (btw - ARL also gives you your M.Ed, which is what you need if you're going to be a principal.  I think).

This looks great - on the surface.  But it also means that I would be IN CHARGE of everything out here - and I don't know how I feel about that.  I would much rather get my feet wet and ease myself into it before taking on the entire universe.  And I've also decided that I hate being in charge.  When I say "I hate being in charge," I mean like in managerial-type positions.  There are some things I don't mind spearheading (like the school play or the yearbook).  What's funny is that I just barely started taking a Library Administration class (it's required - I probably wouldn't have taken it otherwise), but that has nothing to do with this train of thought.

See, I really hate it when I think I know what I'm going to do, then something comes along that seems perfectly viable and it has a better chance of actually happening... but it's the complete opposite of what I had planned to do in the first place.  But it's as close to a sure thing as I can have at this point.  I dunno... I seriously have no clue what I'm going to do right now.  But truly, I don't need to know what I'm going to do because I'm doing all I can possibly be doing right now in my life.

And that's the most frustrating thing of all.
With a new year comes a new semester (more or less) and I've found something new to do that's going to take up the better part of my time and sanity (but it's all for a good cause).  The high school library has a shortage of shelving space.  I could invest in new shelves... but then I got looking at some of the books that are taking up all the space and the kids don't read them.  Actually, nobody reads them.  Ever.  Most people just request new titles and I buy them (hence, why I am looking for more shelf space).

In a somewhat unrelated twist, the librarian before me had begun weeding out old titles and taking them out of the system, but she didn't know what to do with all the old books.  She thought about a few things, including a book sale, but if people want to buy books, they can go get new ones from Barnes and Noble or Amazon.  So, we've got at least three huge boxes of old books in storage with no idea what to do with them (I say "at least three" - I think there are others stored elsewhere.  I haven't had time to go on an exhaustive search, but that's for tomorrow).

Here I come - bright-eyed and full of idealistic... ideas.  I haven't been able to implement very much (lack of money, lack of time, lack of people), but I did find an interesting place to take our old books.  One of my classmates in my graduate program has connections with the library at the state penitentiary and brought up Books Inside, a not-for-profit group that provides books to prison libraries.  Looking at their website, it looks like they don't really care what condition the books are in because the inmates can repair them and they're always looking for more books and things.

You can all see where this is going, can't you?

Pending district approval, all our old books are going to the prison.  On the surface, it seems like an odd place to take our stuff, but I have the feeling that most of these inmates are serious about paying their debt to society and they'll be better people when they get out.  Besides, they could probably do with some good books to pass the time while they're incarcerated (according to my classmate, the library is one of the most-used facilities in the prison).

Now - I have to finish the weeding process, de-catalog (is that even a word?) the old books, box them up and get them to the Books Inside people.  And I'll finally have room for the new stuff.  Everyone wins. :)
Another class weekend is upon me (seems like that's all I talk about - school, Doctor Who, family drama... well, it's summertime.  That's what happens).  I'm part of  yet another presentation, but this one is on Medical Subject Headings (MeSH for short), of which I know absolutely nothing about, but that's okay because I'm only supposed to come up with the uses for it in cataloging and I only have to fill up about 5 minutes of presentation time (one of the benefits of group work).  I found some good info on the MeSH website and sent it on to our group-leader-person, so yippie.  Sadly, MeSH doesn't lend itself well to making another cool-yet-educational video based in fandom, which is a shame because I'm becoming quite proficient at it ^_^

In the course of my quest to become a well-rounded and informed librarian, I checked out a book called "This Book is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All" by Marilyn Johnson.  My instructor in my last class suggested that we all read it because it's got some good insight on new technologies for librarianship.  I'm right in the middle of reading it... and I just must be an idiot or something because it's making my brain melt.  Every chapter details how various librarians throughout the country are using blogs, iPhones and Second Life to meet the masses' information needs - and they all have tattoos and spiky purple hair, because, you know - that's cool!  We have to grind that oppressive stereotype of dowdy spinster librarians into dust!  Peace, love, dope - it's all about anarchy!  Down with the establishment!! (yes, Sheldon, that was sarcasm).

Not that there's anything inherently wrong with tattoos and spiky purple hair - if that's the way you roll, then go for it.  But it's like people have to go from one extreme to the next just to prove how relevant they are, which is kind of dumb.  There are plenty of middle-of-the-roaders (like me) who aren't necessarily going to get on your case for being loud in the kids' section or playing "World of Warcraft" on your computer time, but I'm not going to go make up a bisexual persona on Second Life just to show how "hip" and "with it" I am (some people will and that's fine. I'm not disparaging that lifestyle - I'm just saying that's not me).  Personally, I think we have sufficiently proven that geeks can be cool without having to make a big neon sign proclaiming it to be so.  You're as relevant as you make yourself out to be - and it's not by playing some whiny victim act that everyone picks on you and your life is so unfair because that gets you nowhere.

Anyway (now that I've made my political statement), it blows my mind how many avenues there are to librarianship.  I mean, I blog (obviously) .  I have a Facebook and a YouTube account, but I don't have a Twitter or a Second Life account.  Honestly, I think that I'm one of those people that if I had a Second Life account, I'd never get off and venture outside.  I really have to be careful about things like that because I can be an extreme person.  I probably would be okay with doing roving reference (where you have an iPhone and you go out into the stacks or even the streets to provide reference - you don't have to be tied down to a desk).  There's just so much librarians can do and sometimes I feel like I have to do it all to be a good librarian.  I have to keep reminding myself that it's okay to pick and choose what you do.  Not everyone is going to respond to everything out there.  There are some people that still run the ink-and-paper route and if you try to explain something like Second Life to them, they aren't going to go for it (happily, there is a chapter in this book about people who still deal in bound books, but they get pretty whiny when there's talk of funding cuts and stuff like that.  Heaven help me if I ever become so annoying).

That's what my Future of Reference presentation was all about - we get so enthralled by these shiny new toys and how things have changed, we forget what the changes were for.  It's about serving people - not serving our egos or staying on trend with the latest and greatest.  I'm just trying to keep a perspective on things for myself because I can get caught up in all these NEW! IMPROVED! AMAZING! gimmicks, much to my own detriment.  I want to become a librarian so I can help people become better than they already are - especially middle and high school kids because they're just fun.  I want to help the sophomore English student with a report on "Julius Caesar."  I want to help an 8th grader work out a question about volcanoes for a science fair project.  I want the 13-year-old whose parents are divorcing to be comfortable asking me for a book on how to cope with the situation.  I want some kid who got a telescope for Christmas to ask me for the names of the constellations.  Whatever they need - that's my purpose in life.

And, you know what?  I'm okay with that.
I'm back from my class weekend - new semester, new instructor, new set of rules to get use to, but I love it.  Oh, and two EXTREMELY funny YouTube videos that were shown in class (and I'm too lazy to embed them, so just hit the links)

Improv at the New York Public Library: here

The Gen Y Guy: here  (this one, I have to say - I am 25 and I write in cursive, I would rather handwrite a note, and with text messaging, I spell everything out AND I use commas.  Just goes to show that generations are NOT exclusively exclusive... yeah... anyway... )

It's going to be a good semester.  Oh, and I found "Enchantment" by Orson Scott Card at Barnes and Noble (I rarely have a class weekend where I don't find the siren of B&N calling me over to spend money I don't have during my Saturday lunch break - luckily, this particular volume was rather affordable).  It came HIGHLY recommended (as in [livejournal.com profile] narniadear  insisted I put it up at the top of her list of books for me to read, so I'm going to take her advice), so I'm excited to read it.  I also found "Iron Man" at Wal-Mart for a reasonable price, so I used my birthday money to buy that DVD, which I will watch and then go see "Iron Man 2" while it's still in theaters.

Also, somewhere along the line of driving home from class this weekend, I launched into a monologue about the Arizona immigration law and some of the arguments people have made against it.  I was in the car talking to myself (yes, I am that nuts) and just gave the whole speech as though I was in front of a big crowd of supporters (or non-supporters) of the law.  I felt a lot like Julia Sugarbaker when I was formulating it, actually (thank you HillBuzz.org for introducing me to Miss Sugarbaker).  It went in some interesting directions and if I can get the whole gist of it into print, I think I might post it.  I'm sure my flist can guess where I stand on it, but my answer of why I feel that way may surprise you.  But I'm in too good of a mood to post it right now.  Maybe tomorrow.

And I think I've got my mom convinced to go back to school.  She has her associate's degree and we kids are more or less raised (the youngest two are in high school, but it's not like they need constant attention like when they were babies) and I've thought for years that she should go back and finish her degree.  So, that's going to be my next project is helping my mom get through school (she can do it - she just needs to have the confidence to actually do it.  Maybe that's a trait of many adults going back to school later in life?)

OH - and I keep forgetting - I got "The Blind Side" on DVD for my birthday and it is EXCELLENT!!  I'm a little upset at myself for not seeing in theaters, but whatever.  I think if your'e looking for a happy, upbeat, feel-good movie, that is a good one to see.  If you know next to nothing about football, the movie explains everything you'd need to know for the purposes of the story so that's not an excuse.  Sandra Bullock is one of the actresses I like to see and she's fantastic and the kid who play Michael Oher is really cool too and SJ is a hoot (he's the younger brother).  You know what, I just LOVED this movie!!  And I think everyone else should see it and love it too! (but decide for yourself).

That's my weekend updates.  I have a lot of stuff going on, so that's why things have been so scattered lately.  Hopefully things will start to calm down at some point and I can post more directed subjects and not just "What I Did Today" kind of stuff (the final "24" Rehash EVAR! will be on time, don't worry about that - not like you were, but you know...)
After a really, really, REALLY crappy past couple of days, I woke up this morning and checked my email to find that there is a job posting for a customer service position in the Salt Lake County library system and would I like to apply?

*ahem* HECK YES I WOULD!!!

So, before I'd even had breakfast, I was on the SLCo website applying and pimping myself out to the best of my abilities in the hopes that they would think me perfect for the job.  It's an entry-level position, but it pays pretty well.  Basically I'd be checking in books, collecting fines, dealing with patrons' problems and stuff like that.  The main requirements were that the candidate has experience collecting money in some kind of customer service/cashier capacity.  It's a far cry from the top dog head librarian position I want to be in someday, but you've got to start paying your dues somewhere.  And it'll be great to have some work experience on my resume to go along with my Master's degree (not to mention it'd be great to have some actual paying work to do).

So, I had a pretty good morning.  And then I had to go sign some papers for a deal the ranch is doing and the guy I talked to was pretty much an ignorant douche and acted like I was this stupid little girl that didn't know what the heck she was signing or had responsibility for (the papers were for a line of credit we need to purchase some property).  Good grief, if I didn't know what I was signing, why in the hell would I be in there taking his BS?  But that's neither here nor there - I was pissed off for a while, then I talked to my dad about it and I remembered I applied for a library job that I'm more than qualified for and I felt better.

And THEN!  I got to come home and put my room back together.  The carpet's finally dried enough from the flood we had and I just went nuts.  I hadn't rearranged the furniture since before I left on my mission and I thought it was time for a change.  It looks really nice - a lot more open and inviting from before.  Maybe I'll post pictures.  That hadn't occurred to me until just now.

I'm in a great mood! ^_^\/
I had a scare the last couple of days, but all is well now. So well, in fact, that I must share my happiness and joy with you all!

Mom called a few days ago and said I had a letter from my grad program's financial aid office. She said it had something to do with pre-requisite mumbo-jumbo and I needed some kind of mumbly-mumbly to be eligible and that I'd better call and find out what the heck is going on. So, I called (keep in mind, I'm in Utah, my program is based out of Kansas. It's not like I can run down and give them a face-to-face chewing out if needed) and they said that I was missing two transcripts and once I got those in, I could be fully admitted into my program.

Time for Good News/Bad News:

Bad News: the transcripts I needed to send were for concurrent enrollment classes I took in high school. Altogether, they represent about nine credit hours that went toward my Associate's Degree. Not even my Bachelor's - Associate's. Also, I was aware of this problem a month ago and had mailed in my transcript requests to the schools in question. The checks for the transcripts had cleared, so I assumed that was the end of that. How much would it suck if I didn't get into my grad program because of a couple stupid concurrent enrollment transcripts?

Good News: Well, I guess that spew about pre-requisites was a bunch of BS. That's good because my advisor didn't mention pre-reqs and if I would have to take any before being accepted, I would have been severely hacked-off.

So, I make a few phone calls, make a pest of myself and end up being late to my beginning guitar class. However - by 11:00 this morning, I got an email from the lady I talked to on the phone saying that they found my transcripts - they had been filed under a different name. The graduate department is now reviewing my file and I should get an email in a few business days saying I'm accepted officially (which may be into December because of the Thanksgiving - who knows?)

Oy... I know getting into my graduate program will be worth it.

Oh - and in other good news - this morning I went to a meeting with Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the Seventy, who is also the Church Historian and Recorder. He explained how the Church History Library works and how the Church goes about collecting historical documents and publishing and displaying them for the public. (Seriously - if I don't become a public librarian, I would LOVE to work for the Church History Library in Salt Lake. I still haven't seen the new library, but from what I've heard about it, it's drool-worthy ^_^). The meeting was really interesting and informative - it's amazing how much transparency the Church really does have. Honestly - anything you want to know in the Church's history, you can pretty much find out about it. And all of it would hold up to any kind of scrutiny. Let's see the Huckleberry campaign smear Romney with the anti-Mormon tactics again (but I digress...)

Anyway, I spoke with Elder Jensen after the Q/A session and asked him how I could get a job at the Church History Library. He told me that they actually have internships at the library and even who to call to get started! I also mentioned that I'm trying to get into a Library Science program and he said that would be an excellent degree for me to have.

Wow - isn't it funny how things work out to get you thinking? First, I'm going to get going with my graduate program and then I'll look into this internship deal. I am soooo stinking excited!!!!! So many good things happened today!!
(Re-posted from Blogspot)

**This is meant for any of my writer friends or others who considers themselves an intellectual or creative type. Even if you don't think you are, chances are you'll find an application here anyway.**

Wow - had an excellent Institute class today (given - I've never had a non-excellent Institute class. I've long since determined that, like Apparating inside Hogwarts or outrunning Edward Cullen or the Detroit Lions having a winning season, this is impossible). I gained some great insights that apply to me and quite possibly a lot of people and I feel compelled to share them.

Currently, I'm in a class on the Pearl of Great Price. It's a short book, but it's chock full of great doctrine, if you dig deep enough (oh boy, do we ever dig!) Right now, we're talking about the Creation and how science and religion add up, but that's not what intrigued me today. It's something our teacher said. At the beginning of class, he held up a brick and asked us all to list as many uses for a brick as we could in 60 seconds. So, we did - at the end of the time, he asked us to tell us how many things we thought of - the class average was around 15. To illustrate the point, when he would do this exercise as a student, the class would come up with 30-50 uses.

Conclusion: we are less creative and imaginative nowadays. We let other people be creative and we just be entertained by their creativity.

To tie all this into the Creation, he asked us a series of questions: What does God imagine? What kinds of things does God daydream about (inasmuch as He would daydream - just go with me here)? What does the Greatest Creative Genius in the universe imagine in His free time? And how does that show our potential as His children?

He said some things that really struck me that I want to share. Of all God's creations, we are the only ones that have the ability to imagine - to create literature and art, to build a space station, to develop the Internet, to reason, to philosophize. BUT - what does that amount to in each of us?

And this is the one that hit home: Are you letting someone else's imagination stifle yours?

I had to think on that one. I've been working on a novel since high school that has gone through so many incarnations, for better or worse (I hope better). Sometimes, when I find a fellow writer friend, I will share some of my ideas because I am so in love with this story and the characters and I really, really, REALLY want to write it and I want to have a sounding board. But sometimes (not all the time, but now and then) the person I share it with says "Why did you call your town X? That sounds a lot like the town from book Y." Or even - I'll read a new book and there'll be something in the plot that resembles something I've included in mine, and that'll frustrate me because I feel like I'm the last one to the table and I can't do that now because someone else did. For instance: I picked up a book that retells the legend of King Arthur from the perspective of the women in the story and one of the characters had a piece of jewelry that resembled something I had one of my characters own. And I'd never read this book before - it was pure coincidence! (not to mention, English majors are conditioned to be deathly afraid of anything remotely resembling plagiarism. It's like the swine flu of the literary world).

Sadly, I concluded that I do let others' imaginations stifle my own. And it's not solely reserved for my writing, either. I've wanted to pursue a Masters degree since I knew it was something I could do, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to study - I had a boatload of options and Masters degrees in any field of English are highly specialized. You have to pick Medieval Literature or Studies in 20th Century American Folklore or Literary Fiction or Poetry ... the list goes on.

While I was on my mission, I decided that I wanted to do it in Library Science. So, when I got home, I started researching programs, picked one that felt right and began applying. I am in the ending phases of the application process and I am very pleased with myself and there are others who are happy for me. But - there are a few that give me funny looks when I tell them I'm getting my Masters degree to become a librarian. It's like "You'll have spent six years in school just to be a librarian?"

Honestly - it hurts. And I started to second-guess my decision, just like I second-guess my story decisions. Decisions that I have pondered long and hard on (yes, I think LONG and HARD on my story - I've worked on it this long, it's going to be good, gosh dang it!) And I hate second-guessing my decisions - makes me feel like all the work I've done is a waste and I'm no good at anything. And even though the criticism might not really be worth my time or even energy, somehow it gets stuck. It's something I have to deal with - that's when I go to the people whose opinion really does matter - usually a member of my family or a close friend and they put me straight and all is well with the world.

But the lesson in Institute really helped. It's nice to know that part of my purpose is to be creative (shoot, creation is one of God's hobbies, why can't it be one of mine? Maybe not on the plane that He operates, but I can work in my own sphere. "Worlds without end" "My words never cease" - sounds like a pretty creative God to me).

I have a really creative mind, you know (at least, I like to think so). I don't mean to sound prideful or full of myself, but I'm a good writer and it's something I enjoy (and I love books and nothing would thrill me more than to be a professional bookworm ^_^). I just have to stop taking what other people say to heart as much as I do (unless it's warranted - but that's on a case-by-case basis).

That's my story - hope it helped any of you creative-imagination-driven types out there. What do you think? Let me know! (even if it's bad - hey, if I'm ever going to be published, I need to get used to negative feedback).

And I'm going to post this now before it gets any longer. But it's something good to muse about (ha ha - "muse" - no pun intended ^_^)
I'm researching graduate schools - and I don't feel good about any of the ones I've looked at, really.  I wanted to be in grad school by next fall, but the more I look at these things, the more overwhelmed I feel and the more daunting the task seems to be.

I want to go into Library Science and be a librarian (cue the Evie from "The Mummy" jokes).  But seriously - I feel like that's what I really want to do.  Problem is that I will have to go out of state or do it online because none of the colleges in Utah has a Master of Library Science program (with all the teaching and education programs we have, you'd think someone would have a librarian program - but nooooo....  good grief - don't you think, in the city of professional careers, "teacher" and "librarian" are, like, next door neighbors or something (at least on the same street)?  But I digress).

So, I'm looking at grad programs.  But there's so much stuff out there about it - some of the programs aren't even called Library Science.  Some are "Information Services" (I guess "Librarian" is politically incorrect or something? Lame...)  Some are for information research or archiving.  And then you have school librarians, which are a totally different animal.  Then - I find something that makes me think I don't even need a Master's Degree for this at all!

When I finally hunker down and look at different programs - none of them really stand out to me.  And I'm not even sure what I'm looking for.  Wish I knew a professional librarian on a semi-personal basis so I could them questions about this.  Kind of feeling clueless on all this....

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jenny_wildcat

December 2011

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