I’m Suffering From PPAD

 . . . otherwise known as post-project affective disorder. I just turned in my final project of ILS655-Digital Libraries – and I’m feeling rather depressed about it. Of course, this seems to be the case after every project (or at least the vast majority of them) that I do. As soon as I submit it, I start to question everything, second guess every decision and wish that I had spent more time working on the project. I usually need several days for my mental state to return to normal – hence the PPAD. I think it is worse with this project because they are going to be reviewed by others in the class. While I understand the value of this technique, it is always nervewracking to read what others have to say about one’s project. Also, the digital library that I chose to create was one containing technical support resources for library staff. It is a much larger project than I could have possibly completed for this class, so I could only do a small portion. This generally means the project has a not-quite-done feel to it.

I guess I need to focus on the positive. I just finished the bulk of my work for the semester. I do have a final that is due late on August 1st (for ILS566-Library Personnel Management) and the three reviews of classmates’ digital library projects. The end of the semester is in sight. By this weekend, I will be done. And then, only two more classes to go. Can you believe it? I can’t quite wrap my head around it all.


2 Responses to I’m Suffering From PPAD

  1. Mark says:

    Hey Jennifer, I understand your feelings of PPAD, although I experience it far less than I used to — with school work anyway. 🙂

    I certainly cannot help you with feelings re this project, but let me give you a few words anyway.

    First, kudos on undertaking a project that you know to be of value, despite knowing that you could not finish it in the allotted time of the class. That is an important way to be. It leads to better, more engaged, learning.

    While you may not be able to trust your fellow classmates to look beyond the “not-quite-done feel,” hopefully you can count on the instructor to do so, both in their analysis and in the analysis of your fellow students of your work.

    I frequently (almost always anymore) undertake projects that have no chance whatsoever of being “finished” in the allotted time. In fact, many of them could never be finished unless everyone in our field stopped publishing.

    I’m jumping through hoops right now to “finish” my Topic Map on Tillett’s bibliographic relationships in the context of FRBR, as an index to the literature on bib rels, and write my 15-page paper on it; all before 6 PM tomorrow.

    Part of my paper is an assessment of whether Topic Maps are the right tool for the job. Right! I’ve had to learn new tools, a new XML syntax, and a new way of visualizing these topics and produce something of substance (and hopefully of value) on a highly complex group of topics in under 8 weeks.

    Topic Maps were, in fact, designed for just this task of indexing, so who am I to say that they are the right tool or not with my highly limited exposure? I’m going to take a stab at it anyway. I will point out what I (am aware of that I) still need to learn, the limitations of current software for the job (as best I can with a limited exposure to some of them), and other current limitations of the TM model. Luckily, many of these are the same as faced by the Semantic Web folks, and many other forms of knowledge organization attempting to interface between the web and itself, and the web and the world of physical objects. Thus, I can more easily address them as I am aware of these issues in other contexts.

    My TM itself is far from complete. Not all of Tillett’s relationships are modeled, there are no explicit examples of the FRBR entities, very few specific examples of bib relationships, and only 4 “documents” indexed, ….

    Nonetheless, it has been a valuable learning experience and, if completed, could be of value to others, and me.

    I remember reading what you wrote when you had 1st decided on this project. It is of value and, since it serves a real world purpose, I imagine that you will finish it.

    I guess I have no reason to suspect that your school experience is like mine, but I have found that my instructors are far more interested in my doing projects that matter to me and that I “dream large,” as long as I realize what pieces are truly doable in the allotted time.

    Here’s hoping your’s do, too!

  2. Jennifer says:

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the comment. It is so nice to be able to get some support from others in similar situations. I do appreciate your words of wisdom. Fortunately, I have also found that professors are more interested in true learning experiences than in students who can just do a “perfect” project. I’m not necessarily worried about the professor in this class. Peer evaluations – whether in school or work – are one of those things that I dread. I don’t like doing them even more than I don’t like having them done on my work. However, they are necessary parts of the learning experience.

    Best of luck with your projects too! It is amazing how overwhelming these things can get. I know all about trying to do a project – and having to learn a whole new skill set to accomplish it. I often wonder why I torture myself like that.

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