Some Exciting Developments

July 21, 2007

Despite the fact that I will not have the opportunity to take any “Library School 2.0*”classes in my time at SCSU, I’m very excited about some nascent movements in that direction. It looks like Meredith Farkas will be teaching a class on social software to library students (via social software?). Additionally, Ellysa Kroski will be teaching a class on Web 2.0 at the Palmer School of Library Science this fall – complete with a website community for the class. I couldn’t be more thrilled. Library school programs, especially those conducted via distance, need more than what they currently possess to be well rounded and engaging.

*Library School 2.0 – With this moniker, I am not referring to classes about Library 2.0 or Web 2.0. I’m alluding to classes that are conducted using 2.0 tools. It seems to me that actually using these tools to conduct a class is the best way for students to learn about them. It is also a wonderful way for distance students to connect, bond and collaborate – things are are quite difficult to do with current modes of online education.

Which Book Am I?

July 20, 2007

Interesting – in a weird sort of way. I like the thought of being both brilliant and repugnant. Cool! Found via John Miedema

You’re Ulysses!
by James Joyce
Most people are convinced that you don’t make any sense, but compared to what else you could say, what you’re saying now makes tons of sense. What people do understand about you is your vulgarity, which has convinced people that you are at once brilliant and repugnant. Meanwhile you are content to wander around aimlessly, taking in the sights and sounds of the city. What you see is vast, almost limitless, and brings you additional fame. When no one is looking, you dream of being a Greek folk hero.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

It Was Just One Of Those Days

July 19, 2007

Today was the type of day that makes me question whether technical support is a viable task – and more specifically whether it is something that I can do and remain sane. I can tell that today was stressful because my entire head aches – especially me teeth and jaw. My entire body is tense – and I need some serious down time. Fortunately, I have finished the assignment that I have due today – otherwise, I would be in serious trouble.

Sometimes it seems like trying to offer decent technical support is like trying to nail jello to a wall. Today, I had to tell someone that due to a virus, spyware and human error, they had lost all of their email. I also had another situation where someone’s email seems to be just disappearing from the inbox. Realistically, it must be downloading to a POP3 client somewhere – somewhere that I don’t have control over – somewhere that I can’t pinpoint. Adding to the problem is confusion over where and how email is stored – on a local computer or on the server. This is not an easy concept for many to grasp (probably because it isn’t explained well enough). Technically, the email probably isn’t lost – but it isn’t anywhere that the user can find it either. The worst part is that with better planning, better training and more information, both of these situations could probably have been prevented. A great deal of the blame rests with me. I’m the one that failed to make sure that either person had a good knowledge base about best practices for email and/or backup procedures. So often, it is easy to let information sharing go – there is just so much else to do. And, let’s face it, catastrophic failure isn’t that frequent.

Today was a painful one – and not just for me. Sadly, these types of things are part of the job. There probably is no fullproof way to prevent catastrophic failures. Sometimes, nature combines all of its forces to allow a series of events to take place that wreak havoc for some. Meanwhile, I will continue to persevere – try to minimize the chances of these types of events taking place – and try to be there to help. Now, I need to go take a bath!

Personnel Management

July 18, 2007

Rialto Bridge  Originally uploaded by ScruffyNerf.

I am currently working on an assignment to design a performance appraisal system, explain the system and discuss the handling of poor performers for ILS566-Library Personnel Management. The assignmentis due tomorrow evening by 11:30PM, but I have a good portion of it done already. I should be able to finish it on time – maybe even with a couple of hours to spare.

As a whole, this class has been very interesting – and I am thoroughly enjoying it. It is quickly rising up my mental list of best classes. All of the assignments have been extremely practical in nature – developing interview questions, writing an outline of an employee handbook and designing a performance-appraisal system. None of these have been intense research projects. The idea has been to learn and research a bit about general topics – interviewing, handbooks, and performance-appraisal systems – and then use that knowledge to make decisions on how best to deal with real-world situations. So, no extensive research really, but a great deal of thinking, of making decisions and justifying one’s decisions.

I have deeply surprised myself by becoming drawn to management – by getting the most out of the management classes that I have taken at SCSU. What this actually means, I do not know. Hopefully, I am learning to be a better manager.

Again, no real reason for a picture from my trip to Venice in June of 2005. I just like how images break up the text.

Some Needed Inspiration Arrives

July 18, 2007

Yesterday was a fairly eventful day. Blog-wise, things were hopping. I shouldn’t have been suprised by this since anytime one gets mentioned by Meredith Farkas on Information Wants To Be Free, visits tend to skyrocket. I picked up some new readers, got some interesting and supportive comments and found some new educational blogs that are worth reading. Non-blog-wise, I felt the beginnings of a much needed attitude adjustment. I was quite humbled to have played any part in Meredith’s decision to pursue one of her dreams. Once I got over my amazement, I was so gratified to see some excitement over the possibilities in distance LIS education. There is so much room for improvement, and Meredith’s interest in getting involved makes me believe that it just might be possible. Seriously, this definitely helped to renew some interest in my own education – some badly needed interest.

I need to continue my quest to get the voices of distance students (and all students who take classes online) heard at SCSU. I will pursue this – regardless of the response from the dean. This is important. I will try to renew my interest in my education – to care about what I am studying. I will make it through – and I will be okay!

Let’s Try This Again

July 16, 2007

Venice Originally uploaded by ScruffyNerf.

I mentioned in May that I had sent a letter about school/distance issues to the Dean of the School of Information, Communication and Library Science at SCSU. Well, I hadn’t gotten any response. I want to note that I thought there was something funky with the email address that I had used – so it is entirely possible that the dean never actually received the email. Because I am a naturally reticent person, I hesitated to send another email – I didn’t want to badger the guy. However, I really needed to follow up. After consulting with my advisor, I re-sent the initial email to the dean (and the email address doesn’t look wonky). So, let’s see what happens now. Again, I’m having fun with flickr. No other reason than that for the picture. Venice is a magnificent city – and I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to visit it.

My Favorite Place in Las Vegas?

July 16, 2007

Coca-Cola Store in Las Vegas

Originally uploaded by ScruffyNerf.

While in Vegas, we went here about 5 times. I guess this means it might just qualify as my favorite place in the city itself (it certainly can’t really compare to the Grand Canyon or the Hoover Dam. However, I will admit to being extremely disappointed that most places in Las Vegas served Pepsi. I hate this type of monopoly. Why can’t places serve both products (and/or others as well)?

Since I’m In Need of Sustenance

July 16, 2007

. . . this, from the Disorganized Librarian, caught my eye. I’m no artist, so this list isn’t in the spirit of the original question. However, those practical types among us find inspiration and comfort in things too. These are things that sustain me.

  1. Reading fiction – I love to curl up with a good book. I currently have about 25 unread books waiting for me to read when this semester is over. I can hardly wait.
  2. Chocolate – either Hershey’s or in the form of chocolate chip cookies – Chocolate can take my stress away like little else.
  3. Bubble baths – I often combine this relaxing treat with #1 and #2. Heaven!
  4. Coca-Cola – This is about all I drink. I become disgruntled when I go out and the establishment only serves Pepsi. FYI, Pepsi has a huge foothold in Las Vegas – which made me very sad!
  5. Salt and Vinegar potato chips – I’m a big fan of potato chips (and really potatoes) in general. However, Wise Salt and Vinegar potato chips make me happy.
  6. My collection of tv shows on DVD – I often look forward to having large blocks of free time to sit and watch hours of a series. I haven’t been able to do much of this since I enrolled in school, but look forward to when I will have time for it again.
  7. Early morning phone conversations with my best friend on the weekends – We don’t have these conversations much any more, but when we do, it puts a huge smile on my face for the rest of the day.
  8. My husband – He makes me laugh more than anyone else in the whole world – and quite often when I need a laugh the most.

Out Of Whack

July 16, 2007

There seems to be lots of imbalance out there among library bloggers right now. I can’t tell you how comforting that is. My life is so out of whack – and has been for at least a year. I find that school has an uncanny and insidious way of throwing me so far out of balance that I find it nearly impossible to remember what it felt like to be well adjusted. School can easily take over one’s life. Having to read, digest, think critically, and write – all on a strict timeline while having to juggle work and family at the same time – can make me crazy. Trying to come up with topics for papers and projects can drive me utterly insane. In some ways, I just don’t care enough to come up with a topic about which I am interested in learning. I get to a point where I get so tired of it all that I just want to walk away, curl up in a ball and immerse myself in mindless activities.

This is sort of where I am – and where I have been since March of this year. My patience with school is at an all time low. It affects me mentally – it affects how I do my job (at least in my mind) – it affects my relationships with people that mean everything to me – and not in a good way. Knowing how I am and how I function, I doubt that I will be able to find real balance until I am done with school. I am hanging on because I am too close to the end to even contemplate walking away – or even contemplate taking a break. But, I am a bit burnt out. I’m hoping that life will be a bit easier over the next two semesters because I will only be taking one class each term. But unless I can find a way to be more positive about school, I doubt it.

I think back to how excited I was about going to graduate school two years ago – how much I was hoping to learn – how much I wanted to grow and expand my horizons. It is a little disconcerting to see how jaded I have become. I’m often disappointed in my lack of interest in some classes – and in the level of effort that I am willing to give. Some of this is due in a massive part to some of the issues and problems that are specific to SCSU’s program rather than library school itself. However, this space in which I am currently residing isn’t really a fun place to be.


July 15, 2007

Why is there so much media coverage of Posh & Becks? Why? Why? Why? They seem to be everywhere – and now, Posh has a reality tv show? I’m so tired of seeing them everytime I turn the tv on – or everytime I walk by a magazine or newspaper. How long are they supposed to be be here, anyway? ARGH!!!!

Although, now that I think of it, they do provide a decent distraction from school. How sad is that?