That’s what it’s like leaving the parking garage.
Anyway, one of the best things about the drive between Indy and Liberty is getting to listen to the radio. My normal music station fades out pretty quickly, and I’ve been awful about getting a decent audiobook to listen to on my way out west (okay…out west is a little dramatic). So, of course, I turn on NPR. I start out listening to the station out of Cincinnati, which inevitably fades right as the story is getting good. Today I was learning about the need for large predators in the ocean to restore health to those waters and the planet. As usual it faded right at the good part, and I turned to WFYI.
So, when I leave class on Thursday evenings, my drive home usually includes the last bit of Radiolab, part of The Story (insert station fade here), When Radio Was (out of Cincy), and part of Echos. Let me just say….Indy kicks Cincy’s butt as far as NPR stations go although I’m getting pretty intrigued with the Ma Perkins soap opera (real soap….Oxydol White). Brad, who just escaped from an insane asylum to kill his wife, has just been pushed out of a third story window of the boarding house, and the wife (can’t remember her name) is trying to rush Joe down the back stairs to prevent him from being accused of murder (though it was self defense).
Anyway, I digress.
Tonight, because we got out early, I was able to listen to a larger portion of Radiolab. Imagine my surprise when the entire program turned out to be about language and its role in our mental processes. I’m including the link that actually contains much more than was on the show. When I heard the conversation, I literally wanted to come back into the classroom with everyone (obviously not realistic) and say “Hey! We just talked about this. You have to hear this!” Honestly, I was so excited that I actually got a little teary eyed. Silly, but who cares? It’s cool when timing is so perfect.
I just wanted to add a few comments to the beginning of this journal. I’ll get to the business at hand later.
I’m excited about this class. Well, as excited as I get about any class anymore. At this point, I just want to be done. Between work and family, this race to finish my degree has become a marathon. I wish that I was more enthusiastic and philosophical about the whole thing, but truth be told, I’m just tired. I want to learn the things I need to learn so that, eventually, I can direct a public library. I love working with the teens right now, but I don’t want to do it forever. I want to manage a library and enable someone else to work with teens (and little kids and old people and everyone else….even the crazy dude that talks to himself for seven hours as he moves from on computer to the next).
Here are some observations about this 503S Organization and Representation class and library stuff in general.
- I love the fact that it’s being led by a non-library professional. Don’t get me wrong, I love libraries. I even love a few librarians. I worry, however, that, like so many other professions, we get so stuck in our own galaxies that we forget that there’s a whole universe out there…and we’re part of it.
- I love learning about communicating with others and I really think that this class is all about communication. How do I find a way to represent the thought in my head in such a way that you can experience it in a similar way so that we can then have a shared experience? How do you plan your conversation with me so that we can mutually head toward the same goal? Just like we need to learn new languages to communicate with other cultures on a broad scale, we need to learn to learn each others’ personal language to communicate with our peers. Sometimes I think language is a false organization of communication tools. It seems that it’s often just as difficult to truly understand someone speaking full-on Americanized English as it is to understand some weird aboriginal language.
- I’m a little tentative about the class structure. I mean, it’s always like this at the beginning of a semester. You never really know what’s expected or how that concrete schedule is actually going to develop in real-life practice. I wish that this was the only class that I was taking and that there wasn’t such a manic frenzy surrounding my schooling right now.
- Last year, it was really nice to be in classes with so many different people who were excited about myriad aspects of librarianship. Now, I’m getting to the point where I want to spend more time with my peers and get some things done. I remember feeling like this during my senior year of high school…where you go to the classes and you do all the senior things, but you really just want to get the hell out of Dodge.
- It seems to me that good public librarianship, the field in which I’m most interested, is very similar to entrepreneurship. A successful entrepreneur anticipates the needs/wants of consumers, develops a product, and finds a way to effectively and efficiently deliver that product. True entrepreneurs also often start with very little resources other than their ideas and perseverance. Sounds an awful lot like a public librarian to me.
- I didn’t explain my undergraduate education to the class. It was mostly because I forgot, but also because it was so circuitous that I would have been embarrassed to try and go over it all. So, I’ll just put it here and make a few comments. I started out as a biology/chemistry major with the idea of going to medical school. I finished my sophomore year of undergrad with much less direction, a husband, and a baby on the way. With the loss of a major scholarship (it’s hard to maintain a GPA with so many distractions), I dropped out and started my life as a wife/mother. My husband and I had two more children and a million problems. Apparently 20 year old parent/spouses aren’t very mature. In 2003, nearly 10 years after dropping out, I decided something needed to change. Babysitting was not my cup of tea and I kept saying “if only” this and “if only” that. I’d like to say that going back to school fixed everything. Hah! I was in danger of being a professional student. I went back with the intention, now, of getting a teaching certificate. Except I hate the bureaucracy of the k-12 teaching profession and I couldn’t bear dealing with broken kids morning, evening and inbetween. So, then…I switched to fine arts. Have whiplash yet? I wanted to be a doctor…then a vet…then a teacher…then an artist? What the hell? Yeah. It annoyed me too. I wanted direction and all I had was this random smattering of classes that were interesting….most of the time. Finally, I just wanted to finish. So, I went into the advising office and asked what degree I was closest to completing. The answer? A Bachelor of General Studies with a concentration in math and science and a fine arts minor (yes…it’s that long of a degree name). Sign me UP. So, I finished that. In the meantime, I had switched jobs also. Previously, after giving up the babysitting gig, I’d worked for a local elementary school as a classroom assistant (that’s where I learned that I could NOT be a Gen Ed teacher). In the spring of 2007, I was lucky/blessed to be hired for the “assistant to program coordinator” at our local public library. It seems almost cliche to say “the rest is history.” All those bullshit classes I’d been taking for what seemed like fifty million years finally all merged into this concerted effort to turn me into a public librarian. Say what you will, but I think a liberal arts degree or general studies degree is PERFECT for a public librarian (not so much an academic librarian). So, I finished my undergraduate degree and did what? after cursing higher education as the bane of my existence? I went on to graduate school in 2009. That’s the history of my education and how I like to tell it. Way too long and full of rabbit trails for a little classroom snippet.
- I wish I could actually get a job abstracting. It seems like it could be very relaxing. After days with poop on the public restroom walls and boys going on about each others’ girlfriends, the idea of spending all day in a cave reading, summarizing, and creating keywords for metadata seems perfect.