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End of the Semester

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Okay, I realize I haven’t posted in a very long time. Things have been incredibly busy. I took three classes last semester (crazy me!), all of which were pretty tough. I got sick early on (pre-bronchitis, pre-pneumonia, etc.) and I got behind. It was really hard to get caught up after that. I was starting to lose steam as well. I have gone straight through grad school so far, so that’s not too surprising. I was really worried toward the end of last semester that I would have a C in one of my classes. I knew it wouldn’t be all A’s, but I wasn’t so sure it would be A’s & B’s either. After grades were posted, I logged onto SOAR– fingers crossed and eyes closed. I was so scared. BUT I came out with an A, an A-, and a B-. I’LL TAKE IT!!!! This was my first B of graduate school. While I know that I don’t have to have perfect grades all the time, I was so afraid that having a bad grade was going to define my whole career as a librarian. I felt that if I made a bad grade, it meant I wasn’t going to make a good librarian in the long run. I honestly don’t know why I was so scared– it’s not the end of the world. Anyhow, it’s over and done with, and guess what!! I am THREE CLASSES AWAY from my Master’s!!!!!!! I decided, though, that I was tired of killing myself over so much schoolwork, so I am just going to take one class each semester from now on. I had wanted to take the Public Libraries class and the other core class in the fall and take the summer off, but they are offering Public Libraries this summer only, so I have to take it. So then I’ll take LIS 636 in the Fall, and do my Master’s project in the spring and be done! Woohoo!!

In other news, I have applied for the library media specialist position at Greenville High School. the chances that I will get it are likely slim, but I would be a fool not to try for it at least. I know that’s not the route I had intended to take with my career, but if it gets me a job I’ll take it. Fingers crossed on this one too!

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I’m Getting There….

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In my last post I mentioned that I felt I should have majored in graphic design because I feel more capable at that, that I’m burned out in school, and what-not. Well, I’m still burned out and wondering why I did this to myself in the first place. I have lost sight of why I wanted to be a librarian to begin with. I get so bogged down in assignments and the day-to-day stuff of school and life that I forget what my end goal is: to serve others in a library setting.

I’m not completely better yet, but I’m getting there. Today I read a post by Stephen Abram, author of the blog Stephen’s Lighthouse (http://stephenslighthouse.com). His blog post was entitled “Curb Your Librarian Frustration in 8 Steps.” While I’m not a librarian yet, many of the things he mentioned are relevant to me and my present circumstances. As I was reading his post, I felt like he was speaking directly to me. I needed to hear every bit of what he said, both the encouragement and the constructive criticism. I needed all of it. Here is a little excerpt from his post:

It’s the start of a new month. Are you frustrated yet?  Is your job driving you crazy? Your boss? Your customers?  Are you thinking too much about quitting, retiring, vacationing, or abandoning your dreams?  Do you fantasize your hands around someone’s neck?

Now, before you fold your arms and stomp off into the sunset there is something you should know. This is normal. Every professional worth their salt and who has had an ounce of success has been there.   If you care, you get frustrated . . . and sometimes angry, demotivated or sad.  Worry when you’re at the point of “whatevah.”  Whenever you experience one of those moments (or weeks, months, etc.) you have to spend some time considering your choices and reconnecting to your passion.  Passion drives most of us – it’s what makes librarians put up with the pay! 😉 Luckily for the world, most of us choose to keep going and making a difference.

And you should too.  If no one has told you lately . . . you matter.  Librarians matter.  Information matters.

So, before you throw in the towel, or just wallow in the blues and self pity, let’s think about how to curb some of that frustration a bit so you can get back to striving for success, innovation, great client interactions, fame and fortune (well maybe not the fortune… tongue firmly in cheek).  Let’s move on and make a difference in the world.

This excerpt is mostly the encouragement part of Stephen’s post. He goes on to list the eight steps mentioned. Number 1 is: Stop Whining. That is one dose of reality I needed. Whining is not helping things in any way, nor is it making them better. Thanks for the reality check, Stephen!

Number 2 on the list is Find Your Purpose. I think that’s where I am currently. I need to find (or rediscover) my purpose and passion, my whole reason for putting myself through this in the first place. Number 3 is Change Your Focus. Maybe I need to place my focus elsewhere, not on my schoolwork or the dull, inane assignments that seem to have no purpose or value whatsoever. I need to place my focus on 1.) God, and 2.) God’s purpose for my life. I truly feel like I am supposed to be a librarian, to serve others through the library. I’m on the right path, I have just lost sight of what I should be focusing on and what should be the most important thing. It’s almost as if, buried beneath my course load, there’s a light at the top, beckoning me to a higher calling. I just have to work through all the things that lie between me and that light before I can get there.

Why am I doing this?

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I think I should have majored in Graphic Design or something in undergrad. I’ve developed a big interest in it lately, with all the web design and such I’ve had to do. It intrigues me, and I want to educate myself more about it, but I just don’t have the time outside of school and work. If I could go back in time and redo undergrad, I would major in Graphic Design. It’s not that I don’t cherish my Religious Studies degree; I really do. My time as a religion major has been invaluable to me, the knowledge I gained from all my classes and professors. It’s just that I wish I had known about graphic design then–six years ago when I started college. Right now, I’m in library school, and I keep wondering, why am I doing this? Why am I putting myself through this, if I’m not even going to be able to get a job when I graduate? What’s the point? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy some of my classes (if I’m being truly honest); I certainly don’t enjoy all of them. Some of the ones I haven’t enjoyed, though, are the ones in which I’ve had assignments that piqued my interest in graphic design, particularly web design. It’s just that I lose sight of why I wanted to be a librarian in the first place. I get so bogged down in assignments and everything that most days I don’t remember why I’m putting myself through this. I know that if I want to be a librarian, this degree is what is required. But honestly…….sometimes I just want to quit it all and just take pictures and sit around on the computer editing photos in Photoshop, or designing web pages in Dreamweaver, and learning about all the neat and handy technological tools there are out there. I think if I did though, I’d be a 400-pound slob because I couldn’t leave my computer long enough to go for a walk.

I just don’t know anymore……..