Thursday, May 12, 2011

Glorious Summertime

Okay, so it's still technically spring, but it's finally Chaco weather here in Michigan (65 degrees is warm enough for sandals and capris for me).

I survived the school year, one year down and one year to go, so excited for the Fall semester.
And what am I doing for the summer, you ask, well that's what this blog is for! Ummmm...pretty much chilling in Ann Arbor, 2 weeks in Utah (for Memorial Day, a Wedding, and a Graduation), a week at the ALA Conference in New Orleans (whoever thought a conference in June in New Orleans was a good idea has another thing coming to them, but I'm still ridiculously excited because I haven't really been to the south besides Florida) and an internship at the Arab American Museum in Dearborn (which means more trips to Shatila).

Otherwise, I'm just looking forward to reading a giant stack of leisure reading (maybe I'll throw in a school book or two, just to get ahead).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April is Cold

and there are a lot of allergies. Kind of a bummer. I survived that week, barely, but now I'm craving the end of the semester something fierce. I'm not the only one either, it's spring fever.

Fun things that have happened recently:

Two weeks ago I went to Dayton with some friends from my ward to go to the National Air Force Museum. It was incredible, they had so much, I felt like my brain was going to explode from the information overload.
My favorite part, this has been on the moon. It made me think of Bryan Regan

A week ago, I went to Haifa Falafel twice. It was awesome. You haven't lived until you've stuffed your face with delicious chicken shwarma.

Last week, I got elected as an officer in the Special Libraries Association (it's for special people!). Our motto as officers is "we're more than happy hours" (they really like the happy hours here in Michigan). Mostly I'm excited because I have some pretty awesome fellow officers.

This weekend I got to watch General Conference I really enjoyed all the talks, but Elder Bednar's really resonated with me. I really enjoyed the metaphor of light he used and the gentle reminders (what can you remove from your daily practice so that you can better hear and act upon the spirit of revelation?)

This week, I'm going to see a special video broadcast of Frankenstein, it's a play on London's West End directed by Danny Boyle (director of 127 Hours and Slumdog Millionaire) and stars Benedict Cumberbatch (who has the most British name ever and starred in the recent Sherlock mini-series, which was awesome, by the way) and Johnny Lee Miller (perhaps best known for being the first husband of Angelina Jolie, although I hear he's a good actor too). I'm excited. is good, even if sometimes you have to wade through the crap.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Warning, Information Overload

It's funny because it's also the title of a post in my other blog. I'm too lazy to link it.

This week will either be the death of me, or will prove my worth as a grad student. 3 papers due, a state of the School address to attend (absolutely necessary, in my opinion), a phone interview, 3 group meetings, a subletter coming by, roommates boyfriend and parents visiting and general malaise because it's March and I want it to be spring already.

Chance of precipitation tomorrow, 100%. High for tomorrow 39. Freezing rain people!

Otherwise, I love Michigan.

Things that will keep me going this week:
The IT Crowd
Justified on Hulu
Haifa Falafel
A baptism on Saturday
Dancing in the rain
Joseph Gordon Levitt singing "Bad Romance" (warning, here lies a little bit of swearing, but also some fantastic singing)
Videos of babies laughing

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Spring" Break

Here in Michigan, Spring Break takes place before Spring even starts. In fact, we started the break February 26. It was a hectic break, one of the only times I've actually done something during a spring break, usually I laid around at home, watching movies and feeling unproductive.

Not this week though! The School of Information does something called Alternative Spring Break, which gives students the opportunity to work at a professional organization in Chicago, New York, Washington DC or Detroit. I got to work at the American Library Association in Chicago. It was great. I was cataloging books in their Publishing Department archives. Basically, it has every book they've ever published, but it has never been inventoried, which is really what I was doing. It involved long hours retrieving books, finding them in the system, scanning barcodes, writing their names, typing their names, and then re-shelving them. I actually really enjoyed it, particularly because it gave me the chance to listen to my iPod a whole lot. And I got to work in Chicago, which made me want to move there even more.

Otherwise, school is going along, undeterred by my cabin fever or frustration with classes. Occasionally, I get the feeling that I chose entirely the wrong field, particularly when the classes are being entirely too academically political (everyone has an agenda, and sometimes classes become the forum for professors to push their agendas on us), but then I remember that I'm here to combat that feeling for others. Librarians are there to help, to teach you a little bit, and to make you love learning again. If I only ever help one person in my life, it will be totally worth it (although, if I could find a job that paid slightly more than minimum wage, that would be ideal).

I leave you with the following pictures of random things found in the archives:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Class Reflection-Week 4

Wow, this was a lot to take in, again. I find so much useful information in these classes, I come home and tell my roommates about what we did and they're jealous (because in their classes, they tend to talk more about theory and don't get the hands on experiences).
First of all, I really enjoyed the video about Gamers saving the world. These incredible tools (i.e. computers, the internet, etc.) were not developed simply as porn finders and gaming boxes. If we utilized them to their true potential, they could be helpful in building and maintaing a better world, rather than cluttering our mind with unnecessary things. There are steps toward this. The X-Box Kinect and Nintendo Wii, for example, gets people out of their seats and involved in the games they're playing, literally. If we created games that had meaning (without beating you over the head with it, please) and showed real consequences they could be used as effective teaching tools.
Second, I really didn't get the whole point of the gallery walk with those answers pasted on. I can somewhat see where we were going, but it didn't quite come together in my mind, maybe it was just me. I looked at other peoples (and the Professors) and they seemed so darned overcomplicated, too many sections. Maybe mine was oversimplified, we only had four sections.
*edit, yes it was a good object lesson in that it showed how people think differently, so maybe what seems simple to me, could be complicated for others, and vice versa (500 readings about vectors for example...).
Third, I enjoyed the real advice about products and tools that can be used for assessment. This was particularly helpful for someone who has taught previously because there are many things I didn't know about, and many things that were a nice refresher.
Successful class, not so successful trivia night at Conor O'neil's afterwards, unfortunately. Clearly they did not read the section on assessment, because their questions were awful.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I have a confession to make

I'm a geek.
Specifically, I'm a movie geek.

So, when "watching" the superbowl, I wasn't watching for the game (Packers won, take that Mom!)I was watching because they were debuting a Captain America: The First Avenger trailer:

A Thor trailer (directed by Kenneth Branaugh no less!)

Cowboys and Aliens (directed by John Favreau, who also did Iron Man)

and last, but not least, Battle Los Angeles (starring Aaron Eckhart, one of my favorites)

Enjoy the trailers, know that I'll be spending at least $200 this year going to movies. I'm just glad they're able to get them all in before the world ends December 2012.

Class Reflection-Week 3

I find it easier to create two posts, rather than reflecting on both. Not that it couldn't be done. but my mind separates them naturally.

Class was interesting, it was a lot of information to take in (and by the end of the night my brain began to hurt just a little bit, hence a disappointing standing at Conor O'Neils weekly trivia).

In particular, I found the discussion of emotion logical and overlooked. Too often we think about how students are learning, without taking their feelings, thoughts and emotions into account. Too often I've had terrible days where I don't get anything I'm doing (Math 1050 [College Algebra] emotional breakdown in class one day comes to mind), but never did I have a teacher who worked through these emotions with me. I'll be honest, I still hate math because of that long ago breakdown (it was epic and sobbing, I was having a really really bad day), but it needn't have been so dramatic or life-changing if someone had helped me through the learning process to begin with so at the end of the semester I didn't feel so out of place and unprepared.
I was also struck by calls for better planning, something that I've long felt goes unrecognized. In conjunction with better planning comes the need for constantly revising and adjusting those plans. A plan doesn't function forever, it needs to be reviewed for every new audience it gets.

Finally, I think we need to recognize that students(/patrons/whoever come to us) are not blank slates (tabula rasa), they have backgrounds, emotions, needs, wants, cultural heritages to preserve, and lifestyles that are important. We have to take these into account, however minutely, or we risk losing them among hurt feelings, embarrassment, and perceived slighting.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Check it out, two weeks in a row!

Must be some kind of record.

This week was great-ish. Monday, I got to work at both my jobs, because it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day so I didn't have school. I have officially cataloged four books at the law library, it's somewhat exciting because it involves putting my initials in the book.

At the museums library I made cards for the card catalog. Don't even get me started on what a ridiculous waste of time and resources that is. My dream, one day, is to take over the Museums library and bring it into the 21st century.

The roomates and I decided to host a little dinner party, mostly because Adriana had bought one of those murder mystery things back in September and we never used it (501 killed all my social productivity).

We invited some people over for dinner, which I got to cook (it's not cooking for 250, but it feels nice to be in the kitchen). There was much laughing and silliness. Enjoy this picture of the group.

(from left)Graham (the murderer, a schizophrenic scientist), Ilana (a German wine maker), Jerusha (a male English wine maker), Jess (a lady hired to renovate the estate), John (the estate manager), Adriana (the wife of the dead guy and sister of the murderer), and me (I didn't have a part, but I pretended to be a maid or something). The story was set at a winery (hence the wine bottle) and was very complicated. It was a fun time had by all (I think).

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ooohh, January

Must be time for a monthly blog post and news update.

News #1: I have another blog that will be updated more often. I'll let you find it from my profile page because I'm too lazy to go linking it. I'm pretending to be a professional librarian.
News#2: I'm building a website, for a class. It could be fun. I actually enjoy doing it, so I'm hoping to change my blog (eventually) over to the new website, but we'll see.
News#3: I am officially a resident of Michigan now! Driver's License obtained and voter registered (which means I have to follow their politics more). I'm hoping to get some license plates really soon (as soon as someone sends me the title).
News#4: I got a new job at the Law Library on campus. It's actually rather daunting because I'll be cataloging, but I enjoy it already (mostly because I get to work in a building that houses this room (picture stolen from the interwebs, as usual):
I still work at the Museums Library on Fridays, mostly because I'm a sucker (at least that's what my roommates say), but I like to think it's because I have a heart (ha!).

Anyway, life is great, seriously, I couldn't ask for more (unless someone wants to offer me a paid internship for the summer?)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas Break, Never Long Enough

Two weeks people, only two weeks for a break. Now, we head into the winter semester, which I am so grateful and excited for.

Why, you may ask, well it's a good thing I have this amazing blog to share these things with people.

First of all, this semester I am taking classes I am far more excited for, such as Collection Development (yeah, I'm in library school, that's exciting), design of complex websites (a little nervous, but really excited), and a class that meets at the Michigan Theatre, an actual movie theatre in Ann Arbor. Here's a picture I stole off the internets:

Second, with one semester under my belt, I actually feel capable of going to Grad School. Also, I feel much better about allocating my time and energy.

Finally, I only have class/work Monday, Wednesday and Friday (at least for the first half of the semester), so Tuesdays and Thursdays, I could sleep all day if I so desired.

Anyway, loving life in Michigan.

Oohh, I forgot this fun fact. To celebrate the end of last semester and the end of our project management class (that made me want to quit school) we had a little get together at our house and burned all remnants of the class. Here's my favorite picture:

Then we all went and saw Tron, which wasn't high cinema, but it was sure pretty to look at! Did I mention we were wearing Cosby sweaters also? Hence the name Cosby Tron 2010, so superior to Cosby Tron 2009.