Tag Archives: grad school

Cruel Summer

This summer has been full of ups and downs, but was helped along by the awesome opportunity to spend almost two months in Montana hanging out with in-laws, helping out around the house (as various health crises occured), going backpacking and visiting friends.

Things kicked off in California with a super fun weekend of celebration at the wedding of one of my best friends.  All the beauty and good feelings made me want to go back to being engaged and having a whole wedding ahead of me to plan.  Perhaps this is because my wedding was over a year ago, and I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be planning.

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In Montana, Ted and the dogs and I spent a total of 6 nights in the backcountry, on two different trips.  One to the Crazies, and the other to the Beartooth wilderness:

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It was a blast to camp at 10,000 feet, and a total kick to have the pooches along.  They loooved the tent.

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And we put them to work, of course:

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I also got to make a visit to my father-in-law’s farm, where he grows native grass seed and keeps his two horses (that’s me, riding Trooper and leading Jewel):

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I even managed to finish 3 courses for library school this summer – one in Perl programming (I earned that A-, lemme tell you), an independent research project about emerging careers in library science, and a class about ‘picture books for older readers.’  We’re starting the 2-day drive back to Oakland on Sunday, and fall classes start on Monday.  And after months of loafing around, it’s finally time to start looking for a job… if one exists.

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Life Update

Since returning from my month away, I’ve started work again (half time, as has been mandated since October), and begun grad school in Library & Information Science. Work is nearly non-existent. We haven’t been paid the last two pay periods, and will probably miss a third. I’m also waiting on a $300 expense check for stuff I bought for the company ages ago.

Many of my friends at the company have left to pursue better opportunities. I’m hanging on because we can scrape by on my husband’s salary for now, and most of the jobs out there that I could possibly be hired for require more hours for much less pay. It’s a bit depressing, but my current job offers me enough benefits, like health insurance and a computer (if not a paycheck), that I probably won’t walk away until I’m laid off. Which should be any day now 😦

On a brighter note, I love being in school. I’d originally registered for three classes ― two core classes and a one-credit, four-week class. Now that I’ve finished the one-credit class, I decided to add another full class, bringing my load up to nine credits. I figure as long as I’m paying for full-time status (which is a bargain at about $1,200/semester. How much does a semester of private college cost? Four times that?) I might as well be taking a full load of classes.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been working the past four years, but being a student is something that excites and energizes me. I’m looking forward to building a database with a group of students for my Info Retrieval class (which, incidentally, a student who’s taken the class warned me would be dreadfully boring). I’m already brainstorming topics for my research paper for Information & Society, and I can’t wait for my first web conference lecture/discussion tonight. Here’s how cool I look when I use the web conferencing software and headset:

That's me at 7am, pre-shower and pre-makeup, modeling my headset-with-mic.  Taken with my camera phone. Rrrrrroowwr.

That's me at 7am, pre-shower and pre-makeup, modeling my headset-with-mic. Taken with my camera phone. Rrrrrroowwr.

Jealous?

 

I’ll continue to go in to work a few days a week, but for now, I’m putting my energy into doing well in this program. It’s exciting to be entering a field that is changing so much. In the next two years, as I work toward graduation, the field of libraries and info science may look completely different than it does now. I think this is a good thing. Speaking of changes, I hope that by the time I graduate this crazy economic time will have come to an end, and actual jobs will be available. Yes, that would be nice.

Rambling and Sleep-Deprived

I don’t know if it’s the weather, the current economic state, or just me, but there seem to be a number of things that are dragging me down lately.  Namely:

  • My job is slow slow slow.  And I can’t help but feel that it’s a sinking ship.
  • I have a lot of free time during the week now thanks to half-time employment, which is great in some senses, but sometimes I get stuck in a rut of, “none of my friends have this time off, and I can’t spend any money anyway.”  I’m trying to remedy this by a) taking dance classes, b) running and c) walking the mile and half to the library on Thursdays and picking up new books and DVDs with which to amuse myself.
  • Being married is not easy (nor is being in any committed relationship, come to think of it).  There are some issues that need working on that I have been avoiding out of laziness.

But a few things are buoying me up too.  Let’s focus on those:

  • I registered for classes for my grad program, and realized the whole thing only costs about $12,000.  I mean, that’s no small chunk of change by any means, but I feel like it’s a steal compared to what some of my friends are paying for grad school, and won’t leave me with a crippling amount of debt.
  • I watched an introductory slideshow for the grad program where the associate director warned incoming students that we should enjoy the next few months of freedom, for we are about to become “frenzied individuals.”  🙂 Hopefully I’ll be more busy than frenzied, because for me, busy = happy.
  • Thanksgiving is going to be a gigantic hootenany which will include my parents, my brother and his girlfriend, my aunt, uncle and their three young kids, various friends of my mom, and my friend who recently moved to the Bay Area.
  • My husband and I might photograph another wedding early next year.  I had a blast at the one we did this summer and cannot wait for this one.
  • The canceling of our belated honeymoon to South Africa (which we would’ve left for TODAY) not only means we’ll be with my family for Thanksgiving (see above) but that we get to plan a different adventure some time in the future. I’m thinking… Ireland?  Vietnam?  Mexico?  

Sexy Librarian Jokes Aside

I’m thinking of applying to a master’s program in library science. Here are some pros:

  • Seems to fit my personality traits and skills (I like organization, books, technology, and helping people)
  • The program is online and is not cripplingly expensive (four digits a year, not five).  Also, I have like $4,700 from my AmeriCorps VISTA Ed award waiting to be spent 🙂
  • There seems to be a wealth of interesting and different library jobs out there – private, non-profit, government, academic, etc.
  • If you get into administration/management you can apparently make very good money
  • Entry level jobs earn respectable money (i.e. about as much as I make now)
  • The program doesn’t require GRE scores or letters of recommendation – (I can’t express in words how awesome this is)
  • I could dress like this:
Hot

Hot

Here are some cons:
  • Librarianism (librarianship?) is not a hugely fast-growing field.  All of those baby boomer librarians may decide to hang on to their jobs given the current economic state.
  • An online course means A LOT MORE time at my computer – e.g. communicating with professors, students, etc. online.  AND the program apparently uses Second Life as some kind of means of program-wide social networking, which freaks me out.
  • I’m really not sure how I would support myself working only part time or not at all.   I rarely feel like I have enough money while working full time.  Rent and food and gas are so damned expensive –  I have a hard time picturing how all of this would work.
  • I had a stoner housemate in college who ended up getting a master’s in library science.  She once let her brother sleep in my bed while I was out of town 😦
Right now I’m thinking I need to grab on to this spark of *wanting* to do something.  I’ve had these sparks before, but I’ve always let them die out.  Perhaps the best thing to do (considering the EPIC FAIL that is the economy right now) is to apply for the Spring semester, register for two classes, and keep working full time. I think I can do it.  We’ll see.