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The Past Few Weeks

I make no secret of my loathing for summer classes. It isn’t the standard “I’d rather have a break,” though I suppose that factors in. Rather, it’s the inherent lack of balance. The summer semester at Pitt is 3-4 weeks (depending how you count) shorter than the other two, and like everywhere, the professors who are stuck teaching summer classes have to decide whether to try to fit an entire semester’s worth of material in–or short-change students who are paying as much for these classes as they would for classes in real semesters.

This summer’s professors seem to be trying to find a balance–definitely, they are packing in more than fits in 12 weeks, but I don’t think it’s quite as much as they’d hit in 15. That’s probably the fairest approach, in this situation.

I really believe Pitt’s LIS program would be better if they would not run by the rest of the school’s semester system during the year–they already run more people through summer classes than the university is designed to handle, which implies, to me, that they are not unduly concerned with “how the rest of Pitt does it.” Instead, they should cut a week out of fall and a week out of spring, in order to make summer two weeks longer (since most things are pretty much closed in the summer, students are used to not having the services they need). It would not remove the imbalance entirely, but it would be a good step toward eliminating it.

Other than summer classes–and at some point I’ll talk about what I’m taking and what I think of it–I have been busy with conferences and interviews–not that many of the latter, but enough to be noticeable in the scheme of my semester, certainly. (I could write up SLA, but the time has passed. I will try to blog about ALA, though.) I’m composing a series of posts about interviews–dos and don’ts, mostly–but I think I’m going to wait until I have a job to really discuss any of it in depth. My desire to help others who are about to be–or who are currently–in my shoes wars, somewhat, with my desire not to damage my own prospects. I was a little surprised–and pleased, with a tiny bit of heartburn, wondering “what else did I say?”–when a recent interviewer mentioned something I’d said months ago in my blog. (Mostly, I was pleased. Sometimes I wonder whether what I say is even a little bit interesting.) So, that’s one bit of advice: people do read what you put out there. I still have few enough followers that maybe Google Analytics will show spikes when search committees decide I’m worth looking into. :)

On the being-busy-and-conference-preparation front, please do come see the Book Cart Drill Team’s Pittsburgh Performance, this Thursday, 4pm, Posvar Hall. We’ll still be selling raffle tickets, and the final drawing will take place after the performance!

Other posts in the hopper: comparison/contrast of the MLIS program with engineering graduate school (a coworker asked for that, verbally, and it got me thinking); some thoughts on library school in general and Pitt specifically; hopefully an announcement of a Book Cart Drill Team win at ALA :); other ALA posts, including possibly some discussion of the MLIS program accreditation discussions going on there; hopefully an announcement that I got a job, followed by discussion of the moving process; and maybe some musings on the transition from engineering to library work–I should see if I can get a guest blogger in for that one, since he’s gone a different path than I plan to. :) After that, here’s hoping I’m changing the focus of the blog, somewhat, from library school to librarianship!

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