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One down, two-ish to go

I’ve started a few posts in my head, but only today did I realize that I didn’t, you know, post any of them. It turned out that I didn’t have the kind of down-time I expected to have during the break: classes (and projects) ran until the 11th, work kept going right up until the 19th, and I started both my field placement and volunteer position in work’s “off” days, in addition to trying (and, it seems, failing) to knit a blanket, making Christmas presents, and just generally preparing for two back-to-back multi-state treks. I didn’t actually get more than one Sunday at home, and I think I wasted most of it sleeping, instead of doing all of those cleaning/organizing projects I was hoping to do; so, I’m going into next semester with a still-messy apartment, some CSS glitches on my homepage, and just generally less stuff accomplished than I’d hoped…

Moving on to news and starting with the largest first, I decided not to apply to PhD programs. As much as I’d like to continue my education, I’m just not certain enough, one semester in, what specific things I want to work on. Also, as much as I want to work on pie-in-the-sky research–and, wow, would I–I am awfully tired of being a student: the undergraduate feel of my MLIS program has worn me down far more than I would have expected, going in. And while I know a PhD program wouldn’t have the same kind of atmosphere to it, I still find my motivation to continue being a student is pretty much gone, for the time being. I want to go out in the world and do stuff.

On that note, I’ll be attending the Electronic Resources & Libraries conference in February. I applied for a scholarship, and to my utter surprise and delight, I won. I think it will be a tremendous help to me, as that’s the area of the field I’m looking at… but I don’t feel like I fully understand what the current state of the art is, or where I would best fit in. I’ll learn a lot and hopefully make some good contacts, there.

I’m still signed up for four classes and a field placement, in addition to my 13-hour-a-week internship and the most exciting volunteer position ever. Yep, it turned out my meeting was just a meeting, not an interview, and he actually had me start that afternoon. So, officially, I am a volunteer at the National Aviary, helping to put their library together. They have a small but solid collection of books and journals, which I will help to put in order. For now, their “catalog” will be an Excel spreadsheet; perhaps once I’ve got a handle on what’s there and how much time it will take to get everything together I can talk them into an open-source OPAC of some sort. But there’s plenty to keep me busy now.

The field placement is also going well. I didn’t get enough hours in December to finish by the end of the spring semester, but I can take an incomplete and finish early in the summer. It’s going to be a good experience: I should come out of it pretty knowledgeable about institutional repositories and open access.

It’s going to be an incredibly busy semester, but I am excited.

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