Sunday, September 21, 2008

Long Time, No Blog

So I've made it safely back to Boston from Japan and I'm in my third week back at school. The Japan photos aren't completely up yet on Flickr, but I'm getting there. I think I have about a week's worth left. I'll post little summaries of my trip once I get those sorted. I also now have a backlog of three weeks worth of Boston photos since I've come back. But the photos from a weekend at Martha's Vineyard are up. Please have a look at the set if you have the time.

As for classes, I am going against everyones's advice and taking four courses this semester. This is mainly so that I can graduate in May. Even taking four classes, I was told by a number of people that there was no need to take these specific four classes. I'm just starting to feel the pressure, but hopefully it'll be what I need to keep on top and not procrastinate as much as I normally do.

LIS 415: Organization of Information
Known as Cataloging, our professor said that it is not Cataloging or even the Introduction to Cataloging but the Introduction to the Introduction to Cataloging. He is, of course, completely right. Many people recommended taking this course, which is required, with this professor. I'm happy so far, though intimidated by the perfection at which he handles this course. Amazing. Cataloging seems to be what suits me in this field, but this course will tell me for sure. As long as I survive it.

LIS 438: Introduction to Archives
Another class that is notorious for taking up a lot of time. But that's also because it comes with a required 60 hour internship. It's a required course for students on the archives track. I'm interested in archives, but this late in the program, there's no way I can switch without taking an absurd number of extra courses, so I'm going to settle with a normal librarian degree with some archives experience on the side. I've been assigned my internship site and once the details are set and I get the okay to blog about it, I'll tell you where it is.

I'm quite glad I'm taking this course alongside 415. A lot of the things so far are overlapping and I'm getting a very clear idea of the differences between Libraries and Archives. It's some really cool stuff.

LIS 403: Evaluation
Another of the dredded required courses. I'm free from them next term and couldn't be happier. This is a course about how to measure a library's success or failure at doing what it should be doing and what that actually may be. I can see why the program requires it. I can see why it's vaulable. I can see why pretty much everyone doesn't want to take it. It's much more on the management side of libraries. Measuring a library "good" factor? And accurately? And with purpose? I'm going to have to keep reminding myself that this will be very educational and good for me in the long run.

LIS 493: Intellectual Freedom
My "fun" class. I decided that the best way to keep me on track was to take a course for fun. I've been interested in intellectual freedom from the moment I learned that humans have a history of burning books (which is somewhere in between reading Fahrenheit 451 and watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). I also admit that I'm totally taking this course because of Library War. I've got a guilty smile on my face every time something remotely connectable comes up in class, which is every few minutes. It's fun. If my other courses don't kill me, I'll be creating something that will connect the events in Library War (not the love story bits) to court cases and events and stuff in real life. The events will mostly be American, but I'm going to do my best to find and understand Japanese censorship events.

So there they are. I'll let you know if I survive.