Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Looking back at the semester

I look at the calendar and realize that in a few more days before 2008 is over. It's been an unbelievably fast year. I'm still nowhere near used to Boston. I finally feel like I've gotten a grip on being a student again and I'm going to be starting my last semester in less than a month.

But before that semester begins, I owe at least a look back at the classes from this past semester.

LIS 403: Evaluation
This was possibly the class I was least looking forward to. I kept hearing about how everyone was avoiding it even though it is one of the required courses. I have to admit that the course material and readings were not from my comfort area. Regardless, I was glad that I took the advice of those who came before me and my advisor and took the class with this professor. She kept classes interesting. And while I kept hitting wall after wall in the semester, I ended up with a decent idea of the kind of evaluation that is necessary in a library environment. Plus I was lucky enough to form an interesting evaluation proposal that I hope I'll be able to actually work on in the future. The last class was possibly one of the best I've had in grad school. We, as groups, presented results of test runs of usability tests that we designed. It was actually a lot of fun hearing about various websites and people's experiences.

LIS 415: Information Organization
Or as my professor put it, "The introduction to the introduction to cataloging." Another required course that had a number of interesting rumors surrounding it. My professor sucessfully intimidated me and the rest of the class by sending out an email with the syllabus a month before the class began. But it turned out that, while there was a lot of material to cover and I'm not sure how much actually made it into my head, this was my easiest course and I had a lot of fun in it. I was really lucky and had great partners for my assignments and presentation which possibly made all the difference. I had a moment when working on one assignment and I had 5-6 classification books spread in front of me, in my frustration, I felt something that can only be described as excitement. I think I'm meant to be a cataloger. Which is why I'm taking 417 with the same professor, who sent out the syllabus for that course in early November, within a week of registration.

LIS 439: Intro to Archives
Why did I take this course? I'm still not quite sure. I think I just wanted the experience. It was too late for me to do the Archives track, though while I was interested in archives, I didn't want to work in just archives. So I settled on taking the archives track intro course that came with a 60 hour internship. I learned a lot. Archives is definitely a different beast. I would have loved to go into preservation. I'm still sure that my place is in cataloging, but I am glad I've been exposed to archives. And I'm still going to be at my internship until I leave Boston and I might possibly be helping organize an exhibit in June, which would be so cool.

LIS 493: Intellectual Freedom
I admit it. I took the course because of Library War. I've always had an interest in the topic, but the fangirl in me pushed me over the edge on this one. It was a good course to take. I know more about Copyright and Intellectual property now.For my paper in this class I looked into the censorship that happened during the Occupation of Japan after WWII and it was fascinating. Self-censorship and hypocratic installation of democracy and stuff like that. I think I have another lifelong thing to work on.

So there you have it, my fall semester as I see it after surviving it. It's definitely not a smart thing to take four courses in one term. Especially these four. But I miraculously made it out with straight A's, so I'm happy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

I know, I know. I've been completely slacking on the updates. It was that busy of a semester. But I survived and now I'm home and while I'm catching up on some sleep, I'm planning on writing a few entries looking back on the semester.

Until then, Happy Holidays.