I admittedly came into this course less than optimistic, because cataloging is really not a position that interests me. The role I currently have includes indexing legal records in a clunky system (among other tasks), and I'm definitely not interested in doing that for the rest of my life; however, understanding why and how we organize information is definitely a basic building block of LIS. It's also fascinating to see how far we have come from the days of card catalogs. I am curious to view this course through an historical lens.
One of the best parts about this course is that there are no quizzes, exams, or papers in this class. In the words of Danny, "one time I gave a pop quiz and people lost their shit." Thanks, Professor! There are no surprises and we can plan ahead (or fall a little short one week) as needed. Instead, we have a lot of reading, which is followed up with partner assignments and online responses, and also a large project at the end. Typically I am not the biggest fan of partner assignments, but this first one has been going really well. We have two weeks to complete a set of questions which direct us to various pages and resources in the Simmons library online catalog. It is aimed at getting us to see examples of the records and retrieval tools that we read about in our textbook. Danny recommended that we do it individually first and then exchange notes. I'm glad we have a chance to get a second opinion, because it's very clear from the syllabus that if we do badly on an assignment, there is no way to earn make-up credit. Danny also emphasizes the importance of being present in class every week. This seems fair, since my classes only meet once a week and missing one class means wasting a whole lot of money.
I am also learning that graduate school seems to have a lighter workload than my undergraduate program. This may also have to do with the fact that my undergrad courses were four credits each, and these are three, but I think it's also because our professors appreciate that most of us have jobs and lives and even families to look after. There are many students who have clearly come straight from an undergrad program, but a significant number of my peers are juggling multiple commitments. Danny said that our partner assignments for his class will never require us to meet in person and that you could hypothetically complete the whole exercise via e-mail. This is a big relief because I am only available for limited nights and weekends.
My week of classes ended last Thursday with a Patriots win and a beer with the best guy. Cheers to a great semester!
|Yes, our neighborhood bar has a bookshelf.|