Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

New Semester Nerves

As a first Student Snippets’ blog post of the new semester, this is an admission of nerves. The first week of classes is never my favorite time of the academic year. I always feel a little lost, whether in the carefully arranged but still difficult to navigate online syllabi or when trying to find my new classrooms. This inaugural week of spring semester was hosted online. A brief but harrowing few days where I got to go back to the virtual learning environment I had escaped at the very end of my undergraduate career in 2020. We all grinned and got through it, seeing the lower half of our professors’ faces for perhaps the only time before summer arrives.

These first week jitters alone would not warrant a blog post about them. What makes me take to this word document with a lingering sense of unease is my technology class.

I have always imagined my archival ambitions through a haze of crumbling old paper and the smell of used books. It was always the History Channel meets my hometown’s library, by way of the National Treasures movies. An indulgent daydream? Absolutely. But, learning more about the array of library professions at SLIS happily grounds that lofty fantasy in the equally appealing quotidian details of the job.

What I am struggling to fit into my toolkit of the information professional is the technology aspect. I don’t like technology and it does not like me. I use it daily, like all of us do. I just chafe against the constant upgrading and planned obsolescence that is so tied to electronics through capitalism. Plus, I get really impatient when I have to wait for something to charge.

On the first day of my LIS 488 class, a requirement at least for my Archives & History dual degree, I gave myself the ranking of 1 out of 5 for love of technology. Prof. Agarwal very graciously did not hold this against me. He assuaged my irrational fears of forced conversion into some cult of Silicon Valley. Instead, this class is going to give me the tools to feel more comfortable exploring technology. I won’t be an electronic guru by the time this is all said and done. I will be walking away with a better understanding of why my electronics do what they do, and the knowledge of how technology will not only be a part of my archival future but can be a good part of it. Sitting here at the start of the next few weeks, with a notification that my laptop needs to restart for updates, I am very ready to mend my adversarial relationship with technology. If I make it through the first coding assignment waiting for me in Moodle, and all the ones after it, I will report back on my success at the end of the semester.