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

Eras Tour (of my MLIS degree)

Graduation in less than two weeks! I feel like it’s coming tomorrow and at the same time I feel like I have a month’s worth of tasks to finish before the big day. While job hunting and revising finals, I’ve been reflecting on the three different “eras” my MLIS degree unfolded in and what I learned about myself and about my work during each of them.

First I took a whole year (summer too!) of all-remote classes as a full-time student (from Utah!). My fall semester mostly entailed almost getting a textbook-shaped tan line on my legs from reading on my deck so much. Moodle was kind enough to automatically adjust deadlines for me from Eastern Time midnight to Mountain Time 10pm with its handy dandy by-the-minute deadline countdown timer. (This feature: so clear about expectations and yet so stress inducing. Do I really need to know there are 5 days, 2 hours, 52 minutes and 12 seconds until my quiz is due?) The following semester all my classes were asynchronous, and I realized I didn’t appreciate how good I had it with my zoom classes the semester before. I learned a lot but had a hard time with scheduling, especially when Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist stopped airing on Tuesdays and I promptly lost all sense of what day of the week it was. 

In fall of 2021 I was able to make my long-awaited move to Boston! I took a semester of classes while working full time and commuting an hour on the T all the way to Everett. Working in a school while completing my coursework gave me a more real-world feel for the importance of what I was learning in my classes. A big takeaway from that semester is that charter schools sometimes have significantly longer school days than public schools (a fact that has come up during my current job search). Also if I focus very hard I CAN read pdfs of School Library Journal articles on my phone on the train for forty minutes a day. Anything to make the train ride feel productive!

Finally, I made it through the prerequisites and was able to complete what I’d been working towards: My year of practica! Real life teaching in a real life school library! I’ve reflected at length about my two practica on this blog, but they have been a joy. With only 150 hours and lots of lessons to teach, I had to go into super sponge mode to quickly and intentionally soak up the school culture and the library environment in order to be of help. I’ve built a foundation of collaborative practice during my practica that I will build on for the rest of my career. I was able to accomplish so much more than I thought I was capable of  because of the support, ideas, and feedback of my mentors. 

And now I’m almost to graduation! Hard to believe it’s almost over. Good luck with finals!