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

Tara Pealer

I’m a first year student at SLIS, fresh out of undergrad, and loving the adventure of living in Boston! I’ve worked as a student library assistant, student library specialist, and collections assistant, as well as a tutor and as a sales associate. I’m taking advantage of the amazing city that is Boston and visiting all the museums, libraries, and free shows I can, as well as thoroughly enjoying the Simmons community at every turn! I’m currently hazily plotting a path for after SLIS which would involve some form or user outreach and involvement or teaching information literacy in an academic setting.



Entries by Tara Pealer

  • Stress Management

    This semester’s taken a turn for the rough and stressful these past few weeks, and we’re looking Thanksgiving break in the face. Thankfully, my management professor has us each prevent in groups on a specific topic–this week, my partner and I were the ones presenting on Conflict Resolution and Stress Management. While we had a specific focus on how managers can help reduce stress in the workplace, I think that as we are running into the last couple weeks of school we can all use a fast refresher on how to manage stress. Take deep breaths Exercise, if you have time! Drink enough water! Get enough sleep! Make a plan (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tDWAYIXm1k) so you don’t stress out chaotically. Talk it out. If you need someone to talk to, my friends and I have always had great luck walking into the student lounge and announcing our problems to whoever is in there. Librarians love to talk. Try coloring or popping bubble wrap to calm down. Watch some funny videos or find some other way to have a…

  • An Event-filled Semester

    If I’m not wrong, then this semester has been stressful and crazy for everyone I’ve talked to, and I’m definitely trapped in that cycle so I’ve been a little MIA for this blog. I’m definitely looking forward to Thanksgiving break! However, the student leaders and associations have been hard at work creating and promoting events to cut the tension of the semester. Most recently, we’ve had large potluck thanksgiving event, with just about fifty people in attendance, followed by an “Illuminated Manuscript Crawl” hosted by SCOSAA and Panopticon. Besides being well attended, these events were amazingly fun and great ways for students to connect with each other. Panopticon has had a lot of great events, including hosting a SLIS art show, with at least a dozen submissions. They even had a wonderful opening on Veteran’s day which was packed. LISSA partnered with them to host a Drink and Draw to cut the tension of the semester at the end of October and the art created at that even was brought to the Art Show. PLG…

  • Lit Crawl, Book Fest, Maybe Zombies

    I would like to introduce you to the Boston Lit Crawl, an inaugural event which is occurring on the eve of the Boston Book Fest weekend. Boston Lit Crawl is happening tonight, October 13th, from 6:30 to 8:30 ish. There are 14 events, and you can either go to one event each round or crawl around getting free drinks, free food, and great company. There are events like the Wheel of Austen (Improv! Comedy! Jane Austen! Maybe zombies!), the Exquisite Corpse (remember that game you played in elementary school where someone wrote the first line and then you wrote the next and it went around? It’s like that, but it’s adults with alcohol), and a Boston Lit Crawl ‘Whose Line is it Anyway?’ for attendees to check out. And there will be free food and drinks at some places–it’s like someone crawled inside my brain and rattled around to create an event which sounds like my ideal way to spend a night. There’s also a reading at the Granbury Burying Ground to close the night….

  • Events and Banned Books

    This week has been a busy week for Student Associations: Panopticon held two meetings (I went to both! They let me decorate cookies!), SCOSSA had a brown bag lunch with Dr. Sheffield who is so interesting, SCIRRT had their welcome meeting, and UXPA also hosted a welcome meeting. However, several associations hosted events with a specific theme in mind: Banned Books Week. Every librarian, archivist, and book lover knows and adores banned books week. We get to leave our caves and shout about our love for the books that have been banned– Wait, that’s not what we did. ASIS&T hosted a Banned Books, Intellectual Freedom and Censorship panel Monday night (here’s a link to watch it!I recommend doing so!), where two professors and two of Beatley Library’s librarians came to discuss topics relating to censorship in archives, Banned Books Week, and so much more. AMIA hosted a screening of Perks of Being a Wallflower (the movie version of a book banned in a Connecticut School System) with a discussion following. PLG, SoCS and ALA-SC have…

  • Events, Classes, and Being Busy

    I don’t know about the rest of SLIS, but I like to keep busy. It’s the reason I’m working, in student leadership, and a full time student. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t have something going on. We’re about a week into the semester now, and it’s been, well, Busy. My classes only meet on Tuesday and Thursday nights, but because I work two on-campus jobs, there hasn’t been a day in the past three weeks that I haven’t been on campus for some reason or another. I’ve finally decided to master the art of making food ahead of time for classes to save money. Basically it’s pasta and chicken, but I might mix it up sometime soon. Maybe. In between classes and work, I’ve been trying to make time for fun events. As a student leader, I’ve been trying to plan my life around going to Student Association events, which I recommend everyone go to. My friends and I went to the LISSA and ASIS&T Trivia event at Thornton’s, which…

  • T-Minus Ten Days (and Counting)

    In theory, I have ten days left in the summer to chase excitement, hunt down adventure, and capture magic. In reality, there are only ten days standing between me and the semester, and I am not ready. Don’t get me wrong: I have the binders. I’ve rented the books. I’ve figured out my class and work schedule. I’ll be meeting with the rest of the LISSA leaders today to discuss our plans for the semester concerning events and other exciting plans. I even–get this–went to the Annual SLIS Retreat to learn more about the future of SLIS as a school and as part of Simmons College as a whole. I know I can handle classes, though I’m taking Database Management, which is a different kind of approach to information than I’ve taken before. And I know I love what I do and where I work. I’m excited for my classes and for the kind of work I expect to be doing in them. So, technically, I’m more ready for this academic year than I have…

  • Moving Day: A Preview

    It’s almost halfway through August, which should mean that anyone moving into or out of Boston should be planning how to attack Move In Day. Facebook just told me that this time last year, I was trying to convince family and friends to do the heavy lifting by offering them pizza and alcohol. That’s approximately as much planning as I did. I didn’t even order the pizza until we were done moving things in. I did figure out how not to move on ‘move in day’ by taking a train to last year’s orientation and crashing at my older sister’s house. For those of you moving into Boston, Move In Day officially begins September 1st. Boston is a college city, and college students are always moving. According to a real estate article from 2014, Beacon Hill has an 80% turnover rate for apartments. In 2010, a little over 9000 people lived there. So imagine 7,200 people trying to move in about one square mile from one apartment to another, and you get a pretty solid…

  • Reminiscing on Belonging

    Sometimes it takes a while to feel like you belong somewhere and that you’re on the right path. Sometimes you search for reasons and moments and days where you can puzzle together hints that you aren’t chasing a silver lining that isn’t there. Sometimes it takes a costume contest, two glasses of wine and a lot of fake confidence to find those signs. I applied to Simmons sight unseen. The first time I saw Simmons I was applying for a job at the writing center and then rushing off to meet my roommate for the first time. The next time I saw it I was at orientation. Simmons, as a campus, had a hard time making an impression on me, and at orientation, since I’m a notorious introvert, making conversation was pretty hard. We talked about the weather and where we were from. Invigorating discussions. I like to joke that when I saw the short hair and quirky dresses that everyone was wearing, I knew I was in the right place. My old boss, when…

  • Beach Daze

    I went to the beach this week. Word of advice?  Make sure you apply as much sunscreen as humanly possible; and always re-apply it after swimming. My back could make Taylor Swift’s lipstick jealous, though I put on sunscreen pretty often. We went to Revere Beach, which holds the distinction of being the first public beach in the nation, having been established in 1896. The ride out to Revere isn’t bad–if you’re like me, you catch the C or the D and ride to Government Center, then hop on the Blue Line to Wonderland (which, by the way, is actually closer to the beach than the Revere Beach stop. New England…what can you do?)–and the ride home is pretty relaxing too, if you time it right to avoid Red Sox traffic. Revere Beach is pretty quality for a non-ocean beach. Depending on where you set up, the sand is pretty clear of debris and rock, the water is full of seaweed but not super murky, the downside is that the water is absolutely freezing, because…

  • Wandering Boston Gardens

    Since the spring semester ended, I started a new job, Boston got hit by a heat wave, and I’ve been bouncing back and forth from Boston to CT to handle a few things, like getting an air conditioner and getting my dog vaccinated. However, because it is finally summertime, I’ve been doing my best to walk around Boston and just get to know more of the city. Recently, I’ve been wandering aimlessly and stumbling into some of Boston’s cultivated green spaces. For example:  (On the top is the Rose Garden near Simmons, and the bottom is in the financial area near Downtown Crossing) My undergraduate degree in American Studies focused heavily on the history of the environment and environmentalist movements of New England, so I’m always fascinated by these green spaces. A pretty amazing book that discusses Boston’s green spaces in particular is Michael Rawson’s Eden on the Charles. Rawson takes a serious look at green spaces like the Boston Common and this economic, socio-cultural and historical influences which shaped it from an area for cows…

  • Salem In A Day

    My semester ended last Tuesday so, on Thursday, my friends and I went out to Salem for the day. It’s a fast, cheap trip (14 dollars for a round trip ticket on the commuter rail!) and about thirty or so minutes from South Station to the Salem MBTA station. We basically just wandered around the central tourist part of Salem, hitting up the Witch Dungeon museum, which was kind of corny but in that nice tourist-y way. They did a reenactment of one of the trials and then lead us on a tour of a replica dungeon, and discussed the history of the jailing of the witches. We then wandered down to the Peabody Museum, which was amazing and rich in both classic and maritime themed art and newer, more modern pieces. If you haven’t been, the offer a student discount and it’s really affordable to go in. Of course, spending the whole day in Salem, we had to grab lunch. If you’re looking for good food and a nice environment, I would recommend the…

  • Keeping Busy

    Yesterday, my mom finally came up to Boston to visit me, so I did what any normal daughter would do: I dragged her out to dinner with my two best friends and paid the tab. We went to Walhburgers, which, by the way, was amazing. The food was delicious, the atmosphere was low key and perfect for chilling with close friends and family, and the staff was fun and relaxed. The drink selection was pretty good too, though their online menu did not match their in restaurant menu. That was only part one of my plans for her birthday. I also got her a book on Mark Twain that a friend picked up at ALA Midwinter and highly recommended, and we’re going to be going out today or Saturday for a fun, relaxing day at the local malls. My friends are worried about how I’ll manage to get all of my homework done, and despite my amazing time management skills, I understand their worry, because I’m also wondering the same thing. I usually pull through,…

  • Sunshine and Seventy-Five

    Today, as a friend put it, is the “First Nice Day In Boston”. Although my phone is trying to tell me it is partly cloudy, the skies are a clear blue, the 75 degree temperature is perfect, the grass is a lush green and the trees and flowers are in bloom. You can almost forgive mother nature for turning Boston in this two weeks ago: (Almost) At any rate, the weather has turned from winter to spring, and it is finally gorgeous enough out to just start walking everywhere again. This is wonderful, especially considering the fact that my commute home takes me through Fenway and Kenmore, and the Boston Red Sox opened last week for the season. As much as I’m a fan, I’m waiting excited for those nice, relaxing commutes in the summer when there are no games and there are a lot less undergraduates. (Do I sound like a grumpy old graduate student yet? I’ve been working on it.) While I don’t have plans for this weekend–yet!–I’m happy to force my friends…

  • Events, Elections, and Even More

    This week was a little intense. I had completely new material to learn in tech class on Monday, two papers due Tuesday, four hours of volunteering at the career fair on Wednesday, and classes to pick out for my registration time on Friday morning. Between that, I had plans to come home to pick up my professional reimbursement check and plans to make with old friends I hadn’t seen in a while. This semester has been like that a lot…every other week. One week I have free time, I’m relaxed and I feel like I have time to breathe. The next week I’m so stressed out that I’m surprised that I can find time to sleep. But there’s plenty that’s exciting going on in SLIS right now. We’re about 25 days from the end of the semester, student elections just closed, and there are so many events happening in the next few weeks that it’s hard to keep track everything! Just in the last two weeks there were four or five different career focused events….

  • Homework Craze(d)

    There’s been a little radio silence from me in the past few weeks, but it wasn’t intentional. It’s just that the semester decided to get ridiculously busy. In the past two weeks, I’ve learned javascript over the phone, shown my friends how to write javascript for an assignment, written 12 double spaced pages and four single spaced pages, taken a quiz, and all around tried to keep ahead on my homework. It’s been a very busy few weeks. However, Friday I was able to start to get ahead on my homework, which was a blessing and a half. April, for whatever reason, seems to be a little less crazy, though there’s still a lot to do. For 403, besides the third assignment and the final 25 page paper, I signed up as part of an extra credit Usability team. For 453, I finished my tweets and usage statistics assignment early but still have the final policy to write and put together. 488 still has a paper, the final webpage, some graphics work and a relational database assignment to get started on.  Oh, and Camp NaNoWriMo…

  • Voting in the (ALA) Presidential Election

    I’m not saying that I don’t care about the current Nation Presidential Elections. However, I’m an independent registered in Connecticut,  which means I don’t get a vote until November 2017. There is one election I can vote in, and it’s the ALA elections, and I recommend that every ALA member (even students!) vote. If voter turnout is low, the elections can get really tight. The ALA website has a lot of great links and information, and I recommend doing your background research on the candidates. Their biographies and positions are all stated clearly on the website, and the three presidential candidates each have websites for people to view. There are three positions to vote for in this election cycle: President, Treasurer, and Councilor-at-Large. You can even do all of your reading when you’re voting on the website.  There’s even a few Simmons Alumni running to fill some of the 34 vacant Councilor-at-Large positions! I worked at the Jim Neal table for ALA Midwinter, but I got to learn about and interact with plenty of the…

  • (Family) History Hunting

    Last week, my grandfather called up my mother, who called up me because I live in Boston. He needed a favor. For years, my grandfather has been trying to hunt down family records to find out where the family immigrated from in Ireland, and he was able to trace them back to Boston sometime in the early 1870’s. Boston has the original records of marriage and ship arrivals in the Massachusetts State Archives, which is on the UMass campus. He was hoping I could find some of the original records concerning the marriage of my great-great-great grandparents, and maybe any records of their arrival. Of course I said yes. He also said the boring grandfatherly stuff you’d expect him to say like “Don’t let it distract you from your schoolwork” but I have no control when it comes to research. I did find an 1871 marriage record, and I do have a copy of it which gave him extra information (and then he pulled me off of it because “you need to focus on your…

  • Spring Break!

    Today is the first day in two weeks that I haven’t woken up at or before 7 in the morning. Now, I know this is “normal adult behavior” but as a 22 year old grad student, it’s not something I appreciate or normally do. I’ve been getting up at this sort of ridiculous hour because these two weeks have been absolutely packed with stuff to do. For example, last week’s schedule: Monday: Class and work Tuesday: Class and work and class Wednesday: laundry, cleaning part of the apartment, and then work Thursday: Blogging and then spending most of the day at the MFA Friday: Learning the usability testing then watching most of Fuller House for a binge watching party Saturday: work Sunday: work Usually I have one day of the week where I can stay home and focus on school work, but up until today, which is my first day of spring break (grad school schedules are awesome for scheduling super long breaks), I have been absolutely booked. I have had a lot of fun…

  • Nothing Much

    I haven’t done anything blog worthy this week. My friend and I took her cat to a free vet clinic for a check-up, I went to school and work, and I paid all of my bills. Yesterday I did laundry. No one wants to hear, read, or talk about those things. I don’t even feel like writing about them. The end of the week looks exciting, though. My friends and I will be spending Friday binge watching all of Fuller House and probably not getting completely drunk. I’ll probably be going to the MFA to see the new acquisition of Frida Kahlo. I might do some cleaning to make my apartment presentable. I probably won’t buy more than two cups of the Smoked Butterscotch Latte (soy milk, no whip) from Starbucks. This is all in the future, however. Which, honestly, leaves me with absolutely nothing to talk about. There was a lunch event with a professor who talked about ways in which the LIS field has limited its discourse through language choice, teaching method, and…

  • I went to Harry Potter world

    Okay, I didn’t really. I went to Harry Potter’s World at Beatley Library. A little bit closer to home and a lot less expensive. Libraries are a great place for free events. What is Harry Potter’s World at Beatley Library, you might be asking? Well, Harry Potter’s World is a travelling event put on at libraries across the nation by the National Institute of Health’s National Library of Medicine. It combines elements of the world of Harry Potter, from Fantastic Beasts to Herbology, with a real world perspective of the history of science concerning those elements. It compares Harry’s experience with something like Immortality with the historical search and medical science behind the same topic. Yesterday the exhibit opened with an event involving the Sorting Hat, Wand Making, S.P.E.W (Society for Promotion of Elfish Welfare) and, of course, Dumbledore. I was sorted, thankfully, into Hufflepuff, and collected free items from the event, including a Hufflepuff pin, a Hogwarts pin, a S.P.E.W pin, and a fake tattoo of the spell ‘Riddikulus!’ The wand making station  followed…

  • Advice from the Advisor in Residence

    Simmons LIS is really lucky to have an amazing support staff working in the dean’s office to make the best of opportunities for student looking for career advice. Currently, the student support staff is working to arrange the career fair and other events to assist students, like myself, in improving their resumes and interview skills to appeal to today’s job market. One of these opportunities is meeting with the Advisor in Residence, Amy Ryan. Amy Ryan was the first female president of the BPL, and, among many other accomplishments, graciously volunteers her time to offer advice on resume, skill building, networking, and interviewing to SLIS students. She has meeting times set up for individual meetings, holds group lunch meetings to discuss the job market and other LIS topics, and actively engages with the students to help them network and find positions. Have I mentioned that one of my favorite things about Simmons is how career focused their program is? Long story short, I signed up for a meeting with Amy Ryan for Thursday to ask…

  • Color Our Collections

    Anyone who’s set foot into a bookstore recently has spotted the latest trend in bookselling: the adult coloring book. There’s ocean scenes, fandom pages, and kaleidoscope images. There are funny ones, spiritual ones, and calming ones. Long story short, adults have been given a mass market way to say “it’s acceptable for me to color too!” And, when it comes to trends in the book industry, libraries and archives like to be included. Which brings us to the latest initiative sweeping archives across the nation–“Color Our Collection”. I first ran into the concept when browsing through the Librarian and Archivist tumblr community, when I saw a post about how the Bodleian Libraries (at the University of Oxford) is inviting people to add color to their rare book images. However, they’re not the only ones. A quick google search will pull up results from the Digital Public Library of America, the New York Public Library, and the Stanford Libraries. Even the Smithsonian is participating in the fun! Okay, but real talk: what do they plan on…

  • On Hobbits and Morning Classes

    I woke up early on Monday morning– –after hitting the snooze button for twenty minutes and silently yelling at myself to put down the phone and make breakfast, that is. These past few weeks, save a few days of work and ALA Midwinter, I have had the privilege to sleep in until 9 or 9:30, laze around for half an hour, eat cereal, then another half hour later I’d make some toast, and then, an hour later, I’d make an actual breakfast with actual substance. By the time I had finished that, it was lunch time and the cycle could begin again. I have long ago accepted the fact that I am probably a hobbit. However, hobbits don’t have morning classes. I have two 9 AM classes this semester, which means that my hobbit-esque schedule is irreparably broken. Waking up at 6:00 am? Definitely something I have to re-accustom myself to. Luckily, my first class of the semester, LIS 488 (one of the options to fill the technology requirement), I have with two of my…

  • ALA Midwinter

    A scene: You walk into the Boston Convention and Exhibit center. It’s 7:30 on a Saturday morning, and the sun is still struggling to break through the dawn and clouds. You rush to the table you’re staffing for the day, check in, and then head over to pick up your pass. You made it. You’re at ALA Midwinter. It’s official. You have a pass and everything. They even gave you a free tote! And then, as you’re heading back to the table, you see it. A wonderland. A dream come true. A place better than Neverland. It makes you feel how Cinderella must have felt looking upon the Prince’s Castle. You’ve caught your first glimpse of the ALA Midwinter Exhibit Hall. Above the crowd of stations and booths, rise recognizable signs for Ebsco, JStor, and McFarland. Hidden in this huge arena, you know, reside the numerous tables for Penguin and Random House. Authors and illustrators are preparing for signings. Free books, posters, and tote bags are just within reach. Already, the scene is alive, bustling…

  • New Year, New Conference

    Happy 2016! I hope everyone had a good break and is ready to face the New Year! I spent my break back home for a couple weeks, chilling with my family and my puppy, catching up on netflix shows, and generally destressing after my first semester as a grad student. My friend and I went to a local art museum/historic house, and I ended up antiquing with my father and sister, both of which were interesting and fun. My family and I also went to see Star Wars together. I didn’t do much beyond, well, relax. With the close of 2015 being rounded out with a game of Heads Up and a Taylor Swift music video (and wine), the start of 2016 is pretty packed. I picked up a friend from the airport, met her cat, cleaned my apartment, and started to round up scholarships to apply for. Boston itself is prepping for the influx of librarians and information professionals for ALA midwinter this weekend, which is beyond exciting. The official conference runs Friday to…

  • Finished with Flying Colors

    I officially finished every assignment for this semester on Tuesday, and I’m currently only waiting on one grade to find out my GPA for my first semester in Library Science School, in order to humble brag on Facebook. I’ve returned all my books, organized all my notes, and printed the last thing I’ll print for this semester. And as exciting as that is (Yay! I’m done!) I can’t say that this hasn’t been a whirlwind semester. I’m still getting used to public transit, I keep forgetting to do my laundry, and the world of library science is much larger and cooler than I expected. I can definitely say I’m happy with where I am. With the first semester winding down, some of my friends and I were talking about why we chose Simmons. For most of my friends, who are archives students, the scale was easily weighted in favor of Simmons because it’s the number one school for archives in the nation. Another friend said that she decided to go to Simmons because of the…

  • Expecting Nothing More or Less

    It’s the end of the semester. I have two assignments left, two days of work, and four days. I’m trying not to stress out. However, looking at the semester, I’m trying to make sure that I’ve achieved the one goal I set out for myself: To Have No Expectations. I like to theme my school years. Junior year, for example, was the Year of Yes, and I said yes to every opportunity I could, from entering the honors program to becoming a head tutor. Senior year was my Year of No, and that year I did my best to not add extra work to my overfull schedule. Entering Grad School and moving to Boston, however, required a new focus. I’d learned a lot between the yes year and the no year, and I knew what I could handle without freaking out. So this time around, I decided that my focus would be to have no expectations. I wouldn’t expect classes to be difficult or easy. I wouldn’t expect myself to always have it all together….

  • 6 Assignments in 12 Days: The Final Two Weeks

    For those wondering, I did win NaNoWriMo. I’m currently in the final throes of the semester, with a LibGuide, a presentation, a homework assignment, 2 discussion posts, 2 annotated bibliographies, and a five-minute instruction session standing between break and me. It’s a lot of work, but I’m sure if I focus and crack down, I’ll get everything done without being stressed. So, of course, this weekend I’ve made plans to go to the Boston Public Library Book Sale and go Christmas shopping. I’m sitting in the SLIS lab co-working right now, and trying to not stare outside at the Simmons Green Cupola against the brilliant sky blue background. With winter break fighting its way toward us, and the end of the semester nigh, I have to keep reminding myself to focus on completing tasks and paying attention to the present here and now. Here are some of my tips for refocusing attention from ‘four weeks of no school’ to ‘6 assignments and 12 days left to get everything done’. Co-working An extensive rewards system, i.e:  ten minutes…

  • The Joys of Co-Working

    “If you have a friend you like to spend time with, but also want them to have their dreams to come true, co-work. Accomplish your dreams together.”–Hannah Hart One of the biggest problems I find myself facing when I’m trying to complete schoolwork is the fact that I let myself decide that I’m not in the right mood to get anything done. I could be in a sleepy mood, and who wants to work then? Or I could be too awake to do work. Or none of the Spotify stations are playing music which I can get work done to.  When I don’t ‘feel’ like getting work done, I can have a million and one excuses. Now, as a lot of people know, one of the fixes for this is to set up a space where you get work done. Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but, although I love my apartment, it’s small. My desk has a mix of school books, scarves and bills on it. It’s not, currently, a friendly workspace. Another,…

  • Attending a SLIS How To Panel

    I’ve been to conferences before, so when one of my friends expressed an interest in going to the How To Attend a Conference event put on by SLIS groups, I was a little hesitant. It wasn’t that I didn’t find the topic interesting. It’s that when you do something once, you kind of assume you know how to do it. I went to a national conference. I presented for a whole fifteen minutes. I had it down pat. But I’m a sucker for peer pressure and free food, so I went with her. I’m so glad I went. It made me address some of my preconceived notions. One, there’s a difference between attending a National Conference as an undergraduate. When you go to a conference as an undergraduate, no one really expects anything out of you. You’re like a little baby to people who are Professionals In Their Field. They love that you’re so excited but they know that you don’t know half as much as them. Two, there’s a difference between an academic conference…

  • NaNoWriMo and Me

    For most of the school year, I struggle with my time management skills. It’s not that I don’t have the skills, but rather that I struggle to effectively use them. I have planners and notebooks and generally know of the syllabus and the schedule I should be on to get everything done. I have a tendency to ignore all of them in favor of doing other things, which, often, are not actually productive. This, however, completely changes in the month of November. November is NaNoWriMo. I’m very passionate about NaNoWriMo. I’ve won the official NaNo every year since 2013. For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. It occurs in the month of November when a bunch of completely crazy people, myself included, decide to write fifty thousand words in 30 days. This averages out to 1,667 words per day. It’s a lot of writing, and, to get it all done requires a lot of planning. I haven’t stayed up past midnight yet to get homework done or get a head start on my…

  • Presentations: Or, the overwhelming fear you’re doing it wrong

    I love to give presentations. Give me a PowerPoint or Prezi, a somewhat captive audience, a chance to pretend to organize my notes, and I’m off. My philosophy for presenting is ‘if you want to make a splash, you’ve got to jump’. For me, that means is that when I start a presentation, I go into it believing that the most important part of a successful presentation is the actual presenting. If I go into a presentation knowing everything, having an exact plan, but get nervous and stumble or get mentally disorganized, I feel like I’ve negated any work I’ve done. My confidence is derailed completely. Other people, I know, feel confident in their presentation if they’ve collected and organized all the knowledge they wanted to get across. They just hate the presenting part. I’m flashy. I’ve got the substance, sure, but flash is where it’s at for me. I did a presentation last week which I kicked off by handing out two jars of m&m’s to the closest guesses of the number of book…

  • The Fraud Police and the Real Adults

    This semester I’ve had trouble finding time to read books for my own personal delight. There’s the Excitement of A New City and of My First Semester As A Graduate Student, and the stress of When Will Someone Find Out I Don’t Know What I’m Doing?, all of which have taken over most of my time. It’s about halfway through the semester now. No one’s noticed yet that I’m making it up as I go. I’m getting worried. In her book, The Art of Asking, Amanda Palmer describes that feeling as ‘The Fraud Police’. The Art of Asking, which is the only book I’ve read this semester in full (though I’ve read it religiously) is about asking for help, and about accepting help. It’s about flowers and donuts. It’s about a lot of things, really. I have the section on ‘The Fraud Police’ underlined and highlighted. It helps to hear other people tell you that they’re also making it up as they go along. Amanda Palmer’s book cover For most of my life, I’ve been…

  • That’s not this week, is it?

    -A statement said by me about all my assignments so far. A major part of my first semester at Simmons has been deadlines. Beyond the usual multiple assignment due dates carefully written in color coding in my planner, there’s the days I have to meet with group members (group members being new to a highly independent English major, but definitely welcomed), and, finally the important due dates of TOR and the LIS Program Planning Sheet. Both of which are due on the same day, and both of which were a little nerve wracking. The TOR(Technology Orientation Requirement) had been a breeze for me, until I reached the HTML coding section and a tiny monster inside of began to insist that I had no clue what I was doing. Which, notably, is the point of TOR. It exposes students to technology they may have some trouble with. Anyway, I shut down at that point, and haven’t looked at it since. I just need to sit down and allow myself to not understand something, to accept that,…

  • A Fine Balance

    If you’re a junior or senior in undergrad, it is likely that by now you have friends in grad school. Your grad school friends seem like they have their lives together. They know what they are doing, and what they want to do, and how to get there. (This is a lie.) And it may seem, to you, as it did to me, that there are two types of grad school students. Type A, we’ll call them, is the type who is always studying. You haven’t seen them in months. You haven’t even seen them on Facebook in a while. They are doing well, you know, because they have always done well, but their entire life is now centered on completing their studies. You admire their dedication and passion, and have no clue how they manage to keep it up. Type B, on the other hand, seems to always be doing “The Things You Wish You Were Doing.” They’re the ones with pictures of fancy food they made on Instagram. They went to that supercool…

  • The Weeding Monster

    I am good at weeding. I’d go as far to say that I like weeding. Weeding, to me, is a relaxing way to organize, understand, and address the usage of not only a library’s book collection, but my own as well. I look at the book to see if it’s been read, if I would want to read it, if I would read it again, if I really want to keep it, and, finally, if there’s a place I can give it to improve the chance of it being used. Books that don’t make the ‘cut’, and are removed from my shelf, get donated to book sales, or, if it’s a textbook in good or new condition, with relevant material, donated to the academic library I used to work at. I also give children’s books to my five year old niece and other books to my friends if they want them. Cue, now, the looks I got from my LIS 401 classmates when I say this. How could I? Why would I? To that I…

  • Mixing Introversion and Group Projects

    I come from a family of extroverts. They’re loud, they’re fun, and they’re friendly. They’ll stop to talk to you on the street. They’ll have a conversation on the train with a stranger. They’ll do their best to make you feel included. I’m an introvert. (Buzzfeed keeps insisting that I’m an ambivert. But it also once sorted me into Ravenclaw when I’m Pottermore sorted as a Hufflepuff, and huffle-proud of it. So I question the legitimacy of their quizzes.) I don’t believe that you should ever talk to someone on the train, unless you know them. I know that the tried and true New Englander way to say hello to someone on the street is to barely make eye contact and keep walking as you say “Hi-How-Are-You-I’m-Good.” Of course, I’m not alone in this in the library profession. A majority of LIS people are introverted as well, though there are a good deal of extroverts who are wonderful to be around. In my 401 Foundations class, we discussed how the Myers-Briggs test can be used…

  • I Can’t Use GPS

    I got lost this week. I mean, technically, since I have my phone on me 24/7, I wasn’t really lost, but I was doing a really good impression of it. I moved to Boston to start the fall semester a few weeks ago, so I haven’t gotten the hang of the city yet. I was running…not late, exactly, but there was some kind of issue affecting the E line, so I got off at Hynes. My best friend, on days she wanted to walk, would get off there. She and I had walked that way once, and she had shown me some of her favorite sites on the route. I had planned to be about an hour early anyway–no big issue if I took a walk, right? The walk would hardly add fifteen minutes to my commute. I got out of the Hynes stop and got lost immediately. At first, I went the wrong direction. Twice. Then, after consulting my GPS, I realized I had no clue where I was, since my phone was taking…