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

Boston

A Snowy Boston Day

Over the weekend, a huge blizzard hit the area and blanketed everything in snow.  I’m a born New Englander, so this weather doesn’t faze me at all.  I actually really love all kinds of storms, but especially snowstorms, since you can ski and snowshoe after.  But there is always an issue when the snow falls, and if you aren’t used to snow, you may not realize it.  Where to put all of it?  Snow stays around, especially when it’s cold.  And after the storm on Saturday, there’s was a lot of snow that’s wasn’t going anywhere. For me, I simply just strap on my boots, put on my warm jacket, and off I go.  Sure, the commute into Boston took longer and the trains had some issues, especially since some plows accidentally took out a few of the crossing guards while cleaning up (oops).  But I realized when I got to campus and chatting with fellow students, that my attitude of how normal this is, is not always the case.  For the Simmons students who…


Returning to Campus, freeform style

The sound of the train pulling up to the platform, ~~~ The squeak of metal, ~~~ The quiet and noise of the people in the ancient subway, ~~~ So many people, but with so little interaction, ~~~ The way the car weaves and bobs, ~~~ Jerking me awake from time to time, ~~~ Until my stop comes, ~~~ And I walk the streets, ~~~ Filled with busy people, frantic cars, and bored buses, ~~~ The cold air feels refreshing, ~~~ Until campus looms, ~~~ The smiles of students, ~~~ the hum of excitement, ~~~ the murmuring of studies, ~~~ and the focus of lunch, ~~~ Makes this place feel like an oasis in the city ~~~ Of learning, of fun, and of community ~~~ I’m glad to be back.


Taking a Moment to Enjoy the Semester

It feels like only yesterday that the semester started, even though I know that’s not the case.  I could get into the semantics of how short in reality a semester is, usually a mere 14 weeks, and how much shorter seven weeks are.  But debating time and how long (or what it is really) doesn’t have much of a place on a Library and Information School blog.  Unless we’re discussing the concepts of cataloging or creating dates for Metadata. This is the first semester that I have had an on-campus course, mainly due to the pandemic.  Last year they were all online and mostly asynchronous, with the exception of one that had a synchronous lecture via Zoom.  And while it was not how I originally intended to study for my MLIS, I wasn’t too bothered by it.  I had always intended to take a mix of online and in-person courses as I wanted to continue working a day-job while working towards my degree, the pandemic just made me change the percentage I envisioned with more…


Half-Time

In October, I know how I am supposed to be spending my weekends. I’m not talking about the fabled New England leaf peeping or the apple and pumpkin picking we wait all year for. I mean that mid semester rush of projects and presentations and paper deadlines that loom large over the first half of the class and rush to arrive before any of us know it. The midterm season in graduate school is less defined than its undergraduate counterpart. While I used to have midpoint tests to look forward to, now my calendar is filled with a handful of assignments worth increasingly more percentages of my total class grades. It’s less a midterm schedule and more a mounting panic at how quickly the semester runs by. I spent the first few weeks at Simmons feeling like I wasn’t doing enough. And now, I wonder if it is worth bringing my laptop to work with me so I can look for entries for my next paper’s bibliography on my commute home. With my mental and…


Confessions of a Library Card Holder

            Reader, I have a confession. I, a Simmons Library and Information Science master’s student, have lived in Boston for over half a year now without getting my Boston Public Library card. The shock! The horror. I can hear the admonishments now. But maybe you, like me, moved to a new city during this time of great lockdown and weren’t sure how libraries were available to us with their front doors firmly closed and sanitized. That is why I write to tell you of my own journey for the little plastic card and the membership it represents. I decided to remedy my lapse in patronship during one of my library science classes. No, I won’t tell which one. It’s my first semester here and I want to make a good, attentive first impression on Simmons’ venerable professors. In said unnamed class, I pulled up the BPL website and found the page for their eCard registration. The eCard is available for anyone who lives or works in Massachusetts, even if you are only here part of…


Planning Your Move: Spreadsheets, Time Machines, and Lime Skittles

With only three weeks until term begins and the annual “great lease renewal” of Boston September 1st, if you have yet to plan how you are moving yourself and belongings to your new apartment, the time has come. I moved to the city cross-country from Texas in early August and so, with 1,839 miles and nearly thirty hours in a Kia Niro hybrid worth of experience, here are a few suggestions I have about how to prepare for your move if you, like me, need to cover a long distance:  Utilize Google Sheets. There are many variables when planning a move so instead of relying on your potentially-running-on-overdrive-thanks-to-all-the-change brain to remember everything, start keeping track in Google Sheets. You can use formulas to tally costs, project budgets, make checklists, and organize it on separate tabs. It’s also a great opportunity to brush up on your Excel/GSuite skills. If you need more help, check out the resources provided from Simmons in the Technology Competencies Guidelines which was emailed out to students in mid-June.  Choose your mode…


Pancakes and Friends

  Students starting at Simmons might be completely new to the city of Boston. Although I graduate in December, it was only last fall that I started feeling like Boston is a place where I have friends. You can live in a city for months and not feel loved by those around you. I started going line dancing with friends at Loretta’s Last Call way back in September. It is Boston’s only country bar in Fenway, next to Fenway Park and House of Blues. (Check out my blog post about Loretta’s here).      This week is the start of Lent, a time when Christians reflect on how to prepare for Easter. Whether you go to church or not, pancakes are fun. I studied abroad in Ireland a few years back, and a favorite tradition I picked up from my time abroad is Pancake Tuesday (also called Shrove Tuesday). The day before Lent in the UK and Ireland everyone eats pancakes. I love this tradition, and I introduced it to my line dancing friends. A…


Moving Across the Country

In September, I moved to Boston from Texas so I could attend Simmons and try and get a real winter. I’m only 3 months in and it’s already way colder here than it ever gets in Texas. I wanted to go over some of the things that were part of the challenge of moving here and how Simmons helped me with the move. The major thing was finding a place to live which can be difficult wherever you go. Finding a comfortable space that is also affordable is a challenging process. Thankfully, Simmons has a really great listing that students can access that lists available places within the area. It took me a while but I managed to find a little place in West Roxbury that a Simmons alum owns and managed to find a great roommate. The next thing to deal with was how to get to school and figuring out public transportation for the first time. In Texas, there’s no real convenient transportation service because everybody has cars and because Texas is such…


A Break for Some Fun!

  This week, I tried to have some fun.  I was assigned three books to read this week for my YA Library Collections class I spent most of my week studying and reading! The books are: Judy Blume’s Forever; Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly; and Looking for Alaska by John Green. I gave myself a goal on Monday. If I could finish all of the readings for my Writing For Children class, and get halfway done with Looking For Alaska, then I would do something fun on Tuesday night. Howdy, cowgirl! Out I went to a country bar.    Walking from Simmons to Fenway, I had never realized how “hopping” the area is. Before heading to Fenway on a Tuesday night, I checked to make sure there was no Red Sox game. The crowds out in Fenway Park can get crazy on game night. With no game, I was good to go line dancing. Growing up listening to country music, I was really excited to learn that there is a country bar in Boston. With…


A Very Merry SLISmas

A little over a week ago, my roommate Chloe and I embarked upon a true ‘grad students living in Boston’ adventure when we went hunting for a Christmas tree! A douglas fir wasn’t really an option when we lived together in dorms, and we are both originally from suburban areas, so Christmas tree hunting usually requires a car and a series of bungee cords! Where would we even begin? We floated ordering an Uber, renting a car, begging friends and even ordering a tree to be delivered, but settled on the old fashion way: hoofing it. Chloe, my favorite person on earth, was able to locate various places to pick up the tree, mapped how long it would take us to walk to each, and ensuring that they sold tree stands. We budgeted, made sure we had the cash necessary for the purchase, threw on our raincoats, and set off (in the rain, of course).   When we arrived at the lot, we decided that something between Chloe’s height (5’3″) and my height (5’10”) would…