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

Classes

Saying Goodbye to LIS 439 and Hello to Beatley Library

I am about to finish the last week of my summer course, LIS 439: Preservation Management. It honestly really flew by, and I kind of wish a lot more of my classes were presented in seven-week increments like this was. Each week had one or two overarching topics, taught through numerous written lectures, videos, readings, discussion forums, and a few written assignments. I really enjoyed the practicality of the course; instead of pondering abstract concepts, we were taught the history of paper making, the chemical make-up of photographs from different decades, exactly how and why temperature and humidity aid in the deterioration of objects, and so much more.  My favorite assignment was to write a memo as though I were an archivist at  a library whose basement collection had experienced water, mold, and pest damage. We were given a very comprehensive look at the building’s layout, heating and cooling systems, recent renovations, source of collection materials, outdoor landscaping, geographic location, etc. It was fun to solve the mystery of how this damage occurred, what the…


Internship in the Outer Banks: Learning from Leaders

This past week ended with a two-day visit from the Special Collections Section Head for the State Archives of North Carolina, Judy Allen Dodson. Earlier in the week she had led a virtual monthly staff meeting, and I was impressed by how encouraging and supportive she and the rest of the archivists were. They genuinely wanted to learn more about the projects their colleagues across the state were working on and nerded-out together over new acquisitions like a collection of Civil War era photographs and sheet music from a nineteenth century Black composer. Used to the endless complaining and storm-cloud-gathering of department meetings from when I was a high school teacher, the enthusiasm for work and the curiosity about their colleagues took me by surprise.  Later that week when Judy came to visit, all of her joy for her work doubled in-person. She took the time to really listen to each staff member, asked detailed questions to understand ways she could better support each member in their specific roles, and added in doses of humor….


Interning in the Outer Banks: Personal Information Organization

Although almost a year has passed, I still remember the first Moodle discussion board topic for the course 415: Information Organization. It was my first course in graduate school, and I did not know what to expect. The discussion board topic itself asked us to classify our personal information organization style based on three criteria researchers derived that had been the subject of one of our readings that week. (Yes, you do have readings for your first week of grad school.) I struggled with this post. Not because of the content – I knew exactly where I fell along the personal organization orderliness spectrum – but because this, my level of computer file organizing, was how my classmates would first meet me.  I have returned often to the ideas in that discussion board this summer as I have worked through my internship collection. On the one hand, I have been heartened by the fact that even though the best-laid organizational plans can crumble – life, the passing of time, other unknown factors get in the…


Mental Health and Graduate School

There’s no shortage of advice about how to manage mental health as a graduate student. Googling my title returns over 52 million results. And it’s no wonder – a 2017 study found that 25% of surveyed master’s students currently experienced moderate to severe anxiety symptoms, 12% experienced moderate to severe depression, and 22% experienced high levels of stress (Allen, et al., 2022).  I wasn’t surveyed for the study, but I’ve struggled with my own mental health. Happily, I’m in a good place now and able to reflect on a few strategies that have helped me navigate my first year of graduate school: Schedule Downtime For me, it’s important to have both “sociable” downtime and “alone” downtime. Get Moving  Yoga, spin, and Zumba are my favorites, and I’m hoping to try out rollerblading this summer. Careful with Caffeine I’m currently trying to replace one coffee with a fruit smoothie a few times each week. Sleep The single best and biggest thing I can do to improve my mood and resilience is to get at least six…


Papers, Projects, and Finals – Oh My!

I hope everyone is taking care of themselves this finals season! Part of that for me is turning my heat back on since Boston has been incredibly chilly the past few weeks. I know some people call it the windy city and that is certainly correct on some days. But all the flowers have started to bloom and on my study breaks I’ve been taking walks to look at all of the new shoots starting to come up.  Speaking of study breaks, I feel like every semester I’m continuously updating my study habits. I start out thinking that I have a strong understanding of what helps me stay on top of my tasks…. And then finals roll around and I find myself mistaken. Which isn’t to say it’s been bad, I just now have a better understanding of what DOESN’T work for me and I can adjust accordingly.  Which brings me to the question, what’s everyone’s favorite study hack? As someone who has multiple 20 page papers to write, I found that if I write…


Finals Approaching

My last set of finals is approaching and I’m both nervous and excited.  But I’m not too worried about what lies ahead.  I have a few group projects and to be honest, I’m really excited to work alongside my peers for this last set of projects.  I am not the kind of person to like group projects.  But I have built good friendships and working relationships with my classmates over the past 2 years, so working together with on these last things just feels right in a way.  It’s a nice way to wrap things up. However, it has been a tough past few weeks for everyone in my classes.  There has been some illness, stress, and just general life things that get in the way.  Having people to work alongside, even though we are all dealing with these issues, helping each other cross the line, just feels right. So as things wrap up, I am excited to work together this last time with everyone and hopefully everything will finish up really nicely. Here’s to…


Future Plans

I feel like I blinked, and all of a sudden I’m registering for classes for my third and final year at Simmons! My graduate History thesis is right around the corner, and I can hardly believe it. I’m still deciding on my topic, but I think I’m starting to build a pretty good idea. It feels like the true adult world is coming quicker than ever. Speaking of, this past week I attended the annual Spring SLIS virtual career fair and got to meet with several awesome employers and get some ideas for my job prospects next spring. It’s exciting to hear about all the opportunities that are available for me when I graduate and all the places I can potentially work at.  Until then though, I’m happy to announce I got into all the classes that I wanted for next semester. I will be taking History 562 taught by the new faculty they hired, and LIS 442, one of the required archives courses. I did experience true senioritis though: I kept forgetting that my…


Overcoming Growing Pains

I am very surprised to say I am nearing the end of my first semester here at Simmons! It feels like a whirlwind, to be honest – I applied and got accepted in October, moved to Boston in December, and started school in January. I am very grateful for the people who have supported me in this big life transition from my parents to my boyfriend to the friends that I’ve made so far in my classes. I definitely believe I made a smart choice moving to the city a full month before the semester started, but nothing could have prepared me for the transition into grad school life. It might have been because I accidentally signed up for 4 courses instead of the recommended 3 or fewer, so I quickly started to drown in responsibility. About a month into the semester I had one of those existential crises where nothing I was doing made sense — why was I going to grad school anyway? Why don’t I just escape civilization? What am I doing…


Assignments and Resumes

Now is the time in the semester where everything is busy and lots of assignments are due.  These past few weeks since coming back from spring break I have had at least one major assignment due each week.  It has been a little stressful and certainly busy. But even so, the amount of pride and excitement I get when I finish these assignments is great.  I always feel so much more accomplished than I did going into them and often, I am much more confident of my own skills on whatever the topic may have been, from metadata to programming to book reviews.  It is a wonderful sense to become more confident and surer in my abilities. This is also the case with me polishing up my career materials as I creep closer to graduation.  One of the ways I did this was by attending the Resume Revamp hosted by SLA this week.  I was a great event hosted by the Special Library Association Student Chapter at Simmons where they connected students who submitted resumes…


Spring Sprint

From the basket of laundry next to my bed, to the hundreds of unread and unorganized emails in my inbox, the evidence of this semester’s time crunch is everywhere I look.          The workload from my first semester at SLIS didn’t feel like a particularly far jump from the end of my undergraduate career. The reading was heavy, and the papers forced me to slow down and remember back to the kind of academic writing I hadn’t practiced in the year I took between my graduation from Syracuse and starting at Simmons. The three classes did keep me buzzing from one day to the next. But, in a mid-March reflection, I’m realizing now that this semester has been a whole other beast.             I run, often literally, from work, to class, to my LIS 438 field placement. Each of these pieces to my schedule is vital. I can’t miss class, or else then I’ll be behind in content and deadlines. Can’t afford to miss work and still be able to order the delicious food found…