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

Fun

MBTA Pro Tip

When I think about it now, in front of this blank word document I am typing out to any prospective SLIS students reading this blog, it had to have been around this time last year that I received my admittance letter. I can’t remember the exact date. But I can tell you I was in the network room of what at the time was my new job here in Boston. I was a part time and temporary employee; with no idea this would stretch into at least a year of work in that brown stone near the Commons. There are probably countless things that I could go back and tell myself; things that would have prepared me for the next steps and next few months after I opened my decision email from Simmons that afternoon. I think I’ve done okay without any of that hindsight advice. Maybe my future graduated self will wish to go back and inform this second semester History & Archives student of something. Right now though, the only concrete advice I…


Garden Archives

Sometimes, the semester is busy and the world is loud. The long and short of this week’s blog post is that I need a distraction…             Today’s particular break comes in the form of the Smithsonian Archive of American Gardens. According to their website, the Archive “Collects, preserves, and provides access to visual resources that document the history of gardens in America” and “Inspires new ways of interpreting garden history and design so that America’s rich garden heritage can be better understood, appreciated, and enjoyed today and in the future”. All of these are very noble and worthwhile causes. But really, I turn to this Archive to see some lush, green vignetted photography when Boston is feeling slushy and the rest of the world particularly smokey.            The collection seems to be entirely digitized, and can be browsed by state, garden structure/furniture/feature, or by type. Looking for the familiar flora of your home state? How about indulging your pastoral interests with some topiary or trellises? If you’re like me and dream about that herb garden you…


Holiday Reading

At the onset of any break, I create a mound of books that I hope to read. I know that I won’t quite get through all of them, but I make my ambitious pile nonetheless in the hopes that I might be able to squeeze in just one more book before the busyness of term begins again. Below is my booklist for the break. Happy reading! Fiction A Very Irish Christmas: the greatest Irish holiday stories of all time publish by New Vessel Press – This adorable collection of poems, songs, and short stories brought back many delightful memories of a Christmas I spent in Ireland! Fantasy The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang – I know that I am a little late to reading The Poppy War series, but after picking this up at Brookline Booksmith and starting it on the plane home, I am charmed with Rin’s grit and determination. Sistersong by Lucy Holland – I noticed this behind the counter at Barnes & Noble when picking up a Christmas present and then found…


Wellness Week

This past week LISSA – the student library organization here at SLIS – organized a week of activities to help promote wellness in the run-up to finals. Designed to facilitate relaxation, these bite-sized events were thirty minute moments every evening at 7:30 so that students could break seamlessly without needing the added stress of carving out an entire evening to practice wellness! On Monday, pet-owners and pet-lovers alike gathered to introduce their pets to their SLIS colleagues. Chris, a Ph.D. student studying accessibility in public libraries and LISSA Community Liaison, hosted the event with her two dogs Boomba and Lacey and foster dog Tripp. On Tuesday, students engaged in meditative journaling to reflect on the past semester, set goals for the semester to come, and remind themselves of their “why” for being in the SLIS graduate program. Rosie, LISSA President, provided prompts on dreamy powerpoint slides that participants could journal directly onto while the old at heart wrote out their intentions on paper. Wednesday evening turned physical as Johnna, LISSA VP of Events, helped participants…


Ode to the SLIS Lounge

Opine for gossip The long knowing microwave beeps The sound that fills the space before a bite or sip ~~~ Discussions of theoretical leaps Of job postings that best fit our skills The latest weekly crisis crawls in, seeping ~~~ It all shows the academic hills that we climb everyday Trying to understand our own desires within what the world wills ~~~ But this is the point of spaces like this, the way for us to connect, whether physical or digital we find to connect and stay ~~~ It’s multifunctional And never illogical


A Three-Part Guide to Daylight Savings

On Monday evening, or really what I would call at most late afternoon, I sat at my desk in my office building watching the sun go down. Spring forward and fall back, daylight saving time has come to an end here in the United States.             I know that I am somewhat alone in loving winter. Five lake-effect snow laden years living in Central New York will do that to a girl. But, even I felt the spike of dread at watching the sky darken at an early 4:30pm. I know that a lot of Simmons students aren’t from New England, myself included. Winter here is not the same dusting of snow that shuts down major Southern cities. Before we also start to resign ourselves to hibernation until Spring, I thought I would share my plan to make our long, cold nights a little less daunting. Maybe these three tips will make you winter people yet. We are always looking for converts! Step 1: Read. I know. I know. We are all here in the…


An Ode to Western Mass.

Western Massachusetts is one of my favorite areas to explore in my free time! Maybe I’m a bit biased as I grew up here, but it’s an area rich with history, the arts, beautiful scenery, and plenty of other things to see and do. If you are a student at SLIS West, whether new to the area or visiting to take a library course on the Mount Holyoke campus for the first time, here are some of my recommendations of things to do in the surrounding area near the SLIS West campus! If you enjoy being out in nature, whether that be biking, hiking, walking, or your preferred nature activity, there are many trails and conservation sites to spend some time basking in the outdoors. My personal favorites are the following: Hiking up to the Summit House on top of Mt. Holyoke (if you want to see the beautiful views of the valley, but can’t do the hike, you can drive and park at the top when the road is open). Check out the view…


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…


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…


Fall 2020 and Welcome Week

It’s pretty crazy to think about how different the start to this fall semester is compared to last year. At this time last year, I was moving to Boston and now the whole world is somewhat frozen with the pandemic while Simmons is not having anything on campus this fall. But that hasn’t stopped us from trying to establish a community for our SLIS students as at the beginning of the month we had a series of digital welcome events for our new students. We had students talk with professors about the upcoming year, meeting with our Simmons librarians to help with research, a meeting for students to get to know each other and chat, and we even had a drawing for SLIS clothing at the end of the week. It was a lot of fun and if any incoming students are hesitant about attending these events the next time we have them, hopefully in person next fall, I would highly recommend going to help establish connections with professors and fellow students before your grad…