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

New England

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…


Welcome New Blogger – Erin

Hi everyone! I’m Erin, and this is my first semester in the DYO program at Simmons, where I’m studying at SLIS West. I grew up in Massachusetts, western Mass. to be exact! I’m quite happy to be back in the area for graduate school. I did my undergraduate studies all the way in northern New York at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, where I studied Flute Performance as well as some Music Business. I’ve always loved libraries and books, but what really spurred my interest into thinking about librarianship as a career path was a library and education internship I did at Goodspeed Musicals in their Scherer Library of Musical Theatre (located in Connecticut!). I learned so much from that experience, and it really planted the seed in my head of combining two of the things that I love, music and libraries. And here I am now! Outside of grad school, I spend much of my time with music, in one form or another. These days I play the flute for fun….


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…


Public Transport Rant: The Good, The Bad, and The Super Delayed T

Being from a small town in Florida means that for most of my life, I have had pretty regular access to a car. My high school didn’t even have a school bus option for where I lived. The closest grocery store was under 5 miles away but there was no direct bus line and if you wanted to walk it would be through 90 degree weather and 100% humidity, not my ideal afternoon out. Also subway systems in Florida just don’t exist since Florida is basically sand. So moving to Boston and having so many public transportation options is a super new concept for me. I’ll start by saying that I am very lucky to have been able to live with my cousin whose from MA and lived in Boston for a little over a year, so when I arrived in August I had a guide waiting with a Charlie Card for me. I still remember though my first T ride alone following along on my phone with google maps. I quickly learned my stops…


A Fall Outing

I went on a wonderful fall outing this past week!  Ever since I moved to Massachusetts I’ve been working on trying to explore the area more.  I research things to do and places to visit online, I ask classmates and colleagues where to go, and sometimes I just stumble across places as I go about my day.  One thing that several people told me was that I couldn’t go through a fall in New England without a trip to an apple orchard.  I’ve noticed that there is an abundance of apple orchards near where I live, and it feels like there are far more here than there were North Carolina.  This past week, I decided to take the advice that was given to me and I visited an apple orchard with my family.  We went to Tougas Family Farm in Northborough, MA.   At the farm it is currently apple and pumpkin picking season.  During other times of the year, you can pick other kinds of fruit such as strawberries (early June to early July), cherries…


Fall is Here!

Fall has arrived!  Well, technically fall doesn’t start until September 22, but it certainly feels like fall.  The weather is getting slightly colder, the leaves are beginning to change, and the fall semester has just begun (my class literally just started last night).  I must say, I really enjoy how classes do not start until September here.  Even the elementary, middle, and high schools in Massachusetts didn’t start until last week (at least that’s when they started in my area).  My entire life, school has always started in early-to-mid August, no matter what state I have lived in.  I’m really enjoying waiting until fall to go back to school.  As the seasons have started to change, I have been trying to partake in some fun fall activities.  Last weekend, I went to the Autumn Arts and Crafts Festival at the Historic Wayside Inn in Sudbury, MA.   It was a great outdoor craft fair with a ton of vendors and exhibits, and I bought some fabulous items!  There seems to be a lot of festivals in…


The Boston Marathon!

The Boston Marathon was yesterday and what a day for it! Being a new resident of the Northeast, I was not too keen on how big of a deal this was for the residents of Boston.  Of course, I have heard of the marathon, it is major, but being in the city to experience it first hand was a whole other thing.  Restaurants and bars offer free food and drinks to the runners, my local nail spa provided free manicures if you had a runner’s bib, and that’s what I noticed just walking down Beacon. I have the pleasure of living only steps away from Beacon Street (not too great for studying- those cowbells are loud!), one of the last major stretches to the finish line on Boylston. First, the weather.  Holy moly. I am not a runner, but I can imagine this wasn’t the most ideal condition for 26.2 miles of running.  What I understand is the streets are usually full of people cheering on the runners, but with yesterday’s conditions, there were still…


Adjusting to Life in New England

I have lived in nearly every part of the country except for the New England area, and it has been a bit of a transition.  Every place I’ve moved to has its own culture and has been a different experience, and I’ve loved them all in their own way.  Here are some experiences I’ve had that are unique to this region: The Driving:  I have never been more terrified on the road.  Double yellow lines apparently mean nothing here, and everyone is so aggressive on the road.  Public Transportation: Even though I have lived in cities, I’ve never lived in a city that has had a super comprehensive public transportation plan like the Boston area does.  Just today I rode the Commuter Rail, the T, and a bus.  Learning to navigate the MBTA has been an interesting learning experience though.  I’m so happy that we have the MBTA and that I can easily get in to, around, and out of Boston.  The Accent: Why is Worcester pronounced Wooster? And Quincy pronounced Quinzy?  I just can’t…


Winter in Boston:

Winter in Boston: The Autumnal colors left, and the chill air changed, carrying the scent of frosty leaves, and a crispness that makes it hard to stay outside. Here the wind sweeps in, and that combined with the wet cold makes the feeling of cold settle in your bones whenever you go outside. Everyone walks around in a bundle of coats, scarf, gloves–and yet, they are still very stylish. Fashion,it seems, still applies even when one must layer constantly.  I also found the winter weather to be very mercurial, shifting constantly. One day it is rainy and cold, another day sunny and chilly, then rainy and warm, or perhaps snowy. The snow here comes in bursts and then doesn’t stay long, it turns to ice, or is washed away in the rain. I keep finding new things to marvel at as far as the weather is concerned.