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

Real World

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…


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…


SLIS Faculty Finds a Silver Lining to 2020 and Wins Award

Creativity – albeit forced creativity – became the order of the day when teachers and programs pivoted to online learning for the end of the 2020 and the entire 2020-2021 school years. In recognition of the optimism and innovations of the faculty, Simmons dedicated a $10,000 Presidential Grant from the Davis Education Foundation to a Post-Pandemic Innovative Teaching Award, colloquially called the “Silver Linings” Award. Out of more than thirty applications, eighteen faculty members were recognized, including SLIS’s own Professor Lisa Hussey. Professor Hussey was recognized for her implementation of a flipped classroom to foster meaningful remote engagement and to engender class community even from afar. An initial hurdle for Professor Hussey was imagining how to transition her course Reader’s Advisory, built around class discussions of nine novels and the application of genre theory, to a remote setting. Although Professor Hussey had taught other courses virtually, she never imagined this course in a remote learning setting. However, thanks to the success she had with transitioning it online, Professor Hussey plans to offer the class virtually…


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…


More Statistics!

I was introduced to the fascinating and overwhelming world of statistics in my Collections Development class last year.  I used data from the US Census and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners for an assignment that and got to see a wealth of data about all aspects of libraries.  I loved doing that work, so I was thrilled to have another statistics-based assignment for my YA class.  This time, I have a new source: the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MDOE).  The MDOE has a ton of statistics about public and charter schools in Massachusetts, including a breakdown of student enrollment by race, gender, and ethnicity; the amount of money spent per student and where that money comes from; standardized test results; and average class size.  There is also attendance and discipline information, as well as information about advanced coursework opportunities.  Each school also has an “accountability profile” which rates it in relation to other schools in the state.  This information is very useful, but also very overwhelming.               Luckily, the assignment has clear directions of what information is needed.  It involves…


Staying Positive

So we are a few weeks in to the break between the Spring 2020 Semester and the Summer 2020 Semester, and it’s obviously a bit different this time around with COVID-19.  Last year around this time I was on a trip with my family, and this year we’re in the middle of a pandemic and Massachusetts is still under a stay-at-home advisory.  One thing I’ve thought a lot about during the past few weeks is stress caused by the outbreak, and the importance of staying positive.  Here are some of my tips for staying positive and coping with stress during this difficult time: Remember that this is only temporary and you are not alone! Maintain a sense of routine!  As much as I love staying in my pajamas, I have a more positive attitude when I get up, get dressed, and go about my everyday routine.  Take a break from COVID-19 news, media, and other pandemic-related content.  I disabled news notifications on my phone a while ago, and I’ve been trying to limit myself from…


Summer Job – Something New

Today I filled out my paperwork for a new job, which is so exciting! I will be a personal shopper at Stop & Shop, working in the Peapod home delivery department. Although the semester is coming to the end, I’m excited to have a new beginning. I am not taking summer classes, so a job will give me something to do this summer. Except for a few forms to be signed for practicum, I am all done with the semester! I got my last grade back for my online technology class a couple days ago, and I had my final meeting with my supervisors for practicum yesterday. It feels so weird thinking about how the semester is over now, after working so hard. Thinking about those students at the elementary school in Waltham, I am so sad that I missed out on a whole month in school with the kids. I am happy that I still saw the Kindergarten students I got to teach my 4-lesson unit with on Google Meets, but it isn’t the…