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

SLIS West

Wrapping Up Two and a Half Years

Megan Ondricek

Now it really is my last week of class and internship. I’ve watched my long list of school things to do slowly dwindle down to the final item: a paper for metadata due on Monday. Once that is turned in, I’ll be finished. No more homework, no more classes, no more trips to Massachusetts. It has been an action-packed semester that has ended with a bang: last week’s tote bag ceremony at which I was honored as the recipient of the Terry Plum Leadership award, our conference presentation at CLA on Monday, and a part-time job offer at Fairfield University! I find myself in the bewildering position of having achieved everything I set out to do (and more) and feeling a tad overwhelmed and not sure what to do next. My time at Simmons has wrapped up in a manner far more exceptional than I imagined and I feel breathless – as if looking around and thinking, “did I really just do that?” To be honest I also feel like I want to crawl into…


It’s Not Easy Being Green

Megan Ondricek

My senioritis went out the window this week as my schedule really started heating up. I’m currently involved in two group projects: one for my online Metadata class and the other for a conference presentation! Way back in January, Eric Poulin, SLIS West program director and instructor for my User Instruction class, asked me if I’d be interested in presenting at one of the state library conferences with some other students. I said yes, of course, and nothing much happened until last week. Our proposal had been accepted for the Massachusetts Library Association conference to be held on May 21, but then Eric found out (unbeknownst to him) that we were also on the schedule for the Connecticut Library Association conference on April 29! Eek! So now I feel like I’m drowning in virtual group meetings and deadlines and everything is coming up so quickly. Fortunately, I just taught the last class for my internship this morning so at least that part of my work load is winding down. All told, I taught 8 sessions…


Enjoying the Journey

Megan Ondricek

As the semester goes on I continue to feel very pleased with the way that it has turned out. Taking that two-week preservation course at the very beginning was the best thing I could have done. I enjoyed the topic more than I thought I would, and it left me with just one class to worry about for the rest of the semester! It does feel a little strange to not be driving up to South Hadley every Saturday, but I am thrilled to have my weekends back and to spend them with my family. It is a good thing too, because the weekly class schedule for metadata makes all the assignments and discussions due on Monday – which means I’m pretty busy over the weekend. Fortunately my internship makes up for the missed classroom interaction and sociality I enjoyed up at SLIS West. On Thursday I got to observe Matt, the senior instruction librarian, teach the class that I’ll be teaching next week! The lesson plan, activities, presentation and materials are already provided for…


My Last Rodeo

Megan Ondricek

It’s been over a month since I last posted on the blog so Happy New Year everyone! I did survive last semester’s final week and I’m really proud of what I accomplished but boy was it tough. I needed a good break after that which is why I took a little hiatus from the blog. But now I am back in the saddle for what will be my last Simmons SLIS rodeo! In fact, I’ve been back in the saddle since January 10th which was the first day of the two-week long preservation course up at SLIS West. We met from 9-4, Thursday-Saturday for two weeks in a row and it was a blast. It was a large class too – probably the biggest I’ve had face to face – with a mix of students from Boston and SLIS West. I got a hotel in the area both weekends and it almost felt like a mini vacation. Preservation was so fascinating and what it did most of all was give me another “lens” through which…


Keep On Keeping On

Megan Ondricek

Well I survived “hump week” even though I had to drive up to class and back (and give a presentation) on about three hours of sleep. If you’ve been reading the other posts on this blog I think you’ll recognize a common theme: school is really hard and busy right now and we’re all exhausted. Actually I gave myself a tiny break from school work the first part of this week, mainly because I had so much housework and other things to catch up on. It was nice to have a short breather, but I am back at it today because the end of the semester is going to come up VERY quickly. At the SLIS West office on Saturday we had a special day-in-the-life guest speaker: Amanda Pizzollo! Amanda was the SLIS West blogger before me and graduated the same year that I started. It was great to see her again (I am kicking myself that I did not get a photo for the blog) and hear all about her job at Amherst College…


Hump Week

Megan Ondricek

I’ve dubbed this week “hump week” because I have major assignments due in BOTH of my classes on Saturday. They are the last assignments before our final projects, so it’s the last “hump” of the semester before the final hump. As such, this will be a brief post just to check in and confirm I’m still alive after last night’s adventures of writing papers and monitoring a child with a bad case of croup. I’d like to say it gets easier as you progress in your program and get into the rhythm of schoolwork, but that hasn’t been the case for me. Each semester has brought fresh new challenges, and each has necessitated some late nights and bouts of stress and anxiety. The fact that getting your library degree might be your dream or passion doesn’t make it any easier, but it does make the work more meaningful. We are more than halfway through the semester (only four classes left!) and it is just flying by. If my spring schedule shakes out as planned and…


Fall Beckons!

Megan Ondricek

My penultimate semester at Simmons has begun and the summer is officially over. I’m at this stage of my school journey in which things are beginning to feel very repetitive. Here I am: getting up before 6 am every Saturday, driving the same route to South Hadley, Mass., stopping at the same places for gas and a bite to eat, walking the same paths to familiar classrooms, seeing the same faces, eating the same lunches at the SlIS West office…. This is not to say that there’s nothing unique about this semester, just that it’s begun to feel very routine. In many ways, though, this semester is unprecedented. For the first time, both of my kids will be at school for some portion of the day, giving me chunks of dedicated homework time in the mornings. The kids’ school schedules force all of us to be up and at ’em fairly early so there will be more discipline and more routine. And I’m starting this semester with more planning, motivation, determination, and better personal organization…


Third semester: It’s a wrap!

Megan Ondricek

I’m all done with my third semester at SLIS West!!! Even though my courses this semester were in many ways “easier” than my others, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such a massive sense of relief. There was a lot going on in my personal life these past few weeks that made the end a major struggle. For example, the first thing I did once classes were over was to finally take my poor ailing five-year old to the doctor and find out he has a double ear infection (ouch!). I am a worrier by nature, and two things guaranteed to create a lot of worry for me are school and sick children. The difficult thing about being a mom AND a grad student is that you literally get no break. You’re with the kids all day long, and any “personal time” you manage to etch out must go to homework. You can’t just go to bed early one night if you’re super tired because then you’ll get behind in your homework and there will…


Crunch Time

Megan Ondricek

We’ve now entered the last two weeks of the semester, otherwise known as “crunch time.” I have three end-of-semester projects on the horizon that I’m busily plugging away at. Now is the time when my kids get away with a little extra TV in the afternoons and I remind my husband daily, “just two more weeks….” The summer break is so close you can taste it, as it hovers like a sunny promise just out of reach. Oh how the pleasure reading and the hobbies and the home organization projects are calling! In my experience, you never know quite how the end will play out until it is suddenly upon you, but this semester (so far) I feel like the crunch won’t be too bad. The end of the semester is always an exciting time, and not just for the prospect of homework-free evenings. It represents the culmination of all we’ve been studying and working on throughout the semester and usually includes some kind of presentation in front of our peers. The project I’m most…


Living Grad School to the Fullest

Megan Ondricek

This post was inspired by a guest speaker we had in academic libraries – a recent SLIS West graduate that many of us knew. Marco is now a Reference & Collection Development Librarian and he gave a wonderful interactive presentation about his current job. I remember taking Collection Development with Marco and it was inspiring to see how he had made that his work and now he was behind the podium, teaching us with the very same material he had been learning just the previous year. Marco was full of confidence and enthusiasm, and it made me feel very encouraged about the value of our preparation at grad school. Observing Marco gave me something to strive toward: a vision of what I hope to achieve after graduation. Library school is a lot of work on its own: there are some weeks when all I can do is submit assignments on time and get myself to class in some semi-prepared fashion. But I’d like it to be more than that. I’d like this to be a…