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

Researching and Writing

The first week of March was intense! I had expected to feel overwhelmed when I started my new job, but I had forgotten how draining the first week of anything new can be. I also had some extra meetings for school in the evenings on top of my recurring team meeting and class, so I felt pretty pressed for time. In the midst of it all, I did make some delicious noodle soup and catch up with my roommate, who had been away for a couple of weeks. There were a couple of warmer days and I thought spring might be coming, but it turns out I was wrong and the cold weather was back in force. My new job is with a research organization that doesn’t have a lot of people from LIS backgrounds (none that I’ve met yet, anyway). As a result, I ended up explaining my degree to a lot of people. I think I gave a slightly different explanation to each person who asked, but each one was completely accurate. Now…


Snowpocalypse

The semester has been off to a pretty crazy start for me. I’ve been in Texas for nearly a year now because of the pandemic while Simmons has put its classes online. As most of the world saw, Texas went through a snowstorm the likes of which it had never seen before in February. I thought I might share my experience with how the storm affected my ability to do my classwork and how the Simmons professors were extremely understanding and adaptable to my situation. To start off, the snowstorm began to hit my part of Texas in the late afternoon of February 14th. Luckily, that was the same day that the final project for LIS 439 was due for my class and I was able to finish it before things got crazy. The next day, electricity and internet began to be erratic which made it difficult for me to access Moodle and my other two classes’ readings for that week. Most of Texas did not expect the storm to get as bad as it…


Expanding, Exploring, and Encoding: Learning HTML in LIS488

After an hour of arranging files, furiously Googling, and pleading with the technology gods, I thought I had it. With trepidation, I typed the following line: <img src=”Springsteen.jpg” alt=”Cover art for Born in the USA” width=”500″ height=”500″> I refreshed the page. BOOM! I’d successfully embedded Bruce Springsteen’s iconic backside into an HTML document. I looked at my fair-use image, set against a white background and flanked by black Times New Roman font, with pride: it was rudimentary, but I made it! Could you accurately list the number of websites you’ve visited in the past week? Of course not. Technology has been so seamlessly integrated into our lives that we are often unconscious of its influence. This has only become truer since the lockdowns began: between virtual happy hours, classes, and job application portals, most of us are conducting more of our lives online than ever before. Like the face mask, the computer has become an ever-present defining symbol of this era. I’ve spent so much time online. And yet, before taking LIS 488, I had…


Picturebook Analysis

I had my first assignment due this week.  It’s a three-to-five page paper that analyzes a two-page spread of a picturebook of our choice.  I chose a book called Pete with No Pants by Rowboat Watkins.  It’s about a little elephant named Pete who likes to pretend he’s something else: a boulder, a squirrel, or a cloud.  Pete does not like to wear pants, though, so he only pretends to be things that don’t wear pants.  It’s a fun book with cute illustrations and I would recommend reading it.   I initially thought three-to-five pages was a lot to write about a picturebook, though.  After all, the two-page spread had only twenty-six words.  How could I spin that into three-to-five pages?  As it turns out, that might not be enough for me to write about everything I want to.  That’s because there are many levels on meaning in a picturebook, both in the language and the pictures.  I noticed more and more detail every time I read the book.  Even though there weren’t many words on the page, those words had a pattern and rhythm that I only noticed…


Welcome Blogger Andrea

We have a new blogger joining our team. Her name is Andrea, a Design Your Own student who recently moved to Boston from central PA! Since graduating from Vassar in 2020, Andrea has been searching for ways to bring her somewhat disparate interests together. She thinks of librarianship as something we as people are always practicing, and is more than excited to think through the implications of how we seek, sort, and use information—both within library walls and beyond. Other passions include learning new languages, listening to music, and crafting recipes around my impulse grocery purchases.


Walking around the Fens

I can’t believe I just finished the fourth week of the semester! I got a lot done this week and tried to front-load some assignments in advance of my job starting soon. I also ran errands to Fenway and Brookline, since when I’m working I won’t be able to go to stores in the middle of the day. Walking around the Fenway area was fun and stimulating but also a little sad. I miss being on campus! I returned a book I’d had for over a year (for pandemic reasons) to the library drop box in the Palace Road building where I used to go to classes. It was nice to have a reason to visit campus and peek at the construction happening in the quad. The area around Simmons is really lovely, and these days I gravitate towards it for reasons other than the big box stores across the Fenway from campus. I used to go to a coffee shop called Neighborhoods, which changed hands and turned into Phinista, a really cool Vietnamese cafe, this…


New Class!

Hello everyone and welcome to the Spring Semester!  At the time of writing my last post, I had not started classes yet, so now you get to hear all about how it is going!  I’m taking LIS 621: Conducting Research this semester.  It’s another “live” class being taught over Zoom, which is really great!   This course is all about conducting research in the social sciences—according to the course description list, “This course addresses the theories, principles, and practices of social science research. It examines reflective inquiry (including the development of the problem statement, literature review, theoretical framework, logical structure, research objectives, and questions/hypotheses) and research design, data collection methods, and data analysis. The course also covers generalizability, reliability and validity, and the report and presentation of research results. Methods in quantitative and qualitative data analysis are introduced. Students are able to develop their own research proposals and select appropriate methods based on specific research questions.”  It’s a doctoral level class that’s being taught by the same professor who taught my LIS 454: Digital Information Services and Providers class last semester.  I…


Week 3

Week 3 of the spring semester went by really fast! I’m reading a book called Off the Clock by Laura Vanderkam, about how we perceive time. Apparently units of time that are similar to one another seem shorter in retrospect than times when exciting or new things happen. I guess it makes sense that the third week of the semester would seem shorter since it was similar to the second week!  My team for Systems Analysis (LIS 621) met on Monday night and set that as our regular meeting time since we have collaborative work due every week. This week, we developed interview questions and then role-played with them as if two of us were the Simmons registrar and the rest were systems analysts figuring out requirements for a new registration system. I volunteered to play one of the registrar roles, since I enjoy making things up and acting. It was fun to improvise answers to the questions and try to keep a straight face. We recorded the conversation and posted it to our class slack channel. …


Picture Books!

This week in class we’ve been examining picture books.  I still have vivid memories of the picture books I read as a child, so it’s been very interesting to learn about how they are written and illustrated.  Picture books are much more complex than I ever realized.  The words and pictures have to work together to provide information that isn’t expressed in words.  Though they might look simple, the pictures provide a lot of information through color and style.  It’s a complex relationship that we don’t notice as children but that we do notice as an adult.   We had to read six different picture books for our homework and needed to pay particular attention to all of these little details.  I took my time with the books, examining each page and looking at how the words and the pictures worked together.  Sometimes this was in a literal sense, because a few books had text that was not aligned to the left.  It’s easy to miss all these details in reading picture books, because they have so few words, but stopping to notice all…


Full Time Work Full Time Student

Last week was memorable because I got offered a job that I’m really excited about! I’ll be starting work in a couple of weeks, so I predict I’ll be extremely busy until I graduate. After spending most of the past year feeling like I had too much time and not enough to do, it will be a big change but definitely a welcome one. I know that many people work full time while enrolled at Simmons SLIS, so while it won’t be easy, I know it’s doable.  Wednesday is the official start of my academic week, as well as the day when I typically have no events scheduled. After completing the work for last week, I had a sense of how long the repeating assignments for each course should take, and how they relate to each other. For instance, I knew that I should watch the lecture videos for my Systems Analysis (LIS 486) class before doing the readings or the other assignments. Lecture videos and text lessons that I can read through always help…