Work and School

Ahh... the holidays are over, for the most part anyway.

Things here have been kinda crazy. The end of the semester did not (as I had hoped) mean that my life slowed down at all. In fact, I've managed to be even busier lately. But it's been a good kind of busy for the most part.

I love my new job. Other than switching the subject to music (other than art) it's pretty much perfect for me. Although, if I can't work at a music library yet, art is the second best fit. I get to stay on top of all the current exhibits and artists going on all over the world. My boss is super nice (and I think she likes me more now that she knows that I actually know a little something about art... a very little something, but still, every little bit helps). And she's really interested in helping me learn as much as possible about the WHOLE library and art museum world as possible while I'm there (as opposed to confining me to my assigned tasks). So it's been a lot of fun. Commuting has managed to live up to my expectations... I spend a LARGE amount of time getting to and from work (an embarrassing amount, so I wont reveal the exact time here). The morning commute isn't too bad, I usually leave early enough to miss the traffic on the toll roads. Then I have a cup of coffee at starbucks in tysons before getting on the metro. The evening commute isnt as fun though... probably because I'm more anxious to get home. But it's all worth the experience and references I'll come away with from this job.

My class schedule for next semester got completely upturned in a single day. I found out that one class I wanted to take (and finally got approved for) changed times, and one of my other classes that I was REALLY looking forward to... the teacher retired (quite suddenly... which seems to be happening a lot these days). So I've had to do a lot of rearranging, but I think I've finally decided on my course load for the spring: Mon- Music Research (which is a class for graduate level musicians, but they let me in since I have an interest in working in music libraries), Thurs- Bibliographic Control (I'm really not sure what that's going to be like, but it has somehting to do with cataloging and more technical processing stuff which I kinda like), and then I'm going to take my first ever online course that has something to do with Leadership issues in information management. We'll see how that goes. I'm most excited about the music class (duh), but I'm also a little nervous because I'm expecting that we'll have to write some ginormous paper, which I haven't done in a very very very long time. I've already tried to think of topics, but so far, nothing has really stuck out.

In related news, I finally got all my grades from this semester, yay! I dont usually brag about grades, or really mention them to others, but I did really well, and after all the hard work, I have to share it... I got 2 A's and an A+! Wahoo, I didnt even know they gave A+'s in grad school, not that it has an effect on my gpa (unfortunately). But at this point I'm half way through my program with a 4.0... hopefully I can keep that up.

So come mid-January I'm going to have to learn to juggle work and school in a way I've never done before. I just hope I can maintain the level of excellence to both that I've established for myself. But it is a little different because I now view each of them as equally important for my future career. I mean, I need my degree to get a job, but I should be able to get a good job because of the experience I'll have. We'll see how balanced I'm able to keep things. I keep trying to remind myself that it's not about getting an A, or about being perfect, it's just about doing my best and learning as much as possible.


New Job

Today was my official first day at the National Gallery (I went through processing on Monday). It was great. I think I'm really gonna like working there. And I have to say, I'm SO glad I took LBSC670 (Information Structure) this semester because I'm gonna have to use pretty much everything I learned there for this job.

670 (as it is referred to by us library students) most deals with the "back-end" of information. As in how to make it accessible rather than how to access it. Mostly we learned about ways to organize information, including various principles and standards used in the library world (AACR2, MARC, LC Authority Files, Dewey and Library of Congress classification schemes). The class was very difficult (the teacher was an EXTREMELY hard grader... but that just forced me to really learn everything) I really enjoyed it. I learned all kinds of new ways to organize things, which I think will end up making me OCD.

Anyway, I'm excited about my new job. I think it's a good fit for me because pretty much I just organize things all day. And I feel so grown up and professional because I'm commuting into DC and working on the Mall, right next to the capitol building. Yay!

*interesting note about the East Building of the National Gallery of Art... at least in the study room/admin section... there are no right angles where walls meet, including the elevators. Oh and there are barcelona chairs all over the place (my favorite).



Days until New Job: 2
Days until Finals: 3
Days until Opera: 8
Days until Christmas: 16
Days until trip to New York City: 17

Am I ready for any of this? Not really.


I have, however, managed to finally finish my portion of a take home final. For one of my classes we have to work on a take home final in groups, so the group I'm in divied up the questions amongst ourselves (there are 9 people, and 4 questions). Then I met with my partner yesterday to work on overall concepts and principles for our question, and we divied up the work we had to do, then today I typed it all up. Number of hours spent answering one-half of a question... hmm let's see... background research: 2-3 hours, discussions with partner: about 1 1/2 hours on Tuesday and 5 hours (nonstop) yesterday, writing/typing/editing/proofing/formatting: 4 1/2 hours today. Total length of one-half of 1 question out of 4 total questions... 10 pages.

I am SO glad we didn't have to do the whole thing by ourselves.

(Interesting comment overheard at the Frederick Public Library yesterday: "My dad almost swallowed an entire six-pack... cans and all.")



My new least favorite word: kitschy

The last time I heard this was the other day while watching a decorating show on TV. The designer created a "kitschy" piece of wall art for the room she was working on.

Today I looked up the word kitschy, partly because I wasn't 100% confident in its meaning, and partly because I wasn't even sure if it was a real word. Here's the definition (according to dictionary.com):
"Something of tawdry design, appearance, or content created to appeal to popular or undiscriminating taste"
"Kitschy" is an awesome word for a decorator to use; and an even more awesome design aesthetic to be shooting for.

(wow in one sentence I managed to use a word I hate (kitschy), a word I love (aesthetic), and end with a preposition... wahoo)