I’ve fallen a little behind in updating on graduate school. I mean, let me be totally honest here… it’s actually A LOT more than I thought when I enrolled. Let’s break it down a little bit.
IST 511 or Intro to the Library Profession
This was a standard introductory course, but I actually loved it. I only had a few assignments, mostly thought pieces, so those were relatively easy. And most of the coursework was watching various videos (and TedTalks) and responding to the opinion and thought questions provided inside of the forums.
The real work was a group (read: partner) research project. This was actually really fun for me because I got to pick from a list of topics and my partner was actually incredible. During this research project I learned a lot about The Internet of Things (which is actually cool and so creepy) and it was really fun conducting the research and presenting to my classmates.
And then there was the absolute nerve-wrecking experience of giving a speech during the last class. The prompt? You’ve bumped into the hiring manager for your chosen workplace in the elevator. Pitch yourself within a minute to a minute and a half. This was awful for me for several reasons. I don’t like talking in front of people (even though I do it weekly) and I don’t like bragging about myself in front of people. Basically that was the assignment and I almost cried from relief when it was over.
Overall, this was my favorite class during first term. It was fun and my classmates were wonderful and the instructor is probably one of the most encouraging people I’ve ever met.
As far as grades go, I’m going to brag about myself (contradicting my previous sentiments) and tell you that I got a 99.25% in this class by missing 1 point total over the course of 11 weeks! I loved this one.
IST 605 or Reference and Information Literacy Services
Starting out with the good – I learned a lot in this class. It was interesting to see different kinds of inquiries I might encounter as the reference desk librarian. I enjoyed practicing reference interviews with my classmates and I enjoyed working on my massive portfolio that was the main focus of this course.
Here’s the problem – the whole class, in its entirety, was worth a grand total of 100 points. This left little room for error.
Basically, the class was broken down into different segments of the portfolio. Every week or so there was a draft of a specific section of the final portfolio due. For example, the first draft due was of the reference transaction transcript. It was nice to turn these drafts in because the instructor was able to provide feedback to help get you through to the final.
My favorite part of this class was the research. God, I sound like such a frickin nerd. It was fun researching because I knew that my husband – I based my reference scenario around him – would be able to use my research someday when he starts his business.
Anyway, my portfolio ended up being 53 pages. It was legitimately (no joke) single spaced too. I, again, almost cried from relief when I turned it in.
This class brought my GPA down from a 4.0. I didn’t do as well on the portfolio as I had hoped and I missed a love class because of an unexpected head cold. In all, I lost a total of 7 points in this class which brought my grade down to a 93%. This, unfortunately, is an A- by Syracuse’s grading scale.
First Term is finished though!
I was a nervous wreck my entire first term. I had major anxiety about all of my coursework, largely the portfolio for 605. I contemplated dropping out while waiting for my instructors to submit my final grades because I just didn’t feel smart enough to be among all of the smart people in my classes.
So I really beat myself up first quarter. For no reason really. This is a form of anxiety for me, but I’m pressing forward. It’s still too early in the game for me to find an internship or job in a library, but I’m hopeful that by the end of third term I can.
It’s now the end of the second week of second quarter for me. I’m in a Management class and another literacy class (this one focuses on children). So far, so good but I’ll be talking about these classes more in depth around week 8. 🙂
School anxiety is such a real thing for me. It’s cyclical too. I sit in my office and think nonstop about grades and classes and when the term ends I switch to new teachers and new classmates and spiral out of control. Is there anyone else out there in the same boat as me? How do you cope? I’m honestly trying everything I can think of, but it’s so hard sometimes to come out of that funk.
Thanks for reading!
PS – I am already UNBELIEVABLY busy and term is only two weeks in. Send help.