Thursday, September 23, 2010

Orientation Schmorientation

Good evening everyone, and welcome to my latest (and hopefully least unsuccessful) attempt at a sexy new blog! I just finished Day Two of my iSchool orientation, and it's already becoming apparent that I'm going to need a place besides official class forums to alternately geek out about how unbelievably cool my plunge into library and info science has been and will be, and freak out about the stress and frustrations that I'm sure will plague me along the way. Alors, une blog!

Days One and Two have been increasingly awesome, and every bit as exciting as I'd hoped they'd be. For those of you that know me, and have known me for longer than, oh, a year or so, you know that I have the tendency to retreat into crippling shyness when I'm confronted with a big group of people I don't know. A hold-over from my high school days that I'm doing my damnedest to get rid of with a pretty high success rate so far. It took a while for us all to stumble through the obligatory get-to-know-you phase of the orientation, but one impromptu lunch group formation and one spontaneous coffee/sit outside and chat session later, I started feeling a lot more comfortable and in my element. Undergrad orientation brought together a truly mixed bag of people who all wound up going their separate ways academically after a couple semesters, but this. This is different. Everyone that's here is here because we share similar passions and goals for our lives, and I still can't get over how foreign yet incredible it feels to be among all my fellow librarians-to-be.

That being said, the actual orientation part of orientation has pretty much done nothing but kick my ass since I've started. You know that feeling you get when you suddenly commit to running a marathon, but you haven't exercised beyond an occasional round of Wii Bowl for the past two years? I haven't used my brain in any sort of academic way since I graduated from Linfield almost two years ago, and even though my incomprehension of a big chunk of our assigned readings kind of tipped me off to the fact that Yes, Katie, you're actually going to have to work for this one...go figure, sweetheart, it's still a bit of a shock to sit through a session and come out realizing you actually don't known a damn thing about the field you've chosen to pursue as a career. It's intimidating, to say the least.

I'll probably start posting more about the content of what I'll be doing later, but for now, a quick summary of my class load:

LIS 500 - The Life Cycle of Information

This is the class I know the most about thus far, which is probably because of the shitload of readings and lecture-watching we've had assigned to us over the past three weeks. Seven "modules" that cover everything from defining information to conceptual models and relational databases form the backbone of the class, and as we all found out (to our horror) during orientation, this class is accelerated, meaning our culminating project is due not at the end of the quarter, but October 17th. A little over three weeks from now. *hyperventilates*

LIS 510 - Information Behavior

I know next to nothing about this class so far, but what I do know, I like a lot. The instructor for this one narrated a lecture for LIS 500 on metadata that I found worthy of a geek-out session, and the first article our prof encouraged us to take a look at is titled "New Shit Has Come To Light: Information Seeking Behavior in The Big Lebowski." It's times like these that I feel like I've finally found my people.

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(The kitten says hello.)

INFX 503 - Website Design for Information Professionals

Website design has always been of interest to me, but until now I've been too intimidated/lazy to pursue it seriously. HTML knowledge and familiarity with the tools and tricks required to create and maintain a website or database is an insanely marketable skill in today's job market, so when I saw this pop up as a tech elective, I figured I might as well give it a go. I'm anticipating many nights of cussing out my computer, but hopefully at the end of it all, I'll be slightly less clueless as to how a website is born and kept up to date.

C'est tout pour la nuit, mes amis! Time to cook some dinner (i.e. pour a bowl of cereal and pray my milk hasn't gone bad).


  1. I'm copying that picture for my desktop background. FAVORITE.

  2. I second Christine and am totally looking forward to hearing about more geekery. If your classes are online are most if them pre-recorded lecture?

  3. You should send me the article "New Shit Has Come To Light: Information Seeking Behavior in The Big Lebowski". That sounds awesome

  4. @Christine - :P

    @Em - Not necessarily. We do have a bunch of readings and prerecorded lectures for LIS 500 (that I'm about 2/3 of the way through), but from what I've gathered from orientation, most of the class is going to be based in asynchronous discussion. We'll do a reading or watch a lecture, and discuss it in the online boards and forums.

    @Peter - Done. :)