I've been feeling a bit disconnected from school lately. Granted, there's been plenty going on in my personal life to keep me more than occupied in my spare time (some good, some not so good at all), but it still feels weird. It's like someone hit the rewind button and I'm back at the start of last quarter with all my frustrations and insecurities about constantly feeling behind.
I've done pretty well so far this quarter keeping up with assignments, despite the massively different structure of this quarter's classes. Lots of smaller assignments with something due every week, a small group for each class, and some overarching projects that are looming larger and larger on my horizon are all filling up my whiteboard calendar pretty effectively. (Sidenote: I am so so glad I bought that thing. I'm not big on paper planners since I tend to forget about them, and I'm not a huge fan of Google Calendar, so having something too big to ignore or forget about nailed to my wall is keeping me on track much better than storing everything in my head.)
The past couple days I've been trying to get back into the swing of things by starting to read the MLIS apps I'm responsible for. I've read through three of them thoroughly so far, and have glanced at quite a few more, and I've got to say it's just as intimidating to do so as I was expecting. I remember going through the application process myself, and how incredibly nerve-wracking it is to condense your entire life into a couple pages, a resume, and a transcript, and send it all off to a committee of people who only have that to use to try and understand you. I poured my heart into my personal statement, and sending it off to the UW (as well as Syracuse and the U of Maryland) and getting acceptance letters from all three in return felt so incredibly validating. And now I'm in a position to give someone else that same opportunity. Lots of someone elses, in fact.
I hope I'm going about this with the right attitude. It's incredibly humbling and a huge honor to even be on this committee - I'm only halfway through my 2nd quarter at the UW while everyone else (including the student reps) have all been there for much longer. I feel like my inexperience can actually be an enormous plus, since all the frustration I'm currently going through with my classes is exactly what all of these future iSchoolers will experience upon entering the program. ESPECIALLY if they're like me and had to abandon their plans of going full-time residential and try to rework their lives into the Online program. I ran across an applicant today that said she'd prefer residential, but would accept online, and I found myself really wanting to advocate that she join the Online cohort. I want to put her in the same place I was put almost a year ago and see how she reacts. And I have the sway to possibly make that happen. Augh.
Sometimes it feels like it's going to take a miracle (or long series of miracles) for me to get through this program. I'm definitely committed to this choice I've made for myself, and I really love my cohort and all the smart, fabulous people and their smart, fabulous ideas I get to read and talk about every day. It's just hard sometimes to maintain the connection I want to have with everyone, and with what we're learning.
Boo-urns. Bonus points if you get the reference.