Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Learning Curve

"Learning Curve" sounds like a good name for a band. Maybe a newly formed band. At any rate, I am on one, and it is so steep it's practically vertical. I hope and assume and trust that it'll flatten out eventually, but it can't be too soon. Not only am I back in grad school, but I'm in a field I know nothing about except as a user, added to the fact that education is now so online, there's a lot to adjust to. Phew.

So I spent most of my days this week studying and thinking about studying and playing around on the computer and trying to make up systems to learn something I don't know a thing about yet. I am taking reference, the dreaded required class that I call the organic chem of library science. It's a three hour weekly class and then at least 20 hours a week of homework. I spent, oh, four hours on the reading. I spent, who knows, 10 hours on answering the reference-type questions -- a harried student from UMass runs up to your ref desk and says she needs a copy of Harry Potter book six in Spanish. So you have to dig through all the online catalogs to find it and get it for her. And yes, the questions get much more complicated than that.

All my turn-in homework is done, hat I have not done, and what's making me anxious, is reviewed the list of 25 sources we need to be familiar with--databases, reference books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, periodicals, etc., in print and online. I wrote up the required one and posted it to the Wiki for class (an adventure in itself) (thank god I've done my non-credit technology class already), but I haven't reviewed the rest of the list and I'm panicked about that. We have to know 250 of them for the final. Eek!

There's so much noise in my head I find it hard to concentrate, so I do things like blog instead of study. So this morning I meditated for 10 minutes. If I do that every day for a week I'll feel a bit better, that and get to the pool or a yoga class or even a brisk walk. Pray for me!

1 comment:

  1. This sounds too panicked to be serious! When I was in college my work study job was in the library. I went from shelving to circulation to reference. I fell in love with it and the librarians. I worked 20 hours a week answering questions and finding information about everything from guppies to the Yanamamo and steam engines. Wonderful stuff. It is like being a human Google.


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