Sayonara school!

Yes, I am now officially finished with school!! This Wednesday I turned in my very last paper and gave my last presentation, and now all I have to do is wait on grades.

I began this saga a little over three years ago. July 2008 I lost my job at Hobby Lobby. I already had the application packet for Dominican because I had been really unsatisfied with work & was looking at applying for the spring & taking one class at a time, putting my foot down with my boss about scheduling. Suddenly I didn’t have to worry about that, and I was free to finally pursue what I had been contemplating for a while. Unfortunate that it took years of retail hell to help me finally realize where I belonged career-wise but I’m glad it finally did. I’d taken a couple of LTA (Library Technical Assistant) classes through Wright College shortly after finishing my Bachelor’s in Dec. 2002, but that program wasn’t very good and I gave up on it. I decided if I was going to get a library degree it would have to be the Master’s. Besides, the LTA isn’t accredited so it really doesn’t hold much weight.

The circumstances were a series of lucky coincidences. I’d gotten the application mid-June, just after the posted June 1 deadline for fall applications. I moped about a few days, applied for unemployment, then just happened to look at the DU website to see that fall applications had been extended to August 1st! I had about two weeks to scramble around getting my undergrad transcripts & asking for letters of recommendation. I hand-delivered my application to the GSLIS office on August 1st. A week later I got an email – I thought it was asking for something I’d missed but it was acceptance!!

I’ve definitely had my ups and downs in the program. My first semester I just took 701 Intro to Library Science. I didn’t know about any of the instructors (though I’d already gotten a few unsolicited comments to avoid Dr. Koh), and I went with a guess on Dr. Crowley for that class. I’m glad I did – he was one of my favorite instructors in the program and I held out on taking Management until I could take it with him. I learned a lot in that class, and my final paper showed the path I was already aiming down – I wrote about the history of MARC encoding. (yeah I’m an uber-geek)

Out of the 12 classes I took in the program I only had three I really did not like. International Librarianship was only bad because the professor & I clashed personality-wise. I’m sorry but I can’t stand being rudely interrupted in the middle of presenting to the class. I don’t care if you want me to do 5 oral presentations in a semester, I’ve gotten good at that. But shut the eff up while I’m talking. The other horrid class was with Dr. Koh. Yeah, if someone says don’t take a professor & is backed up by half the profession, listen. Alas, I knew Metadata was something I should know and no one else teaches it. I feel like I flushed three grand down the toilet, though. 🙁 My Reference class sucked too, but part of that was timing – my professor’s wife was dying. Though I don’t know if I would have done better another semester, reference is really not my strong suit. I’m a cataloger.

The rest of my classes were great though!! I took Dr. Crowley a second time, for Management, and learned SO much! I had two great semesters of cataloging classes with Marjorie Bloss, then had the rare opportunity to take a semester with her participating in the national test of the new cataloging code. It was a wonderful learning experience and one that won’t likely ever happen again. I also got to take some fun classes, like Young Adult Literature with Janice Del Negro, one of the best most fun professors in the school, and Advanced Web Design with Kate Marek, who helped me update my web building skills from 1996 to 2011.

So now here I am. I got a solid A in Advanced Web Design, and some great comments on my website that will help me when building future sites. Next week I should know what I got in Archives, hopefully it’s at least an A- *crosses fingers* and I’m also waiting to find out if my ePortfolio passes muster. (then I can update Drupal Core on that site & expand it into a full ePortfolio showcasing all of my work and skills, beyond just what fits in those little objective slots).

Come January 14th I walk across the stage to get my diploma. In a horrid lemon-yellow hood. Seriously – why does the most awesome profession on the planet get the most awful ugly color for our hoods? Anyway, it’ll be streamed live online at if anyone really wants to watch me take a 30 second walk across stage.

Then it’s on to the rest of my life. I’m engaged, still getting used to this development, and wedding planning is beginning. Yes, this will be the geekiest wedding on the planet. I’m a professional geek and I’m marrying someone just as geeky (his online handle is RenGeek, does that say anything?) My mother is still insisting I can’t mix Doctor Who & Ghostbusters in the same wedding. My thought is I can’t separate the two from my life. Oh and there will be an Optimus Prime or two in there somewhere. How can there not? There’s dozens in my future home 🙂

I also, in the midst of wedding brainstorming, need to work on getting my career up & running. I’ve been fortunate to have found a great job after just my second semester, doing exactly what I want to do for the rest of my career – cataloging. I love it, I love my co-workers, I love my boss. Only thing I don’t love is the commute (and that’s really just because there are some seriously screwed up drivers on the roads who I want to force feed their cell phones). Alas it’s only 20 hours and no benefits. If I can coerce them into making my position full time, I’ll happily stay. If not…it’s time to hunt. (now if Glenside PL would have a full-time cataloging position open up I’d be thrilled as that’s literally down the street from my fiance’s house)

So that’s where I’m at now. I’m at a huge crossroads in my life. Lots of big decisions and moves to make, but for now, I’m just reveling in the shiny happy thought that I won’t have to do homework ever again!!! I even had a drink on Wednesday night to celebrate. (for those who don’t know, I really don’t drink. I have a strawberry daiquiri once every few months & that’s it). Now, back to fun stuff. Like reading the graphic novels I’ve been neglecting and building my personal website!

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