Graduate School Part II: The Librarying

Well, it’s finally happened.  I’ve finally made the return to graduate school.  It’s been almost exactly 7 years since I finished my first master’s degree, and I now have the funds, time, and security to pursue another degree.  Those of you who know me well know that I’ve been threatening to go back to school since my irritation with my master’s thesis wore off.  (And no, I did *NOT* rate my own master’s thesis 5 stars in the CWU library system, and I don’t know who did.)

So, for approximately the next three plus years, I’ll be attending San José State University’s School of Information, working on my MLIS.  My first class, LIBR 203, Online Learning: Tools and Strategies for Success, which is a one-credit introduction to the various online platforms and tools used in the 100% online MLIS program, officially began on August 1, and my other first term classes, LIBR 200, Information Communities, and LIBR 202, Information Retrieval System Design, begin on August 25.  I’m aiming to have LIBR 203, which is somewhat self-paced, out of the way by then. Although I won’t know the exact schedules of deadlines until I can join the courses on the school’s learning management system, Canvas, I have seen the syllabi for my two 3-credit classes, and I’m definitely more excited about Information Retrieval System Design. It looks like good times with fun, nerdy stuff!

I’ve tentatively planned out the electives I’ll be taking during the program, focusing largely on courses of an archival bent, but that plan is of course subject to change depending on my reactions to some of the earlier classes, new courses that may be offered, and the whims and vicissitudes of fate. I do plan on attempting to secure a waiver for LIBR 285, Research Methods in Library and Information Science, as I still have my textbook for my first research methods class (one LIBR 285 instructor even appears to be using a newer edition of that very book), and I’d rather have the extra elective space.

Also, this time around? NO THESIS. That’s not a course of action I care to repeat, especially via distance education, while working full time.  The alternative is an ePortfolio, which, while it definitely appears to involve a considerable time investment, appears nowhere near as time-consuming as a thesis, especially if you invest some time in planning and organization from the beginning of the program.  I still had to buy a new edition of the reviled APA manual, though.  *sigh*

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In unrelated news, I’ve begun engaging in genetic genealogy in earnest.  I’ve started some chromosome mapping, and hope to really get going on the mystery of my great-great grandfather once GedMatch’s triangulation feature comes back up.  For those of you unfamiliar with the situation, genetic testing has revealed that the man who raised my great-grandfather was very likely NOT his biological father.  I’m hoping a combination of DNA and historical records can help me solve the mystery.

Expect to see more blogging in the future as it is a requirement for at least a couple of my iSchool classes, and I also hope to make some progress on my genetic genealogy and my sewing in the upcoming months.

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