Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving turkeys

Remember that child-size turkey costume that R bought for himself for my birthday?


Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Rebecita & KT!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

This week in book news, or Things that I liked in spite of themselves.

1) Dear customers. Stop coming into my bookstore - that JUST OPENED and is doing well - and lamenting the death of Borders and preaching that the death of bookstores, books, and western civilization is nigh.

Well, they must have got my memo because a customer MADE MY DAY yesterday.

Me: Sorry, we don't have a copy of that.
Customer: Can you tell me where the nearest Borders is?
Me: (Wonders if she has been living under a rock, or whether she uses Borders as the Coke of bookstores?) Welll, all the Borders have closed, but there's a Barnes and Noble at the Hacienda Crossing.
Customer: What do you mean all the Borders are closed? Since when????????
Me: (Ooook. Rock it is.) Well, it was gradual but they closed the last stores a few months ago. Sorry! I'm surprised you didn't hear about it, it was a pretty big story.
Customer: No, I've been living in Australia for the last year! Oh my god! I can't believe there's no more Borders!! I'm so shocked!

This went on for awhile and we laughed about it. Ha ha ha. Oh man. So good. It shouldn't be so satisfying to break bad news to someone.

2) Hey, I actually did something worthwhile in library school! I might have... learned something? About libraries? We had a group project to pick a problem facing our field in the next few years and compile a resource list to address it. My group actually chose my question, which was: As we anticipate the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, how can libraries best serve returning veterans?
So, that was awesome and I got to read about all the positive things libraries and veteran service groups are doing. Am I the last one to hear about googleforveterans?

3) I don't have any fixation on the 1960s and am somewhat tired of the fuss over that decade. But somehow the last two books I read were both about assassinations in the 1960s. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable and 11/22/63 by Stephen King. The second bears special mention today, for obvious reasons.

11/22/63 This was my first Stephen King! I know! Just, horror isn't for me. But I was super into this story. You know, stay up too late, almost miss my BART stop into it. Despite the JFK marketing angle, he doesn't play a big role, instead he's more this elusive figure that history happens to turn on. It's more about Lee Harvey Oswald and an exploration of the darkness in us and our relationships. And, you know, time travel! Highly recommended.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Registration is the best part

Remember how I wasn't actually disproportionately excited about registering for classes last semester? Welllllll that was before I suffered through two DECIDEDLY lackluster courses. I've kind of learned SOMETHING, but mostly from the research assignments, because both professors and their curriculum materials are a complete waste of space. I knew what I was getting into, because the program has an extremely robust database of professor reviews. They're the first 2 of 3 required core courses, and when I couldn't get my first choice professors I just chose the ones that were reputed to have an easy course load. Because I was legitimately worried about juggling school with full time work.

Ha! To liven up my ranting, and to express how little I had to worry about, here's a photo of my textbooks. Which I have NOT CRACKED and yet I am running nearly 100% in both my classes. What's that quote again? Hell hath no fury like that of a student who has paid hella $$ for unused textbooks? Yeah.

(Even looking at those textbooks long enough to photograph them was too boring and angry-making. I had to throw my shiny new jam cookbook on top to get through it.)

Welllll, it's going to be a different story from here on out, I can tell you. Now that I have a freaking choice, I plan to categorically avoid any classes whose reviews fall into the following categories.
1) CLOWN COLLEGE! Both my current classes fit into this stereotype. I would call this review of my management class GROSSLY generous in its praise: "If you're looking for a relatively undemanding class with thought-provoking reading and discussion plus easy grading, this would be a good choice." This one is more like it: "Dr. Sawyer is very nice, but I am sorry I took this class. I believe libraries were mentioned maybe twice during the entire semester. This class is an easy A, but it's mind-numbingly dull and in my opinion, has zero relevence."
2) NIGHTMARE! A disturbing number of reviews contain this phrase. Sometimes it's because the professor is completely disorganized (assignments/grading standards are incomprehensible, doesn't know how to work the online portal) and/or absent (traveling, not replying to email, not grading anything before the semester is over). Sometimes this is because they're an amazing, expert professor, but their expectations are insane. "Astronomical workload" "4-5 x more work than my other courses." Scary.

From this day forward, I, Rebecca Edwards, being of sound mind and body, swear that I will ONLY, and I cannot emphasize this enough, ONLY take courses from professors who get rave reviews across the board. ("Favorite teacher," "learned more from this professor than any other," "wish I could take more of his/her courses." Yes.)

Anyway, back to the point of the post, which is that I was REALLY looking forward to this, my registration day. I'm kicking off my Onwards and Upwards Professors of the Year Only pledge with the following classes:
• "Information Retrieval" Last of three prerequisites. It's about... databases? I don't really know. But the professor is reputed to "make a dull subject interesting" etc. I'll let you know...
• A seminar on teaching information literacy. What? Me take something I'm interested in, qualified for, and is a marketable skill? With a professor who is "everything you could want from an online instructor?" That's un-possible.

I also made a fancy spreadsheet to map out the rest of my credits. With two courses each semester and one each summer, I'm on track to graduate with my MLIS in the spring of 2014! This sounds simultaneously a crazy long time from now in a galaxy far away, and super soon.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Guess who's going to clown college, too?!?!

[UPDATE: OMG, once again, after weeks of inactivity, we have once again managed to post within 21 minutes of eachother. And Rebecca scooped me!!]

The following Texans have both been accepted into their respective graduate programs. Effective January 2012, this blog will be all-student, all the time. I can smell the procrastination already...

Clown College ^3!

Guess who just got accepted to UT's social work program?????? (Yes, I'm totally stealing Katie's thunder because I already had this blog post open when she shared her good news on facebook.) On the heels of Richard's acceptance to Texas State! Yay, all of us being in school again gives me such warm fuzzy feelings. It's just like it's the year 2000 again! Except now we do our homework BEFORE we watch Richard Dawson on Family Feud.

Seriously, my recent trip to Austin was basically equal parts singing and studying, with some wine-ing down and rescued animals thrown in for good measure! I basically spent the entire time resisting the worldwide conspiracy that is trying to make me move to Texas. Because.
1) Natalia moved to Dallas that exact weekend! I miss that girl! But it's for her dream job. Sigh.
2) The company I work for is based out of Texas and has eight zillion stores there! Including one about 3 blocks from Katie and Richard's house. (I dragged Richard there to pick out his own extremely belated birthday present.)
3) So many lovely singing friends! And did I mention the wine-ing down?
4) I so want to always do my homework at the coffee shop where Richard is newly installed as barista. With distractions in the forms of free tea and visits from Katie.
5) Guys, I go to online school.
6) The Austin rescue zoo!

This... is the only picture I have from the weekend.

Duck hands!