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September 2, 2010 / Christian M.

I Survived Day One!

Well I have the first day of grad school under my belt, and I am still living and breathing. (smile) I am taking two courses this semester:  “Information Systems in Library and Information Systems” which deals with how libraries interact with and utilize technology, and “Technical Services” which covers the fundamentals of the technical side of library services (acquisitions, cataloging, processing, maintenance, etc).

Observations from my first day:

  • Being a commuter student is a new experience. During undergrad I lived on the campus of a small college for five years (where I came in already knowing some of the students). The people and activities of the campus were a large part of my everyday life. So this is quite an adjustment — a larger school where I don’t know anyone, and I’m only there one day out of the week.
  • There is a lot of writing involved! For these particular classes, technical writing is required. Not quite sure what that is, other than you need to get to the point and not have a bunch of flowery, pretty language. The thoughts should flow smoothly, but don’t waste space on the paper.
  • There is a lot of reading! But unlike college, there is no simple checklist of “Did you complete the reading, and if so what percentage?” Instead you have to read and understand it, critically analyze it, and share your thoughts either out loud in class, or in a group discussion online.
  • Learning is a collaborative effort. No longer am I an empty sponge waiting to soak up the professor’s abundant intelligence. In grad school, the professor guides the learning process, and the students are viewed as a group of professionals whose input and thoughts are just as valid in the process. If someone shares an answer that is incorrect then the professor will of course set the record straight. But we are expected to be active participants in helping each other to analyze and interpret information in our quest to acquire more knowledge.

I have created a weekly schedule to include set times to do my homework — “A Week” & “B Week” to correspond with my schedule at work (it’s even color coded!). Hopefully, I will stick to it, and have everything done on time if not (gasp) early. During undergrad I was a procrastinator….who am I kidding, I still have procrastinating tendencies! However, I am trying to approach this phase of my education differently. I want to have better time management….and better grades. 4.0 all the way is my goal!


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