My MLS Degree: An Experiment in Abnormal Psychology Part Two

The saga continues.  Check out Part One here.

Feel the excitement!

Feel the excitement!

First Summer Semester (June 2008-August 2008) : Summer of Hell Part One

Two more fun classes!  As if you could get more fun than “Technical Services”, now we have “Collection Development” and “Information Storage and Retrieval”.

We find out that Dr. M. has suddenly taken early retirement.  We are dumped in the capable hands of Dr. G., who barely knows the university.  No problem.

I’m not even sure what Information Storage and Retrieval means.  As it turns out, neither does Dr. A., and she’s the teacher.

I ask my mentor about ISAR.  She groans and says “It’s useless, just survive it.”  I also tell her horror stories about my boss.  Oddly, as the semesters go by, the calls become fewer.

Collection development is taught by . . . a teacher whose name I’ve forgotten.  It might be because I was one of the few who didn’t spend the entire time sucking up to her

In ISAR, we get to set up our first BLOG.  Until now, I’ve never blogged.  Or realized that blog, blogging, blogged were now words in the English language.

WTF, who does this blogging crap?

WTF, who does this blogging crap?

In CD, we have tedious assignments like fake ordering with lots of fake money.  To save time I begin ordering multiple copies of the most expensive materials I can find.  I bet they wouldn’t give me another grant after that.  Not even a fake one.

In ISAR, we continue learning “search procedures” that make no sense and then put our procedures on our blogs.  No one dares suggest that Googling, while not P.C., works a hell of a lot better.

Because two graduate classes are not enough for me, I decide to move from one town to another with my husband and two children who are just about to turn 8 and 4.  My loving boss pouts that I have it easy since I have unpaid Wednesdays off.

My husband starts overtime – which drags out for the entire summer, exactly one day after we move in.  He gets home after 8 each night.  Then I get to start homework!  At one point I drop the children off at a random church for Vacation Bible School and almost forget to pick them up.  Whoops.

At the same time, the library is in the midst of Summer Reading Club.  The hordes of children and desperate parents descend.  I often get the privilege of running the desk not only for the actual story time programs but the multiple two hour rehearsals for the programs.  I’m not exaggerating.  Apparently, the SRC is doing Hamlet.  You’ll never guess which of my bosses is also the children’s librarian!

Also we have animals in the library because patrons love them and the way they smell and make noise and cause allergic reactions.  The cockatiel learns to mimic the scanner beep.  I realize that if the bird learns how to use the scanner, it’s going to take my job

I somehow not only pass but make two As even though I not only don’t think I’ve learned much, I’m fairly certain that my I.Q. has begun to drop.

Beeeeep . . . beeeeeep . . . I'm taking your jobbbbb . . . beeeeep!

Beeeeep . . . beeeeeep . . . I’m taking your jobbbbb . . . beeeeep!

First Fall Semester (Aug 2008 – Dec 2008) : More exercises in futility.

Next up, “Reference” and “Cataloging and Classification”.  I’m excited about Reference since I actually enjoy research.  The only cataloging I’ve heard of thus far is copy cataloging.  At work they let the high school students do it.  After all, who really needs to find a book that badly?

I discover that while I enjoy reference, I enjoy using materials like books and websites that are not ten years old and thus still exist.  Our professor, Dr. Mc., is not inclined to agree.  She shows off a sadistic streak with reference questions that are impossible to find yet only yield 5 points a piece.  I think up a new name for the professor involving “Mc” and “Asshat”.

Cataloging is surprisingly not that bad.  I guess that’s why I forgot the prof’s name – I had no reason to gripe about her constantly. I discover I’m good at cataloging.  Naturally my bosses inform me that no one hires cataloging librarians anymore.

The joy of online learning: I turn in a reference exercise only to discover later that I goofed and sent in the wrong file.  In a very understanding way, she says “You’re screwed.”

Cataloging involves quizzes with no grades.  So I breeze through them with little care.  Other students comment on how “fun” the quizzes are and report that they take them multiple times.  Clearly, these people need Cable.  Or electric shock treatment.

My boss struggles with her homework since her pesky job keeps getting in the way.  She also must keep me under her thumb at all times lest I lead a peasant revolt.  She decides to punish me by not letting me do any new jobs.  Uh okay.

My boss.

My former boss.

My husband brings me dinner and sets it at my computer desk.  He and the rest of the family live somewhere off on the other side of the house.  My kids think it is ridiculous that an entire college could fit into a computer.  I’m inclined to agree.

Students continue to drop out.  Sadly, rarely are they ones I’d like to drop.

The economy tanks.  No one wants librarians.  I feel so secure in my pursuit of this worthwhile degree.  Two more As come my way.  Inflation doesn’t just occur in the economy, at least.

To be continued . . .

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15 responses

  1. Forgive my ignorance, but WTF is cataloging?

    1. Where you put the books in order. So the peeps can still not find them, but at least you’ve made an effort.

      1. Oh….. See, I just buy books on Amazon…

          1. Pfft….I like to own my books, not rent them. If I end up not liking it, I just sell it to Half-Priced Books…

          2. And get like a tenth of the price! They is FREEE in the library. Until you are late and we tack on the scary late fees. 10 cents a day omggggg!

          3. But I don’t get to keep them from the library…

          4. Tell that to about 30 percent of the patrons . . . .

          5. That sounds like a lot of work. I’ll just imagine I did that.

  2. Animals in a library? Wow, didn’t know librarians needed a vet degree, too! Hopefully you didn’t have to clean up their poo…

    1. No, thank goodness, the Evil One did that. Man, she loved those birds. Man, she did not like me. I’m really not kidding. I had an asthma attack and it was like, oh just sit farther away (like a foot). I’m sure I’d have been replaced by the bird in a second if he could just figure out how to hold the scanner right.

  3. Love your backstory… happily awaiting the next installment. Thanks for the peek into the process !

    1. Thanks! I’m glad someone enjoyed reading it.

  4. I am with tishmoon. Gosh you deserve a medal as well as a degree doing it with 2 small kids and moving!

    1. I used to say instead of a diploma I wanted a crown!

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