Saturday, October 27, 2007

Beyond the crazy!

Last full month of graduate school coming up...working like a demon on final projects. My research stats are finished and graphs made. Just the writing remains...JUST! I have learned one thing...writing a literature review is a bear. There is not much published in my interest area (small academic libraries and digital projects) so I had to think hard to make much sense of what was there. Now, I am concentrating on getting all the periods and captions and italics in the correct places in APA format to produce a publishable research paper. Yikes.

My Acquisitions class is going well. Love the material and the chance to ruminate about the philosophy of collection and deselection, policies for development...all manner of practical processes to be learned for the real world of being a librarian.

All this, though, against the backdrop of what is happening at our university this coming week-- layoffs. We will get called in on Monday or Tuesday if our position is eliminated. Then, if you don't get a call, you may still be bumped by someone who has. The entire restructuring plan will be announced to the public on Wednesday- Halloween. Maybe we can all come to work dressed as the Grim Reaper to add a bit of levity to all the craziness!

So, if stress were a surplus item, it would be ON SALE at my house!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Another paper turned in!

Ever get so frazzled that you just stand in the middle of the room and disappear into thoughts that are unfocused and off-topic? I guess that is what is called hitting the wall. Luckily, a friend rescued me and made me go to a movie just to change the pace. I had been working on a serials paper for so long that I was no longer making sense. So, last night we went to see Michael Clayton at the local theatre. Just the ticket (so to speak) that I needed to come home and finish writing the sucker! It is not my best assignment but as Theresa says "A good project is a finished project." I learned a lot in the research about the status of serials acquisition (it is controlled chaos with lots of competing models) and so the assignment fulfilled its purpose. I am much better prepared to choose a subscription agent and to work my way through the morass of subscriptions and the balance of print to electronic formats.

Now, I have to re-write my research paper's literature review so that it resembles work from a human being instead of the random typings of a primate!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Idea Mapping

Everyone has moments (and mine are occurring more often these days!) when decisions have to be made, or I want to pause and gather thoughts, or work out all the elements of a project. There is a process called idea mapping, or mind mapping. I won't go into the history of the process but I can tell you that I would not be as successful in grad school without it. It is a process of brainstorming that gets all the ideas out and then helps you put them in a semblance of order leading to ACTION and COMPLETION of a task. Two worthy goals!

Here is a link to some explanation of it and some links to software to help. I am not advocating a commercial product because mind-mapping can be done with just pencil and paper but along with the ads come some great ideas on how to apply this process to your life. Pretty soon you will be so organized that you will know why and how you are coming and going!

Tony Buzan, the guru
Idea Mapping
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