April 24, 2011

Ph(u)Ds and Faxes

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:25 pm by almhyacinthgirl

So, with this chapter on troubleshooting, I was reminded of my days as a lonely department secretary at Indiana State University.  I was the office goddess, able to fix and fax and coddle the office machines.

I worked with PhDs, who, forgive my saying so, are sometimes–mostly–lacking in common sense.  They would repeatedly come to me in a panic because my copier (brand new) would stop working.  They almost NEVER checked for paper outages.  One time, one of them wanted to send a confidential fax.  So they folded the paper over and sent it.  It was a wonder it didn’t jam, but they came to me when the recipient said they didn’t receive anything.  When I determined that the PhD was actually dumber than a box of rocks, I shook my head and told them I would send their confidential fax.

My troubleshooting came more from teaching them how to use the equipment than actual issues.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I had those too, but often the Kill Switch (turn off/turn on) method would work.  I became pretty handy in my five years of academic clerical work.  I guess it will be useful again someday, huh?

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April 15, 2011

Dear SSCPL…

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:26 pm by almhyacinthgirl

The more I read about libraries, not just in this class, but in others, the more I realize that my local library is in need of drastic updating.  Aside from fiercely holding on to numerous, multiple copies of Christian fiction, the reference department is woefully under stocked, but apparently nobody uses it anyway.  The technology for special needs users is non-existent, and, if I want to borrow a book, a FICTION book, I am, nine times out of ten, going to have to get it ILL.

I’m beginning to think my library doesn’t love me enough.

Now, Vigo County….Vigo County Public Library is where it’s at! Their website will teach you foreign languages and give you access to databases.  (If you have an account, which I don’t.  Boo!) But I know this because my sister still lives in Terre Haute and I’ve checked out their lovely site more than once, hoping to compare mine and theirs.  Mine is sad and pathetic and doesn’t do much more than offer dates and times.  VCPL is helpful and tutorial and pretty.

So, SSCPL, I think I want to break up with you.  Unless you change your ways.  Whadaya think?

April 3, 2011

Back in the Saddle. Again?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 8:09 pm by almhyacinthgirl

I’ve been out of it.  I suppose I could chalk part of it up to Seasonal Affective Disorder, which has been exceptionally rough this year, or the fact that I completely failed the Math part of my existence and was forced to withdraw from the class.  I was so upset and disappointed in myself for that.  THEN my computer went kablooey.  Last week totally sucked.  It didn’t get much better this week, but the sun is out today and it’s getting warmer.  Let’s hope things are turning around.

I’m thinking about the digital divide more than I am about assistive and adaptive technology.  (Though I remember how cool I thought TTY was when I was a kid and my great-grandmother used it, but not in a library sense.)  I’m thinking about how terrified my mom is of the computer.  She did her taxes online this year and I was floored.  She seemed even more surprised.  I think my sister forced her to do them herself.  Bravo to Amber’s Sister.  My mom needs to understand the power of the Internets.

My mom lives alone and kind of works alone, but all my life has been a social creature.  As she gets older, she seems to get more disinterested in the world around her.  I think being online could help her.  She could rediscover the world and I think my mom needs that sense of wonder restored to her.  But she is certainly in the bracket of older and poor and uneducated when it comes to technology.  It frustrates her and thereby frustrates the rest of us when she calls us with questions about when her TV is silent or why her antenna box is working.

I know that my mom is a small taste of the kind of people I’m going to come into contact with in my career: on edge, scared, and uncertain.  (And, if I work in Indiana, not even remotely interested in any kind of change.)  I think that, if I could get my mom more interested in technology, I would feel better about helping those strangers.  …maybe I have it backward….

March 20, 2011

Watchblog

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 8:52 pm by almhyacinthgirl

I chose Glen Horton’s Glengage and it was boring.  He didn’t update the blog and tweeted a lot, usually with a link that I didn’t bother to follow.

It was Librarian in Black that was really interesting.  This whole thing about HarperCollins and eBooks/eReaders, and DRMs really got her ire up.  It was/is fascinating to watch.  As a Kindle user, I’m already annoyed that I can’t check out books on my eReader.  Melanie made a good point as we were talking about this yesterday.  HarperCollins, by limiting the check-out numbers, is shooting themselves in the foot.  She was right when she said that often times a patron will buy an authors books after reading them via a library book.  I have long viewed my library as a place to try new authors or read books I wouldn’t buy outright.  I certainly don’t think HarperCollins is taking in the bigger picture here.

In regard to book challenges, I find it unnerving that there were so many challenges just among 73 participants.  With all I see on the news and the Tea Party gaining momentum, I hope I’m dead before the “Firemen” come.

Here’s another blog I was following:  http://agnosticmaybe.wordpress.com/ Check out the post he out up about MARC Madness.

March 6, 2011

I’m Amber and I’m addicted to Facebook.

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:50 pm by almhyacinthgirl

This was the chapter I was waiting for! After all, Facebook generally prevents my homework from getting done in a timely fashion.  In fact, when I’m done with my homework today, I’m going directly to my FrontierVille farm and harvesting potatoes….Because that’s what I do.  Forget housework, paying attention to the animals or the beau, and cooking.  I’d rather be staring at my newsfeed.  I’m such an addict.

As you can tell, I love Facebook.  I also love LiveJournal and Jane Austen fan fiction sites–I used to run one years ago–and I’m preparing to dive into LibraryThing (how did I NOT know about that?).  I love social networking.  It gives me all the satisfaction of interaction without actual pesky humans to annoy me in person.  I control the influx of activity and can walk away in the middle of a conversation and not be considered rude as long as I use those three glorious letters “BRB.”

I’m a little wary of Twitter, which I’m doing the other half of my project on.  My Facebook updates on my sad, little life are already boring.  Can you imagine how 140 characters are going to whittle my life into nothingness?

February 20, 2011

Justifiable Computer-cide

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 11:54 pm by almhyacinthgirl

A little over a year ago I got a new laptop.  It’s actually more the size of a netbook, but it came with a shiny new external CD/DVD-RW drive.  I loved that I was no longer tethered.  That I could go anywhere and get online.  My lovely little computer was new, shiny, powerful, and the new best toy I’d ever bought myself.  (My old laptop held the previous honor.)  My little computer went practically everywhere with me.  I even took it to work when the woman I worked as a companion for was admitted to a nursing home.  I watched a lot of Netflix when I was not battling her to eat something.

Then we got our house.  We used my laptop for awhile, but my boyfriend, the Civ5 (Civilization 5.0) addict decided he needed a better gaming computer.  Enter the massive desktop.  With the huge screen.  I play Frontierville on Facebook (I just admitted to my worse addictions–aside from cheese and crackers–right there.)  I have been completely spoiled.  My little laptop is not sufficient to take in the glory of my Frontierville homestead.  So, it sits on a table, wishing for me to love it again.  Wishing for something more than being a conduit for MagicJack.  (I’m such a tech sucker, but MagicJack totally rocks!)

 

If I could somehow break the hold that Frontierville has over me….Oh, who am I kidding.  I’m half-blind and it’s only going to get worse.  The huge screen allows me to see my school assignments.  Look! Everything can be justified if you try hard enough.  (oh, “Justified”….that’s a good TV show.)

February 14, 2011

Give Me That Old Timey Music

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:12 am by almhyacinthgirl

I got to thinking about dead technology today.  Like all death, it comes with its regrets.  You could wonder what you ever saw in it (floppy disks, I’m talking to you) or you may still harbor a fondness for it.  Like I said in my discussion board post, my father collects (still!) vinyl records.  He had many before I was born and continues to add to the collection.

Being in my mid-thirties, I have an appreciation for the records that my niece and a couple of my nephews won’t have.  (One of my nephews already has an appreciation as he lives with my father.  Of course, he’s a toddler.  Who loves the Grateful Dead.) Part of me is sad for these children that will never hear the slightly hollow, lovely scratching sounds of a vinyl record.  They will miss out on pieces of music like Ella Fitzgerald’s protest song–the first protest song ever written–“Strange Fruit.”  The scratching and creaking on an album give that potent song a haunting feel and that will be lost on a digital version.  Some music just belongs on 78’s and 45’s.

 

As an aside: I have a blog to suggest.  I’m following this guy on Facebook.  He’s very interesting and the blog is about current library-related issues.

http://agnosticmaybe.wordpress.com/

February 6, 2011

Pauxhatauny Shrill

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 11:53 pm by almhyacinthgirl

Dear Winter:

You apparently did not get my last communication in which I broke up with you.  Please allow me to tell you now that if this behavior continues, I will be forced to apply for a restraining order against you.  If this does not work, I am willing to take the law into my own hands and beat you to death with an icicle of your own creation.  Do not underestimate me, Winter, ’cause I will do.  Don’t think I won’t.

No love,

Me

(The above is in response to the ice storm that postponed my first algebra exam not once but twice last week.  Grrr.)

Aside from all this crummy weather we are having, I am in a state wonder at how my classes are overlapping each other YET AGAIN.  I, of course, expect this from my library classes.  I don’t, however, expect it from my math and communications courses.  In the Class From Hell (math), we have a sort of self-help workbook that is designed to help us gain an understanding of our study habits and our anxieties regarding math.  It’s enlightening, I suppose.  One of the assignments I did this week was about self-talk and the good (or bad) that can come from it.  It’s almost exactly what my communications textbook was relaying last week.  Even using the same terminology.

I don’t know why I’m amazed why classes overlap like this, but I always, always am.  It does tend to reiterate important points, but the coincidental learning is sometimes incredibly amusing.

In response to the blogs, I’m following, LiB was a little tough with the enormous slide show, but the Glengage link to the SC library presentation on Web 2.0 was interesting.  I agree that social networking is probably the best library marketing tool available at the moment.

January 31, 2011

Chicken Fried Brain

Posted in School tagged at 3:53 am by almhyacinthgirl

What a week!

I, who was all excited by education last week, was wholly angry with my brain this week and did not want to educate it in the least.

Today is my 36th birthday and I should know better than to do my homework than at the last minute, but here we are.  It’s 10:47 on Sunday night and my brain is still full of the math class that has tormented it all week and it doesn’t want to do anything else but sleep and wallow in a semi-vegetative state.

I’ve looked over the Delicious assignment and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it, but I’ve got to play with it before I can pass a final judgment.  I do have to admit that this week’s chapters forced me to face my technolust full-on and decide if I should admit that up front during job interviews.  The higher-ups probably won’t want me spending all their money on Kindles! (Kindles for everybody!)  I can’t help it.  I love, Love, LOVE my Kindle.

I wish I were more funny or profound this week.  It’s just that algebra is kicking my ass.  <whisper>Hey, you wanna gang up on it with me? I think we could take it in a group.</whisper>

January 22, 2011

She can be taught!

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:32 pm by almhyacinthgirl

I had an epiphany regarding education this week.  I was lying in bed and thinking about my favorite phrase: “Tell me a story.”  Having been a writer for over 2/3rd’s of my life, this phrase means quite a lot to me because I not only love to tell stories, I love to hear them and read them.  It occurred to me that my education is not unlike a story.  It had a beginning, when I was small and apparently intelligent enough that my grandfather had me tested to try to skip first grade.  (Thankfully, I failed that test by one or two questions.  While smart, I wasn’t very socially adept and would have been crucified by older kids.)

I consider my two previous attempts at college the kind of “middle” of my educational story.  I  took a “gap year” between high school and college, but didn’t do anything important; I worked a little and partied a little.  I slept a lot.  When I returned to college, I didn’t take it seriously.  I had no idea what I really wanted to be.  I had considered journalism, but I wasn’t certain.  I didn’t go away to college, which I will always consider a mistake on my part.  I was in school for three semesters before I gave up and flunked out.  A few years later, while working at the college I failed out of, I took a single writing class, while considering going back for English teaching.  I enjoyed the class, but not enough to return to school full time.

The last several years have been a tumultuous time for me for a variety of reasons, which I won’t bore you with here.  Suffice to say that, after four years of living like a nomad and being horribly underemployed, I decided to give college one last try.  I have never liked sitting in a classroom.  I suspect that it has something to do with authority figures and my distinct dislike of them and all they represent (FIGHT THE MAN!), so I knew that taking online courses would be good for me.  I wasted a year thinking I wanted to teach English, but I don’t really like children enough to want to make the little bastards smarter.  I changed my major at the beginning of last semester and I don’t regret the decision.

While I’ve discovered that cataloging isn’t for me, there are many aspects of library work at which I think I will be not only competent, but phenomenal.  I am an information junkie and this course is presenting me with the tech knowledge that I’ve long been in need of–who knew Wikis were easy?–and the outlet to vent during the semester (hello, new blog!).  I am enjoying this course, and the overlap between it, my Library 102 Reference course, and Interpersonal Communication.  If I could figure out how Algebra fit into this, it might just be a perfect semester.

Because my story is continuing.  I am, for the first time in a long time, excited by the future and the unknown and, considering the last few years, that’s freaking huge.

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