in which I attempt to be a rockstar teacher librarian :)

Archive for August, 2012

Year 2, Day 1: Quick Reflections of a Library School Schmedian.

Dear goodness. This day came upon me way too quickly. Or perhaps quickly enough. Either way… I can’t believe it. Starting year 2 of grad school. A year from now I’ll be… well, hopefully I’ll be, although where or doing what remains to be seen.

A few quick thoughts, because I don’t have time for a proper reflection (shame, shame):

  • This year will be harder and more labor-intensive than last year. Oh gracious… I’ll try not to think about that. But in addition to 5 more classes, I have 50h of elementary fieldwork, 240h of practicum, and a bevy of tests and training sessions and other required hoopla for certification.
  • We students often talk about our ‘learning style’, and then there is the ongoing, never settled debate of “how do you prefer to learn?” when it comes to on-campus/online styles. Myself, I’ve come to prefer online if a flipped classroom approach can be successfully integrated and used. It’s not always possible or likely. At this point, however, I have no choice, as my remaining classes (save one) are offered only in an online format. It made me wonder – what do our professors prefer? Some of them, without doubt, aren’t given a choice either… hmm.
  • I think there must be a mathematical equation for determining stress in grad school. It goes something like…
    Start with number of classes. Multiply by number of projectsMultiply by number of group projects (because they count extra). Multiply by number of group members, total. Stare at total. Gape at total. 
    Divide by number of weeks in a semester. Stare at total. Gape at total. Realize that work is never spaced evenly throughout the semester. Continue staring and gaping. Close eyes, breathe deeply, #facepalm. Open eyes, multiply by Planck’s constant to prove your brain is intact, ignore total. Close eyes again, breathe deeply, and get your calendar and multicolored pens out…
  • I may or may not have already completed the above assignment. On the first day of classes. Yes, that’s a sign of something…

Good luck, fellow library school-ers and fellow schmedians. Carry on, keep the faith, and remember that December isn’t TOO far away. If that sounds too stressful, remember – the Mayans said it’s all over in 2012, so go out with your bells on and projects done!

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Meaningful Play – and reading! – at the Strong.

So I spent Monday through Thursday of the previous week in class. 9AM to 5PM, with occasional coffee refill breaks (you know how I am about my coffee) and of course time for lunch (you know how I am about eating). But IST 612, alternatively known as Youth Services, was a great class. Can’t underscore that enough. I absolutely loved it minus the parts where I was slightly overwhelmed and I learned entirely too much for my brain to comprehend in 4 days.

So, my new perspectives, ideas, thoughts, and creative quirks have spilled over into real life. Ack! I spent the weekend decompressing and continuing to caffeinate in Rochester, a city that’s right down the thruway/canal. May as well explore while I’m living in Upstate!

So, Friday late afternoon, I found myself at the The Strong. If you glance at their website, you’ll discover that The Strong incorporates several different facets of life and fun and museum-ish things.

  • The National Museum of Play!
  • International Center for the History of Electronic Games
  • National Toy Hall of Fame

Now, in my I need to decompress immediately before my brain collapses state on Friday, I chose to focus most on the National Museum of Play because…well… play. That sounded fun.

And it WAS. I sat on the stoop at 123 Sesame Street. I read children’s books. I built towers of blocks. I drove a stunt racecar using my hands with an XBox Kinect. I organized a laser light show. I tried on superhero capes. I played an electronic harp in the Giant’s kingdom. I discovered a secret door in the Mystery Mansion. I walked through a tilted room to see perspectives change. I saw the Lorax in person!

standing against a wall mural

Proof that I am taller than Mr. Snuffleupagus. He’s tanner though. If orange is considered tan. Is it?

Short summary: I had a lot of fun. But I learned stuff, too. Which is even more fun. (That’s just how I roll.) But there’s something else that, as a newly-escaped-from-intensive-class-school-media-student, I appreciated all the more.

The public library system of Monroe County has an entire collection at the Strong. The books are located throughout the museum – expect to find graphic novels in the superhero section, and primary-age books on color and letters and numbers in the Sesame Street section, and books of all shapes, sizes, and silliness in the ‘reading adventureland’ section. Kids who don’t have a library card can sign up for one – right there inside the museum – and take books home. Then they can be returned to any library in the whole county system! For those who return often, there’s a book drop at the entrance to the museum.

While I won’t spend enough time giving this idea justice… think about it for a moment. How awesome is that, as an example of how to reach your community? Parents accompany kids to the museum – especially if they’re younger kids – and now, they can combine their fun trip to play with a trip to the library. No extra car seat wrangling involved.

I love it. And it made me quite happy to see it. And my poor boyfriend had to hear about how much I loved it, in between me trying on superhero capes and trying to make them swirl through the air dramatically, so I figured I’d blog it out of my system so I can stop talking about it. What do you think?

(Edit0r’s note: no promises to stop talking about it anytime soon. Also, I spent 4ish hours playing the museum. It’s fantastic. Take your kids, take your self!)