First Week in London

School is back in session and I’ve made it through orientation and my first two classes without bring scared off. This is a good sign. I was told before coming here that the workload in this program is like “being pelted with popcorn” and that it’s all about time-management. They weren’t kidding. I’ve already been assigned five things to be done in the next two weeks. Three before this Thursday. I’ve still got three classes left to get to so there will probably be even more stuff added to the mix before Wednesday.

Nothing is particularly difficult. A few interviews and small papers to go with them, a couple of 6-page papers, and a one-page reading response. It’s just a lot of stuff to have all at once. For my Perspectives class because of the essay topics I’ve got I’ll have 70% of my final mark taken care of before the end of this month. I hope I can wrap my head around the writing style quickly so I don’t botch it.

I got my student card on Monday since nothing else was open yet and the line wasn’t too long. There were frosh everywhere being loud, annoying, or just confused. It made me glad I didn’t have to go through that kind of orientation again. Once was definitely enough for me.

Orientation on Tuesday went well. It’s funny that the first few days of grad school reminded me most of the first few days of elementary school. In the morning they explained how the program works and had all 120 of us introduce ourselves. A nice chunk of the profs also introduced themselves as well. In the afternoon we got a tour of the department, our library/resource centre, and the computer system. We also had our pictures taken for the intranet. I hate mine and it’s not even up yet. It’s hot and I’ve been living in a ponytail all week so I imagine it looks a lot like my WLU student ID photo. Oh well.

Some of the stuff didn’t take as long as expected, so in the breaks they gave us before lunch and at the end of the day I managed to get my bus pass and get my OSAP taken care of. I also managed to make time to mail my exchange project for the Autumn cross-stitch exchange I’m doing. On the way home I fell getting off the bus. It was spectacular. I’m still bruised from that one. At least I haven’t managed to repeat that experience.

Wednesday I bummed around the apartment putting things away and then sitting around a lot. It was too hot to really do anything and I don’t have a/c.

Thursday was the busiest by far. I had my reference class first, which we kicked off by looking at comics that poke fun at librarians and by playing with the Nancy Pearl librarian action figure (with “Amazing, push-button shushing action!”) and made a list of what we thought it was librarians actually did (before we knew anything about the profession, that is).

After that class I had a little over an hour for lunch, but I stupidly left all my cash at home and forgot to transfer money so I could take more out. This meant I had to spend most of that free time in line at the meal plan office so I could get my card set up and get me some lunch. I spent most of the time getting that done, then grabbed food quickly and finished eating just in time for my next class.

This class is a general overview of the profession. Before getting started we took the time to go around the room introducing ourselves (again!) and saying what we’d taken before and what our interests are and why we want to take this program. All that fun stuff. Very few (read: 2) people in my group want anything to do with public libraries, and no one else is interested in computer stuff at all, so I’m pretty much alone in that respect. There are a lot of people interested in academic libraries though, certainly more than I was expecting.

After the introductions we talked about myths regarding librarians and their jobs and whether or not they were true or could be true. Then we got into groups and made lists of what we thought most valuable about libraries. Next week we’re consolidating this list, I assume to compare it to the ones in the readings. I’ve already done those since they are the topic of my paper.

Friday I spent hunting out as many of the articles for my courses as I could find on the internet. So far none of the courses have textbooks we’re expected to buy. There are just lots of articles all over the place. Some are hard copies in the resource centre that I’ll have to go and photocopy, the rest are either in a database or just on a website. To make my life easier I’m saving the online ones to my HD now so I can just read them when I need them without having to do all the hunting out later.

Dean came over Friday night with more of my stuff. It’s slowly all ending up here. Two more trips I think to get it all here if the rest comes in small loads. We didn’t feel like making food and heating up the apartment even more than it already was, so we went to the mall for dinner and after got me a Guinea Pig. He’s very cute and very sweet but I’m still trying to come up for a name that suits him. I’m glad I can usually tell which ones are the excitable type, since I hate getting those crazy ones that never shut up.

We had fun adventuring around town yesterday getting groceries and a bridge the guinea pig can eat and a Wacom tablet for me. I originally ordered it Thursday from Best Buy online to pick up in store, they emailed me Friday saying it wasn’t in stock and to reorder. The problem was, it was on sale for $69.99 Thursday and Friday went back up to their regular price of $152.99. So I was very angry that they cancelled my order and didn’t give me a chance to get a raincheck or anything. I called both stores here to complain and see if I could get it from another store for the sale price (keep in mind most places sell it for $99) and they blew me off. So we went in person and for some reason they didn’t put up much of a fight in the store after giving me so much trouble on the phone. They checked my order, went to grab the old flyer to check the price, and put the transaction through. So now I have a nice new toy to play with and can get back into drawing. The bonus is I can have my stuff on the computer now and maybe get a real layout going for this site.

Now I’m off to school to read some more stuff for my paper. Happy Sunday everyone!

P.S. Happy Birthday Sarah!