Think Benny Hill music

That’s what I feel is the background music for my level of anxiety at this point in the semester. Every time, when I get to the last three weeks, I feel like it’s a crazy rushing hither and thither trying to finish all the group assignments and major projects while doing all the normal stuff. Add to that the special hell that are CIP exams right at the end and it’s a struggle to hold it all together and find time for everything without panicking.

At the same time, while I may feel like I’m freaking out and about to lose my mind, I’ve actually got my shit together and am doing fine. Subjectively I thought I’ve been doing poorly this term compared to last, but so far I’m getting 93 and 94 on things most of the time instead of 96 or 97. So it is overall lower but not by so much that a normal person would even notice a difference or care.

I am also in the midst of applying and interviewing for co-op jobs for the summer, some of which will be starting the second week of April after the CIP exams are finished.

So far I interviewed for one job I didn’t get, but was runner-up and the boss said apply next April and he’ll likely hire me on permanently. I had a phone interview for another job but was told they were waiting to hear back from their former co-op student and if she agreed to come on board full time they wouldn’t need me. The next morning it turned out she accepted (or he, I don’t know but prefer female pronouns) and so no job there either. Then yesterday I get a call from the place I really really want to work and I made it past the phone screen so I’m interviewing on Tuesday.

I kicked ass on the Fraud midterm (97% – highest mark in the class) and am still reeling from that since I had no idea I’d done that well. Even better it’s a second-year course and I am keeping up or doing better than the students who should be more experienced at this than I am. That is nice and makes me feel competent at this insurance stuff.

Scary Thursday

In general I had a pretty good day. Thursday is Auto Insurance followed by Property Insurance, and I know I’m in the right program when that amounts to an exciting day. I got my mark back for my Auto midterm (93%, yay!) and property class was fun because we started talking about commercial policies and how they differ from the basic fire policy.

I was in a pretty good mood when it was time to go home, until I realized I couldn’t find my bus pass. It’s a little difficult to get home without that, especially since I’m in the habit of leaving my wallet at home and so had no change to get home.

I retraced my steps, checked the classroom, checked my locker, asked my classmates on Facebook if anyone had seen it. The prof saw me checking the classroom and offered to walk with me to security, and when they didn’t have it offered to drive me to the bus terminal on her way home in case someone turned it in there. Plus that way I could find out what it would take to replace it.

The news wasn’t good. I’d have to buy a new student card from the school and buy a new bus pass entirely, though if I called a specific staff member I could get it pro-rated for the remainder of the semester. Even when I said I’d kept my receipt and could prove I had already purchased the pass, I was told the same thing. So I’d be looking at paying $125 for the card and the sticker. Ouch.

Then when I got home I had to cancel my credit card (and Dean’s) because I’d left it in the holder with my bus pass. I made sure no one else had used it and they canceled it on the spot.

Friday morning I showed up at school a half hour early so I could go over everywhere I’d been again and everything I’d done to try and track the card down.

Again I retraced my steps and checked the classroom and my locker and by then I was pretty desperate. I started wondering if my card had fallen out of my locker and into the one below, and looking for crevices that it could have fallen into. This turned out to be the winning idea because I found my lost bus pass!

It turns it in the front left-hand corner if those lockers there is a gap that isn’t visible when the door is open and the card got wedged in there somehow. I’m sure if there was anyone watching I looked like such a weirdo, feeling around in my empty locker with my eyes closed for cracks.

But I found my bus pass so it was worth it!

Now I need to come up with a better way of keeping track of that thing because it’s too costly to chance it getting lost. I think I’m going to do what I did at Laurier and put it on a lanyard. If it’s attached to me it can’t get lost.

My Head Feels Like It Is Going To Explode

I have so many assignments due in the next month that I’m starting to worry that there won’t be time to finish them all. One of them is a website for Web Design, so stay tuned for that addition to this site. As well, I’ll probably redesign to match that site.

August can’t come fast enough.

Too Good To Be True?

Today my textbook for 558 arrived in the mail. It was a bit funny, since I was on my way back from picking up my hold at the library when the mail truck pulled in and when he buzzed and didn’t get an answer I kinda wondered and asked if there was mail for me. Turns out there was, and he was buzzing my apartment.

This wouldn’t normally mean much, since it’s just a boring old textbook. But the text for this course is an older edition. It’s either out-of-print or very nearly there since Chapters and Amazon have it listed but “temporarily unavailable to order” so you have to get it used. The bookstore doesn’t have them since the prof didn’t tell them to buy the new edition. It’s $150 and we don’t need any of the new stuff so we’re supposed to find a copy of this older one.

So, I get home after the first class and check the used listings to see what I can find. Turns out there’s a used copy of this book on Chapters’ website for $8 because it “may include highlighting/writing, some completed exercises, missing dustcover, crease and/or overall wear.” I’m thinking the book might be crap, but at that price I was willing to risk it. So I go for it anyway.

Today, I opened the package and see no evidence of any writing or highlighting in the book at all. If there are completed exercises I can’t find them. It even still came with the discs with the files needed for the exercises. It’s true, the spine is a little weak, but damn. I got myself a book in better shape than some of the stuff you can get used at the bookstore and for unbelievably cheap.

Like a good student, I started reading it right away. But then after about 3 pages of reading up on how awesome databases are and how they are the greatest invention of modern times I decided to read Confessor instead.

The "Code"

Every time we get into a discussion in class about the American Library Association’s code of ethics someone brings up the fact that it is unenforceable. Then the prof brings up the fact that these are rules we should strive to follow but that we won’t always be able to do this.

On the web page, the ALA says themselves, “These statements provide a framework; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations.”

Does anybody else upon reading this hear Barbossa saying, “The code is more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules”?

I am such a nerd.

Busy, Busy

I’m still alive. 😉 Just up to my ears in schoolwork. I’ll get back to you on the weekend.

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!

What You're Doing

Or, what I’ve been doing.

Things haven’t been too busy but I’ve been enjoying the chance to read again and not spend so much time on the computer. I realize once school starts up in September I’m probably going to be chained to my laptop again.

I’m trying to learn to actually use Photoshop, rather than putting up with my usual tactic of fumbling around until I get something presentable. I’m also teaching myself to type using Dvorak to help with my repetitive strain. I’ve pretty much got it down but find it hard to stick to because I’m so slow at it compared to Qwerty. Oh well. If I put stickers or something on my keyboard, or rearrange the keys, I’m sure I’d be faster at it since when I forget where a letter is I can just look instead of having to stop and think about it.

Look! A cute ducky!

cute ducky

That was taken before Convocation, when me and Dean were wandering the park looking for good places to take pictures of the gown for my grandma. I’m sure she’s glad she made me promise that I’d go to this one [since I skipped out on my highschool graduation] because not many people in my family make it through to university, let alone graduate. Now that I’ve had a couple weeks to get over it, I’m kinda glad I went too. Not for the usual reasons, but so I’ll have an idea of what to expect when I graduate from Western. At least that’s one convocation that I’ll be glad to go to!

Still, I really like the pretty purple frame for my degree. It’s much better than Dean’s with his boring brown thing. Mine’s so bright and cheerful. I think it better represents the spirit of the school. Not just because it’s the school colours. The whole experience at school was so much fun. The other frame is so austere looking. It kinda creeps me out. I keep saying mine is better than Dean’s. Eventually it turns into us joking that I chose the one I did because I’m an artsy-fartsy philosophy major and he’s an important and valued business student. Ha! I still say we win because there are more people getting BAs at Laurier than BBAs. So there!

See? Mine’s so nice:

degree

While waiting for the spinning wheel to get back I didn’t feel like knitting much, so I started working on Peacock Tapestry again and I’ve now finished another page. For as much as I still love this piece after all these years, I must admit I’m going to be very excited when I’m finally finished the leaves on those trees. So much green! Even the pears don’t provide much distraction from the overwhelming green of it all.

This is the section of the trees that I just finished. You can see where the page ends.

peacock tapestry detail

This is what I have so far:

peacock tapestry whole

Since Kitty actually stayed off it this time, I’ve got something else. Kitty raspberries!

kitty razz

In other cross-stitch news I received my needleroll from Hania this month:

needleroll

It’s so beautiful! I love it so much. Especially because it’s something I never would have thought to make for myself, and yet it’s so pretty.

I also made her one. Mine’s something of a colour-overload, but in a good way I think. The original pattern was so monotone that I couldn’t stand it and went in the complete opposite direction.

topiary needleroll

As if there isn’t enough random stuff in this post, have some cute piggies!

piggies

What a Week!

It’s been one hell of a week. I’ve been sick, first with an ear infection and then a touch of the flu. I’ve been all queasy and gross feeling all week, and still am a bit. I had toast for dinner today which helps.

My computer died again. I spent a good 6 hours between Monday and yesteday on the phone with Dell. On Monday they decided my hard drive was busted, and sent me a new one yesterday. It was still busted (which I could have told them) so I called them back and spent some time explaining and trying to get them to listen to me. Eventually they caught on that I have a piece of crap with lots of stuff wrong with it so they told me to send it in with most of the peripherals and they are going to check it all. It’s about damn time. I stole Dean’s iBook for the next week while they fix it so I can still do school stuff.

Tudor visited on Tuesday and delivered a copy of his book, which is amazingly wonderful. Go buy it. I was feeling icky and out of it and forgot about the offer of tea. Bribes work best when you deliver on them.

I crammed like mad in order to finish the WTC quilt squares before Wednesday, but they are done and mailed now. I’m so glad that I’m done. I never should have volunteered for the second one. It was really making my carpal tunnel act up. Oh well. Hindsight.

I got some Koigu KPPPM in the mail that I ordered a few weeks ago. It’s beautiful and amazingly soft. I’m going to love the socks I’m making out of it. It bugs me that it’s made in Ontario but you pretty much have to buy it from the US. *grumble* It’s worth it though.

My amusement for the day: Rocky talked about truthiness and the Colbert Report. Philosophy classes kick serious ass.