Second Semester Woes

So I start my second semester on Monday.  I am not looking forward to it.  I have Basic Information Sources and Organization of Knowledge I, both core classes.  I can’t pronounce either professor’s name, they are both Oriental.  I just hope their accents aren’t so thick that I can’t understand a damn thing they say.   That would not be good.

My Organization class has a 10 page syllabus, six of witch are the reading assignments.  There are two textbooks from which a chapter a week from each is assigned (some weeks there are two from one of them) and various journal articles I have to find and read for each week.  Then there is the homework schedule.  Some assignments, like the ones on the DDC and LCC are due before we even go over those chapters.  How can we do a homework assignment on the DDC and turn it in a week before we are supposed to read about it?  It make no sense.  I’m hoping it’s a typeo.  Plus, to get a jump start on my reading since I have three chapters to read the first week, I started reading one of them.  It took me a week to finish it.  Not because it was long mind you, but because after three or so pages my head was spinning and I had to put it down (plus my mother was very ill and I was taking care of her).  MARC, AACR, RDA?  I’m gonna need flashcards to remember all these abbreviations.  To me RDA stand for Richard Dean Anderson, aka MacGyver and General O’Neill in Stargate.  I’m going to have to train myself that RDA means Resource Description and Access (Josi, please tell me you have this problem too so I don’t feel like a total and complete nincompoop).

Then there are the group projects, one in Organization and two in Basic.  I hate group projects, no loathe and abhor.  They never work out, especially ones with group papers.  The excuse for why we have them is always “you need to learn to work with others in the real world and in your job.”  But I thought we learned that in kindergarten right after the sharing is caring and the clean-up lessons.  I don’t recall having any group projects when I was Community College, but Bang! there they were when I started at UT.  One each in three of my classes and three in another.  And those group papers I had to edit for my sociology class?  Horrible!  I spent my 22 birthday editing one because it was due the next day because my group members couldn’t write.  I had to fix paragraph long run-on sentences.  I’m not saying my fellow grad students will be bad writers (Force I hope not) but group papers are not good.  It’s hard to combine different writing styles.  And did I mention my classes are online?  How the blazes am I to do a group project with people living all over the bloody state?  I don’t drive so I’ll have trouble getting to any meet up.  It’s just not good.  Besides, I know how to work with others.  I’ve had a job in the past.  I’m very good at it, but when it comes to school and my grades I prefer them to rest solely on my own deeds and screw ups.  I don’t want to get a bad grade because Susie didn’t do her part, if I get a bad grade it will be because I messed up, not some other person.

Thirdly, my Basic class is blended, which means I have to go in for three meetings.  That’s fine, I can handle that.  Then I see that they are all Saturdays.  Saturdays!  I have to be in class from 10 am to 4 pm on three Saturdays!  Who the hell holds class on a Saturday?  My mom works on the first one, and my dad, well, he usually has plans on Saturdays with his motorcycle club.  I asked him the other night if he was doing anything that day and he said no, which is good.  But if I don’t remind him every couple of days, he’ll go and leave first thing in the morning and I’ll be screwed.  Trust me, he’s forgotten when he has to take me to the Dr.  I put it on a sticky and left it next to his computer to remind him.  Hopefully, it will help.

With all the reading I have to do for both classes I’ll barely have time to take a breath.  *sigh* It’s going to be a long semester.

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10 thoughts on “Second Semester Woes

  1. I totally have that problem too… 😉 I snicker every time I see a Very Serious cataloguing reference to RDA, and no-one else gets it!

    Good luck with the semester, I’m sure it’ll all be OK. I sympathise with having to learn cataloguing, I hated it back at library school, but it is important to learn about. I never had to do RDA though (*snicker*), as it was only theoretical back then – I didn’t hear anything about it until after I graduated. Tbh, AACR2 and MARC were more than enough for me…

    • I understand why I need it and that it is important to know the basics, but that won’t make it any easier to learn. Our book is a couple of years old and refers RDA (*snickers too*) as being “in development at this time.” At leat the one does, I just started the second one last night. I’ve already made a few flashcards to help me remember all the abreviations. But that one is going to get me every time. Luckily, the second book, which is larger size wise, has bigger print and spaces beween the sentences and paragraphs, so while it looks like I have to read 33 pages and 17 respectively, it’s really a little less if the print were smaller and such.

  2. Chin up, girl. Hopefully you won’t end up thinking your classes are too bad! I just took Basic Info & Sources over the summer with 3 blended classes on Saturdays (probably with the same professor whose name I couldn’t pronouce either!). We did NOT stay until 4 PM on any of the Saturdays we met, so make sure your ride isn’t too far away! He was a bit hard for me to understand in class, but was very open to answering one on one questions after class and on the discussion boards.

    I know exaclty how you feel about group projects, but the 2 in the Basic class weren’t that bad, and neither of the group projects were actual papers. I ended up enjoying meeting my classmates, including several who were in our Foundations class with Stephanie Race, who I think rules as an instructor!

    I am taking Intro to Library Admin this semester (another one of those dreaded core classes!), and the syllubus sounds familiar to your other class that involved LOTS of reading (2 textbooks with muliple chapters from each every week). I am definitely glad I didn’t take this class over the shortened summer semester. I’m not sure I would have had time to go to work!

    Try and have fun this semester, and best of luck!

    • Yes, I think that’s the same professor, Shannon was in that class and told me a little about it. It doesn’t sound to hard. The projects don’t seem too bad. I’m glad you didn’t stay all day. I like profs that answer questions on the boads and e-mail, makes things easier.

      Shanon and I are taking Organization together so we’ll have a Foundations buddy, but there are group papers in that class and we are not in the same group. They were already assigned. I’m really dreading this one. Stephanie was a great prof, it’s shame we probably won’t have her again.

      I think Library Admin will be the last core class I take. Collection development is next semester as is Research Methods so I think I’ll be taking those.

      Best of Luck to you too! Hopefully we’ll see each other in class again. Are you just taking the one?

  3. You’re going to work hard this semester, that’s for sure 🙂

    You might want to sign up for a WebJunction Florida account and take some of the intro cataloging classes. They’re on-demand so you take them at your convenience but it might help with some of the basics. Go to http://fl.webjunction.org and create an account, being sure to go to the AFFILIATIONS tab and clicking on Florida (and save at the bottom of the screen).

    When I was in grad school (a million years ago), I took a whole series of classes that were held on the weekends. I eventually got used to it but it does make for a long day.

    Stephanie

    • Thanks for the advice. I’m sure webjunction will help in other classes and my career as well.

      I hope I didn’t sound too much like one of those students that complains about everything. I don’t usually complain about professors, which is why I didn’t mention names, but when I saw what was entailed I got a little flustered and frustrated. The best way to take your frustrations out is to write.

    • I have not read The Swiss Army Librarian yet, but I have heard of him. I think someone in the class did read his blog for our report, and he was mentioned in This Book is Overdue!.

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