Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kind of a Big Deal

Serving the information needs of the patron: A discussion of metadata in librarianship

19/20 & 10/10
I got an "A." Maybe it's not that big of a deal in grad school, but don't burst my bubble!

Side-note: Librarians are the most sarcastic, pessimistic, patronizing group of people I have ever come to know. (Is that a stereotype? Yes, I believe it is.) Everyone complained about how boring class was & how boring cataloging was, but when it came time to present their words changed. Albeit, their tone did not. I started to get really tired of monotone This is very interesting statements.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Twilight: A Book Review

The Book

Title: Twilight
Author: Stephenie Meyer

I read this book a a challenge. One of the girls at youth group (High School) began raving about this book--mostly about this Edward guy--and insisted that I read it. I told her that I would read the entire saga if she would read one of my recommendations (a book on Christian living). She accepted the challenge and read my book (150 pages) three times over before I finished the first book of the saga (400+ pages). I am embarrassed that she beat me up in the reading category. There's no excuse, not even grad school. I have to read better.

Technical Merit

Meyer does a great job of getting into the head of her teenage girl. The angst is palpable and probably (obviously?) resonates well with a certain demographic. Unfortunately, I am not part of the teenage-girl-angst demographic, so I found it annoying personally (that was not an objective statement of fact, it was a personal evaluation). My only real technical gripe is that Meyer does not describe action very well. She prefers to tell you what happened rather than show you what is happening. There is a monumental difference between those two forms of storytelling. Generally, the more effective route is to show what is happening, so as to avoid sounding like a grocery list of activities.

Review

I have heard that Vampires are an afterthought in the series, that they are not necessary to drive the story. I actually disagree with that assessment. I think that the idea of a thriving relationship between the living and the undead is fascinating. Sure, I can see how Vampire purists can get up in arms about what was done to the mythology of Dracula's people, but I still feel that it is a valid topic. And yes, Meyer does use the Vampire powers to drive the story. Sometimes, however, it comes across as forced (It's all good, we're vampires. That's how we roll!)

I have a problem with a few of the characters who were not developed as much as I'd like to have seen. Who is Charlie again? Why is he so important? Maybe I have to get into book 2 for that. Also, there's (comparatively) no action in this book. It's all about the girl's infatuation with the Edward the Vampire (He is like a Greek god chiseled out of marble after all). There are three action scenes; the car accident, getting lost while shopping & the ballet studio, they are mostly revealed in a convoluted after-the-fact manner (going back to technical merit). I don't even know what these guys look like when they bare their teeth other than really freaking scary (my paraphrase).

My Takeaway

Don't get me wrong, I kinda liked the storyline. Was it a perfectly written, timeless classic that needs to become summer reading for all 10th graders? No way. But given the right demographic, it can really resonate & open the floodgates of imagination. That's what fiction is all about, isn't it? I suppose I would give it 2.5 out of 5 stars based on the technical merit & my own personal engagement, but I can see why others might rate it higher.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Class in Tampa! Yay

Live, From the CIS Building

I presented on Metadata today. It was relatively painless & completely awkward. Oh well, that's how it goes!

We're learning about Main Entries & Added Entries & I can't seem to take my eyes off the subject matter, so I'm going to pay attention to class now...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Most Taxing

I just did the most taxing thing of my graduate career. I wrote 2,000 words about metadata in 14 hours. It was as horrible as it sounds.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Never Underestimate MS Word

The Challenge

I finally passed a Word & Excel test for a "Librarian" position that I applied for at Baptist Hospital. I failed both tests on Monday & studied my booty off all week to pass it today. (I ended up only getting one question wrong on each test.)

I was not surprised that I failed Excel. I never use Excel. Excel intimidates me. Given that, I was encouraged that if I'd gotten one more question right, I would have passed the exam. What surprised me was Word.

I performed miserably on the Intermediate Word skills test. Given that I spent 4(+) years in a University & hold a degree in English (which = many research/argumentative papers), never received a grade lower than an A in High School English & spent 3 years working in the IT department of the same University, I was baffled that I did that poorly on the MS Word portion of the exam. I wasn't even close to passing.

I guess my takeaway from this experience is to never underestimate any undertaking. It's always good to review & continue learning because there is always somewhere you can improve.

A Side Note

On a side note, there was someone else in the room which made things a bit awkward. She was in the same position that I was on Monday, a failure. Hopefully she studies & passes soon!
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