Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dreaming of Springtime



What else would you do the day after Christmas? I'm keeping warm with thoughts of Web Design & Collection Development. Here's the official description of what my life will be like until April. (This semester has already wrecked one weekend, we'll see how extensive the damage will end up being.)

LIS 5937 Web Design for Libraries (3) This course will provide the student with an
introduction to Web Design basic including theory, concepts and techniques. Topics will
include best practices, structure, layout, style sheets, graphics, publishing, templates,
software, and other web applications. After this course the learner will be able to:

  • Research, evaluate and describe the considerations regarding usability, accessibility, navigability, cultural sensitivity, global issues, and good design practices for websites in an instructional and informational resource environment.
  • Create and modify web page elements using various web and graphic creation tools for appropriate layout and design objectives.
  • Research and analyze current web design issues, elements, and considerations.
  • Create a web site employing good design principles and using appropriate content for an instructional and information resource environment.
  • Understand the use of graphic representations.
LIS 6511 COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT AND MAINTENANCE (3) Developmental
approach to building library collections of both print and non-print materials. Emphasis
upon evaluation, selection, and acquisition of library materials as they uphold the
objectives of the institutions for which they are selected and acquired.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Under My Belt

This is where I'm placing Research Methods & Preparing Instructional Media--under my belt.

This Semester

...was the hump semester. Sometime during September I celebrated the half-way point of my Graduate career. But all that celebration would be worth nothing if I didn't follow through & pass my classes. So it was imperative that I complete the mission.

To be honest

I did not feel stressed about anything this semester. The concepts were familiar to me & I completed my readings in a timely manner. As a result, I have no doubt that I am capable of conducting research &/or preparing instructional media for a class.

The Result?

The final grades haven't posted to OASIS yet, but I expect my GPA for the semester to boost my overall GPA some. I've never been a strong mathematics guy, though. So I may be in for a surprise. But I doubt it.

Another semester is neatly tucked away under my belt.

By the way, if you want to check out some of my work for LIS 6303: Preparing Instructional Media you can find it at my class blog.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

No Other Way: A Book Review

Image Courtesy of B&N

Book

Title: No Other Way
Author: Roger Real Drouin

Guess what, I know a real-life, bonafide, published author! His name is Roger Real Drouin & he has officially busted into the publishing world with this full-length novel. Sure, it came out in June. Yes, it took me six months to read it in between assignments & other things that clutter my life these days. But I got my hands on it & kept reading it & tweeting about it until I finished.

I actually talked to Roger last Sunday about the book a little bit. He was surprized at the awesome stuff he wrote and forgot about, but I will never forget it (mostly because I highlighted & took digital notes in my kindle & sent them to evernote after tweeting them). I look forward to broadcasting a full-length interview with him on my podcast (which has now been given it's own page on the blog, see the crossbar on top).

Technical Merit

Drouin was described in an Amazon review as Hemmingway-esque. By this, I assume the reviewer was referring to Roger's attention to detail. He describes some of the most mundane aspects of life--like getting a cup of coffee--with painstaking detail, reverence and awe. While reading, you may notice some of the nuances of life in a way you never considered them before. He holds true to this style throughout the book.

I had a little bit of trouble following some of the characters early on. After a few chapters, I got them straight & could focus more on what they were actually saying & feeling. For that reason, I give No Other Way a 3.5 on my 5-point scale for Technical Merit.


Review

That being said, amid the detail and description, brilliance can also be found. When I read longer works, what I (personally) look for are lucid moments where either a character or an omniscient narrator makes an observation that transcends the novel & is applicable to life. This story, framed around a potential environmental catastrophe, has several of those moments. A few of my favorite quotes are as follows:

On Faith

Some people had faith in things they grew attached to, or could claim ownership over. That wasn't true faith, was it? Was faith the very thing that made us reckless?
On Points of View
Awe and solitude are the two most immense points of view, and here they were the same.
On Long Shots
Hell, everything worth anything is a long shot. 
On the Dangers of Ignorance
The ones who won't listen will be the ones to say why didn't someone warn us. Maybe then they'll realize: Hey, there was a warning, they were trying to warn us... 
I always assumed Roger was a South Florida boy like me. I know he attended Florida Atlantic University (I have forgiven him for that), but the following quote is For Us Floridians:

The northerners would say there are no seasons in South Florida... But Ryan could feel those seasonal changes, and he came to love those subtle variations. Now in early March, the breeze was almost the same, except you could feel how it had lost its coolness, and smell how everything was about to bloom.

Takeaway


Mr. Drouin wrote an excellent novel that transcends the basic story of a bird-photographer & park ranger versus a gas company. He delves into real issues like Faith, Awe, Wonder, Knowledge, Ethics & how those principles manifest themselves in real life.


This is a strong first novel for Roger Real Drouin & I heartily recommend it to anyone who appreciates nature & a good read. I am saddened by the fact that I probably would not have had the pleasure of reading this book if I did not know Roger on a personal level. I look forward to more material from desk of Mr. Drouin & hope my readers will also look into this excellent author.

More Reading

You can connect with Roger Real Drouin on the following channels!


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