3.24.2013

i am a master of information

The degree will not be official until May, but I've just completed my very last school assignment. This means... I. AM. DONE. Done!!!!! My apologies to everyone who already saw this at Facebook, but such momentous news must be posted on wmtc!

I am honestly unable to express my joy and relief at finishing school. I sometimes wonder if I'm making a big fuss over something quite common, something people do every day. Then again, if people do return to school after nearly 30 years and pilot through a complete career change in their early 50s, every day, then good on them, because it isn't easy.

I had a ton of help. The support and encouragement from friends - in person, on wmtc, on Facebook, or all three - helped so much. People did amazing things for me, like a Campaign friend who gave me a key to her house near campus and insisted I use her spare bedroom for a lie-down anytime I wanted. For my first two years of school, that rest and re-charge let me continue to attend WRSC meetings; I couldn't have done it otherwise. (After that, library work or night classes made meetings impossible.)

The incredible generosity of my sister and brother-in-law, two of my greatest friends and supporters, made it possible for me to graduate without debt, and eventually to leave my well-paid but crappy job and focus on library work. Is that amazing or what?

Above all, this journey was all about teamwork. Allan took on so many extra chores and errands and tasks, to free my time for school, in addition to helping me through all my anxiety and obsessions and frustrations. And he did it all gracefully, without complaint. Those who know him should find that hard to believe! Allan? Without complaint?! Yes, it's true. He took it all in stride. We've actually had a lot of fun and laughs getting through this. Also a lot of wine and quite a few Klonopin.

When I was a little girl, just as I started grade school, my mother went back to school to complete her university degree, and some years later, started teaching. After that, she returned to school again for her Master's degree. My father was supportive in public, but spiteful and demanding in private, plus my mother had three children. We were all charged with helping out more at home, and my older sister was recruited to make sure we didn't starve. (God forbid my father would have made us dinner.) I was always proud of my mother's accomplishments, but these past four years have made me appreciate them on an entirely different scale.

20 comments:

allan said...

Woo-fuckin-hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(I am so jealous of that title!)

johngoldfine said...

That's so nice, Laura, just wonderful for you and Allan both. And JBJ hit a three-run homer today, so what other pleasures could life possibly have!

And is there a wmtc retrospective in the works? Your regulars know that some courses wowed you, others not so much. We know you worked hard hard hard. We know that dealing with library patrons sometimes added some juice to your trek.

But what else, what's your considered view now of what you did, what was useful, what was not, what you wished had or had not happened in school, what your feeling is about teachers and fellow graduates, and so on.

Or are you just in a hurry for baseball, travel, dogs, work, activism, love and so only looking ahead?

James Redekop said...

Congratulations!

"Master of Information" gives me a mental image something like Mickey Mouse in the Sorcerer's Apprentice sequence from Fantasia, except instead of brooms & buckets, it's books & computers...

laura k said...

Thanks, John! I think I was so self-reflective and analyzing during the whole experience, that a retrospective would seem like overkill. Plus, it's easily summed up. Overall, my instructors were great (with 1, maybe 2, exceptions), many of my student colleagues were wonderful, many not, and the program is 90% bullshit. It's a rite of passage that librarians must undergo, but almost entirely useless. An intensive 6-month course with a 6-month practical component would suffice.

I am incredibly eager to enjoy all those things you mention! And to figure out how to be a librarian. :)

laura k said...

JBJ! :)

laura k said...

"Master of Information" gives me a mental image something like Mickey Mouse in the Sorcerer's Apprentice sequence from Fantasia, except instead of brooms & buckets, it's books & computers...

Ah, I love it. I can just hear the music. (What a piece of film that is!)

Thanks for the congrats!

johngoldfine said...

"Master of Information' inevitably gives me a two-shot: first, I think 'Minister of Information' and then I think 'Masters of the Universe.' I know neither of those are part of the Laura-plan!

laura k said...

Indeed, both seem very un-librarian-like! I would have been perfectly content with an MLS or MLIS as most librarians have. But then they couldn't claim to be an iSchool... and it's all about the Faculty of Information. Can you sense my eyes rolling from there?

laura k said...

I like to say it a la Seinfeld, the Master Packer. "I Am. The Master of Information."

johngoldfine said...

Rites of passage....

I'll probably be out of the teaching world soon, time to get done. I couldn't apply today for my own job because my master's is in history, not English. And anyway in this buyers' market in evergreen disciplines, administrators, all with doctorates, like to trade up to doctorates with new hires.

But any intelligent college graduate who liked to write could do my job. I've had ace students who could teach my courses!

But why use common sense when diplomas look so fancy hanging on the wall?

impudent strumpet said...

Congratulations!!! Surely the title Master of Information must impart omnipotence.

johngoldfine said...

"figure out how to be a librarian..."

Ain't that the truth--it took me one year of teaching before I knew a damn thing. And I really didn't find out the mysteries of the art until my three years at Job Corps, 12 years along into my career!

laura k said...

Thank you, Imp Strump! Omnipotence, whoo-hoo.

laura k said...

It's this giant, self-perpetuating system, in which we need more and more credentials, at great cost, incurring more and more debt, forced to focus on income-earning above else to pay that debt.

These days, a Master's is like what a university degree once was, what you need just to get going. A university degree is nothing. My fellow students were amazed that I was able to work and live happily for so long without a Master's degree.

Then there are the folks with multiple advanced degrees who continue in school because they can't find a decent job.

laura k said...

Imp Strump, you belong on the short list of people who helped me get through. A comment of yours is posted on the wall next to my desk.

laura k said...

The increased emphasis on formal education wouldn't bother me if that education accessible to all, either free or nearly so. But using ability to pay as a filter is not the way to find the best people for any profession.

James Redekop said...

[U]sing ability to pay as a filter is not the way to find the best people for any profession.

Reminds me of this comic

laura k said...

That is so beautiful and sad.

It's the opposite of that ridiculous anti-abortion argument about an aborted fetus being the next Beethoven. Also opposite because there's truth and logic in it.

tornwordo said...

Hey, I'd love to see your Facebook posts. Add me, won't you? I am Torn Wordo, the only one :)

laura k said...

Done. Until recently, we had the same avatar. I just changed mine back from the equal marriage symbol to my lovely white dog.