Sunday, July 29, 2007

Winding up the quarter-- projects looming!

The end of the quarter is looming, and in addition to starting work again, final projects are due. One of them, for Inferential Statistics, turns out to be interesting-- who knew? I went into this class with my Math Phobia cranked to hyperdrive and my stress symptoms in full flower. The professor turns out to be a pretty good teacher and has made this course comprehensible and reduced my phobia to tolerable levels. Mind, the quarter and the project aren't over yet, but I'm actually starting to enjoy what we are learning. The project has me interested enough so that I'll probably stay up past my bedtime to work on it.

For anyone interested in the poem (last post), it will not be published. It is a situational poem, and those lend themselves to the occasion, falling flat in print. Best left to oral history.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The workyear begins anew...

People are returning to work after summer vacations, and discovering all sorts of things that inspire questions, that they think I can answer, or that my terrific clerk Pam can answer. Usually one of us knows or can find the answer.

Then I got an additional opportunity: write a poem. I do this several times a year, usually for things like birthdays or retirements, and it isn't as hard as you'd think. My friend Karen Robertson gave me the secret: if the lines don't want to rhyme, make them! With some creative pauses and ever so slight enunciation latitude, you'd be amazed at what will rhyme with what. The poem is mostly done, and only needs some fine tuning, two pages, which is about all that an audience can handle.

And I'm putting off homework with my blogging, and best get back to it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Current reading....

My current reading interest is trends in the school library world, and the only book I could find was School Library Media Centers in the 21st Century by Kathleen W. Craver (1994). It is staggering how the world has changed since then. My world, that of information, is now dominated by Google and Yahoo, so I picked up a copy of The Search by John Battelle (2005). Fascinating reading, especially when Battelle gets into future trends and intelligent searches. He describes IBM's WebFountain project that is annotating the web so information can be searched intelligently, a new approach to cataloging.

When this process results in intelligent searching cababilities-- essentially, a reference librarian in every search engine-- it will have a huge impact on how we teach students to access and use information. Will this new intelligent searching capacity also come with commercial content that will be problematic in an educational environment? If students can access information without a library facility or librarian, does this signal the demise of both?

For fun, try searching the Internet using whatever search engine appeals, for the name of the oldest known named author in the history of Western civilization. Or look on page 283 of The Search.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Week 2, Thing 3

Voila! The blog is up, and the Avatar created and imported. The Avatar will disappear at the end of the exercise, in favor of the car. Some more options for Avatar would have been appreciated, but I'm sure those are available elsewhere on the web. I do not identify with Barbie....or Ken.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Thing #2: The Habits

OK, I've started working through School Library Learning 2.0 online learning program, and thank you, Technology Committee, for making this available to all. I've recommended it to the Retired SIG, because there may be some of these technologies that they missed and want to learn about. Thanks to the motivation of the blog, I learned to resize and import photos.

When considering the Seven-and-one-half Habits, the last One-Half Habit, finding time to play, is the hardest for me, when there is so much else to do. However, let's define "play." A lot of what I do for work is fun, but I hestiate to call it "play" lest those who create my paycheck get confused about the number of hours I actually work.

The easiest habit is putting first things first, because my life is very full, and if I'm not careful, things just do not get done. So, perforce, I'm (right now) very good at prioritizing. With a few less things on my plate, that could change :-) Each day begins with a list of things that I want to do during the week, things that have to happen, and then from this list a daily list of "better do these things or else...." is created. Keeps me focussed.