about     peas & carrots

Items tagged “is_archive&rdquo

« newer stuff    


maura @ 9:30 pm

Earlier Gus asked Jonathan what “engulfed” means, and since I was thinking I’d write a little something about my research project today that seems as good a title as any.

This year a colleague (at another library) and I got a small grant to do an ethnographic study of the ways that students at each of our colleges research and complete their school assignments and projects. It’s modeled after a similar study done at the University of Rochester a few years ago (here’s a PDF of the book they wrote about it). We’re interviewing faculty about their expectations for student work, and also doing a couple of different kinds of interviews with students.

Working on this project has been a blast so far. We started with faculty interviews at the end of the spring and over the summer. But it’s gotten a bit intense over the past few weeks since the student interviews started. Right now I’m in the throes of 2 kinds of interviews with students. One is called a mapping diary — I give each student a map of our campus and of the transit system and ask them to trace and log (with times) the course of a typical school day. The other is called a photo survey — I give each student a disposable camera and ask them to take pictures of different objects and locations, e.g., where they study, what they carry in their school bag, etc. With both of these I’m asking students to meet with me after they’ve finished for between 10-30 minutes so that I can interview them to expand on what they recorded on their maps/photos.

We’ve got enough funding for 10 students to participate in each kind of study. It’s been a bit more challenging than I’d anticipated keeping track of everything: which students have come to pick up their maps/cameras, dropped them off, and scheduled interviews. I’m running cameras to the drugstore to get developed and buying Metrocards in different denominations (as payment to the students for participating in the interviews). When I posted the flyers to recruit students for the study I had such an overwhelming response that I actually had to go around campus and take them down 4 days later! Which is all great, just a bit of a challenge on top of all of the usual life + work stuff.

Thank goodness for RT! Reassigned time, the saving grace of the junior faculty member. Tomorrow I’ve got an RT day scheduled and have 4 students meeting me for interviews. Then somebody has a birthday (and will finally be as old as me), and we all get cake. Huzzah!

les tags: ,

the monkeys chatter away the hours

maura @ 9:42 pm

Tonight after dinner I said, “wouldn’t it be nice to have some decaf?” And Jonathan countered with, “how about half-caf?” I wavered for a minute but then thought, “what the hey,* it’s Friday, w00t!” And that’s why I’ll be using even! more! exclamation! points! than! usual! Hope it will not come back to haunt me in the form of insomnia later on tonight.

* There are very few work-related things that I will complain about (because you all know that I <3 my job), but one is this: on Friday afternoons it is impossible to get a cup of coffee. The bookstore closes at 1, and today even the cafeteria had stopped serving food + beverages by the time I got down there. They do have a coffee vending machine but I just can’t pay money for that stuff. Bah. So I guess I felt entitled to the extra caffeine tonight, too.

This was a pretty good week. Yesterday a student came into the library specifically asking for me! And I was able to help her, and she was grateful! (I’m a sucker for appreciative students, what can I say.) I was pretty good at keeping resolutions this week, too, though I did think of about 5 more work-related things that I could add to my list. But I didn’t add them! (yet) And maybe I won’t!

I got a fair amount of work done on my research day, too, though 2 article ideas are still muddled. I’m thinking that I might need to blag about them to try and iron them out. I’ve never really wanted to blag about library stuff here, but lately I am mulling it over and I don’t know where else I would do it so you might have to suffer through it at some point. I can barely keep up with this blag so I’m certainly not starting another.

And then there’s the tenure thing…should I be spending creative time writing something that will not “count” for tenure? I tend to be of the opinion that any writing is good writing, but it’s hard to keep nagging tenure concerns out of the back of my head. Of course, by the time I come up for tenure it’ll be 2015 and we’ll all have wearable computers with instant peer-review and flying cars, so I probably shouldn’t sweat it now.

Maybe I should try to wrangle an invite to join a group library blag somewhere. The academic library association has a blag and they put out a call for first year academic librarian blaggers last summer, but I decided not to apply because I was worried about the workload. But now I’m thinking that I should have because it looks like each one only writes about one post/month, if that. And I could totally manage that.

les tags: , ,

when you walk down the street

maura @ 9:50 am

Ah, Summer Fridays. The days I’ve scheduled for publication-related activities. Last week I had a good workday, but today I am far less motivated. I’m still not 100% recovered from my surprisingly evil head cold. And I feel like I didn’t get enough done this week, what with the 2 sick days. I guess I did finish two books while convalescing (one of which had been moldering on a shelf, half-read, since the spring!). But I’d like to have gotten more done at work, run some errands, cleared out some Coop work, etc.

(Yes, I know it’s not healthy to regret time lost to illness. I’m working on it.)

So, today I would much rather be doing non-publication-related things. But there’s not an infinite number of Summer Fridays, so instead I’ve planned procrastination until 10am (hence this post!) and work after that.

(So here’s the real post now, that was all just explanatory blathering that you’re free to ignore. Oops, too late.)

Two shiny new gadgets arrived in our house this week.

I know, I know, I’ve claimed at least twice that I would not be getting one. BUT, someone in the house joined the iphone developer’s program and needed a testing platform. Also, our old cellphones were really bad, practically unusable, and since our contract was up we would have needed to pay for new phones AND get a more expensive contract anyway since they no longer offer our old plan. And it’s not fair for just ONE person in the house to have an iphone, now, is it?

Admittedly, it still makes me a bit nervous to carry it around. I did bring my old ipod shuffle to work the other day because it seemed conspicuous to be listening to music on the iphone in the subway. But I have to admit that it’s pretty sweet. I stitched up a quickie cozy for it out of some felt I had lying around, but I’ve plans to sew a real case sometime soon. And the headphones fit perfectly into the little knitted cozy that Anne made for me ages ago (thanks Anne!).

I haven’t paid for any software for it yet, but I downloaded a free Othello, because I am a nerd. Now if someone could just make a (GOOD!) listmaking app and Tesserae, I’ll be all set!

les tags: ,