about     peas & carrots

Items tagged “is_archive&rdquo

« newer stuff     older stuff »

nothing’s coming to mind

maura @ 10:11 pm

In the past 2 days I have ridden 4 subway lines (in order: G,* 7,** Q and 5) and traveled to 3 CUNY campuses for 2 great librariany programs (and 2 meetings). Yesterday was a program on information literacy assessment at LaGuardia Community College, and today was a program on critical pedagogy and library instruction at Brooklyn College. (And in between I had 2 meetings at the Graduate Center, where the wifi is not locked down + the cafeteria always has something tasty for lunch.)

* The G used to be Gus’s favorite train when he was wee, for obvious reasons. The logo is a pleasing spring green, so I like it too.

** Gus used to <3 the 7, too, when his favorite color was purple. I love it because it goes elevated in Queens and passes by an incredibly beautifully graffitied building.

It’s so strange the way my brain reacts to new knowledge sometimes. These programs were both incredibly engaging and thought-provoking, and usually afterward I’d be working things out in my head or scribbling (really typing) down some half-baked notes + ideas sparked by all of the good stuff I heard + thought about. But I think that the close proximity of two highly interesting + relevant (both work-relevant and research-interest-relevant) talks has overloaded my brain somewhat. The wheels are spinning a bit, but nothing coherent and no urge to write it down.

I think my brain is temporarily full. Maybe stuff will percolate out tomorrow or later. In the meantime, Sherlock Holmes will help empty it out a bit, right?


he can cut a record from side to side

maura @ 10:05 pm

ZOMG! The number of possible things to do this semester is somewhat more overwhelming than usual. This isn’t new, of course, and I’m not the first person to notice it, either. Today was insane on campus — I think there were literally 10 different things I could have gone to during club hour (which is the break between classes from 1-2-ish on Thursdays, so named because student clubs meet then). I had a meeting and ended up going to none of them, though I did hit the first half of the very awesome Literary Arts Festival this evening and got to see students, faculty and poet Willie Perdomo do their thing.

(P.S. I’ve recently realized that I like poetry. This is a new thing — for much of my life I paid poetry no mind. I think it might actually be Gus’s fault. There’s a lot of Shel Silverstein in our lives, and kids like to write poetry.)

Partly this is overwhelming because I’m a librarian. So we host our own events, of course, like all the other departments on campus. We’re also inherently interdisciplinary. I like that part of librarianship a lot: it’s kind of incredible to take it as a given that we can be interested in and learn about (and even research, to an extent) all manner of subjects. But this also means that practically any event at the college is relevant to us. So, you know, I really want to go to all of these events.

But I can’t. Which is a drag. There’s another 3 things going on tomorrow, but I’ll only be at one of them, sigh. On the other hand, I’ll get to play a game or two, which is pretty dang cool.

les tags: ,

i am the passenger

maura @ 10:13 pm

Today I went to a conference and had a blast. I’m exhausted now, but it strikes me that I’m incredibly lucky (an incredibly grateful) to have a job in which I get to spend a day listening to and talking with smart, interesting people and thinking about important issues.

Lots of tweets from today, and before, because it’s been awhile since I’ve posted them:

@alevtina sounds delicious! except for the brussels sprouts, i just can’t abide them.
half a minute ago via web in reply to alevtina

Awesome time at #du10 today. My brain is full.
about 1 hour ago via Echofon

@mkgold experimentation and freedom to fail (and try again)… sounds like a game to me. #du10
about 3 hours ago via web

@jrrnyc ha! what about a homemade one? i got sharpies!
about 5 hours ago via web

RT georgeotte @s2ceball: What is rigor, and why is it applied in a way that clamps down on production & access #du10
about 6 hours ago via TweetDeck Retweeted by you

today makes me want to get a tattoo of the open access logo. #du10
about 6 hours ago via web

Clifford Lynch makes the point that peer review itself is extremely time-intensive and increasing as publication increases. #du10
about 6 hours ago via web

@epistemographer true, true. tho could be another argument in favor of curation as a valuable scholarly activity. #du10
about 7 hours ago via web in reply to epistemographer

clearly needs coffee, many tweeting typos from me this session
about 7 hours ago via web

@epistemographer yes! and other places. i think we need to be willing to consider multiple spaces for communities to come together. #dh10
about 7 hours ago via web in reply to epistemographer

@epistomographer discussing the flip side of everyone is a creator — interesting. #du10
about 8 hours ago via web

I suspect that the term paradigm shift was used in every workshop this morning. #du10
about 10 hours ago via web

Phil Pochoda (UMich): we need to think bigger, not smaller, in scholarly publishing. the system will adapt. #dh10
about 11 hours ago via web

digital scholarly publishing has evolved slowly for yrs, are we at a point now when we can make a strong push for change? (i hope so!) #du10
about 11 hours ago via web

re: needing 2 B in 4 rms at once: can the tweets B divvied up later & posted on workshop pages on the website? alternatively: clones? #dh10
about 11 hours ago via web

Willinsky: new models for publishing (of course) should include digital forms including datasets (amen to that!). #du10
about 11 hours ago via web

@lwaltzer nope, they are one + the same, just 2 diff digital spaces to accommodate non-CUNY folks too. #du10
about 11 hours ago via web

John Willinsky: there is already enough money in scholarly publishing, it just needs to be reallocated more cooperatively #du10
about 12 hours ago via web

Nick Carbone: with more open publishing scholarly writing will change, less jargon, more public discourse #du10
about 12 hours ago via web

Wow, diverse attendees in this acad publishing workshop: faculty, grad students, librarians, publishers. #du10
about 12 hours ago via web

In the Academic Publishing workshop at #du10
about 12 hours ago via web

Practically perfect blossoms today:
6:33 PM Apr 18th via Echofon

RT CityTechLitFest Are you getting ready for Wille Perdomo on 4/29 at City Tech? Tell your friends, too!
1:26 PM Apr 18th via web Retweeted by you and 1 other

my kid just asked me if he could borrow my nintendo ds. :)
6:52 PM Apr 17th via web

On the bus to karate. Sometimes I love the bus.
11:18 AM Apr 17th via Echofon

@ChrysalisArch You should! I’d read it for sure.
11:14 AM Apr 17th via Echofon in reply to ChrysalisArch

Testing pasting in a longish URL to Twitter, pay me no mind:
3:17 PM Apr 16th via web

This morning I got into the shower w/my glasses on and was 1/2way finished before I even noticed. #iclearlyneedmoresleep
7:24 AM Apr 16th via Echofon

@captain_primate It’s really just impossible not to. Same with American Bottom.
6:05 PM Apr 15th via Echofon in reply to captain_primate

You know, when technology actually works the way it’s supposed to, it’s really awesome.
12:11 PM Apr 15th via Echofon

@Annefesto woah, you jetsetter! that is not enough time at home in my book.
10:40 PM Apr 14th via Echofon in reply to Annefesto

New workshop room projector training webinar (actually pretty cool).
10:24 AM Apr 14th via Echofon

This parenthood vacation has been a hoot, but I miss my kid.
8:39 AM Apr 14th via Echofon

OH: it’s like they’re anti-cellphone windows.
7:20 PM Apr 12th via Echofon

Hey edupunks, you saw this CFP, right?
4:59 PM Apr 10th via web

I was only temporarily awesome, apparently. Personal inbox=16, work inbox=23, feedreader=56. Bah.
11:04 PM Apr 8th via web

gearing up to team teach w/my evaluating sources game today. have candy for the winners!
10:47 AM Apr 7th via Echofon

Why I am awesome: apparently sometime last week I prepped for tomorrow’s class, thus preventing a severe case of end-of-Spring-Break-itis.
9:54 PM Apr 5th via web

i know it’s lame to tweet about the weather, but i am seriously not ready for it to be 76 degrees.
6:46 PM Apr 5th via web

The water is freezing, yet he must build.
3:43 PM Apr 4th via Echofon

Home again, home again, and the cats are happy to see us.
9:09 PM Apr 3rd via Echofon

@JenHoward Hi, I’m a college librarian trying integrate games into my instruction, I’m happy to talk with your colleague.
7:18 PM Mar 31st via Echofon in reply to JenHoward

Did I forget to mention the giant inflatable census I saw last week?
9:15 PM Mar 30th via Echofon

spinning my wheels a bit today, sigh
3:42 PM Mar 30th via web

RT Registration now open for The Digital University conf at CUNY GC (NYC 4/21). @sivavaid keynotes #du10 Pls RT
10:23 AM Mar 29th via web Retweeted by you and 4 others

@boonebgorges I mouse lefty, totally helps w/carpal strain. Try swapping yr buttons. Bonus: freaks out ppl who try 2 use yr machine!
1:55 PM Mar 29th via web

@divanoir yah, rain is making me sleepy, too. tea is yr friend!
1:53 PM Mar 29th via web

First full RT day in weeks, yay! Let’s get this research party started.
8:55 AM Mar 29th via Echofon

les tags: , ,

updates, in list form

maura @ 5:32 pm

1. We did manage to make it to the BBG today. What’s more fun than traipsing through the botanic gardens with a sullen, complaining 8 yr old? Same plus nearly every other resident of our fine city. I have rarely seen the gardens so crowded on a non-event day. We actually had to cut the trip short because the crowds were getting to all of us.

2. Here’s the flower report:
Magnolias: mostly finished
Tulips: full bloom
Grape hyacinths: full bloom, like a bluish-purple carpet
Lilacs: mostly not open, but a few bushes have started, eep!
Cherries: a mixed bag, some trees are full on, and some just have buds. Seems like the trees with whitish blossoms open earliest:


It’s like a crazy nature fast forward over there, even the azalea bushes have a couple of blossoms opening. Looks like Gus will have to endure a few more awful weekends of floral viewing. We’ll be consulting the cherry blossom status map to plan our viewing strategy.

3. We did have ice cream bars, phew. And as you can see, even the non-treat time wasn’t all bad:


Nothing like a muddy stream to really cheer a kid up after being dragged to see boring old flowers with his boring old parents.

4. Have you seen my to-do list? It’s gone missing, which has completely thrown me for a loop because I need to update it for this week and I usually start with the old list when I’m making a new one. I’ve got a couple of piles of work- and research-related stuff on my desk and shelves, and it’s not in any of them. I *just* had it yesterday, and I can’t for the life of me imagine what’s happened to it.

Maybe the cats stole it. I’ve been talking trash about shaving them lately because with the warm weather they are shedding like mad. This could be their devilish revenge: wig out the control freak by stealing her list! Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

les tags: , , , ,

kind of a cop out

maura @ 6:15 pm

Yeah, you guessed it, this isn’t really a post. Kind of a finger in the eye after 6 days, huh? But I did write a post on my other blog about the website I made for the course I’m teaching this semester. It’s long enough that I can add a “W” to the calendar for today (= I wrote something somewhat substantial), and will just have to do for a Sunday evening.

les tags: , , ,

whiplash weather

maura @ 6:37 pm

I’m always surprised at how fast things can change with early Spring weather. This time last weekend we were drinking hot chocolate after Jonathan took Gus and a pal to the park to get in some sledding and build a snow fort (after the 2 feet of snow we’d gotten the day before). Today it was 53 degrees and sunny, though there are still a few dirty piles of snow yet to melt. I took Gus to karate this morning, but we’ve spent the afternoon inside.

What is is about the internets that makes us want to own up to stuff that we’re maybe a bit ashamed about? I always feel guilty when we don’t take advantage of the nice weather and do something outside. The botanic gardens, the High Line, riding bikes in the park, getting back on our scooters: we could have done any of those things today. But I’m tired and Jonathan’s tired–indeed, we both napped, which is a rare luxury. Gus was perfectly happy to spend the day playing video games and watching Japanese Kirby videos (subtitled in English) on YouTube. And we’re planning to head to the zoo tomorrow so we’ll have plenty of opportunity for vitamin D and running around then.

You all know how I feel about video games, both for Gus and for myself. Recently we have put some limits on weekend gametime; the weekdays tend to police themselves, what with school and homework. But many weekends we’re doing stuff, too, in which case it’s not really an issue. We didn’t impose any limits today because Monday starts a 10 day electronic fast in our house. In Gus’s school the highest grades go on a camping trip each year, and to raise money for the trip they do a read-a-thon in which sponsors pledge a few cents a page. The teachers have decided that in the midst of the read-a-thon will be a 10 day period with no TV or other electronic devices. For everyone in the family, I might add.

I always feel a bit torn about these digital fasts. On the one hand, I do see some value in taking a break from electronics–they use electricity, and you don’t tend to move much while using them. They can also be kind of antisocial, though I hesitate to even bring that up because they can also be *more* social. When I’m talking to an old college pal on facebook aren’t I being more social than if I’m sitting on my sofa reading? And Gus already reads a ton–one day last month he read 219 pages of Harry Potter #2!–so it’s not like I’m worried that he’s not spending enough time hitting the books.

What I expect the 10 days will do (beyond raising money for the trip) is highlight my own various uses of electronics. Between my phone and laptop at home there’s work work (mostly but not solely email), research work, work-related reading, twitter (which is half work half not), personal email, news reading, facebook (actually not so much these days, maybe 2-3x/week), and TV/movie watching (I’ve been busy enough recently that there hasn’t been much gaming for me). Some of those can happen while Gus is asleep, so I don’t need to worry about them. But I do tend to use the phone, especially, to fill in at certain times. In the morning at the breakfast table I usually check weather, email, the NY Times, and twitter. In the evening while supervising Gus getting ready for bed I’m often catching up on personal email, twitter, facebook, or RSS feeds (overwhelmingly library- or higher ed-related).

Technically I won’t be able to use the phone or computer in that kind of filling in the cracks way during the electronics fast. Luckily I’m also about 2 months behind on New Yorkers, so maybe I can get through those, finally. But I predict that it’ll be hard to remember to check the weather at nights while Gus is asleep.

les tags: , , , ,

cool and cut into slices

maura @ 12:26 pm

I think I may have too many blogs. Not that this is new — I’ve wondered about this before. But lately I’ve been feeling more blog-related confusion than usual.

Okay, so there’s this blog, the old reliable. A personal blog. For personal stuff. Except that sometimes I do want to write about library-ish things in a more casual way than on the other blogs. Like a couple of weeks ago, when I wrote about my class. But then I wanted to write about the class in a more formal way and give a shoutout to all of the other library classes I’d found inspirational, so I posted something about it on the ACRLog too. It felt a bit weird to write about the same thing in two different ways, but not so weird that I didn’t do it. I’ve also been feeling a tiny bit bloggers block with more formal library posts, too, and in some ways I think it loosened me up a bit to write casually about the course here before I wrote more formally about it over there.

It’s probably more of a systemic issue: things have been busy lately, and I haven’t done as much writing as I like. I am keeping my hour before work for research/writing, but there’s been a bunch of procedural research stuff to do lately like photocopying fliers and applying for grants and reading for literature reviews and… So not so much writing has been happening in the mornings. This article in the Chronicle last week, which I’ve just gotten the chance to read now, has come at just the right time. And it has helped me push through a bit more writing in the past couple of days, too. Just need to keep repeating that mantra which has worked so well for me in the past: To Write A Lot, You Have To Write A Lot. Where’s my pencil?

les tags: , ,

hey, have you been somewhere you’ve never ever been before

maura @ 7:01 pm

The semester started last Thursday, and our library’s course started too! I’ve had a busy month prepping for the course and worrying whether it would run, so it was great to finally get to the first class. All the nervousness that I thought I’d have suddenly vanished the morning of, too, which was a bit of a surprise to me. Ultimately I’m really looking forward to having an entire semester to work on big meaty information literacy* topics with the students, so I think that excitement drove the butterflies right out of my stomach.

* Shhh, we’re not calling it IL to the students, though — too jargony. The official course name is Research & Documentation for the Information Age.

I know what you’re thinking: what about the work? Isn’t it an enormous amount of work to teach a 3-credit course? Well, yes and no. It’s true that course prep expands to fill the time available, and when I was finalizing the syllabus this month I probably let it take more time than it should. But now that the semester’s begun I’m going to have to find ways to be more efficient with course prep, and I think that the syllabus and course outline is detailed enough that I should be able to prepare without deep-ending.** I’ll be responsible for fewer other instruction sessions and reference shifts than last semester, too.

** Overpreparation is an issue for me in lots of workstuff, so I should really use the course to help me practice figuring out when to stop.

It’s also true that I had a few moments this month when I desperately wished for one big giant textbook for the course. I’m using one text (Research Strategies, by William Badke) — it’s got a good overview of the research skills I want to cover, is written in an approachable style, and is under $20. But I also want to talk about things like privacy and access and evaluation and preservation and ethics and copyright and fair use and open access and documentation and non-text media and practical applications of all of this, which is bigger than this book, nice as it is. I’m still as anti-textbook and pro-open access as ever, but I do appreciate how much more time it takes to plan a class without one.

All in all, I’m totally stoked*** to teach this class.

*** A couple of weeks ago a CUNY colleague asked if I was from the West Coast, and referred to me as “mellow but organized.” Which cracked me right up.

les tags: , ,

the triumphant end

maura @ 8:05 pm

Today’s the last day of NaBloPoMo, and all I can think of is the stupid song that Dora the Explorer sings when she finishes her quest: “we did it, we did it, we did it, yeah!” Gus hasn’t watched that show in forever, but my nephews are still little so I’m sure that earworm took hold sometime over the long weekend while we were visiting.

So yeah, I probably should have written a few more substantive posts this month. But I think I did a decent job overall. Definitely more library-ish this year than in years past, which I guess is understandable given how much headspace I devote to my job.

And speaking of which, apparently there’s a conversation going on over at Friend Feed re: my post about the plagiarism article that I wrote last night, so I should head over and join in. Bye!

les tags: , ,

i got nothing (well, okay, very little)

maura @ 10:10 pm

Observations About Some Things:

– I was on the reference desk for 2 hrs today which was really fun. Desk hrs are one thing I never feel like I have enough of — it’s such an immediate, tangible way to help the students. Today’s random highlight was a student in line behind the student I was helping find articles in scholarly journals who insistently suggested that student #1 use the internet because the library resources are too complicated. I tried to explain that you can’t usually find scholarly articles for free online, but she wasn’t having it. Luckily what she really wanted to know is where to find the books in the BF call number range, so she headed upstairs and student #1 and I found a few articles together.

– I’ve had terrible bloggers block for the past week for the academic library blog that I write for, but then I picked up a great article yesterday and now I think the block is gone, yay!

– Gus is No Longer Sick, and in fact is so well that he didn’t even complain about homework tonight, even the extra stuff he’d missed yesterday and Monday! At bedtime he asked me if I loved him “more than life itself,” not sure where that came from.

– I felt all better and stuff today so after work I came home and cleaned the house and did the laundry and did the dishes (Jonathan cooked all day for tomorrow) and took out the trash. Now I am tired, and it’s time to catch up on TV.

les tags: , , ,