Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Two completely unrelated things

But I haven't posted anything in a while, so making two separate posts at once might upset the balance of the universe. Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria. You get the idea.

1) For the past week or so (which has lasted at least three months), I've been teaching an intensive course on Web 2.0 (a term I continue to dislike, but which continues to be a convenient and often--though not always--understood shorthand. Though the people who don't understand the term "Web 2.0" are unlikely to understand any other term I use either). It's going well, but it's exhausting, as we meet all day, and I meet with them two nights a week, in addition to having to create assignments for them the other two nights. In addition to finding time to do my, you know, full-time librarian job (ordering and processing books, managing ILLs and subscriptions, writing my budget, a grant application, continuing to convert paperbacks to mp3s. . . you know, the kinds of tasks it's totally easy to accomplish having gotten little to no sleep for over a week. I should also mention that I've been fighting some sort of nasty bronchial infection that is making sleeping and breathing at the same time tricky at best. Also, the meds I'm taking to help are made of the stuff they use to make meth. My sleep patterns are, to say the least, erratic, which may explain why I feel a bit brain dead. All of this was way too much for a parenthetical aside, but it's too late to turn back now).

As I was saying, the class is going well, but it's one of those things that makes me feel totally inadequate. I always feel like there's a million tools out there that I'm not using and not promoting and not taking advantage of. For every blog or wiki I help a teacher create, there's a Glogster or an Animoto that I'm not even familiar with. I find all this so overwhelming. But the weird thing is that even though I feel totally uninformed, most of my colleagues think this stuff (which I think of as "basic") is cutting edge. Which, in some ways, it is. Not the tools themselves, necessarily, but using them in the classroom. It's not unusually noteworthy, but it's definitely not the standard (yet). I think this is one of the problems of trying to stay professionally current--often there's just enough time to find out all the things you don't know, but not enough to actually learn about them.

2) I desperately want a Smartboard in my library. But I have no place to put one, as I have no walls. Lots of great windows, but no walls. I don't have space to hang a poster, let alone a Smartboard. I was talking to a vendor on the phone on Monday, and he was giving me options, but seemed unable to comprehend that I do not have wall space--which is a reasonable thing to be incredulous about. He asked about putting a piece of plywood on one side of a shelf and mounting it there, but a) I don't have enough shelving as it is and b) none of my shelves are situated in such a way that the board would even be visible if that were a possibility (that is a grammarfuck of a sentence, but I lack the wherewithal to fix it. Sorry).

During my first year I met the architect who designed the renovation of my library. He said to me, directly, "Well, no one uses the library anyway." Which probably explains why the space is so unusable.


  1. I'm really surprised that he didn't mention a portable smartboard. The school where I did my internship had one on wheels in one of the classrooms and it could be moved around as needed. It was wonderful.

    Stupid vendor...

  2. We did talk about portable Smartboards, which are pretty much my only option. Of course, the stand for a portable Smartboard adds some $$ to the cost. He was trying to push a new, amazing one--which costs $2100. Stupid vendor.

  3. Ah... I was all ready to post a comment about the smartboard on wheels we used during my student teaching, but it looks like you already know about it... I guess this is what I get for not reading your blog in a timely manner! :)