Category Archives: Distance learning woes

A year on…

To recap my experiences in the last year would not be difficult; it would just take several pages, even if I try to condense it! With 7/30 modules left before I finish this degree, I’m eager to usher in 2014, as I’ve registered for all 7.  This year the focus is on cataloguing and classification, info organisation & retrieval, research methodology in Info Science, political economy of information, serving the user, and last, but not least, building a practical portfolio. I really want to aim for a Cum Laude pass, but 2013 was not easy.  I was forced to take less subjects because of a change in personal circumstances.  Asperger’s  has been diagnosed in our family. Why didn’t we know before?  Well, probably because we’re South African and there was little awareness and education of the condition in our country until now.  But also because my son, diagnosed at 27, went undiagnosed by professionals throughout his life, so we were oblivious to the reason behind his learning and behavioural difficulties. His condition doesn’t show outwardly. Indeed he appears to be very “neuro-typical” (jargon for ‘normal’). A year ago he returned to live with us – after being out of the home for 8 years – having suddenly found himself paid off from work, misunderstood by friends and unable to cope with everyday living. Along with his diagnosis and subsequent rebuttals from family and friends (since they think we’re daft) came severe emotional stress and even trauma.  It’s not easy for an adult to know he must move in with mom and dad, nor is it easy for us to adapt to having a dependent again.  Helping him cope with his diagnosis has been hard, but not as hard as the scepticism and betrayal from those closest to us as we are labeled ‘helicopter parents’!

But, moving on, his diagnosis has made us aware that my husband is also an Aspie (a person with Asperger’s).  That revelation answered years of questions and confusion.  One day, if I have the time, I will begin a blog on what it was like being married to an undiagnosed Aspie!  By God’s grace we are still together, 34 yrs later.  Somewhat of the struggle is depicted in this website.

And so…to my studies.  I have begun a refresher course online for cataloguing and classification, offered by Idaho Commission for Libraries. Good reminder of important points.  My last cataloguing experience was in 2012.

2014, I welcome you!  I am tired… tired of DL, tired of essays, tired of examination stress, but would I do it again? YES! I have enjoyed the experience, am learning much, and am really eager to get out there in 2015.  I won’t try to volunteer this year…don’t think I’ll have the time.  However, next year, God willing, I will have completed my studies and ready to take up the learning experience working in a library. Hopefully, full time. Bring it on!

So, let’s do this…2014 here I come.

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Oh boy…

What have I let myself in for?  Was I naive? Can I really do this?

Last year’s journey of discovery was amazing.  Wrote in for 6 modules….got to do some volunteering at 2 different libraries, (a school and a museum library)…. it was just fantastic! By the end of the year I had to give up the volunteer jobs to be able to cope with exam prep.  Throughout all this, my home life changed dramatically – circumstances I shall blog about in the near future. But, I plodded on….prayed…plodded on….and passed.

Hello 2013….where am I in this course?  Can I call it 2/3 of the way through? No, probably not, since I still have 4/10 modules of only the 2nd Level to complete.  This year I have registered for 2 modules from the 3rd level’s requirement, and suddenly I find out what it is like to be in your final year….NO MORE POINTERS! Discover for yourself! Read, read and read!

Can I do this? Time will tell…I’m not a natural lateral/out-of-the-box thinker, and with no-one to engage in conversation during each day of hard slog, it’s going to be a challenge to stay motivated.  Oh there is the UNISA forum, but people are more interested in forming little email cliques and Whatsapp chat groups, than actually partaking in discourse on the forum.  Is this because the lecturers access the forums? Or because their English is mostly so poor. (Talking about Africa here.) Or is it because the students like to use the ‘gangsta style slang’ and not the required proper form of English grammar and spelling. Whatever! The forums don’t work! Point is, I’m on my own…the Internet and a host of blogs, journal articles and I, in deadly silence!

Sometimes I wonder why I’m doing this….but then I think of my dream – to have a profession and to do what I love – working in a library.

Right… I’ve always been up for a challenge.  This one might beat me. Will I let it?  Please God, give me the abilities I don’t have….perhaps then I’ll get through. (Oh, and while you’re about it, refresh my tired brain; it IS only January.)

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Thank you David! :)

Ok, so it’s the end of March already, and it’s the first time I’m entering a new post.  Wow, it’s been an amazing 3 months! Between a fall, muscle injury, study pressure and family problems….I would like to turn the clock back.  However…here I am, probably 2 pages away from completing my LAST assignment for this semester (WHEW!!) with tomorrow as my deadline, and I am inspired, to say the least, to enter a post saying just how much I am enjoying reading and using David Lankes’ The Atlas of New Librarianship! Yes, I’m still learning how to find ‘threads’ and ‘conversations’ but in the absence of having physical lectures, it has been a great boost to my morale and wholly inspirational.  Thank you David! Besides giving me a giggle and a huge, much needed, laugh every now and then. 🙂

My course has taught me so much in the last few months….where would I begin to relate?  I now understand why the course is called Information Science and not Library Science; I’ve learned about KM and Wilson’s (2002) opinion The nonsense of knowledge management.  I have learned and read, and read and learned about ‘The User’!  Records Management, archiving, cataloguing, and more.  Of course the cataloguing is a nightmare! I do believe tears are coming…the sweat has been experienced, the blood….maybe when I bite my own lip in concentration! Aaargh! Does anyone pass a cataloguing course?

I am becoming more familiar with the different LIS authors….I find I agree/disagree here and there, read nuggets of experience everywhere, and all in all just LOVE this experience of new learning.  Even the deadlines are a fun challenge. Actually, right now my ringing ears tell me I’m under pressure and I had better get back to my essay.

RD Lankes sidetracked me with his ‘superhero conference’! LOL!! It’s all his fault, but at least my blog has a new entry!!

Plod on, Sandra!

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