Fall schedule

Classes

I am taking 2+ classes this semester:

Foundations of Information Processing in LIS with Dave Dubin (one of the most brilliant and generous men I have ever met)

Covers the common data and document processing constructs and programming concepts used in library and information science. The history, strengths and weaknesses of the techniques are evaluated in the context of our discipline. These constructs and techniques form the basis of applications in areas such as bibliographic records management, full text management and multimedia. No prior programming background is assumed.

Python programming.

Bibliography with Don Krummel, Professor Emeritus (one of the very few currently teaching emeritus faculty whom I have not taken a course with and a grand and erudite gentleman)

Covers enumerative bibliography, the practices of compiling lists; analytical bibliography, the design, production, and handling of books as physical objects; and historical bibliography, the history of books and other library materials, from the invention of printing to the present.

I would be a complete fool not to take this course with Dr. Krummel. I’ve been wanting to for a long time and now is my best, or only, chance.

By the way, this description has nothing to do with my distributed conversation across the biblioblogosphere the last 2 days. Seriously. But, yes, this will be based on the physical book. The historian in me will enjoy it.

But, more importantly to me, the product of the bibliography is applicable in a far greater context; it can cover many more containers than bound & printed books, and it itself can be contained in a variety of containers. E.g., see this bibliography.

The + is my independent study….

Work

As of yesterday, I am now a monographic cataloging graduate assistant along with being the serials cataloging graduate assistant. I’ll be working 60% on top of my classes.

I began monographs this summer but it was as an hourly. Now I get a steady wage and have to work a prescribed number of hours, but I get vacation and sick days. Yay for vacation! [If I could only learn what this concept is supposed to mean. 🙂 ]

This is the schedule for now. I need to fit Metadata Roundtable in there. ASIS&T 2007 in October. LEEP Weekend since Dave’s class is a distance class. Applying for jobs; perhaps interviewing….

In an IDEALS world we can keep up with the past

In a recent post I asked why “keeping up” always seems to be forward looking and recommended that we remember to learn from the past.

Wednesday night when I was out to say goodbye to a friend and colleague (Kurt), and Sarah Shreeves, the Coordinator of our institutional repository, IDEALS, gave me some wonderful news based on that post.

The GSLIS Publications Office has decided to put the proceedings of the Allerton Park Institute and of the Clinic on Library Applications of Data Processing conferences in the IR.

Also to be included is all of Library Trends (with an embargo of 2 years) and, eventually, the GSLIS Occasional Papers series.

I got so excited that I sucked down 4 pints of beer in the middle of the week! Seriously, this sort of news makes my year, much less my week.

The Clinic on Library Applications of Data Processing conference proceedings from 1963 – 1995 are already available (472 items).

The Allerton Park Institute conference proceedings (476 items) are also up from 1954 – 1997.

Library Trends is currently represented by 52 (3): Winter 2004 – 53 (4): Spring 2005 (92 items). This is barely a beginning one might say, but seeing as it includes 2 of my favorites issues — one of which I do not have a physical copy of — it warms the cockles of my heart. Oh, The Philosophy of Information and Pioneers in Library and Information Science (have).

I have read a couple of the Allerton Park Institute proceedings already in all their physical glory. I am particularly fond of 1959, The role of classification in the modern American library, and recommend it to all and sundry interested in cataloging, classification, metadata, the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, and related topics.

Library Trends‘ theme issues are indispensable and the Occasional Papers series has some lovelies, too.

Sorry, but I cannot say anything regarding the Clinic on Library Applications of Data Processing proceedings. I shall have to remedy that, though.

A hearty “Thank you” to all involved in this! I only hope that more schools will do this. Anyone knowing of those who have already, please, feel free to comment here and write posts of your own. We should not just let these things languish in our repositories, nor leave them for the search engines to perhaps index and show to us on the 1st few pages of search results. We need to shout from the rooftops that they are available. So, consider this my SHOUT regarding the work of my institution’s IR. And, yeah, there’s a lot of other stuff — interesting, I have no doubt — in IDEALS also.

As they say, “What’s past is prologue.” (The Tempest (1611) act 2, sc. 1, l. [261], per The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.)

Go forth. Read.  Learn. Keep up.

Looks like “I” made it ALA Annual afterall


DSC03211

Originally uploaded by MiddleEarthTraveller
Photo by my friend, MiddleEarthTraveller, of the UIUC GSLIS booth at ALA Annual 2007.

It looks like I made an appearance and didn’t even know it. Perhaps all of my friends who I missed—or at least UIUC folks—saw me here.

Go Team Awesome! And “Hi” to all the other fine folks represented who I know.

Where’s Walt?

Walt Crawford, that is. Come 1 October he’ll no longer be at OCLC. Therefore, you can have a hand in the answer to that question.

I’ve seen several posts already today about this but Rochelle Hartman’s at Tinfoil + Raccoon is the best, imho.

I’ve known of Walt since early on in my library career–hard to miss, given that he is one of the most influential and prolific people in librarianship. Aside from his general laudableness (honest, that’s a word), Walt has distinguished himself to many of us through his collegiality and generosity. Distinguished and influential don’t always translate into accessible, but Walt has been a good friend and sparring partner to many of us not-so-luminous front-liners. In addition to his public contributions, he has also been privately supportive to several of us as we have struggled with professional challenges and made transitions. We owe him no less and wish him the best.

Amen to every one of those heartfelt words!

Please see Walt’s post for the kinds of things he might be interested in and places he’d be willing to go.

I do know that it has been suggested that Walt become a LEEP instructor. I wish I could claim credit for the idea, but the best I can do is say I was the one to second it. I doubt that is enough to support Walt, but perhaps depending on what opportunities arise for him he could find some time to enlighten some of the next generation of library workers—no matter what generation we are from.

So GSLIS students, especially LEEP students, if you are at all interested in taking a class from Walt Crawford (and you darn well ought to be, imnsho!) in the future (or are concerned with the education of future students and you should be) then drop Linda Smith a line and maybe one to Walt, too. Let them know they should be pursing this opportunity for our program if it is doable for Walt.

And if any of my administration is reading this, well, I guess you’ve already seen my vote.

I have learned as much about professionalism from Walt as I have from any individual librarian or group of librarians. I have tried to learn many other things from him via his writings and personal correspondence. I have no doubt that I could learn so much more. And I, for one, would be happy to pay for that opportunity!


Fellow students, if you are asking yourselves “Who is Walt Crawford?” Then you need to get busy. Those links go to (small) discussions of the K. Blessinger and M. Frasier article in the March 2007 (v. 68. no. 2) College & Research Libraries that shows Walt to be one of the 31 top most cited personal authors in LIS literature from 1994-2004. See his blog post linked above for a list and links to a few of his many publications and quit whining about their being nothing good to read in our field.

Chief Illiniwek retired. Finally.

Yesterday, the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign announced that Chief Illiniwek will perform for the last time on February 21st at the last men’s home basketball game of this season.

The campus-wide email was short and completely vague. We were asked that if we received any questions or had any concerns to quote the following:

Thank you for your comments about the recently announced decision on Chief Illiniwek. For more information, please refer to this web page: www.uillinois.edu/chief

You can email comments by clicking on Contact/Feedback link
[InfoSource@uillinois.edu] in the top section of the web page.

That URL goes to a page titled, Announcement Concerning the Chief Illiniwek Tradition. It, too, is extremely vague and consists entirely of links to other resources. If one reads the first item, Press Release, February 16, 2007, it only says that Chief Illiniwek will no longer perform. Pretty damn vague for the official press release. If you make your way to the 2nd item, FAQ, one can finally get to something resembling details.

Q What does this mean?
A It means the Chief Illiniwek tradition will be discontinued at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:
No connection of Chief Illiniwek to Illini athletics or the Marching Band.
No selection of a student to portray Chief Illiniwek.
No performance by Chief Illiniwek at Urbana athletic events, or other University events.
No use of the name Chief Illiniwek in connection with the University.

Both of those documents are pdf, by the way.

Well, it’s about damn time! I had given up on trying to sort this issue out. There really was no middle ground allowed by the groups at the two poles. There was also hyperbole, overemphasis, and quite possibly outright lies on both sides. I have no real doubt that this clearly was a case of racism, at least by some. It was certainly not that for others, either. But the fact that the decision took so long to make because of money and in the end was motivated by money (but from a different angle) is what makes it evil for me. It also was a major distraction from the educational mission of the University.

It was racist (to and for some), it was rude, inconsiderate, and completely uncalled for in this day and age, and it distracted from the mission of the University. This should have been an easy decision (morally) years ago. It is shameful that it has taken this long. And I wish I could say that it is finally over, but it will, unfortunately, be at least a couple years before it is truly over.

May we get there quickly and peaceably.

Update 19 May 2007: I reluctantly allowed the below comment because I wanted to address it. Unfortunately I am having trouble commenting on some of my own posts. Thus, I am adding my reply here and then turning off comments.

I almost did not approve your comment, but as I have been know to make a fool of myself in public I feel others ought to be given the same chance.

Anonymity is so very interesting and, while sometimes called for, is simply cowardly in this circumstance.

It’s not shameful or racist because YOU say so? Interesting how often that statement is made. Notice I did not claim that it was either of those things because I said so.

As for authentic … well, that’s just so wrong that it’s funny, in the sad way. The regalia may be; the “dance” is not; and (almost) anytime a white boy is dressed up as and supposedly representing another ethnicity is an issue.

The Seminole’s point of view is completely irrelevant in central Illinois. I wonder how “they” (that is, the corporate entity) might feel if they had no casinos or other corporate, money-making entities to support. Brands are powerful thing. I also find it ironic that the only Native American peoples not to sign a formal peace treaty with the US are now supporting the use of their name and image as a brand.

And while I, may perhaps, be stupid, I at least am respectful enough to know that a proper noun is capitalized.

Clearly, you are a troll. And not even a timely troll, seeing as this was written 3 months ago.

Thank you for your concern about my stupidity, and for demonstrating your own.

I will, now, finally turn off commenting on a post. I think this is the 1st one I have done so for.  If anyone really has anything serious to add to this they can contact me via other means. Honestly, though, re-read the post and you’ll see that it is not really something I care to discuss.

I hereby declare Birthday Month has begun

Just as I was about to head out the door and try and catch another bus, which I just noticed went by only 5 minutes late, I got an IM from Karla saying all classes at UIUC had been cancelled!

I verified it on the University website and I IM’d another friend who had made it in to work. She said they were about to be sent home, probably. Unsure whether we will get paid for any or all of the day, but at this point, “Whatever!”

Wishes do sometimes come true! I got my wish for a February storm (preferably not ice) and it is even big enough to close campus; well after most anything else was closed.

I see I just got a comment from Liz on my previous post about winter weather ruining her March birthdays so maybe I should explain.

I am not actually a fan of winter either. I grew up in the north suburbs of St. Louis County (MO) until the summer of my 15th year and then lived in the far, far, far west ‘burbs of Chicago until the day after I turned 19 and went into the Army.

As a kid, winter was OK sometimes but I could take it or leave it. The Army was the real problem. It spent 20 years out in the winter weather, standing around for 20-40 minutes at a time for no sane reason (formations), practice “camping”, shoveling so a walkway could become icy death when it was more sensible to slog through the 2-3 inches of snow, etc. In other words, lots of time in the winter weather on anything but my own terms. I came to despise winter.

I also do not snow ski in any form, I do not snowmobile, ice fish, or anything else outdoorsy that needs winter conditions.

But after “retiring” from the Army in 1998, returning to the Midwest and trying to piece my life together as I slowly and painfully began to come out an immensely deep depression and somewhere along the time I started the concept of Birthday Month to help me focus on more positive things, I also realized that I am a child of the American Midwest who happened to have a birthday in February. The middle of winter! So I learned to convince myself that winter—at least February winter—really isn’t so bad. I decided to actually like whatever the winter weather gods of February threw at me; sometimes it manifests itself only in bare toleration, but at least I don’t stress about it. I even decided that it was patently unfair if we did not get a major February storm.

Thus began my wish each February for a major winter storm in celebration of Birthday Month. While not exactly good at it usually, I guess this is an example of “making lemonade.”

And on a related topic … fun in the classroom

While not exactly a crush—although I won’t speak for others in the class—any teacher who makes a discussion so much fun that students willingly stay in their seats for 45 minutes past the end of class, an evening class no less, deserves a fair bit of respect.

Last night in LIS590OH, Ontologies in Humanities, Allen made axiomatizing FRBR so much fun that we all stayed an additional 45 minutes before we decided we needed to end. Several stayed even longer. I would have liked to but I had a bus to catch and an early class this morning.

Things got real interesting when we were discussing whether there can be such a thing as an unexpressed work, or an unrealized expression. For my money, it pretty much comes down to your beliefs on the language of thought (for the unexpressed work anyway, which is what we focused on). But then most of this is irrelevant philosophizing. As much as love I such things, I think they are side issues to FRBR. Yes, the conceptual model should account for (or preclude) such things and it doesn’t.

Some folks tried to bring up previously but no longer existing entities. FRBR does need to account for such things but, again for my money, it only needs to account for real examples and not possible world-type scenarios. I have little truck with possible worlds and most forms of (philosophical) modality quickly leave the realm of actually having an impact in the real world.

One thing that did not come up was imaginary works or imaginary expressions, manifestations or items. So as soon as I got home I posted to our class forum [I see no reason I cannot reproduce my own statements]:

Some of you are probably happy we didn’t go down this road. Nonetheless….

My question, which I prefer to keep in the context of FRBR and bibliographic control and not as an abstract philosophical discussion—although if you make it interesting enough I may join in—is can there be imaginary works?

Now these would be imaginary works that have been also imaginatively expressed, realized and embodied. Do they exist within the realm of the bibliographic universe (BU)?

Don’t answer too quickly. First off:

Mark’s assumption #1: Not sure what xxxxx’s version of the BU is, but mine requires an existing (or once existing, although I could care less about modality/possible worlds, etc.) entity (persons/institutions) that wants to bring the sorts of entities that are described by FRBR Group 1 entities under control.

Mark’s assumption #2: Catalogs and catalog records are not the only things FRBR are concerned with. In fact, FRBR has no inherent concern with catalogs or catalog records (possibly). It is trying to model the BU universe, which consists of various forms of citation and discourse, among other things.

Various extant works do, in fact, mention imaginary works (down through the item). There are works which have as a subject an imaginary work. There are discourse communities around some of these works. [And, boy, do I sure wish I could think of an example, but I do know they exist. So if anyone can think of an example, please throw it out here so the discussion can be better focused. Or. See below for some quick possible examples.]

It might be easier with an imaginary “cultural heritage” work or musical. Again, I can’t think of one at the moment. The best I can do—I’m afraid to toss it out here because it comes with too much other baggage and, thus, may be a bad example, or even not one—would be the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. I mean the monolith as an imaginary work … to its imaginary item.

Hopefully, the fact that it was built so the movie could be filmed isn’t going to get in the way. If it does, I might respond with, “What if it was done with computer graphics?” But again, all this is extraneous to my question.

The imaginary object that is the monolith in 2001 has a vast field of discourse around it. It may even be cataloged in some way. It is certainly referenced and cited. These are things which FRBR as a model of the BU is concerned with.

So, can imaginary works … imaginary items exist and might they need to be brought under some form of bibliographic control using the FRBR model?

Possible examples:

Reviews of imaginary books
Flickr imaginary book & CD covers pool
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy [ignore the fact that there is a book/series/movie/play/radio series with this title for the moment. I am referring to the work that those works/expressions are named after.]

========

Maybe that should be fleshed out a bit more for here, but I’ll leave it as is with only one name change to protect the not so innocent, and a fixed typo. And I did mean imaginary musical work, not an imaginary musical, but in shorthand it’s the same thing. It’s just not very clear.
There are no replies yet, but then I don’t think my fellow students have found the new forums yet because with 4 postings I seem to be talking to myself. 🙁

Anyway, just wanted to say that any professor who can have students engaged enough to stay an extra 45 minutes in an evening class deserves a bit of respect, and maybe even an intellectual crush or two. As some of you already know, Allen Renear rocks!

Another semester shaping up

As we head into the second week of the semester, here is how things are looking:

LIS590OH: Ontologies in the Humanities with Allen Renear

First class consisted of introductions, discussing the proto-syllabus [first time offering], and where we might want to take the class. There are about 10 students almost evenly split between “old-timers,” like me, and some of the more interesting seeming newer students. I am very glad to see some 2nd semester Masters students in here and I look forward to learning from them, and from my “old-timey” friends, too, of course.

Coursework looks fairly easy but then, as this is an “intermediate research seminar” in Allen’s ontology of course types, the true work is in individual and group learning. We will also learn a bit about the ontology editor, ProtĂ©gĂ©, and have the opportunity to substitute a practical ontology project for one of our papers.

I’ve managed to get all of the discussion readings and background readings read for this week. While I may not always get the background readings done, especially when I have read them before as in this week, I was happy to revisit some of them. Actually, in truth, I skipped one discussion reading. Gasp! As good as it may be, how often can one re-read Barbara Tillett’s pamphlet, “What is FRBR?: A Conceptual Model for the Bibliographic Universe”? [pdf]

I did enjoy revisiting the 1st 3 chapters of the FRBR Final Report [pdf], Buckland’s “What is a Document?”, the 1st 2 chapters of Smiraglia’s The Nature of “a Work”, and Denton’s FRBR and Fundamental Cataloguing Rules. There were also 2 Renear co-authored papers, one on axiomatizing FRBR and one on refining the OHCO model of text.

The next couple of weeks will allow me to revisit chapter 3 of Svenonius’ The Intellectual Foundation of Information Organization [set-theoretic view of bibliographic entities] and some classic articles by Frege and Popper.

I’m not sure where my interests will take me in this class, but I am excited nonetheless.

LIS590RO: Representation and Organization of Information Resources with Kathryn LaBarre

This will actually be week 1 as we did not have class last week with Kathryn at ALISE. This seminar also has about 10 students, although most are either “mid-career” or newer students. But again, it looks like a brilliant group and I look forward to much interesting learning as we all explore our own varied interests within the structure of the class. About half of us are together in Allen’s class above, too, which may provide its own interesting angles and benefits.

Our “textbook” is Morville’s Ambient Findability, which in my experience wasn’t all that findable. The other, optional, text is Svenonius. Thankfully! [see above for Svenonius link.]

I read Morville over break and while it eventually got (a bit) better than I expected, it is still tripe. I have refrained from slagging it here so far since I will have the privilege of critiquing it in class. If, like me, you prefer to buy books, do yourself a favor and get this one at the library or at least used. Of course, if like me, you have an overpowering urge to write “BS!” in the margin of the first few pages then maybe you should buy a used copy. This has got to be the 1st book that I have ever written a negative comment in the preface! Seriously, who writes something that can be argued with in the preface?

Despite Morville, I am really looking forward to this class. And I do know what my focus will be. Relationships. Hopefully I will be able to mostly focus on thesaural relationships, but I intend to dive head first down this particular rabbit hole.

One of our assignments is a book review and a presentation of it in class. The book I am “reviewing” or, in my case, living with, is Bean and Green’s Relationships in the Organization of Knowledge. I found this book while working on my thesaurus paper a few weeks ago. I was unable to use it at the time and am glad that I get to now. I ordered myself a copy through abebooks on Friday evening.

Side note: I understand supply and demand (somewhat), and I understand that most of these sorts of books go to libraries, but seriously folks, why does a remaindered copy of such a book go for almost $90? I know I would buy a lot more of these seriously nerdy books if they were affordable! Richard and I were discussing this after 590ON last week regarding Smiraglia [see above]. The cheapest copy is over $100 used. Seriously, WTF?

Back to 590RO. I’m not sure what form my final project will take, but it will almost certainly involve relationships.

LIS592: Independent Study with Kathryn LaBarre

With Kathryn away until Wednesday, I am still in the process of getting this set up, although we have been narrowing it down via email. Here is the current draft of my proposal:

This independent study will allow me to further my research into thesauri. To this point, I have taken Thesaurus Construction (590TC), and have written a selective literature review on the mapping of thesauri as an aid to assist interdisciplinary scientists for Information Transfer & Collaboration in Science (590TR). I also have a graduate assistantship at the Illinois Fire Service Institute Library where I am responsible for maintaining the FireTalk thesaurus. My previous coursework has really piqued my interests in thesauri–construction, maintenance, evaluation, use, and current and future trends. My work experience has only reinforced how vastly difficult it is to implement theory.

My coursework for this independent study will involve reading (or re-reading) the ANSI/NISO Z39.19-2005 monolingual thesaurus, the ISO monolingual and multilingual thesaurus standards, Lancaster (1983), Aitchison, et. al. (2000), among other readings. It will also involve an in-depth look into both OCLC‘s and JISC‘s Terminology Services programs and research. I intend to visit OCLC Research over Spring Break for a first-hand look at their Terminology Services research.

I am particularly interested in current trends and future directions for embedding thesauri into various, diverse services (Terminology Services) and the extension of relationships in thesauri (see e.g., Green (1995), Tudhope, et. al. (2001).

I will meet with my instructor every other week to keep her abreast of my progress and for discussion of issues as needed.

The final product will take two forms: (1) A literature review of current projects and research into Terminology Services; and (2) a presentation on the reality and potential of Terminology Services. The presentation would be open to the school and any other interested parties.

Besides the extracurricular learning in linguistics and grammar that I need to do to provide myself a ladder back out of the rabbit hole of relationships, I think that is it. 🙂 For now.

Best of luck and learning this semester to all the LIS students out there. May you find what you’re looking for. And don’t forget to dive head first down a rabbit hole once in a while.

One semester bleeds into the next

Woohoo!

I just emailed my seminar paper on mapping thesauri for use by interdisciplinary scientists to my professor. Fall 2006 is finally over, at least for me. I have a few friends still struggling with papers due soon. I wish them well.

The “beauty” of it all is that the new semester starts tomorrow. Where, oh where, did break go?

Now I need to get on designing and getting approval for my independent study on thesauri. I am particularly interested in interoperability and embedded services. In that regard, I will be definitely looking into both OCLC‘s and JISC‘s Terminology Services research and projects.

Once I get far enough along in my research, I would love to visit OCLC to get a first hand glimpse at some of the work they are doing. Maybe over Spring Break I can go visit my daughter in Cleveland and stop by Dublin on the way. I did make one OCLC contact while at ASIS&T 2006, so maybe…. I would absolutely love to visit UKOLN at the University of Bath, but I don’t even have a passport, much less that kind of money. 🙁

I know I promised a copy of my paper to JennyB, jennimi, and my boss at IFSI. I will get off my lazy butt after I eat lunch and watch a movie and email it to you. If I promised anyone else, please just remind me. The last few weeks have been mostly a blur. I bet what you really want is the next paper, though. I am not ashamed of this one, not in any sense, but it is also not what I really became interested in. I guess it provides a decent selective overview of interdisciplinarity and the mapping of thesauri, along with some related methods. I tried to write it in the style of an ARIST chapter, which is a new genre for me, so I’m a little hesitant to say how useful it might be for someone else. It can serve as a decent source for citations, though. And then there are the scores of others I wasn’t able to incorporate…. Ah well. Onward, if not exactly upward.

Me. I’m off to enjoy the last few hours of “break.”

“Approaching normality, in …”

As part of my continuing education in the organization of information—focusing on classificatory structures—I have made a major transition over the break.

My hourly work on the FireTalk Thesaurus at the IFSI Library becomes a 25% graduate assistantship on Tuesday. Along with my 25% assistantship in serials cataloging at the main library, this is all the work I can handle while also focusing on classroom work. This means that I have formally left my job with “Team Awesome” (Instructional Technology Division, GSLIS).

While this is an important—and desired—transition for me, it is also very bittersweet. I have greatly enjoyed my 2 and a 1/2 years with “Team Awesome,” and I will miss them greatly. More importantly, I will miss the very special patron group comprised of our distance education (LEEP) students and instructors. It has been a distinct pleasure and honor to serve this group. I have met, learned from, and been befriended by such an amazing and diverse group of intelligent and caring proto-librarians, librarians, and library educators during my time working for and with these folks.

So why did I leave? Because a good portion of the reason to stay and do another 40 hours of classwork was to also get some experience(s) in the organization of information as I focus in on what I believe is the kind of work I want to do in my new career. Seeing as I have found those opportunities it was time to leave the job that, although enjoyable and rewarding, does not.

Yesterday I turned in all of my keys to various offices in GSLIS, Miss E removed my admin privileges from Moodle, I cleaned out my storage drawer in the LEEP office, and I even removed my spare water bottle from the fridge in User Services. I have also requested that all of my privileges be removed from the system we are transitioning from, and that I be removed from several internal listservs and mailing lists.

It will be very odd to finally be a “normal” student. [Stop laughing, danggit! I know you are because everyone else has so far when I have said this. I just replied, “Well, as normal as the rest of you!” No snappy comebacks yet from the other not-so-normal students.] I am looking forward to it, though.

Basically my whole time at GSLIS I have had a vastly different experience of our educational tools and environment due to having “privileges” that 98% of our students don’t have. These privileges meant that my view of, and access to, course web pages, bulletin boards, etc. was very different than most others. Of course, the power this gave me was to be—and was—only used for good. I will miss having access to a few bits and pieces as they were prime sources of important information that I did not get elsewhere. All in all, though, I am looking forward to being a “normal” student or, at least, as “normal” as any of us in the program here.

To all the wonderful students, staff and faculty with whom I have had the privilege to interact in the course of my duties as a member of “Team Awesome” (and User Services) over the last couple of years, I’d like to pass on some of the thoughts I relayed to Miss E, Jill, Matt and Martin this morning.

Thank you all for giving me the room I needed to grow as I put a very difficult part of my life behind me. I wish you all the best.

With all my love and respect,

Mark

It may not be as easy as Arthur makes it out to be, but nonetheless I shall try.

A cup of tea would restore my normality.

So now for that cup of tea. And then back to the paper on mapping thesauri.