Monday, January 9, 2017

Masters of Library Science

17. Earn a masters degree.

When I created my 40x40 list, I had earned 15 credits toward my Masters of Library Science degree and was waiting for readmission to the program after taking a year and a half off due to monetary, medical, and other life-related reasons.

My first semester back in the program was the spring of 2015.  I took two courses, which my program considers to be a full-time classload.  One was the Acquisition and Management of Knowledge and Information (formerly known as Collection Development), and the other was Youth Services.  Both required that I spend time volunteering in actual libraries (both school and public) and creating program plans, in addition to tons of academic work.

Then I took two summer courses, which was especially rough with my four kids home with my during the summer.  Each course was condensed into a shortened 6-week intensive course and was incredibly hard to get all the work completed.  It involved a lot of time spent with my four kids playing at the public library while I did observations of the patrons, the workers, and the collection for my Evaluation of Information Sources and Services course.  During that time, I also volunteered for a week as a leader at Girl Scout camp, so it was nothing short of a miracle (and an absolute lack of sleep) that the work got turned in that week).  Then, when that one was done, we did a lot of movies at home while I did Grant Writing for Libraries.  Grant Writing also happened to fall during the time that I took my circus on the road for not one but TWO week-long trips--the kids to day camp for a week, with me and all four kids staying in a friend's basement, and then our whole family traveling up to Michigan for a vacation with my dad, stepmom, and siblings.  So my laptop and textbooks went along on those trips, and it involved a lot of late nights for me after the kids were in bed.  Being that I was on the road for a full 1/3 of the course, it was a little touch-and-go at times, and my stress level was pretty high, but it got done and I was happy with the results.

Then in the fall of 2015, I went back to work full time as an elementary school librarian.  Because I am crazy, and also because I was on a timeline for graduation because I'd had to apply for readmission to the program and my earlier credits were going to expire if I didn't hurry up and finish, I continued to carry the courseload of a full-time student while also working full-time.  I took School Media, which was incredibly applicable to what I was doing in my job every day and a fascinating, hands-on course that I utterly loved, but was also an intensely heavy workload.  I also took Seminar for Literature for Youth, which was one of my two favorite courses ever, but was also easily the most time-intensive class I ever had.  It involved reading a minimum of 500 pages of novels per week, on top of the academic reading for the course, on top of the multiple weekly assignments we had to submit.

In the spring of 2016, the end was in sight.  It was my final semester in the program.  I took Online Searching, which I initially didn't think would be terribly applicable to my job as a school librarian--but boy, was I wrong.  I have used the skillset that I learned in that course nearly daily in my current job as a high school media specialist.  I also worked with my advisor on an independent study, called Directed Readings, in which I plunged more directly into a study of some of the struggles that face school media specialists.  Those courses comprised another full-time student load; I continued to work full-time; and to make things REALLY interested, I also picked up a part-time job for supplemental income.  Sleep was rare.

Then, in May of 2016, I finally graduated with my Masters of Library Science, completing the journey that I had begun by taking the GRE when Liam was only a month old.  The success was bittersweet, as I had to leave my job at the elementary school library (the same school where my kids attended), due to their refusal to hire a licensed librarian.  Under the old superintendent, the strategic plan had called for media specialists in all schools; under the new superintendent, the revised plan keeps aides in the elementaries and makes some other (in my opinion) very negative changes.  So after earning my hardwon degree, I was out of a job.

I spent the summer working at the local public library, assisting with the summer reading program.  My kids switched elementary schools to be under a more supportive principal (though still under the same superintendent, so there's that).  And I found a full-time job as a media specialist at a junior-senior high school with an incredible administration, albeit an hour's drive away.  So that's where I'm at now.  Goal #17, achieved.

36 / 36

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Reading Update - end of 2016

The update on my 200 book goal, at the end of 2016:

1. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
2. Stone Fox John Reynolds Gardiner (read with Bryn)
3. Little Big Lies by Liane Moriarty (read with book club)
4. Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover
5. To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
6. Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer (read with book club)
7. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins
8. Unglued: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lisa TerKeurst (also Christian book)
9. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
10. This Girl by Colleen Hoover

11. My Life in France by Julia Child (read with book club)
12. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton
13. What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
14. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (re-read)
15. A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty
16. Inescapable by Amy A. Bartol (read with book club)
17. Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
18. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
19. Paper Towns by John Green (re-read, read with book club)
20. Defending Jacob by William Landay (read with book club)

21. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (re-read, read with book club)
22. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
23. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
24. El Deafo by Cece Bell
25. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
26. Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Hepperman
27. The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
28. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (re-read)
29. The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
30. The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies (read with Bryn)

31. Confess by Colleen Hoover
32. Best Friend Next Door by Carolyn Mackler (read with Bryn)
33. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
34. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (re-read)
35. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
36. Crash by Lisa McMann
37. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
38. Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
39. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Mattson
40. Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

41. Bang by Lisa McMann
42. Monster by Walter Dean Myers
43. Gasp by Lisa McMann
44. Ashfall by Mike Mullen (read with book club)
45. I Was Here by Gayle Forman
46. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
47. Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
48. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (read with the kids)
49. Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga
50. To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han (re-read)

51. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
52. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
53. Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney
54. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
55. Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz
56. Winger by Andrew Smith
57. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (read with Bryn)
58. Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume
59. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
60. Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories by R.J. Palacio

61. Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller
62. Gone Fishing by Tamara Will Wissinger
63. The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
64. Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
65. Heartbeat by Sharon Creech
66. Inside Out & Back Again by Thannha Lai
67. Sold by Patricia McCormick
68. A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson (read with book group)
69. Rumble by Ellen Hopkins
70. Who Was Abraham Lincoln? by Janet B. Pascal

71. What Is the Statue of Liberty? by Joan Holub
72. Parallel by Lauren Miller (re-read)
73. The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick
74. November 9 by Colleen Hoover
75. Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
76. Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater (read with the kids)
77. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
78. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
79. I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
80. Kristy's Great Idea by Raina Telgemeier

81. Mary Anne Saves the Day by Raina Telgemeier
82. The List by Siobhan Vivian (re-read)
83. Claudia and Mean Janine by Raina Telgemeier
84. The Truth About Stacy by Raina Telgemeier
85. Babymouse: Queen of the World by Jennifer Holm (read with Bryn and Shay)
86. Babymouse: Bad Babysitter by Jennifer Holm (read with Bryn and Shay)
87. Amulet: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi
88. Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl by Rachel Renee Russell (read with Bryn and Shay)
89. Tales from a Not-So-Talented Pop Star by Rachel Renee Russell (read with Bryn and Shay)
90. My Name Is Stilton, Geronimo Stilton by Geronimo Stilton (read with Shay)

91. Tales from a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess by Rachel Renee Russell (read with Bryn and Shay)
92. Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
93. Dante and Aristotle Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
94. The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm
95. Tales of a Not-So-Smart Miss Know-It-All by Rachel Renee Russell (read with Bryn and Shay)
96. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Mattson
97. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
98. The Hate List by Jennifer Brown (read with book club)
99. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (read with the kids)
100. Fire with Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

101. A Little Friendly Advice by Siobhan Vivian
102. Max Crumbly: Locker Hero by Rachel Renee Russell (read with Bryn and Shay)
103. Ashes to Ashes by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
104. Tales of a Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker by Rachel Renee Russell (read with Bryn and Shay)
105. Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
106. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
107. The One and Only by Emily Giffin
108. George by Alex Gino
109. Tales from a Not-So-Glam TV Star by Rachel Renee Russell (read with Bryn and Shay)
110. If I Lie by Corrine Jackson

111. Who Is J.K. Rowling? by Pamela D. Pollack
112. Forget Me Not by Carolee Dean
113. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (re-read)
114. Tales of a Not-So-Happily Ever After by Rachel Renee Russell (read with Bryn and Shay)
115. Positive: A Memoir by Paige Rawl
116. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (re-read)
117. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White (re-read, read with the kids)
118. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (re-read)
119. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (re-read)
120. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

121. The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
122. Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson (read with Bryn)
123. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
124. Holes by Louis Sachar (re-read, read with Shay)
125. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (re-read)
126. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (re-read)
127. Harry  Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (re-read)
128. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (re-read)
129. What Light by Jay Asher

What's next:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
The Dumbest Idea Ever by Jimmy Gownley
Overwhelmed by Perry Noble

128 / 200