WARNING: whine festival commencing.
I am not looking forward to tomorrow.
I finished my library science core courses over the summer and fall, which made me do a happy dance because it meant I could start my information science courses now. As much fun as I had with some of the readings and projects, listening to my classmates present on why every library should use content management systems (hatehatehatehatehate) was wearing on my nerves. Databases. Project Management. PHP. That's what I'm really here for.
But my first round of MIS classes isn't looking any better. For one thing, I had one of my new professors last semester for a library science course...her degree is actually in political science. She would regularly lecture to us on the difficulty of using projection equipment that's been misused by others before her--the policy is to leave things where they were and keep the computer on for the next person to use. But without fail, she would select "shut down" instead of "log off" after she was done with it. Once, after doing this, she made a fuss later in the hour when she needed it again: "It turned itself off! Why did it turn itself off?!" She also teaches one of the required information science courses.
One of my other lecturers just sent us all an email yesterday. Instead of the standard discussion forum, we are to sign up to be contributors to the custom class blog (which not she, but some random person I don't know, set up). The first post explains that we will have weekly rotating rolls as "poster," "commenter," and "discussion leader" (her quotes, not mine). Because we just graduated from high school and write LOLs and OMGs all over our communications, she warns that we are to use "proper spelling, capitalization, punctuation and grammar." Also, because we hard-ass librarians habitually aim sniper rifles at each other from across campus, there will be consequences if we are not "respectful of each others' ideas, opinions and feelings."
"I don't think you defined that term correctly, Shelly. But please don't cry, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. There is no right or wrong; everyone is right in their own way! Though I believe social bookmarking is the exact opposite of a controlled vocabulary, it's really up to you. *Hugs*"
By the way, this blog will account for 13% of our final grade.
For a while now, I've been getting impatient to get out of this town. It's a fine city to live in, if you want to be 18 forever and live on beer. The shows are nice, too, but they're also expensive and a pain in the patooti to get to. But the students here believe the university owns the town, and the townies just smile and agree because most of them work here.
Example: about a year ago a student was illegally crossing the street when he was killed by a car. Afterwards, Sweetie overheard a boy telling a group of his classmates that traffic laws are different on campus and the driver was at fault because jaywalking students have right-of-way. Columnists in the student paper had the brilliant idea to close the city streets around campus during peak hours or make the locals pay tolls. The person driving the car was a student himself, and witnesses said the jaywalker was stepping backwards into the street without looking first, but no matter.
The students aren't the only problem, though. The townies can be just as bad or worse...not about the school, but about their politics. Because we're an oasis of liberalism in a region swimming in red, a lot of inhabitants believe they are inherently better than everyone else in the world. I won't get into details, because local spats are only funny when it's not your locale. Suffice to say the culture is not kind to independents like Sweetie and me.
Back to my degree conundrum. Well, as I've complained about all of this to Sweetie, he has steadily insisted that I stick it out for the dual masters because without the information science component, he says, we would starve. But then he read the emails from the aforementioned political science professor in which she said her computer got a new virus every time she opened a Microsoft Word document. And he perused that little upcoming blog project. And heard about the most celebrated information science course offered, in which we work as teams to design a real live website!!! And as of this morning, he informed me the second masters is worthless and I can just graduate whenever I want.
The question is, should I? Even if the classes are not personally useful, the name of the degree might be. But then, work experience could do just the same, and it's not like I intend to be a web developer exclusively. Here are my options:
1) Stick to my guns and complete my two degrees in December 2012.
2) Chuck the MIS and substitute a class I really want to take for at least the blog-happy one (which is actually the same course I took last summer with a different name, because they require it for both of my degrees and you have to take it twice). Wrap up my classes this year to graduate in December 2011.
3) Chuck the MIS but do an internship this summer, pushing those classes back a semester and graduating smack dab in the middle: May 2012.
Some other considerations:
-Another year is another $20,000 in loans.
-Another year also gives me more time to grow up and get used to the idea of job hunting and moving somewhere new, which is scary.
-The timing of my graduation has to coincide with the timing of Sweetie's, or else I have to stay in town and find a full-time position while he finishes.
Ugh. It wasn't supposed to be this complicated. I was supposed to just escalator through life and wind up successful with oodles of moolah. But then I had to go and meet people who shook up my world view and now I'm staring down the barrel of a book trolley in a bad economy. Right now I'm leaning towards the third option, because an internship never hurts and I'll be graduating at the traditional point, which means I can apply for my dream fellowship at the National Library of Medicine. I guess I'll trudge through another semester and see how things are a few months from now.