Monday, August 31, 2009

The End of Summer, or Our Stalwart Heroine Once Again Starts Her Last Year of LIS School

Yes, once again, it's time to put aside all the fun stuff and head on back to the salt mines. Not this case, salt mines=school. Why, yes, I was supposed to be all done with my MLIS degree by now, and probably even have that freshly printed diploma stuck in my bookshelf between some books, just like my other 2 are. Yes, I can see how you might be a tad confused as to why exactly I am not done yet, considering how joyful I was last spring when I finished what I (mistakenly) thought was my LAST. PAPER. EVER.

So, allow me to explain why in the world I am subjecting myself, my family, my friends, and everyone who reads this to yet another YEAR of this.

When I originally transferred to what was The College of St Catherine (St Kate's) after my sophomore year of college, I did so with a purpose. It wasn't because it was an all-women's Catholic college. Actually, those were strikes against them. No, it was because they had a MLIS program-the only one remotely close to me in the state of Minnesota. My thought was that if I transferred once, I wouldn't have to do it again after I'd finished my baccalaureate degree, and would be able to seamlessly go into the MLIS program.

Well, it almost went as planned.

I did, in fact, transfer to St Kate's and finished my last 2 years of undergraduate college. With mostly A's (I had 1 B+. I was 13 points-THIRTEEN POINTS-away from an A in my Statistics Math class. Let that be a lesson to ALWAYS do all extra credit offered), it was challenging enough that I earned the honors I graduated with. And, because I was done with all but one of my classes I needed for my history degree, I applied, and was accepted for early entry into the MLIS program. This meant that I could take 2 MLIS classes my last term of my undergrad senior year. So I did. Yes, I was nuts. (2 graduate classes is considered full time. Well, I was taking those 2, plus my last 2 undergrad classes, so that would make me nuts x 2).

ANYHOW. I was formally accepted into the program with a start date of Fall term 2007. I would've been completely done in December of 2008, but we were building a house during the summer of 2008, and both the builder and my dear husband thought that perhaps I should drop a class so everything could get finished. So I did. And in the end, it's what saved me. Or condemned me to this next year, whichever.

For you see, the entire time I'd been working on my MLIS, St Kate's had been trying to get accreditation from the American Library Association (ALA). And in January, 2009, the decision was made by the ALA to not grant St Kate's the needed accreditation, but instead, to keep the program in candidacy status for another go-round. (This is obviously a very brief explanation, I realize, but for our purposes, it works). If I'dve graduated in December 2008 as planned, my degree would've been fairly worthless, for all intents and purposes. But, knowing that St Kate's was going to appeal to the ALA's better nature, I registered and took that last class, the YA lit one that I blogged about Spring 2009.

When it became apparent that the ALA would not reverse its decision in time for me (and others in my same situtation) to get a 'real' MLIS degree, St Kate's worked out a deal with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for us. We could transfer, finish our program there, and graduate with an ALA accredited degree. As far as I know, 41 of us transferred over to UW-M. The problem was that UW-M wants us to have 18 resident credits from them, which is not altogether unreasonable. However, since I had finished the needed 36 credits for St Kate's, it meant I'd be losing 18 credits. Luckily, St Kate's is paying the tuition for those 18 credits that I will be re-taking (approximately 6 classes), so all I have to buy are my books and materials.

UW-M is having us take at least 2 of their core classes, which aren't exactly what I want to take, but I will. There's one other core class that UW-M wants me to take, but since I took the equivalent to it at St Kate's, I'll be appealing their request. (UW-M wants me to take their lower level cataloging class. But I already took a cataloging class, and I don't want to take another. Thing is, UW-M is giving me credit for their upper level cataloging class instead. One of the prereqs for the upper level class is the lower level class. The mind boggles.)

So, this term, I'll be taking 4 classes. Yes, I know that I'm nuts. I believe we already established that above. But I am highly motivated to get done. My kid was in the 4th grade when I went back to school. My goal was to be done before she started her PSEO (post secondary) classes in her junior year. I might just make it.

And, I want to be done because I'm tired. Worn out. I've been out out of 'give a craps' since last Winter term. Getting everything ready, I feel like I'm going off to war, which I guess isn't too far off the mark. Or, to bring in the Greek mythology, I totally get the whole Persephone myth about her having to stay in the underworld for 1/3 of the year (I'm in school for 2/3rds of the year)...or even Sisyphus and his rock-rolling. They all seem like apt metaphors right now.

It's gonna be a fun ride, right?

Here's what I'm taking:

Information Access and Retrieval (LIS 571)--This is 1 of the core classes UW-M is having us take.

Introduction to Research Methods (LIS 591)--The other core class. It's gonna be a real good time. Uh-huh.

Library Materials for Young Adults (LIS 646)--Like what I took last Winter term...but better. It's my 'for fun' class this term. Let's hope it is fun.

Multicultural Children’s Literature (LIS 691)--just what it sounds like.

The fun starts 2 September 2009.

Are you all ready for this?

1 comment:

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