Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day 65: Aaaaaand Scene!

Final exam: completed!

Today's was Information System Design's final exam. Honestly, I was really, really worried about this one. A lot of people took it earlier in the month because of a whole kerfluffle that happened, and they insisted that it was much easier than the last exam from this course, but still I was wary.

But it was so much easier than the last exam from this course!

It wasn't cumulative, as had been promised at the beginning of the term, and so it only covered google and dialog.

Dialog's a pain, but as long as you knew the commands it was all good.

And now my vacation begins! Tonight there's a big SIS party/potluck thing and tomorrow I bus home.

I hope this vacation is as amazing and restful as I dream it could be!

See you in January! (wow, 2012!)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 64: Only one more to go!!!

Today's exam was Bibliographic and Factual Sources. I had heard horror stories about that exam, but nothing could have prepared me for that thing.

Oh. Wow.

Honestly, I did my best. I studied all that I could. My brain was crammed with every possible fact I could fit in it, and I think that I did ok. But those questions were beasts! Absolute beasts. And realistically, this exam did nothing to prepare me for any real world scenario.

I stand by my assertion that that class would feel much more useful as a project-based one.

Let's just hope my course evaluation comments get heard on that.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Day 63: Halfway Done!

As I mentioned yesterday, my exam this morning was Information and Society.

It was ok as far as exams go. I mean, there were a few easy questions, a few ones I couldn't even guess at. I feel like I did all the studying I could have, there were just a few things that hadn't stuck in my head. Things like people's names rarely do stick in my head properly.

Luckily, my prof made an extremely comprehensive review slideshow, and really I don't think I really should have bothered studying anything else. So I had covered everything before the exam.

Lets hope that my final grade bears that out!

I'm 100% positive I passed. The only variable is by how much.

But that's true of most of the classes I've ever taken.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day 62: Opening a book and seeing its spine through the pages

Something about that pains me, the spine of a book showing bare. And it hurts even more to hear the crackling tear of the spine breaking. Any yet, the things I do for my job... Today I started tattle-taping journals, and ideally, the stuff needs to be right along the spine which means... I'm a sad panda. Sad panda, indeed.

But there's no real lesson there. Anyone who has ever opened a new book knows whether or not breaking the poor thing's spine hurts them... Except piano books... They need that lesson or their pages will try to close as you play.

Still, I digress.

Today was exam numero one!

The dread pirate Cataloguing.

Tedious as ever, and yet I still enjoyed it.

The multiple choice and definitions were reasonably easy, with joke answers strewn in... often as the answer. Going over the class slides and post-it noting my AACR2 was all the studying needed to be sure.

Pro tip: Emily Post's Table Manners for Adults has nothing to do with cataloguing if you couldn't have guessed.

Dewey is tougher when you can't check your answers like a math problem. That is, when you can't use Dewey online to see what the number you've built leads to, it's tough to be sure of the answer you've given.

But all in all, I feel that that particular exam went well, all things considered. Nothing in particularly really stumped me, it was just a long slog to create the Dewey Decimal Classifications and the Machine-Readable Cataloguing records.

Next up: Information and Society, tomorrow morning!

Study, study, study!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 61: Aren't I Productive?

Despite a deep seated conviction that I was completely wrong about having class today, I managed to drag myself from my cozy bed to prove that I was right about having class.

My very last class of the semester.

A review slideshow filled with stars! And yet, taking notes just felt so redundant somehow...

I was told that the TA is apparently not marking anyone's papers past the tenth page. But this was the class that gave no indication of how many pages the assignment needed to be, so I hardly think that's fair. This is why providing page maximums at the least is an absolute necessity. Regardless, I'm pretty sure the prof was marking ours, not the TA. So I guess ballet was the best choice after all!

Today's lesson was taken from our review. My family loves doing crosswords, so I'm surprised this didn't jump out at me the first time through the course material...

Lesson 61: People often call library reference desks when they're doing crossword puzzles or trivia.

When that happens, the resource that has been suggested to us is Credo which has a crossword solver which also functions as an anagram solver!

Honestly, I'm kind of worried about this exam, because it seems really hit or miss as to when she will or will not accept "Wikipedia" or "Google" as an answer, and when it's actually the answer she'd prefer...

Besides class, I also got some absolutely marvellous news, though I can't reveal it just yet, edited a friend's paper, and am more than a third of the way through the 2nd book from A Song of Ice and Fire. As well, I'm thinking about taking a fitness class at the Student Fitness Centre in the new semester... Kind of torn between "Stroke Improvement", because my swimming isn't as strong as it could be, and "Abs, Back and Bootie", which a few of my Quidditch friends are also doing and have taken before... hmmm...

Also, the strike is officially over! Thank goodness!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 60: Important lessons I never taught

This one wasn't so much something I learned today as it is a lesson, gleaned from my study notes, that I never had the chance to impart.

Amidst early scrawls of "what is information?", "What is information science?", "why are we here?" and "what are we getting a degree in anyways?" came a handy little initialism.


Here's my lesson...

Lesson 60: It's easier to remember if you reverse it and make it an acronym. WKID. As in: "Library school is W[ic]KID!"

WKID is the hierarchy of information, usually represented by a pyramid, with Data at the bottom and Wisdom at the top.

Wisdom is made of applied and experienced Knowledge, which is made of synthesized and processed Information, which is organized Data.

This is essentially the foundation of everything we're studying.

And I find acronyms, which are by definition pronounceable, way easier to remember than initialisms, which by definition are not pronounceable.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 59: Droppin' the knowledge bombs up in here!

So much for McGill's IT Knowledge Base. Count this as a win for me then!

IT services maintains a pseudo-wiki of answers to every technological issue you could ever have. How-tos, troubleshooting, information... it's really very informative and quite useful.

Because of it, I learned how to not only access the school's VPN from home, and my iPad, but also how to print to their uPrint system directly from the comfort of my own home. They're also very good about updating and adding new issues as they appear/are reported, like WebCT's inability to display PDFs properly on an iPad.

However, when I was on campus, wanting to connect to my P: drive (the personal drive, each student has their own) from a computer I could not log onto with my own McGill ID, it looked like I was out of luck. They only had instructions for setting up a connection so it appears on your computer as a remote drive. Honestly, I don't keep very interesting things on my P: drive, but I still don't want just anyone using that computer to have access... who knows what they'd put on it!

But then I noticed how they were instructing you to connect... They wanted you to put a specific URL into some annoying Windows wizard. But...

Lesson 59: Going directly to the website[insert short username here] allows full access to your P: drive through your web browser! No annoying set up, no opening your drive for the world to see, you just need your short username and your password. Exactly what I needed!

Which makes me wonder...

Why don't they just list that as an option?