Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 83: Life is like a videogame...

... And I'm grinding my way through levels on boars in the woods...

We were discussing social networking in class today and its applications in librarianship. And it basically came down to investment.

Lesson 80: Librarians should play around with and understand all these new trends, but shouldn't necessarily "get into" every new thing that comes along.

That means everyone should at least have an account and play around a bit to get a feel for it and really understand it. This is so we know if something's useful to us and can then make use of it and so that we can help our users when they come asking questions.

On the other hand, sinking a lot of time, energy and interest into every single new thing that comes along is a recipe for burn out and disaster when some of these things you've invested so much into don't pan out (ie/Second Life).

In semi-related news, I got myself a Pinterest account today... so you can come follow me! I'll even provide invites for anyone who wants them...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Day 82: I'm back baby!

And again, mixed feelings... I want to hang out with my Scouting friends all the time, so I'm loathe to return to Montreal; but I want to hang out with my Quidditch and Library friends, so I'm happy to be back.

Quit playin' games with my heart!

Lesson 79: Having everything due before a break is infinitely superior to having them due after the break.

I mean really, Prof gets time to mark over the break (or an excuse to put off marking) and students get to exhale a huge sigh of relief and relax. And then, getting back into the swing of things is more gentle and less like running headfirst into a wall with all the speed and force of a freight train.

It's just a nicer feeling.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day 81: Existential phooey

Sometimes I have an odd form of existential crisis when I realize there are so many things I'd like to do but a combination of mutual exclusivity and lack of time in a single lifetime make it so they can't all be possible.

Other times, I'll have a libraristential crisis when I realize there is so much knowledge I want to gain (ie/all of it) and there's no way I possibly can.

Today, these things didn't seem to be all bad...

Lesson 78: You can't do everything all the time. And sometimes, that's a good thing.

I had a grand plan for today where I'd go to class, my job interview, hand in my assignments, eat and get to the bus in time, without using any transportation except my free-to-use feet.

Only some of these things actually happened. I managed the job interview, one assignment and a quick stop at Timmies before ultimately getting to my bus early... but only thanks to one friendly cabbie, and one rather nasty surly cabbie.

The job interview went perfectly, if you ignore my dry-mouthed failure at the spoken French portion, and my group-mates wound up handing in our assignment so I didn't need to go do it myself or make it to class.

And now I can breathe again. It's time to go home for break! And see Jon! And go to SnowMoot! And dance! And play clothesline! And do a polar bear dip!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day 80: What's that they say about some have leadership thrust upon them?

Oh wait, no... that's greatness.

Some are born great, some become great and some have greatness thrust upon them.

Lesson 76: Word substitution is a good way to come up with lessons.

Lesson 77: Some are born leaders, some become leaders and some have leadership thrust upon them.

I really felt like that last option today in class. Our professor has a few groups presenting each day and wants each one to have a class activity or discussion (I get the impression that she'd prefer activity). Today, one group's activity was a debate.

I love the rules of good debate, I like concocting debate, but I cannot stand being the one who actually has to speak.

Yet, by virtue of everyone else being more willing to stay silent longer than me, I wound up being the one trying to direct our group's discussion in order to concoct our argument. And I was very nearly roped into being one of the debaters too, but luckily that was one trap I managed to sidestep.

Sometimes just sitting closest to the front and being the least silent are all the traits you need to be a leader.

Maybe I should work that into my paper on leadership that I have to hand in tomorrow... Along with that article on the managerial mistakes made by the Galactic Empire....

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day 79: Another brick in the wall

All things are cyclical. Here we are again. Another midterm point, another week of doom.

Five projects due this week, one of which I have to turn in a day early because I'm leaving Thursday afternoon to get the maximum amount of time at home. But we'll see how that goes, I don't know about all this.

Lesson 75: Bohemian Rhapsody is full of good life learning.

Anyway the wind blows, nothing really matters.

Things tend to feel too life or death all the time. I used to tell myself when I'd start worrying about something that the only outcome worth getting worried about was death, so I rarely had any cause to worry. But then my mind started coming up with the most elaborate and ridiculous ways that every situation was obviously a life or death situation, and so my particular coping mechanism didn't work any more.

Now, well, it doesn't really matter, does it? If something goes wrong, it'll be upsetting for a bit, but I'll find a way to move past it and it'll all just be another insignificant memory. Things will work out.

So why panic about having a lot of assignments due? I'll either get them done on time or I won't. Either way, things will work out eventually, and ultimately it won't really matter if I handed assignment X in a few days late or didn't format the title page of assignment Y precisely correct down to the individual spaces.

The human brain's a wonderful thing, and it can make a smooth past out of the roughest.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day 78: What do celery, passion fruit and latex all have in common?

I know those things don't seem to go together, but I'm serious. Celery, passion fruit and latex are all connected! And they aren't alone...

Lesson 74: Bananas, passion fruits, kiwis, melons, chestnuts, avocados, celery, tomato and latex all have cross-reacting proteins, meaning (as I understand it) that if you're allergic to one, you could have a reaction to any of the others.

One of my previous lessons established my apparently severe chestnut allergy, I have an avocado allergy I managed to pass to my mother in-utero and I have an irrational hatred of kiwis, melons and tomatoes, so what does this mean for me? I really hope I'm not going to wind up eventually unable to eat bananas and celery... I love bananas and celery!

Well... separately.

Not together.

That would be a very odd combination.... Crunchy, mushy banana flavoured waterstuff.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day 77: Clarifying Quebecois Lingo

Today's going to be a little different than usual. Rather than a lesson I've learned today, it's more of a lesson in progress. I haven't been able to check the accuracy of the information I was given, so maybe you can help me out, and we can crowdsource this lesson.

You see, going into Information Services and Users today, I was a little late. The guest presenters, reference librarians from Concordia, had already started their presentation and were talking about reference avenues. You may have seen "Chat with a Librarian" services offered by many University libraries, so they were sharing a few other options. Email, text message, video chat, instant messaging, things like that.

One of my classmates asked: "What's the difference between text messaging and instant messaging?"

My reflexive reaction was to be perplexed as to how she didn't know something so obvious, but I had missed part of their explanation so I thought maybe they had said something in their presentation that had really muddled the issue and caused confusion. So I asked a friend, and she bestowed upon me today's potential lesson.

Lesson 73?: In Quebecois french, the same word is used for text messaging (via phone) and instant messaging (via computer).

When I was in France, we referred to text messages as "SMS" or "texto". We didn't do much IMing, but when we did it was just "MSN" because that was the client we were using at the time. So my knowledge of French suggests different words are used. But my knowledge of Quebecois vernacular is decidedly subpar, so I don't know, is the same word used for both?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day Whoa: Hospitals and Interprovincial Healthcare

Sorry I haven't been on top of updating, I've had a rather complicated past week.

After taking a soccer ball and later an oblivious and unintentional fist to the nose within a week, the resulting headache got abruptly and exponentially more intense without reason or warning on Wednesday afternoon. That is generally not a good thing.

So I went to see a doctor here in Montreal (and worried him quite a bit), who sent me to the ER here in Montreal, where an even more concerned triage nurse allowed me to take my 9pm bus on Thursday night in order to get home to Ontario as long as I promised to go to the ER again when I got there.

Upon arriving in Toronto at 3am, a very close friend of mine, Hoben, picked me up from the bus station, drove me to Guelph and even stayed with me in the waiting room of the Guelph ER for a bit. The doctor there saw me after a much longer wait than in Montreal, and despite the headache being so bad that tears had started to flow, proclaimed that there was probably nothing wrong with me, otherwise I'd be dead already.

Regardless, he gave me an IV of drugs that were "gang-busters for headaches" as he said but that "wouldn't make you loopy", so that I could make a decision about whether or not I should get the CT scan he was willing to give me, but really didn't want to. Turns out those IV drugs shouldn't have been given to someone in my situation at all; lets just say that a drug with known interactions with breathing and intracranial pressure don't pan out well for asthmatics with headtrauma... But it still helped a lot!

Jon showed up during the IV drip and came home with me when I was ultimately released with hardly a glance after the drip was done.

Luckily, my friend Dev lived nearby and was willing to give us a ride home when I asked, because she's absolutely amazing and such a sweetheart.

I got home, and after well over 24hrs without sleep, Jon and I were finally able to get some rest.

When my family came home, I was able to scare each and every single one of them because no one was expecting me. I even managed to sneak up on my grandpa when Kristie, Hoben and I stopped by the LCBO on our way out of town.

The weekend in Barrie that followed was (nearly) as amazing as I hoped it would be! The mild-concussion and hospital drugs put a few unfortunate kinks in my weekend, but ultimately, I got to see a lot of marvellous friends I've had trouble seeing for the past few years because of my own personal problems despite still living so close, and spent a weekend chilling with them.

I'm even finally more or less caught up with where I wanted to be homework-wise before the whole concussion/ER/medication combo knocked me for a loop.

So we now return to your regularly scheduled programming thanks to the combined efforts of medical personel across 2 provinces and 3 institutions, Hoben, Dev, Kristie, Bree, Matt, Tommy, Hayley, Hindle and, of course, Jon.

Come back tomorrow for a brand new lesson!