I Need to Brag

now, because I just do NOT have a good feeling about my comprehensive exam tomorrow– aka the test I need to pass to get my degree. Everyone I’ve talked to is like “eh, you’ll be fine,” but that’s what everyone told me before I failed my first driving test too. v_v I think part of what I’m worried about is that there wasn’t even a real way to study for this test. These questions can cover ANY aspect of librarianship– from collection development to designing info lit courses for under-served populations to cataloging issues. It’s 3 essays;  you must pick from one of two questions for each of the 3 sections, so you do have *some* choice.  Old questions have been posted online and yeah, I took a gander. Some were not bad but there were a few that made me O_o;;;

So. Tomorrow. 9am. Wish me luck. ::cry::

Okay, now for the bragging!

Switching my focus from archives and preservation to academic libraries and info lit was the best possible move. I never wanted to become a teacher, in fact I was a little unhappy when I found out that is a HUGE part of being an academic librarian, but apparently it’s where my talents lie.

– For my info lit class last semester, I am the only person the professor has ever given a perfect score after observing my lesson. . .and she’s been teaching for like 15 years.

-Last year, I was the only grad student asked to teach several of the 2 hour long info lit classes that occur during the summer. The kids were asked to rate the class at the end, and apparently several students gave good feedback about me specifically. And I heard from someone who read the feedback that out of the 5 or so people teaching the classes, I was the only one who was singled out like that.

-I ran yesterday’s LIB 120 class from beginning to end– it was the main project of my Professional Field Experience. I wrote the lecture, I created the activities, I guided the discussion, I even created a 4 minute video on the subject (more on that later). Was I nervous? A little, just because I knew that the class’ normal professor, who is also my PFE “mentor,” would be watching and evaluating everything. Mind you, she *knows* her stuff when it comes to information literacy instruction. First of all, she’s the head of URI’s ILI department;  secondly, she’s co-written several books and scholarly articles on the subject; lastly, she’s run a national program called “Immersion” which is a VERY big deal in the academic library world. Just to be accepted into the program is an ordeal– you must already be an instructor whose made significant contributions to the field at your institution. I looked at the application once and even that was concerning, lol. Plus like I said, she has not only been through this program, she has LED it.

After class we chatted in her office about how things went. She asked for my opinion first, and though I felt the class went well overall, of course I pointed out several things that I thought could have been better. To my surprise, her response was, “Well I thought the whole thing was great!” She read all of her notes to me and the only things she pointed out were very minor, and weren’t even technically corrections, just suggestions. So, awesome.

-About the video I mentioned above. I made a video for Bryant last semester using Camtasia software– it’s a very simple video editing software to learn and I was coming from zero experience. For whatever reason I felt like making one to go along with yesterday’s Web Evaluation class. When I showed it to my mentor she was thrilled by it and immediately asked if she could forward the link to the other LIB 120 teachers! Naturally I said she could. A few librarians emailed me back some compliments on it, including one guy we’ll call L. L is a nice enough guy, but he’s NOT quick to praise student work. Apparently he liked my video so much that he decided to show it in his own LIB 120 section. Again, my mentor was like, “Um, he is never impressed by anything so. . .wow.” Honestly, I think the video I did for Bryant is better! If you’d like to see what all the supposed fuss is about, here’s the link.

-I received applause at the end of the last three classes I’ve taught. Applause. For the record, normally the students cannot wait for the library class to end and as soon as you finish talking, they immediately pick up their stuff and march out of the room silently. I don’t know. I try to throw in humor when I can, I’m not afraid to be self-deprecating and I’m quite animated. . .no hiding behind the computer for me! It comes naturally to me; having been on stages of various sizes since I was about 5 might have something to do with it, but no matter what, it’s a trend I hope will continue. Happy students = attentive students = students who might have actually learned something! lol

-And finally, I’ve been given my own entire section of LIB 120 for the Summer, which is partly why I’m doing my PFE in it right now. As if that’s not awesome enough, there’s about a 95% chance I’ll also be teaching a class in the Fall semester, too. I’m quite honored about that because not many recent graduates get asked to return as lecturers. . . more often as reference desk staff.

Okay, that’s enough of that. I actually feel bad for writing this entry, but I guess it’s acceptable to have a self-esteem spike once in awhile, lol. I’ll let you know how comps go and then I’ve got some other things up my sleeve worth discussing. Now– onto other random things instead of doing library related stuff!

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