Returning to Student Life: Hello, Grad School!

Goodbye, free time.  Hello, higher education.

Last week, I started grad school!  I’m pursuing my Masters in Library and Information Science through the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.  My classes are all online, which enables me to do school while continuing to work full time.

All week, people in my life have been asking how it’s been so far.  My reply has usually been a dubious expression and a weird, semi-coherent grunt. I knew that grad school would be a lot of work, but there’s intellectual knowledge and experiential knowledge.  And, boy, am I learning experientially!

It’s not that my classes are anything I can’t handle.  The workload is large, but definitely doable.  The challenge is adjusting to new pressures and a new routine.  Significant portions of my weekends and days off are now spent hunched over my laptop and pouring through textbooks.

As I learn to be a student remotely, I have to learn to be intentional about taking care of daily business.  I’ve taken for granted having time to cook, shop, clean, do laundry, exercise, etc.  I now have to think about when I’m going to get those things accomplished. Continue reading

Weekend Coffee Share: Orchard Opening, Grad School, State Fair, and more!

If we were having coffee, we’d likely be sitting outside on picnic tables overlooking my family’s apple orchard.  Please excuse my cat, Pip, who has no concept of personal boundaries.  He has most likely climbed on your lap and is demanding snuggles.  While you pet him, we look over the orchard to the St. Croix River valley in the distance.  Isn’t the view great?

At the moment, I’m enjoying a few days of calm before the craziness that is fall hits.  The library was absolutely dead this week, which (while boring) was a nice break.  My patrons are all getting ready for school, going on last minute vacations, and harvesting their gardens.

This week, I DID get to go to the Minnesota State Fair for work!  It was Read & Ride Day, put on by the library system in the Twin Cities area.  Fairgoers could get discounted admission with their library cards.  As a worker, I got in for free!  My shift was three hours long and I ran the game Plinko.  My coworker for the day and I were given a massive amount of prizes (color changing cups, temporary tattoos, pens, bags, flashlights, etc.) and told that they needed to all be gone by five.  So we were VERY generous to all who played our game.  “Everyone’s a winner at the library!” we told everyone who stopped by.  It was a lot of fun!  After my shift, I spent the rest of the day wandering around the fair with library colleagues from my own system, who had worked earlier in the day.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I start graduate school this week!  I’m pursuing my Masters in Library and Information Science through the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.  I’m kind of nervous about being back in academia and balancing school and work.  It really helps that everything is online and I can fit it in with my schedule.  I think I’ll be fine… I’ve always been a bit of a Hermione Granger when it comes to school and started reading one of my textbooks already.

My family’s apple orchard is open for the season!  My parents and brother worked really hard to get everything together.  Dad has been overseeing the harvest and getting the outside presentable.  Mom organized the store and is training all our new seasonal employees.  I’ll be helping out on Sundays this fall during the peak of our season, but with grad school and having my own job, my involvement will be fairly minimal.

That’s enough chit chat from me.  How are you spending your last weekend of the summer?  Anything exciting going on this fall?  What would you share over coffee?

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Part Time Monster. 

Be sure to check out the weekly Link Up to see what everyone has been up to.

Weekend Coffee Share 4/15/17

If we were having coffee, you would find me curled up in a cozy sweatshirt staring absentmindedly out the window.  The weather is dreary and wet–perfect for staying indoors.  (Of course… this picture is a wishful fantasy.  In reality, I got up before dawn to go to work.)

I’ve been away from the coffee share for a while again… it’s been a busy month!  Thankfully, things will be setting down a bit soon.

It’s Easter this weekend and I do not feel at all prepared.  Because it’s so late, the holiday really snuck up on me this year.  I feel bad, because Easter is the most important Christian holiday of the year, and I haven’t been paying attention.  My brothers are home for the weekend and my parents are getting home from their road trip at some point.  We all plan on going to church together tomorrow… but that’s the extent of our celebrations.  Continue reading

Weekend Coffee Share: 2/5/17

If we were having coffee, I would start out by sharing my big news:

 I GOT INTO GRAD SCHOOL!!!

My acceptance letter came via email on Tuesday.  This means that, next fall, I’ll be pursuing my Masters of Library and Information Science at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.  Thankfully, I opted for the online option and I can continue working as a small-town librarian.  If all goes according to plan, the program will take two years to complete.

I’m really looking forward to getting my next degree.  It feels weird getting a Masters for a job that I already have… but I know that it will equip me in so many ways for my career ahead.  I have never taken online classes before, but I’m a self-motivated learner, so don’t anticipate it being too much of a problem.  The thing I dread most is that I won’t have time to read for fun anymore! Continue reading

Weekend Coffee Share 1/28/17

If we were having coffee, we’d be meeting in an actual coffee shop for once.  Between meeting friends and getting out of the house to write, I’ve been spending a lot of time in coffee shops.  I’d be sipping a mocha–what would you be having?

Things in Amelia-land have been going well.  Over the past month, I’ve been reconnecting with friends that I haven’t seen in a long time, which has been wonderful.

I submitted my application for graduate school a couple of weeks ago!  Tracking down transcripts was a huge headache and I’m thankful to be done.  I’m not sure when I find out if I get accepted, but am just happy to have it off my mind for now. Continue reading

Weekend Coffee Share 12/17/16

If we were having coffee, we’d be meeting in the library.  To be specific, you’d be leaning against the “check-out” area of the circulation desk holding a mug and I’d be perched on a desk chair on the other side.  Yes, I’m at work.  Saturdays are pretty quiet and we just got another big snow last night (more on that later), so we should be able to have a good chat.

It’s been a long week.  Although the daily door counter tells me otherwise, work has felt extremely slow and it’s been exhausting.  I have a lot on my plate right now that needs to get done outside of work, but when I finally get home, I practically collapse on my bed and go to right to sleep. Continue reading