Saturday, September 16, 2006

First session of the interdisciplinary seminar class

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve had to sit through an entire day of classes. The first all-day session of this class really tested my learning stamina, or more specifically, my listening stamina. The lectures were a mix of congratulatory fluff (“we’re the greatest information school in the country, or should be!”), which I could have done without, and really great content on the history of communication technology. I have to confess that I was nearly brain-dead by the end…

...which was a perfect time for us to meet our small group members and work on our technology problem exercise and subsequent presentation (she said, sarcastically)!

To be honest, this work session went much better than I expected. As far as gender and cultural divides go, they seemed to have little effect. The striking differences showed up in expertise and language use. Our conversations took a lot of time because the Information Management folk have a very structured vocabulary for project work, which they threw around with great speed, and the rest of us (me especially) had to ask for clarification quite a lot. Thankfully, despite these language barriers (hardly the ones I expected!), I think we designed a decent project and will probably have a halfway decent presentation to do.

I was surprised at how I feel less intimidated all the time. There are so many smart, smart people in all of the programs, but I never realized how many presentation and communication skills I have developed over the past few years. I suppose I assumed that everyone can do this effectively – not true! (At least, they can’t yet – I couldn’t always, either.) And a good deal of project management skill also rubbed off on me inadvertently.

It’s nice to be surprised by your own competence!


Anonymous said...

"It’s nice to be surprised by your own competence!"

It sure is! It's weird how I've stumbled around, feeling not very good at anything, but once I decided to go for a Library Science degree, things just kind of clicked. Now I feel like I'm pretty good at a lot of things. The nice thing about Library Science is that it encourages the "good at a lot" mentality, rather than the "supremely good at one thing" mentality. I much prefer the former.

-Karin Dalziel (

Andrew said...


I saw you comment on Deb's blog and thought I would drop by and look at your blog.

My time in public libraries was incredibly rewarding.

There is immense feeling of satisfaction from being able to help someone who needs it.

I don’t mean in just finding a book.

Libraries are more than that. The good ones are a community.

While I no longer work in public libraries I still maintain an interest and watchful eye.

I have a couple of young graduates whom I mentor.

Good luck on your career.

~And (Andrew)