I have been asking myself the same question after I finished my master’s degree a month early: now what? I have always been the type of person who has plans in life, and if those plans don’t work out, I would have a backup plan prepared. This is not to say I cannot be spontaneous or that I’m thinking things will go wrong. It is more of a way to prepare myself and to think ahead. It has worked out numerous times at my library job where I have been able to fix a problem before the problem even arises. Now, I really do not have an answer, and it is a horrible feeling.
Everyone who knows me knows that I'm not that found of young children. Yes, it is ironic seeing as I'm youth associate at a library, but hear me out. Baby's are adorable but they just lie their until they can gain motor skills to sit up, crawl, walk, and talk. I've never really felt like I've had maternal instincts towards children as it is. Sure, I have said in the past if I were to have or want children I would want to foster or adopt them. Got to keep that family tradition alive! Or at least start a new tradition.
I've never really found myself connecting to a child unless they were at the age where they can speak very clearly and we can have a conversation. I'm sure all parents know that moment when their child is trying to tell them something in their child-english that when you go and do what you thought they asked or said, your child gets frustrated because you did something wrong. You just don't know what it is. This has occurred for me numerous times during the programs I've run at the library, and I end up leaving the program so confused as to how I ruined the conversation or their game of imagination.
However, the one thing that ruins any yearning for me wanting to have children is that some who are school aged don't haven't fully mastered the skill of properly covering their face when they sneeze, and with this year's cold and flu season as well as the wide range of weather temperatures in my area, I've been hit a cold more times than I can count.
In a matter of days, I'll be starting my second semester of grad school towards my MLIS. I'd be excited, but to be honest, I'm a bit apprehensive. Or, maybe that's not the right word. I guess I just feel 'meh'. I know, it's not really a word and not an emotion but it's the best way to describe things. School has never really been that difficult for me. History, Science, and Math were classes that I was never excited to take, but of course they're the core few so you have to. I didn't even understand taking those courses in college either. I was really excited about college because I could take the classes I wanted to, same for grad school.
For my first semester, I took four classes and passed them all. Things went along smoothly save for a two-week patch. I was really worrying about having enough time to get school work done around working full time (being the only youth associate where I work which in turn means taking on much more at my job) and fielding all the group project virtual meet ups. Plus, I still wanted to have and keep a social life so I was re-arranging and rescheduling dinners out with friends or going to the movies or amusement parks with my sisters.
This semester I am taking three classes, but only one is required towards my degree. The other two are essentially electives and I'm happy to finally start taking classes in the area I'm really interested in. Getting to this point wasn't easy though - at least emotionally. After finishing my last semester I had roughly six weeks of break before classes start again. I did't really get to rest during it, because I was so worried about my scholastic status.
At the beginning of those six weeks I had a hold on my account, stopping me from seeing my grades because I didn't pay for the Spring semesters courses. I shouldn't have had a hold on my account because I'm covered by tuition deferral to give my financial aid time to kick in to cover my course fees. After receiving a letter in the mail in November saying my financial aid was added to my account (it wasn't), noticing the hold on my account, numerous phone calls, and emails, I was able to get the hold taken off. I was jut told to "make sure my financial aid pays off the fees before courses start." This gave me pause because I filled out all the forms correctly and months ago at the start of the semester, so why would it be my job to make sure the campus' financial aid office does its job?
My financial aid was added to my account a week before classes started. It did get added a week ahead, if you look at a calendar. In reality, it was a couple of days before even though it was marked as being added as early as the beginning of last week. Maybe it was due to the government shutdown (i did my research - apparently already approved funding wouldn't be affected), or maybe there were just errors/problems on the school's end, i don't know. What i do know is that it caused me more stress than it should have, even with my 2019 goal of trying to have a more positive outlook/thought process.
But the one thing that is causing me pause, is myself. I received a scholarship this past summer for my studies (which i later learned was a competitive scholarship) and I passed all of my classes with good grades. Part of me feels like it was kind of a fluke. Don't get me wrong, I worked hard and received my blessings due to my own merit, but I also feel like I'm chasing the impossible achievement of success that I feel like is put on me, but may not actually be there.
I don't like to talk about my grades anymore (I only talked about it with a few people) because I worry people will expect me to always reach the same levels as I did in my first semester. In some ways, it could be a "silent" race issue that's driving me to do well, not just for me but for all of us. I don't tell people that I struggle with academic papers, even though I'm an English major. I love doing research for papers (at least, on topics I'm interested in) but the actual professional, academic writing, gives me pause. People close to me have said that I "have nothing to worry about, you're a great writer." Ask any of my high school teachers, creative writing was much more fun to me and came easier. There's a reason I majored in English with a concentration in creative writing. Sure, I get good grades on papers but you didn't see me staying late after work to grab a study room and hole myself up until we closed so I could carve out more time to work on them. You didn't see me stay up until the early hours of the morning a paper was due (thank you 3 hour time difference) to make sure I lined up with each detail of a rubric.
In fact, i tend to clam up and try not to talk about school in general because it's all people ask when they see me. A graduate degree is a big thing, and I am working towards my career - something that I'm good at and I love to do. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to work in a library and get my degree at the same time. The library science field is a tricky world, and some people may have a master's degree but still not get hired for months to years after completing school.
I could be overthinking things like usual, but that doesn't mean my thoughts and feelings aren't valid. I guess we'll see once classes start. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the rest of my small vacation before my textbooks arrive (yes, i did procrastinate on this - but working in the library has saved me some money for having copies of textbooks I needed), and my schedule starts to fill up again. I feel, though, as long as I stay as organized as I was last semester, everything will turn out okay.
What's up, everyone?
(The sky; airplanes)
I know, it's been a while! I'm sure I'm sounding like a broken record at this point. A lot has happened since my last post, which judging by the dates was Jan 2018. I was starting a review series (one of many which I said I was going to do), which I will get back to. However, this post is the start of a new series.
For those who may not know, I decided to go to school to get my Masters in Library and Information Science aka a MLIS. I've been working in libraries for about 4 years now, and I it helped me figure out what I want to do with my life: creating programming and a space for teens. My focus for my Master degree will be in Youth/Young Adult Services, however I like to learn and know about all the different roles in libraries so I will be taking various other courses to be more well rounded including management, grant writing, reference, etc.
This series of blog posts will be called M.L.I.S. to stand for "My Life in (Library) School". The biggest difference between grad school and college for me right now is that my program is entirely online. I'm working full time and going to school full time. I know, it sounds crazy but the program I am in is based out in CA so I get three extra hours to turn in assignments and its all online including office hours so it will work around my schedule. My other option would be to quit my job and move to a different state since there is no accredited MLIS program in my state, and moving wasn't an option for me. This way, I may be able to use my school work at work or vice versa. It's a win-win situation. Plus, I have the option to be on campus for my graduation or join a special ceremony online. Yeah, i think I'll take the chance to visit CA when the time comes! ;)
My classes officially started today but I had one class start before the semester. It started Aug st and I finished Aug 19th, when the overall finish date is Sept 18th. After doing the first class, I know I can handle grad school online. Confidence is the first step. I finished my first class with an A+. I am the last person to brag about themselves or talk about their accomplishments, but this is something I'm really proud of, so I wanted to share it.
So, check back from time to time to see how everything is going, if you'd like. I hope to keep this updated as I work through my program for the next two years.
Till next time!
For awhile now, I've wanted to review books, movies, and books to movie adaptations, so getting this opportunity to review an upcoming film as the launch pad, is exciting. So let's get started.
Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a HUGE Facts of Life fan, even though I was born in the 90s. Thank god, for the internet and websites like Hulu an Youtube. The new Hallmark original film, "Hearts of Spring" stars Facts of Life alum Lisa Whelchel, who played Blair Warner, and Michael Shanks. However, the main focal point is that Lisa's on screen daughter is played by her own real-life daughter, Clancy Cauble, in her television debut. I was impressed to hear that Whelchel came up with the original story of the film, somewhat based off of her own life. Much props to Whelchel as she makes her way back to our television screens.
So, i ended up watching the film twice, once to enjoy the film, and the second time to write a review. To give a brief synopsis, Hearts of Spring is a film about a mother raising a teenage daughter who is about to go off to college, who runs a blog about parenting under the alias BestieMom. A frequent commenter, or some would see as a polite troll, named JugglingDad, is raising a teenage son and doesn't agree with her parenting views. Of course, you can see where this one is going: the two are attracted to each other, not knowing who each other is. Since it's Hallmark, I think you can guess how they tie up everything with a nice, neat bow. But, that's also what hooks us, its what gets us to return to Hallmark and watch their films. However, there were some twists and turns I didn't see, so Hallmark did surprise me in that aspect.
I was escited to see Whelchel's return to the screen after "For Better or For Worse" another Hallmark film, based off of the novel of the same name by Diann Hunt. Hunt is one of my favorite authors so I was excited to see the book being made into a film and to see that Lisa would star in it. After working in that film, with another Facts of Life alum Kim Fields, it was great to see her find a place she fit and create another film on the channel.
Overall, the film was nice. I felt the beginning was pretty slow and took forever to bring up the plot point of the film, whereas the trailer and released summaries of the film essentially give it away within 5 seconds. Whatever happened to trailers wanting to hook the viewers? But I'm digressing. Sticking true to Hallmark fashion, the film was sticky sweet, but that's not a bad thing. It had some good comedic points, some of which had me laughing, and some I felt would have been better even with the background music adding to it. Don't get me started on Awkward Date, or AD as I'll refer to him. On one hand I cringed at AD, and on the other hand I died laughing because it was so awkward it was funny. Although, he was a fairly better than Female Awkward Date aka FAD. Whelchel has stated that she likes comedic roles, she was on a sitcom for nine years, and you can tell she's grown a an actress by using her facial features to get the humor across instead of needing to use her body to do so.
The acting in the film is pretty good, could have been better in some places. What really got me was the casting of the film. You don't know how overjoyed I was to see that they actually cast young adults (who played the teens) to actually resemble their parents. However, in Whelchel's case, they just looked at her family. As mentioned above, her own daughter Clancy Cauble, plays her on-screen daughter. To be honest, there were some points in the film where I felt they could have just picked any blonde haired, green eyed actress and put her in Clancy's role, and then you'd have a mother/daughter pairing. However, there's something about Clancy that drew me to her. It's something about the energy or the way she portrays the character - its very easy to have someone like her character to come across as annoying or just following the crowd. Clancy made her standout and likeable. She's an actress I'll keep an eye on in the future.
Like previously stated, i ended up watching the film twice, once to enjoy the film, and the second time to write a review. Okay, so I also watched it a second time cause I was kind of blindsided at how good looking the actor playing teenage son was. :) All in all, if you want to watch a heartwarming film about parenting in the digital age, preparing yourself for your children to go off to school, and understanding the way relationships change then this is the film for you. Everything just felt believable, and being a young twenty-something, i really enjoyed that I could understand to the parents and the children. There's not much I would change about this film.
Well, okay, there is one thing: the title of the website Whelchel's character blogs on - Parenting for the Soul, and obvious play off of Chicken Soup for the Soul. I know it's Hallmark, but it could have been a more enticing title, like "Facts of Life - Lessons Parenting Taught Me". See what i did there? :)
"Hearts of Spring" will air on Hallamark on Saturday, April 9th at 9pm/8pm CT
"Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you." - Walt Whitman