2006-08-04 14:01:23 (UTC)

The Last Month

For the past month I've been worried half to death about
school. It's been 35 years since I've taken classes and I
kept hearing about how hard graduate school is, how much
work there is, and how the professors have high
expectations. I spent hours and hours on the first
10-page paper I had to write and when I was finished I still
wasn't happy with it. The problem was I never got any
feedback on the work I was turning in. I had no idea how I
was doing.

Then last week I got a paper back. It was that first paper
I'd written. A-! YES! I've gotten more work back since
then and all my grades have been As. My advisor had told me
that most people got Bs in their classes; As were rare. I
am happy! And relieved!

I love my classes. I'm learning so much. The professors
I've had so far have been kind and funny and good teachers.
In the first class we studied paradigm shifts and during a
break I told the professor that I had gone through such a
shift when I moved to the United States. He wanted me to
tell this to the class, which I did, but I was nervous about
sharing something so personal. Last week I got an email
from a classmate thanking me for sharing that story; her
mother had been very ill in the hospital during that
week-end and that story, she told me, had helped her. I
also had people come up to me during breaks and tell me how
much they appreciated the comments I made in class. That
made me feel good. I had been worried that I talked too much.

I am also enjoying work. I work at the Oregon State Library
three days a week. For the past six weeks I've been working
in the Government Research and Electronic Resources (GRES)
department cataloging documents they've received as gifts
from the state legislative library. I learned a lot about
cataloging plus I got a nice review of legislative history.

Now I'm working in Special Collections on archival
photographs and postcards. I'm cataloging them so they can
go up on the State Library website. I'm learning more about
cataloging, how to use new software (PastPerfect), and doing
research on what's in the photographs. What fun! My
supervisor, MerrieAlyce, is a wonderful lady. She and I
talked about our children, quilting (she's a quilter too!),
and genealogy. She was excited to learn that Emporia is
offering a certificate in archives, which I am seriously
considering adding to my studies.

The term has ended so I have a little bit of a break before
classes begin again. John and I are going to take a few
days at the coast to walk on the beach and hold hands.

While I don't have school work next week I will be going to
a library conference in Eugene at the end of the week. Some
of my classmates will be there too so that should be fun.

Some sad news.

Spice, our cat (although to me, she was and will always be,
a kitten), died earlier this week. She was 16 years old and
had been in fairly good health until then. She died in her
sleep in the utility room. I had seen her sleeping there
about an hour earlier, purring loudly. John buried her under
the apple tree in the backyard and told me that the sun was
shining on the spot he choose so that she'll always sleep in
the morning sun. I liked that.

Sugar, our other cat, who is also 16, has disappeared. He's
been gone for a week. We don't think he's coming back.