Library (Student) Day in the Life: Thursday

7:30am – Wake up for the second time (first awakening was due to Francine, back to her scratching ways)

8:19am – Catch the bus with the LSB yet again. I swear, this never happens.

8:30am – Time for a very short stay at Avalon. I pull together a blog post about our latest software demo and push it on social media channels. I also tweak the Twitter notification settings and explore using HootSuite to enable me to schedule tweets for times I’m not working for Avalon.

10am – Group meeting for my Systems Analysis and Design class. We meet in the deserted PhD lab, a cozy space tucked away from the rest of the SLIS lab by a partition. Our team decides on a weekly meeting time for the duration of the semester and that we’ll be collaborating through Box. We determine who we’ll be interviewing, the purpose of our questionnaire, chart out deadlines for our project.

11am – Meeting ends. I stay in the SLIS lab and write up our notes so that I can share them on Box. I’ll have a busy night so I want to get this out of the way.

11:30am – Work: the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center, technically part of SLIS though it seems like its own world. I’ve worked for CNS since my first week in Bloomington. I do a lot of miscellaneous stuff, basically whatever needs to be done, from compiling handouts to printing giant science maps on the plotters to editorial work. I have certainly learned a lot more about big data and visualizations through this job. My boss is amazing and flexible, so I always enjoy my Thursdays.

Today I work on usability testing for Katy’s upcoming MOOC and edit a section of the Sci2 documentation. I know that over the weekend I’ll need to work on a copyright compilation project I am managing for the next Atlas of Science;  I have a 9am meeting about it on Monday and I won’t be able to get to it this afternoon.

3pm – Discover during work that I didn’t get a conference scholarship I had hoped for. It’s not the end of the world, of course, but it’s always a bit deflating. I’m a firm believer that disappointment/rejection is a powerful, humbling thing that makes me a better professional… but still. I archive the email almost instantly. It saps my energy.

7pm – Done with CNS. I move across the hallway to the office of the faculty member I work for. She’s retiring in a few years, so we are shredding and recycling things left and right. It isn’t intellectually challenging, which is FINE by me–I have enough to think about as it is. It’s placid in the SLIS hallway at night, and I revel a bit in the rote work. The fact that this GAship (with tuition remission, my dream for so long) even fell into my lap in the first place amazes me. For all my gripes about SLIS making me take S401 and my godawful Reference class, I will always be grateful for the opportunities SLIS has afforded me. Don’t get me wrong: I stand by my opinion that SLIS should accept fewer students and take a more active role pushing students to work and become involved. That said, I have loved my time here. Loved it. Beautiful Bloomington. Fantastic program. Wonderful people (emphasis: seriously wonderful people). I found everything I ever wanted when I made the nail-biting choice to ditch Wisconsin for Indiana.

9pm –  Done for the day! Well, kind of. I’m off the clock but I need to finish my Midwestern Archives Conference column still. I’ve been coming back to it day after day and I keep comparing it unfavorably to the previous years’ columns on the same topic.

9:10pm – Head out to catch the bus and am shocked that outside is a freezing snowy place that actually resembles winter. I check my phone–it is apparently 10 degrees out. I’m not dressed the part; I’m in a peacoat without my earmuffs or even mittens. Everyone looks wretched but the brutal cold is somewhat refreshing… I can’t get used to Indiana weather. On Tuesday/tornado watch day, it was 66 degrees out when I came home, now this?

When the bus arrives there’s a mad dash to get on. A girl who deliberately avoids my eye actually stabs me aside with her spindly elbow. Selfish haste, quite ugly.

9:35pm – Home. Tired. This week has been rough. I shower, do the dishes, finish my Midwest Archives Conference column. Make tomorrow’s to-do list. Another long day: 8am-7pm, then meeting friends for dinner at 7:30.

I know I couldn’t maintain this type of schedule forever, the constant going, going, going. But for now, it’s okay. I asked for this and the last thing I’ll do is act like I’m some sort of victim. I am delighted to be immersed in a profession I enjoy–that’s just not something that everyone has. And anyway, it’s the mundane everyday work that builds a career. It doesn’t need to be glamorous.

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