My School is the iSchool

We had an all-school orientation today. So – this included new and returning undergrad students, MSIM (Master in System and Info Management?), MLIS (Master in Library and Info Science – me) and PhD students – and faculty and staff. Wow.

The dean of the iSchool is from New Zealand. He made us repeat (over and over and over) “My school is the iSchool!” Clearly – it is his motto. And now mine.

So, after today, I’ve slammed into two questions:
1. Am I going to step uncomfortably into a leadership role as a student here?
2. What in the world do I want to focus on – in terms of research and preparation for a career?

(excuse me while I eat some popcorn and drink some diet Dr. Pepper and think about these questions some more)

1. Am I going to step uncomfortably into a leadership role as a student here?
I say uncomfortably because I know there are STRONG, STRONG students here already. But, these people almost seem too strong; they might know more than they think and they might become frustrated too easily to be good leaders. I know I can become frustrated, but I also know how to handle frustration and leadership to create a learning experience instead of a chaotic one. If I choose to be a follower, I might get stuck in the chaotic experience… and not be trusted to pull the group out of it. I almost want to be a follower so I can ask stupid questions. I’m wary about putting myself into a leadership role in class and finding that I don’t know ANYTHING.
Clearly – I am getting no where with this rant… question 2. please. and more popcorn.

2. What in the world do I want to focus on – in terms of research and preparation for a career?
Career: Be Erika Rux. ha. True. But.
Each member of the faculty stood up and gave a 30-second explanation of what they study/research/teach. They all said that they are looking for students to assist in their research.

By assisting in research, I would have:
(1) the opportunity for something GREAT to include on my resume
(2) the opportunity to be published
(3) outside of class (or maybe insider) knowledge of a subject
(4) the opportunity to open new doors for my career through finding internships and networking connections.

So – I need to join a research project.
One professor talked about how she works with indigenous cultures to form collections of their information. She worked with the people to examine the information and then classify it and organize it so they could use it – probably in education, historical documentation, etc.
(I would love to use my Spanish and love for Guatemala to do this in Guatemala. wow)

Another professor talked about how he examines the way information is classified. Then he figures out how it could be organized better – or in a different way that suits someone else’s needs.
(This sounds right up my “organizational” alley)

Clearly. I have more thinking to do. And I need to talk to more people. And drink more diet Dr. Pepper.

Conclusion: On Thursday – I am going to attempt a leadership role in class; I am going to talk to people. I am going to stay organized and find my fit in my school, the iSchool.

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