Thursday, October 13, 2011

Killing time

Hm.  Well, right now I am sitting in the library of my school, killing some time.  You see, my class does not start for another hour and a half.  One of my group members is here now, but he is downstairs in the classroom working on a different part of the presentation.  Our third member is due to arrive in about 30 minutes. 

When we are all here, I expect that we shall gather to discuss the order of presentation, what should be added and what should be deleted.  Our motto has been to "keep it simple," yet our instructor has given us a full hour for our presentation/discussion and another full hour for our in-class exercise.  I highly doubt that we will be testing the limits of this time frame, but it really would be a shame if we finished everything in under an hour.

By now, I should be far enough in the program and comfortable enough with the subject matter to not get frazzled by the thought of presenting in front of a group.  Especially as I will be up with two other people and our audience is made up of six classmates and one teacher.  But still.

The other "big" event for today was the Career Fair.  In anticipation of an afternoon potentially full of interesting and fruitful conversations with employers, I decided to take a half day at work.  I departed at noon, stopped at Office Depot for some professional-looking shiny black folders to hold my 15 resumes, and left. 

When I arrived just before 1 p.m., I was dismayed to discover that most of the parking spots on campus were already full.  This may simply have been due to the fact that it is a Thursday and the undergrads are here and in class, but the Career Fair may have added to it just a bit.  After stashing my car at the far nether regions of campus, I trekked across through the (finally) fall-like weather to the building where the event was taking place.

In the interest of stifling any negative experiences, I stopped in the campus convenience store for gum.  Waiting in line with the undergrads, I started to feel out of place.  Old.  Boring.

Gum purchased, I went up to the Fair.  I had to "sign in" which consisted merely of making a name tag, entering a raffle and getting my free pen and business card folder.  I did manage to baffle the girl behind the desk when I replied "graduate student" to her inquiry as to what "year" I was.  In the end, she decided to call me a Senior.  Nice try, girlie, but I still feel old now.  Of course, the fact that she thought I was an undergraduate and therefore ten years younger than I really am could be a compliment.  Oh well.

As for the Fair itself, there were a good number of organizations present.  Unfortunately, most of them were not looking for graduate caliber employers.  Certainly not with a library science focus.  I did manage to give out two resumes, collect information for the job posting websites of two major companies and put my name down on a list for the Children's Museum.  Apparently, they may have a need for a library person/archivist in the future. 

Essentially, what I walked away with was a sense of disappointment.  Most representatives were quick to say that even though they were not looking for anyone in my area of expertise, I should certainly check out their websites and subscribe to their postings.  As if I had not already done so.  Should I have been prepared for this lack of interest?  Maybe.  Except that in the pre-published lists of attending companies that was distributed by the school, we were also provided with the lists of majors that the companies sought applicants from.  And guess what?  Library Science was listed for quite a few.

In their defense, the graduate programs at my school are not highly publicized.  Even within the school, the undergraduates receive the most attention as evidenced by the fact that the food services and coffee shop are rarely open on the nights and weekends that most grad students are on campus. 

But whatever.  It's over, right?  Now I just have the presentation to get through and it will be Friday. 

The truly unfortunate part of this whole ordeal was that I took a half day off at work when it was not necessary.  When I found myself done with circulating the Fair by 1:30, I had to find something to do.  Luckily, my school is situated near some interesting shops.  I have always wanted to explore these shops, and today was as good a time as any to do so. 

My first stop was Starbucks, for I greatly needed nourishment.  After that, Barnes and Noble.  Two book purchases later, I traveled across the road to Patina, a local store that sells merchandise that I can only classify as "gift-y."  I fully expected to see a large Halloween display and was momentarily shocked to see that it was actually overshadowed by the display of Christmas ornaments. 

Normally, I shy away from such blatant and obnoxious early-season nonsense, but my defences were down today, folks.  I managed to score three ornaments for three dogs.  I still need to find one for my brother and Heidi's dog and new kitten, but I am on the right track.  Oh, and I also bought a pair of peacock earrings that are awesome.  And two magnets. 

Merchandise in hand, I returned to my car and drove back to campus, uttering a silent prayer that parking would be available in my normal lot.  My prayers were answered, and I returned to school.  After a brief call to my mother to inform her not to buy any ornaments for the dogs because I had them covered, I hauled my scholarly butt back inside. 

After checking my classroom and finding the door locked, I retreated to the library computer terminal center, which is where I sit right now.  My third partner is due to arrive in 15 minutes, so I think I will continue to wait.  Clearly, my other partner has found a way into the classroom and is working there.  Or he has decided that he simply does not want to hang out with me while we wait for the other girl to arrive and is using this as a way to avoid being awkward.  I can deal with it.

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