Tuesday, 30 August 2011

And Classes are in, American style

Today has been my first official day of class, which comprised of an evening class on Information Resources: Organization (note the 'z', pronounced 'zee') and Access. This, however, was not my first class. Over this past weekend I have completed (and hopefully passed) the introductory course in Information and Information Fields.

This program was run for all new members of the iSchool, spanning Library and Information Science students (including School Media* students), Information Management and Telecommunications and Network Management.

Lectures focused on innovation and the necessity of creativity in the work place with group tasks including listing uses of the paper clip other than to hold items of paper together. A particularly interesting article was "The Weird Rules of Creativity" by Robert in Harvard Business Review 79(8).  We also spent a good while playing a trick card game in silence and moving from table to table and having to adapt to their rules and understanding of the game without being able to communicate verbally. This highlighted the ability of newcomers to an organization to identify issues, which had merely become routine for those already there.

The main focus of the weekend was the group presentation, which was assigned to groups of people form each part of the iSchool and who had not previously met. We were given one evening to become experts in our fields...mine was campus surveillance. I can now tell you rather a lot about the ethics of video surveillance and all kinds of cameras that can be used. The presentation the following morning went well with a productive question and answer session and competitive grilling of the other group, who had tackled the same issue.

I am definitely feeling a bit like a fish out of water but then, as we commented in the very American evaluation session at the end of the weekend, getting out of your comfort zone is how we achieve more and push ourselves to new heights. You could say that that is what I am doing with this whole move to the States!

So, this was just a brief insight into what I am up to. Classes proper have started and my job starts bright and early tomorrow. But don't worry, it isn't all work...I went to the New York State Fair  today and even had a Snickers wrapped in bacon and deep fried...welcome to America!

* in New York State school librarians need to have done a specific degree in order to be able to work in a school - interesting


  1. Good luck with the job! And with the food. What was the deep fired bacon Snickers like?

  2. :O at the deep fried bacon Snickers bar! Are they trying to put your Scottish deep fried Mars Bar firmly in its place?

  3. It was actually very nice! And I didn't feel anywhere nearly as unhealthy as I thought I would! I could also have ordered the 'triple bypass' which comprised of a deep fried Snickers, deep fried Twix and deep fried peanut butter and jelly...I refrained.

  4. From deep beneath
    the Digital Sea
    the relevant Lee Surfaced,

    A wee bookworm,
    with classic linguistic aplomb,
    After starting her Library Science term,
    She dared to nibble a chocolaty bacon based bomb!