So much to do, so little time

This poor little blog has been sadly neglected for the past few months. I need to get back into the habit of taking time to reflect on what I’m doing, to slow down and think about things strategically instead of just reacting to the most pressing deadline.

A huge amount of my energy this year has gone into instructional activities. As I wrote about in June, my department spent a large chunk of May working together to collaboratively redesign our credit-bearing info lit course to fit in a summer bridge program. We team-taught that course, with me doing week 2, July 9-13.

As soon as that ended, I shifted my focus to preparing to attend ACRL Immersion July 22-27. When they say “immersion,” they’re not kidding – it’s A LOT of information & a lot of energy investment. I really should write up a post just about Immersion one of these days… I got a lot out of it and am still processing, one chunk at a time.

Fall classes started August 20, which gave me some time to work on implementing at least a little bit of what I learned at Immersion in my section of LIBR1101. I also worked in a lot of the ideas we came up with while collaboratively redesigning the course for summer bridge. I incorporated a lot more little formative assessments early in the semester — which meant that I could give them more chances to try something, risk making mistakes, and get feedback before there was a huge point value hanging over their heads… But that also meant A LOT more time spent giving that feedback. We’re now getting down to the home stretch in the semester, and their annotated bibliographies are due next week — I think that will be the first big test of how well the course design has worked out.

I am behind on grading, need to work on planning for events (fall finals week snacks, a celebration of faculty publications in the spring, and a collaboration with the Center for Public History to showcase student research in the spring), and have other projects that need attention…

But several conference deadlines are looming!

My project today is to examine what I could present on and what conferences would be the best fits for those presentations. Some ideas include:

  • Using blogger for my class
  • A usability study that we’re working on to improve our libguides
  • Working with Empty Bowls – I wrote about it back in January and held another set of bowl-making and glazing workshops in October
  • The library FunFest that we did for the summer bridge program
  • What else?

My greatest difficulty in writing up proposals is that I tend to talk myself out of doing it. Oh, I’m not the first person to have students post to blogs as part of their learning activities, so should I really try to pretend to be an expert on that? I think it worked out well, though there are a few things I’ll change next time around — so I think I would have gotten something out of attending a session on this 6 months ago (before I tried it myself). But, still, I find it easy to minimize what I’ve done and difficult to get my butt in gear to submit proposals!

And with that, enough blogging, on to proposing!