Grad School is a Hip-Hop-Happening: Week Four

It's week four in GSLIS Library Land. Things are going well but going so fast. I feel a new level of intensity this semester, an intensity I both welcome and slightly fear. Yet my optimism keeps me going, along with the fact I really do enjoy what I'm doing. 

Classes obviously take up a large chunk of my time. I lucked out (or didn't luck out, depending on how you look at it) by having classes only two days a week. This "in theory" gives me Wednesday -- Sunday for homework. Yet when days are filled with meetings and work, sometimes it's hard to find that time I love to sit down and crank out those readings. 

What am I taking you ask, why, let me tell you. 

Memory Studies, Memory Institutions: This class is looking at memories how to preserve them. Our current readings have been about how humans create memories. While we use metaphors in daily language about how our memory is reliable and trustworthy, this is not the case. Memories are fickle. Debates range about if memories are created in the brain or if memories are a part of a larger, cultural, socially embedded practice. Our current assignment is to read a memoir, so clearly I signed up for the right class. 

Collaborations in Feminism and Technology: This class is based around the manifesto of FemTechNet, of which our professor is a founder/collaborator/lead of. We are examining the intersections of feminism and technology, which perfectly builds off what I started last year in graduate school. This class is exciting because I'm surrounded with many PhD students, which seems to up the ante of class a bit. We just finished reading Jane Bennett's Vibrant Matter which is looking at how we can work against the idea that our world is split into human and non-human. By "giving life" to the non-human, we begin to see the vibrancy of other objects and how they affect and influence the world around us.    

Library Instruction: This was an highly anticipated class for me because I heard the professor was excellent and because I was excited to start to formalize the teaching I had done last year. This class seems to be a good blend of critical information literacy theory paired with projects that can be used in the context of the librarianship I hope to do.  

This semester is definitely theory heavy, although what I love most about this is how these classes run seamlessly into my life and I can pull from things I've read in grad school last year. Last night as I completed some FemTech homework, I thought of Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed. I pulled my copy off my bookshelves and paged through my annotated pages. I love when I can make those connections, I sometimes feel like I can hear my brain clicking along, making connections and pulling in experiences.