Here I am. About to start the second and final year of my Ma… nope Postgraduate Diploma.
So yep I made the decision to change from the Part Time Master’s in Librarianship (doing it in 2 years with the dissertation) to the Postgraduate Diploma (everything but the dissertation – still 2 years) and I’m honestly feeling much better about it.
Would I have liked to do a dissertation? Yes.
Would I have liked 3 months off to do it and concentrate solely on it? Yes.
Can I? No.
Can I afford it? No.
I know I could do the whole thing over 3 years to spread it out more, but I just don’t want to. From a time, a money and a general well being perspective. I’ve ranted enough about my love/mainly hate relationship with education and the sooner I finish the happier I’ll be. Which is important. I also don’t want to pay approx. £2,500 for the pleasure of something I mainly do alone (yeah 4 modules with TEACHING = £2.5K ish… 1 long dissertation with everything done by you = same price. It must be how they split up the cost of everything, but still it’s weird and expensive.)
The modules I’m doing this semester are:
– Information Organisation
We’ve already got work to do on this module and even though everyone from my first year said this module can be frustrating at times, and a lot of people spent too much time on it, I think it’s going to be really interesting. I’ve already started thinking about the ways in which I organise my own things. My CDs and records for example… it’s so interesting to think about the amazing ability to be able to have everything digitally on your computer and organise things in different ways by clicking a button (Artist A-Z, Album A-Z, Genre), but also the limitations of this compared to physical organisation. I have a couple of shelves dedicated to music by women… I’m pretty sure you can’t order in that way on Itunes!
– Libraries, Information and Society
Again I’m looking forward to this module looking at current practices, public policy issues and looking at academic, national, public and special workplace libraries. I think this will give me a better overall view of the sector.
And hopefully my two electives in the second semester are:
– Business Intelligence
Because I’m thinking a change in sector (out of HE) might be a good thing for me I’m really excited to do this module next semester. It’s all about gathering business intelligence from external sources and we look at market intelligence and strategic intelligence and using open source information.
– Archives and Records Management
I’ve worked in archives before and thought this could be a good module to cement the real world work I’ve done with some studying and theory.
I’ve left my full time job working with Open Access, research and subscriptions to look for something new. This has been scary, but again the right decision for me. I’m looking forward to exploring new areas of the information profession and hopefully finding something closer to home. No more 15+ hours commuting each week or £160 a month on my metro card!
I’m privileged enough and am in the right environment (through privilege) to have been able to save enough to pay to at least finish my qualification to the diploma level and a few months rent while I look for something else. I have 2 zero hours jobs to get some shifts in too so that’ll help.
I’m going to look for part time work/maybe 2 part time jobs spread out over the week and again even though it’s scary I’ve been through all this scary stuff of having jobs, not having jobs, juggling too many jobs, before.
It’s been a difficult year so far; a new job, changes at work and finishing the first year of my course. I saw my doctor over the summer who told me I was suffering heavily from stress and anxiety so that’s been something I’ve been working on reducing and looking after myself more. On my doctors advice I’ve started going to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy sessions. I’ve had two classes and it’s been good so far. I just wish I’d been able to access it sooner (saw my doctor in May and only just got onto a CBT course in Sept.) They’re group sessions and we all sit in a room a bit like a lecture. It makes me feel more comfortable that I don’t have to talk about myself, but it feels like another module this semester! We have booklets to read each week and homework. Again, another reason why it would have been great to access this sooner and do it over the summer (not blaming the NHS by the way – they are amazing! And why I can access this for FREE! Blaming, you know, the government.)
That’s my life and university update. I’ll try and write about my modules and I’m hoping as I’m still a student and have some more free time I can attend more conferences on student funded places! I didn’t get to do that much this year with competing demands and I’m definitely going to try harder this year not to let libraries, the course, work, etc. take over my life and have some me time. Wish me luck!