School starts back up tomorrow. I’m halfway looking forward to it and halfway dreading it. This will be my second semester of graduate school. Last fall, my first semester, was relatively quick and painless. No exams, no textbooks, only presentations and projects to turn in. By the time it ended, my fear of presentations was somewhat diluted. I wanted to spend as much time as possible at school.
Then came the 3-week winter break. All of my social anxieties are back. I’m not looking forward to doing first-day-of-class introductions (where we go around the room and introduce ourselves to the class) and scared to death of the fact that most of my new professors are making class participation at least 20% of our grade (the more you talk in class, the higher your participation grade). Sure, one professor is making us write a 15-page research paper as our final project, but I’m not even worried about that as much as the prospect of class participation and introductions. That’s how bad my social anxieties are.
Another important thing about this semester is that it’s my formal introduction to Digital Curation and Archiving. For the longest time, I was sure that I’d have a career in web design. But last semester I got honest with myself. I’m not passionate enough about designing websites to do it as a career. I would rather have a career in something easier, something more tangible, and then come home and design websites as a side hobby. Digital Curation, which I’ll write more about in a future entry, involves digitizing materials and preserving them for future use. It’s closely related to archiving. Traditional archivists deal with paper documents, but digital curators are venturing into new territory. The field is still developing, as people are starting to realize the importance of digital preservation.
Anyway, I am taking 2 classes that will serve as my introduction to this field. Introduction to Archives and Records Management (the class where we have to write the 15-page paper) and a seminar in Digital Curation course. I’m excited and scared. What if I don’t like digital curation after all? I keep getting a gut feeling that it’s what I want to do with my life, but I could be wrong. That’s why these classes are so important!
Full report tomorrow. My brain isn’t quite with the world today because I’m so nervous about tomorrow. The other 2 classes I’m taking are Information Retrieval and a beginning PHP programming course.