Sunday, September 4, 2011

7 1/2

Allow me to dispense with preamble and jump right into the prescribed Web 2.0 activity, dear readers.

I found the  7 and 1/2 lifelong learning habits e-presentation to be a bit hokey, but its heart is in the right place; I assume as a graduate student, the concept of lifelong learning is, by this point, innately familiar to me, but I get that that's not the case for every resident of the Charlotte and Mecklenberg County Public Library system area.  Despite my kneejerk condescension at its style and presentation (bad Alex), there are rather large nuggets of truth in there.

I think the biggest tip that I use regularly, and which works well, is the idea of setting a goal.  It really does help to make the final product of whatever you're going for seem more concrete, and thus attainable.  I hate the feeling of battering away at ephemera, and it's always comfortable to work within defined boundaries.  ("This pillar of marble will soon be a naked dude named David" rather than "Well, I'll just start chipping and see what happens.")

I have more difficulty with the tip that involves viewing problems as challenges to be surmounted.  I definitely engage in a period of wallowing whenever my blade is turned--I love a good sulk.  Excellent excuse for procrastination.  On the other hand, the perception of crisis sometimes jump-starts me, so I guess it could go either way.

I think one of these tips that I've completely skipped is the idea of having a toolkit.  I tend to start from scratch on every project or goal.  Maybe I have some mental tools tucked away that pop up without my realizing it, but I could definitely use some more conscious shortcuts, templates, appendices and such.  Maybe by the time I graduate, I'll have developed a set!


  1. I related to your comment on the lack of having a toolkit, I also seem to start from scratch on every project. That might have something to do with trying out new and wildly varied things that don't require the same kit! I have a collection of actual tools, large and small that do such specific things that I never used them more than once or twice. Ditto for the software that piles up on my hard drive. I think that's one of the reasons I'm skeptical about learning some of these Web2.0 technologies, I figure most of them will just sit in dusty storage. Of course, if even one ends up in my everyday toolkit I'll be farther than where I started!

  2. You know what, I always hear the term relating to begin with a goal but I never really thought much about it. When I first started my undergrad, I had no clue about what I wanted to do. I ended up going with the English department because that is what I was best and most happy with. That said when I was in my junior year in undergrad, I heard about UB's Lis program and decided it was interesting enough to apply for. So here I am without a clear goal. Sure I would like to be a School Librarian when I'm done, but who knows the paths life takes you decisions change and life happens. So for me a clear goal is always hard to find.

  3. You're right, Peter--life is always a vague and uncertain thing. At least it has been for you and me--hopefully we're not the only ones. And Anna--I have sooo much software on my computer I thought I'd use all the time, just gathering digital dust. Sometimes I fear I was meant to be a young adult in the 1950s, with transistor radios and giant black and white televisions you had to get up to turn the channel on...

  4. Hello fellow LISers,

    I too was a bit weary of watching a video about lifelong learning as an adult student with much college experience behind me, but Alex is right because at the heart of the video is the idea that students need to focus their efforts on speciic tasks and goals. For my teaching undergrad, I had to develop a 'professional toolkit' that would showcase my skills, knowledge, and experience. I loved this idea and used it to develop a piece of writing I keep in my professional portfolio. I was pleasantly surprised, as I hope many of you are, that I already had many unique talents and interests that I was able to begin this toolkit with and develop upon. I hope you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and see some nice 'tools', which you already possess and will be able to accomplish your goals much easier.