Monday, November 26, 2007

Six days left. Heck, might as well get down to days at this point. 16 hours even! That's sort of misleading since it doesn't include finals week. I don't have finals of course, but I do have one paper due on Thursday of finals week so that means I really won't be done for 2 1/2 weeks (December 13th).

Almost all the assignments for my research class are due in the last couple weeks of school. Last week I turned in an interesting paper that proposed a research project to find out the information behavior of Spanish-speaking immigrants in the US. Today I turned in a quick assignment on analyzing statistical data. I have another one like that due, and an assignment on human subjects in research and ethics. Following that is an assignment about analyzing a research scenario or something.

I finished that paper for my Transformation class and am now just working on the final assignment. Holy cow. I have to create my own NGO. We're supposed to center our work around the Hedgehog Principle developed by Jim Collins. In a nutshell, it has three parts:

1. What are you deeply passionate about?
2. What can you do better than anyone else in the world?
3. What drives your resource engine? (i.e. money, time, other resources that keep you going)

Of course I'm trying to think of some library-related NGO to develop but I've hit a major wall. Yes, I'm passionate about libraries and all that. And I can even think of an assortment of ways to keep the resources flowing. I just don't know that I can come up with a better idea than some of the ones I've learned about. There are some incredible examples out there:

Probigua in Guatemala
Northern Territory Library in Australia
Rural Education and Development in Nepal
Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha in Bangladesh
Smart Cape Access Project in South Africa
BiblioRedes project in Chile
Blue Trunk Libraries throughout Africa and Southeast Asia
Camel Mobile Library Service in Kenya
Everyone's Reading in Africa initiative out of South Africa

There are more than this I'm sure. I don't know how to compete with such fantastic ideas. Of course, I could focus on some NGO based in the US. I kind of feel at a loss there too.

Perhaps I should sleep on it another night... =)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Brief procrastinating break-time...

Okay, so I'm working on my third paper for my Thursday night class. I'm comparing, contrasting, and critiquing Muhamad Yunus' Banker to the Poor, Amartya Sen's Development as Freedom, and C.K. Prahalad's The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid.

I've been slogging through Sen's book for a good week or two, and I do mean slogging. The guy is very intelligent and he makes some really good points, but I have two issues with his book that have become very distracting.

The first is his incessant habit of mentioning things he's already mentioned. Following are a few quotes from pages 217-218:

"...which I have already articulated in earlier chapters..."
"I have presented these issues already in the book..."
"...discussed in chapter 8."
"As was noted..."
"...cited earlier."
"...referred to earlier..."

All in two pages! He spends so much time going over things he's already gone over it's a wonder there is much content in the book. Okay, I'm being a bit cynical, but he did do this 13 times just in this one chapter. It's starting to wear on me.

Second, he has a tendency to use interjections. A lot. Don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of interjections - but within reason. Sen will write a sentence, for example, that makes immense use (such as this one), of interjections in commas, interjections in parentheses - not to mention interjections in dashes - as well as italicized words and "phrases" in quotes - but not because he's quoting someone (he's just making a comment - I guess - about the particular words in quotes (and yes, he'll even have an interjection within an interjection!)).

Sometimes I have no idea what he has said by the time I get to the end of a sentence. Perhaps I'm a moron. Who knows. But he did say in the beginning that he wanted this book to be more accessible and understandable to non-economists. That's why he put his other interjections, in the form of notes, at the end of the book. All 53 pages of them.

I've heard Prahalad is much more readable. Here's hoping.

Friday, November 09, 2007

4 weeks left. Sigh.

I have nothing much to report this week. I've been sick and only made it to one class this week! I shouldn't have gone to that one either, it was a bit of a time-waster. Oh well. I was really sad to miss my Thursday night class. It is the highlight of my week so now I feel like my life is incomplete!

On the upside, I did some calculations in my boring class and realized I only have 28 hours of classes left! It seems so short when I put it that way (sort of) - but it is spread over 4 weeks.

That light at the end of the tunnel has not changed size at all...

Monday, November 05, 2007

5 weeks left - wahoo!

Okay, the good news of the week is that I passed my portfolio! Yay! So, when classes wrap up at the end of the quarter, I'll be done! done! done!

It will be sort of anticlimactic. I don't think I'll get a diploma or any paperwork or anything. I just stop going to school. Graduation with all the pomp and everything is in mid-June. I'm thinking about walking then.

In the meantime, here is a link to my portfolio:


Friday, November 02, 2007

Warning: graphic images!

Just thought I'd share with you all the great pumpkins that Jeremy and I carved for Halloween:

(in the light)

(in the dark)

(after several weeks sitting inside)

(warning! this is gross!)

How's that for super scary? =)

Now, to impress you with my skills of the librarian...

Mold is bad! It can cause all sorts of health problems like asthma, coughing, rashes, memory impairment, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, mood swings, etc.

Here are a couple websites about the dangers of mold:

Mold Dangers & Remedies
Molds - The Hidden Danger
The Dangers of Mold in Homes
The Serious Dangers of Mold and Mildew in your House

I could go on. I'm not usually a fear-monger but we're pretty sure mold is what caused the virus that eventually led to my sister's heart problems/heart failure/brain damage. So if you have moldy pumpkins lying around - get rid of them! And carefully.