MOOC, MOOC and more MOOC

So we are in Week Two of ModPo, coming down slightly from the extreme high I always get from the Week One massive dose of Emily Dickinson (ED) and Walt Whitman (WW). This snippet from ED #788, Publication is the Auction, has so much meaning to me these days:

Thought belong to Him who gave it –
Then – to Him Who bear
It’s Corporeal illustration – sell
The Royal Air –

In the Parcel – Be the Merchant
Of the Heavenly Grace –
But reduce no Human Spirit
To Disgrace of Price –

Along those lines (no pun intended – Ha!), I was reading WW’s “Give me the splendid silent sun” on my way to work and when I got to the line “Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers, where I can walk undisturb’d,” I must have stepped on one of those spiritual tesseracts, a wormhole that transported me to a different place than where I was on the subway train. Anyway, when I returned to myself, I was three stops beyond my destination! Ah! The power of Poetry! To cite another ED poem, “There is no Frigate like a Book/To take us to Lands away.”

Next week starts Corpus Linguistics: Method, Analysis, Interpretation, a MOOC with the UK FutureLearn.  Two of my librarian friends (at least) are signed up for it.  Part of the appeal to me is stuff I have come across in poetry, but a bigger part is the interdisciplinary nature of the course and how it might inform my librarianship.

Somewhere in the future, we will be starting #Rhizo16, a MOOC that has arisen among a bunch of like-minded thinkers that is not tied to any of the big MOOC platforms.  In fact, we are more or less just a facebook group and a google docs site.  But then again, that is how the rhizome rolls.  It is timely for me as I prepare briefing presentation proposals for two or three upcoming conferences, all of which I hope to base on the rhizomatic approach.

(And I thought this was going to be a short, short post!)

Finally, work is going great.  I am moving from 10 to fifteen hours per week. And my side hobby at the Library of Congress is opening all kinds of new vistas for me. I had a nice chat with one of the exhibition directors today about the possibility of LAM (library-archive-museum) convergence inside cultural heritage institutions. Earlier in the week I learned about the Veteran’s History Project and spread the gospel to about 15 veteran groups I am affiliated with. And today, I delivered my first presentation (to a very small group) in Portuguese (I hope to be a bilingual docent when it is all done). More of this at my Docent Training Fieldnotes blog.


long time since my last post

When you wait so long between blog posts, there’s too much to try to catch up on. So you try to hit the top spots but then context is lost. That’s life. Let’s attempt a catch up.

Met with an old friend, colleague, former boss yesterday for coffee. She’s basically working on the same career transition that I am. We compared notes and talked about the old times in crazy places where we’d been assigned. And the crazy people we often worked for. It’s a wonder we don’t all suffer from PTSD.

I recalled reading in a retirement transition blog that the transition takes at least two years and related that blogger’s comment to me that because I went from retirement to grad school to a new job, my two year time clock had been effectively delayed. Perhaps. But I have only worked part-time for the past year, so maybe that counts and my clock is actually ticking now. Tick tock.

Gardening forced the summer to fly by. We ate garden greens until we grew sick of them. By then, the okra started bearing and I was bringing home a big bag of okra every three days. The okra is reaching its end, but I am leaving the okra stalks in place to support fava beans I just planted, though not sure how they will do in the fall. And finally, my malagueta plants are starting to bear fruit, enfim, so we will have hot peppers for every dish for the next few months. Early indications are that there will be LOTS of peppers!

Just started a docent training program at the Library of Congress. I have been trying to work it in since 2013, but had to withdraw each year at the last minute because of other commitments. 2016 is the year and I will let you know when you can come for my course graduation tour. I am excited about the course and about the prospect of conducting tours when the course is completed.

I have toyed with the idea of expanding my work participation to full time and have even applied for full time positions at the library where I am presently working part-time. Each day I have different thoughts about it. But despite my wavering on that front, I am focused on a new project that I hope to complete in draft before the end of the year (and writing about it here helps to sharpen my focus!): a rhizomatic approach to using the new ACRL Information Literacy Framework. It is coming together and I will post it to this blog soon. Every day I get great ideas from my #clmooc and #rhizo15 buddies. There will even be a dose of #critlib tossed in for good measure!

The asbestos abatement project in out building tier starts next week. Ughh! We will be pilgrims for about a month, wayfarers, vagabonds. And ModPo starts next week! Sales of Trombones: A Sonnet Crown, my first foray into self-published poetry, have slowed. My second volume, Sonnets That Survived the Flood, is underway, though I think it won’t be ready until late November, after the elections, which have devolved into what my friend and colleague calls “a real shit show.”