GeekMom in Grad School

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Yes, I think it may be proof of my insanity.

This summer, I officially started a PhD program in Library and Information Science (LIS). I finished my master’s in instructional design just after giving birth to my now ten year old daughter, and at the time, I swore I was done. I guess, like labor pains, you eventually forget the parts of going to school that are really hard work. I worry that my kids and husband won’t see me enough. I worry that I’ll fail out of the program or somehow be seen as unworthy. But in the end, I probably am a little crazy, and I love the challenge.

My program is designed for people who work full time, so there’s only six credit hours per semester. The summers are free to let our heads not explode, and the foundation courses are set up as weekend intensive hybrids, meaning that half of the class is taught online, and half is done through two face-to-face meetings that last most of the weekend.

I’ve read a ton of books, and I’ve had to dig into a lot of philosophy. I’ve had to write more than sixty pages of APA formatted research, give oral presentations, and post coherently in online discussion forums. It’s really been a lot of work, and somehow I’ve managed to not miss out on piano recitals and parent teacher conferences, but I have had to let a few other things slide. My TV watching is certainly down a lot, and I haven’t seen a movie in the theaters since my program started.

What you may be wondering is why now and why LIS?

Why now? Now is when I finally felt I was ready. After writing books, I finally feel like I can commit to something as wildly intense as grad school again. I also wanted to finish at a point when I’d have time for a career change if I wanted one.

Why LIS? Yes, I do love libraries, but I also love information. It’s an interdisciplinary program, so we research things from sociology, psychology, education, and other fields. That has a lot of appeal to me. It’s also a necessary field, even if you think libraries are going the way of newspapers. We may not store information on clay tablets today, and we may not print it on books tomorrow, but we’ll always need information and some way to find it efficiently.

As my studies progress, I plan on giving some periodic updates. You can hear all about my love/hate relationship with Foucault and how fascinating The Diffusion of Innovations is. No really, it’s one of my favorites.

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