Journal #6: Mid-Semester Analysis and Reflections

The main thing I see as I re-read my work from this semester is curiosity.  So many aspects of this field fascinate me, and I am so thankful for that!  My first MA was in Teaching English as a Second Language and while I was interested in the topic, it did not fascinate me.  I didn’t devour the readings I had to do in that degree.  I often felt I was slugging through them.  I had a very specific reason for getting that degree.  I wanted to teach English abroad, and I didn’t know what else to do after getting my BA.  In retrospect, I absolutely could have taught abroad without pursuing an MA, but I didn’t know that at the time.  English as a foreign language (EFL) was totally new to me and I didn’t know anyone else who had taught abroad.  I did get in South Africa and in Tokyo and both experiences were amazing.  And when I came back to the US, I found a good job at MSU, so getting that MA turned out to be a good thing.  But now that I’ve been teaching at MSU for more than 5 years, I realized that I need to make a change and get the degree I really wanted all along (but didn’t know I wanted it!).  So here I am in the middle of my first semester of my MLIS and I’m so happy.  The curiosity I feel when I read and learn about our field is so refreshing.  I haven’t felt that kind of curiosity in a long time (and I’m a naturally curious person, which I think will serve me well as a librarian).  Comparing myself to this point in my first MA, I know that I am on the right path.  I don’t have the pressure of having to get a degree and then get a job – I have a good job – so I can just really enjoy this journey.

When I began this degree I was fairly certain that I would choose to focus on children’s librarian positions in K-6 and public libraries.  I am still fairly sure that this is what I want to do but I am keeping my options open.  I really enjoyed the technology class this semester (LIS 6080) and I might want to go a more digital route.  But I also really liked the library interview & visit assignment (I went to public libraries and interviewed children’s librarians).  I now realize how important connecting with a K-6 librarian will be in making my decision about where to focus my degree.  So I’m not exactly sure which route I will take which is exciting because I feel like WSU offers great classes in so many different areas, but it’s also a little disconcerting because I don’t want to “waste” my 36 hours!  I might just end up taking more than the required 36!  This summer I’m taking YA Lit so hopefully that will help me know more if I want to continue to focus on children.

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