Today is my first day of school break and I’m sitting here all “wine’d up” hoping to dazzle and delight you with my witty repartee. Or I could just tell you about the library.
In January 2011, I began my Grad School journey with Hawaii Pacific University, online. I was so excited, as working toward my Masters had been a dream of mine for many years. Once accepted into the program, I eagerly collected everything I needed to be a stellar student, to include a whole bunch of highly over-priced textbooks and a notebook computer. I was all set.
And then came the homework. We weren’t assigned a few chapters to read per week -- we were assigned whole books to read per week. I’m a slow reader, or at least I was. I’m pretty damned fast now. I learned the faster I read all the assignments, the sooner I could get back to watching “American Idol” and playing on my smart phone. Important stuff. So I learned to read fast.
However, that first year, the bane of my existence was the freaking research we had to do for all the gazillions of papers we had to write. And? Internet articles were not good enough. We had to have published professional journal articles. That meant yours truly had to go to this big scary place I hadn’t been in years. Yep, the library. And it was indeed scary. There were freaking books everywhere. It was like a….well, library! And for me it was like being in a foreign country and not knowing the language.
The first time I went, I was too overwhelmed and embarrassed to ask anyone for research help. I just saw a bunch of encyclopedias and sat down and looked stuff up in those. All the while, I kept thinking, “I could just do this on my computer at home, right? Just go to Wikipedia.com. Problem solved.” I did look around the library for magazines. You know, the ones that would have all those journal articles in them, like “Journal of Psychology” and “Journal of Human Resources” and “The Journal of Stupid Old Broads who Don’t Know How to Use the Library”.
And what do you know; there was not a magazine to be found. I remembered there were magazines in the olden days, back when I went to the library to check out books and allow the geeky boys to take in my awesomeness. There were lots of those magazines back then. I always looked for “National Geographic” because they showed naked people from native tribes in other parts of the world. It was. Ummm. Educational.
But that was then. This was now and there were no freaking magazines at the library. Turned out, everything’s on their computers. I had to drive over to the library (a lot) and get on their computers and look up professional journal articles, write down the ones I wanted, take the list to the research librarian and wait. And sometimes wait a long time. And most times, they didn’t even have the articles I wanted. So then it was back to the computers and more searching for articles. After awhile, I just about forgot why I went there in the first place.
This madness continued for all of 2011. I would receive my research assignment from Professor. I would dutifully drive to the library. I took hours upon hours just trying to locate suitable articles. I drove back home and spent days upon days writing various types of papers, using the research I had found.
I was busting my ass people! I was spending money on gas. I was making copies. I was spending money on Double Vanilla Latte’s in the library coffee shop. I was researching and making more copies. I was spending money on sticky buns in the library coffee shop. What? I needed something to compliment the lattes, right?
And so became my life that year.
And then 2012 arrived. The year of enlightenment! The year of new frontiers. The year of discovery.
The year I discovered how to finally use Hawaii Pacific University’s online library.
Yep, turned out I never EVER needed to set foot in the Green Valley Library in the first freaking place. I could have found all the professional journal articles I would ever want through my college’s online platform.
Now, I ask you, how does one go through life with no common sense? I seemed to have accomplished it, so far. How did I Not know I could get the research I needed online? Who doesn’t know that?
Now, in 2012, I do my research in the comfort of my pajamas, sitting at my PC. And? I come up with some freaking amazing research, too. There are journals out there for everything. Seriously.
First came God. He made up a word. Then came a professional Journal written all about that word. Apparently, just about anything can be dubbed “professional” and made into a journal.
Journals with titles like,
“The Journal of the American Medical Association”
“The Journal of the American Dental Association”
And probably, if you look hard enough:
“The Journal of Making a Rubber-Ducky Association”
And maybe even:
“The Journal of International Monkey Business…Uh…Association”
There are a lot of journals is all I’m saying. A whole lot of people had a whole lot to say and decided to write it down. BOOM. Another journal. Most likely, every two seconds a new journal gets its wings.
So, now I have just three semesters left in my Masters program, and a thesis coming up that will require research to the depths of which I’ve yet to experience. But I’m not scared. And why?
Because I’m a 58 year old Grad Student. It is 2012. And I FINALLY learned how to use the library.
You may now call me the Research Goddess.
(Image from Google Images)