153 entries from srah blah blah tagged with 'school of information':

Penny War is in my ears and in my eyes

Hey SI blogosphere, are you aware that our school has suddenly sprung six new concentrations on the world? How about that? What do you think? Would you still have chosen your degree program, or would you have picked a different concentration? Or would you have just gotten overwhelmed and gone somewhere else? I don't know what to think about it all. David brought up the most salient concern that I've heard so far: How will this affect the Penny War¹? Soooooo many jars! ¹ What's up with the current crop of students? No love for librarians? Everyone knows that it's...

srah - Tuesday, 27 March 2007 - 9:31 PM
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I dreamt the other night that I took some time off work to go back to Ann Arbor and went to this SI lecture that was held in a trailer, way back in the wilds in some obscure corner of a University of Michigan campus. On the way I crossed a street behind this girl who was talking to her friend about studying abroad. I interrupted them and gave her all kinds of advice and she followed me as I walked toward the lecture, then she was going to have to find her way back to civilization on her own....

srah - Monday, 30 October 2006 - 7:35 PM
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I got my invitation to the SI Reunion today. It exhorts its recipients to: Iron your clothes!Pack your suitcase!Drive, fly or sail to Ann Arbor! What the heck? So we have to start ironing our clothes now? Thanks a lot, SI. What kind of computer nerds would we be if we showed up with our clothes ironed? How would they tell us apart from the archivists? I suppose next you'll be telling us we have to wear pants. I shall not be attending, in protest of this clothes-ironing policy. Either that or because I will be out of the country....

srah - Tuesday, 22 August 2006 - 5:40 PM
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Many congratulations to the SI class of 2006! I went back to Ann Arbor this weekend to attend graduation and join in some of the festivities. The SI ceremony was marked by the least inspiring graduation speech I've ever heard, in which the dean basically said that the graduates knew no more than they had entering SI, but now they knew how to "fake it" better than they did before. So those are the useful skills that your money will buy you, and that's why we're something like the #9 Information school in the country. Out of all those information...

srah - Monday, 1 May 2006 - 10:11 PM
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Connecting People, Information and Technology in blah blah blah nonesuch

Help Hurricane Katrina Victims find housing "Finding enough offers for housing may not be as difficult as matching people in need with people who have housing to offer. Thousands of Americans across the country are offering spare rooms, motor homes and empty apartments to tens of thousands of refugees of Hurricane Katrina. However, very few refugees have access to the Internet. Meanwhile, relief organizations using the web to locate temporary shelter must sort through hundreds of web sites and thousands of postings offering assistance in towns and cities scattered across the United States. [...] "KatrinaHousing.net aggregates information from other websites...

srah - Saturday, 3 September 2005 - 10:56 AM

Line of information professionals

Ahhh, regalia. The School of Information is "lemon," not to be confused with Science, which is "golden yellow" or Social Work, which is "citron." I think they ran out of colors. Anyway, we represented, old-sk00l-style, even though we're something like the third-youngest. So go information professionals - it was your graduation day....

srah - Sunday, 1 May 2005 - 11:43 AM

Pity to lose my mind after paying all that tuition...

All I've been saying all evening is "I'm done I'm done I'm done I'm done I'm done I'm done I'm done I'm done I'm done I'm done I'm done I'm done I'm done I'm done." The funniest joke in the world to me right now is: What's me and sounds like a bell? DONE!...

srah - Monday, 25 April 2005 - 9:32 PM


Please feel free to download my current sentiments, which have kindly been set to music by a certain Mr Cooper....

srah - Monday, 25 April 2005 - 6:59 PM
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Less than 24 hours left...

... in my graduate school career. A little more than 23 hours in which to finish my last two papers! I graduate on Friday and become jobtitleless. I can no longer fill in "student." Now I am just plain "unemployed." Oh holy hell....

srah - Sunday, 24 April 2005 - 10:47 PM

Note to archivists: HCI pwned j00!

Tuesday is my big day for watching TV, by which I mean I actually watch TV. The only times I do this with anything approaching regularity are Sunday night's Adult Swim lineup and Tuesday (basically 7-10 because... hell, it's already on...). Usually before our big American Idol get-together, we turn on the TV for Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!. Last night, one of the contestants on Wheel of Fortune introduced herself as an "interface architect." Pat Sajak was obviously confused by this job title but she said something along the lines of, "You know interfaces? I architect them." Hooray for...

srah - Wednesday, 20 April 2005 - 1:28 PM
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srah - Tuesday, 19 April 2005 - 10:39 AM
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Number one thought in my mind right now: 'Gllllllgggzzzz'

Dear Sarah's brain, 3:30 pm is too early to fall asleep. That's going to have to wait about 12 hours, dearie. Stop snoring and get back to work on your paper. Love, Sarah's typing fingers...

srah - Thursday, 7 April 2005 - 3:34 PM

If you are in SI 688, you are disqualified

Quiz: What are these lists of? List One ShelvingPaperweightDoorstopMake water level riseWeightliftingBuilding somethingWeaponHome for a mouseFlower potBuilding a small, safe fireRaising appliances from floor levelStoolBreak it up and use it as paving material List Two Cleaning out a mouseChanging the time on a car clockClipping papers togetherExercising fingersReaching hard-to-reach placesPatching things in electric circuitsGetting electrocuted...

srah - Monday, 4 April 2005 - 10:21 PM

Psycho killer? Qu'est-ce que c'est?

SI Proms attended tonight: 1 Hours I danced: approximately 3 Sore feet: 2 (on me anyway) Pairs of new shoes that are definitely now worn in: 1 Bobby pins I just pulled out of my 'do: 10 Contact lenses which I'm sure will be a pain to get out: 2 Coughs I seem to have contracted: 1 People I danced with: approximately 47,000 Pictures I done taken: A HILLION JILLION Hours I'm going to sleep now: about 14...

srah - Saturday, 2 April 2005 - 2:36 AM


I am doing this assignment where I have to spend 7 hours in one place, observing people's behavior and taking notes. I still have four hours to go, and I have to do it before tomorrow morning. Somehow I didn't expect it to be this hard to sit in one place for hours at a time. It is hard. Awfully hard. Especially because I have Isidore and all of my other stuff here and I can't leave it alone and I don't really want to pack it all up... So, um, if you're in the area, please come to Bubble...

srah - Thursday, 24 March 2005 - 3:17 PM

I'm head of the class in user tests!

... or perhaps just Arvid. Ha! Last year, I took several classes that required user testing. I never had time to help out my classmates and I felt bad about that. They needed users! So this year I've been trying to volunteer for every user test I'm eligible for. It's my duty to give back to the SI community in this way. I am helpful! My voice will be heard! And... I will get free stuff! I did one user test for the new, improved SI website that is to come. I vented a lot about my own frustrations about...

srah - Wednesday, 16 March 2005 - 4:43 PM

'I'm not the kind of man/ Who tends to socialize'

Jing, Ayca and I got killer seats in the cafeteria today. They were right by the back window, so we had a great riverside view. After work, I walked down (or up? It goes east-west!) 42nd street and did some window-shopping, then Jing and I happened to pass by the New York Public Library. We had about an hour to kill before the SI Alumni Reception, so we went into the building. We ran into Leslie, who's doing her ASB project there, so she was able to give us a tour and show us what one needs to see when...

srah - Wednesday, 2 March 2005 - 11:59 PM
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I take comfort in the thought that ASB will prosper even as HCI has fallen...

Despite all our efforts to defend the ideals of Userhood against the infidels, I'm afraid the time has come to admit that we've lost. I will have to be noble and valiant even in the face of defeat and go lay my sword* down at Jeremiah's feet. We fought a good fight, my HCI comrades, and you should be proud of yourselves. Now we will just have to get used to life under our cruel archiving oppressors and try to adjust to their strange, foreign culture by donning their garb (ugly plaid flannel shirts) and adopting their customs (using acid-free...

srah - Friday, 18 February 2005 - 4:40 PM

Penny War: Friday's contribution

Penny War: Friday's contribution - originally uploaded by srah. This is what $37.60 in pennies looks like when it's at home. My home. In case you wondered, $37.60 in pennies is really damn heavy. I am getting a ride to school....

srah - Friday, 18 February 2005 - 3:29 PM
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I'm Darth... Darth Vader. I'm your density.

In my afternoon class today, we talked about false memories, specifically of alien abduction. Somehow this related to human behavior in information systems, apparently, although I really didn't see more than the most tenuous of links. We discussed an article* about a psychological study on people who claimed to have recovered lost memories of alien abductions and another group of people who believed they had been abducted by aliens but had no memory of the event. The article said, "Participants in this group cited a variety of signs and symptoms that they believed indicated an abduction history (e. g. ,...

srah - Tuesday, 25 January 2005 - 12:53 AM

Oh behave!

I am taking three classes this semester: Human Behavior, Fundamentals of Human Behavior and Information-Seeking Behavior. I don't think they will make me behave any better - they seem instead to be trying to teach me about the concept of behavior. Sighs of chagrin may now explode from the reading audience....

srah - Tuesday, 25 January 2005 - 12:08 AM

Computer-users are teh l33t!

I thought that I wouldn't bother to bring my laptop to class the first week of classes. It's too early to be boring, I'll look like I'm on task and I'll have to look around and meet people. I tried that the first day. I was shy and didn't talk to anyone and I was annoyed because I had all this extra time before class and couldn't check my email. Today I brought Isidore and people started talking about laptops and I met two new people. Who says computers make people antisocial?...

srah - Thursday, 6 January 2005 - 1:03 PM

They may take my social life, but they'll never take...

I am DONE! I am SUBMITTING MY LAST TAKE-HOME EXAM! I am DOING A LITTLE DANCE OF FREEDOM! I am NEVER GOING TO DO ANY WORK EVER AGAIN! (Note to my teachers next semester and any future employers: Please ignore that last part.)...

srah - Thursday, 16 December 2004 - 8:07 PM

(Amanda sucks)

Amanda and I have been working on a project together all semester which was due yesterday. In addition to finishing the project, we had to tell the class about what we'd done. Amanda and I (or at least I) only really thought about this about a half an hour before class began. We jotted down some notes as to what we'd talk about and who'd say who, went to class, and saw the first group's PowerPoint slides on the screen. Jigga-whaaaa? Luckily there were plenty of groups who wanted to go before us, so we managed to throw some slides...

srah - Wednesday, 24 November 2004 - 4:22 PM


Oops. Forgot to register for classes this morning. Doesn't matter in the least - four hours later, all of my classes are still open. Hey, this may be the last time I ever register for classes! Meh....

srah - Thursday, 18 November 2004 - 1:26 PM

In fact, it was a baton de colle

Hi. How many hours of sleep did you get last night? Was it more than two and a half? Then you are a WINNER! I, unfortunately, did not have quite as many as you, as I stayed up quite late making a pointless, crappy poster out of construction paper and glue sticks* and sleeplessness. I was running on adrenaline or chai-caffeine or pure, unadulterated construction paper creativity and wasn't even that tired when I went to bed... but I had nothing better to do, so off I went. I felt better then than I do now. Small sleep is worse...

srah - Wednesday, 20 October 2004 - 10:52 AM
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'It's a big enough umbrella'

At least three times today in class, our professor has told us that something is "magic" so as to avoid explaining it to us and to shut up our incessant questioning. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! The Police - Every Little Thing She Does is Magic...

srah - Tuesday, 12 October 2004 - 2:31 PM

You say you want a revolution?

I went to a meeting today which was the first step in making some significant changes in a terrible class I am in. I think a lot of the people at the meeting had unrealistic expectations of what would come from it. I feel energized and ready to start the process... I think they expected this to be it. No matter. Something will happen because something has to happen. I feel like sharing music with you, my close personal friends. Don't know why or how long it will last. So I bring you: John Lennon - Power to the People...

srah - Thursday, 7 October 2004 - 2:19 PM

Cry for help

Is there a question you've always sought to answer to but have never known how to do it yourself? Are you looking for the answer to that trivia question you could never find? Do you need help finding sources to get started on a paper? Why not try the Internet Public Library's Ask a Question feature. Give a struggling would-be librarian something to do! Note: Don't use it just for the sake of giving us something to do - use only if you do have a tough question you can't answer on your own!...

srah - Monday, 4 October 2004 - 10:52 AM
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At the hospital yesterday, the doctor asked my mom what she did for a living. "I'm an archivist," she replied. And of course, as usual, my mom had to explain what an archivist is and what they do. I realized then how lucky I am to be at SI. All my life, I've had to explain what an archivist is. When I told my first grade teacher that my parents were archivists, she tried to convince me that they were architects and I was saying it wrong. All of a sudden, I have a huge group of friends and acquaintances...

srah - Tuesday, 28 September 2004 - 1:27 PM

'Couldn't I start with, like, Wyoming and work my way up to it?'

At yesterday's football game against the University of Iowa: Random guy in stands: FUCK IOWA! *pause* Me: I don't know... it's an awfully big state. It might take me a while. Fellow SI-seating section member: Is it bad that I was thinking the exact same thing? Me: I think maybe SI does that to you. Dirty librarians....

srah - Sunday, 26 September 2004 - 6:09 PM
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Complain, complain!

Had a chat yesterday with the teacher who mentioned me in class, wherein I said something along the lines of, "You know, the best classes are the ones that ruin your life." I guess I didn't mean ruin per se, but rather "permanently change the way you look at the world so that you never see things in the same way again." I think I managed to backpedal enough that he got the general idea. Today I was annoyed to discover a user interface design flaw... with a parking structure. I parked in the S. Forest structure on the "4...

srah - Thursday, 16 September 2004 - 1:46 PM

'He left River City the library building/ But he left all the books to her'

This week's reading in my reference-librarianing class is on the "freedom of intercourse between librarian and readers". I think I should have been taking more LIS classes from the beginning, because we never get such freedoms in HCI... "Personal intercourse and relations between librarian and readers are useful in all libraries. It seems to me that in popular libraries they are indispensable. [...] During the last five or six years, by the adoption of the means recommended in this paper, a large use of this department has grown up, and it has come to be highly appreciated in the community."...

srah - Monday, 13 September 2004 - 10:41 PM
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I'm being quoted?

Crikey. Another horrifying (?) overlap of my blog- and real- lives....

srah - Saturday, 11 September 2004 - 10:29 PM

Isn't this always the way with me?

Maybe it's because it's from 5pm to 8pm and preceded by seven hours of other classes, but so far, the class I was most looking forward to is looking the least promising. It is my normal course of action to fall in love with whatever class I am taking (Anthropology, English Language, Evaluation of Systems and Services) and decide it's what I want to do for the rest of my life. This time, I spent the whole summer claiming to be an information architect and got rather attached to the idea. And now that I'm actually looking at studying it...

srah - Wednesday, 8 September 2004 - 11:22 AM

Mo' money, les' eyesight

Last semester, I spent over $250 on books and coursepacks for one of my four classes. This year, they've all unpredictably and insanely decided to go the online route, meaning that I'll instead only be spending about $27.17 plus shipping and handling. Plus optometrist bills from staring at a computer all the time. Plus cleaning supplies for when I try to use highlighter on my screen....

srah - Wednesday, 8 September 2004 - 11:21 AM

srah learns time management... the hard way

Tomorrow is the first day of school! Are my pencils sharpened? Are my books covered in brown paper bags? Do I have a box of sharp new crayons? No. On the contrary, I am in no way prepared for school to start again. I haven't bought a single book yet, I never got around to getting my hair cut (it's been... oh, around four months now since I've even had a trim), I don't know what I'm going to wear, and I'm supposed to have started the reading for my Thursday class at the Business School (scary!) and be ready...

srah - Monday, 6 September 2004 - 3:43 PM

Hope is the thing with feathers. No wait, that's a duck.

"I don't see why that shouldn't count for credit," my professor said when I described my summer internship to him. Prior to that, I had given up hope of a for-credit internship and was mostly just happy to have something to occupy me over the summer. "They're pretty accomodating." He suggested that they had been known to bend the rules in order to get people credit. "We will get you credit for this," said the president of my organization. "Just let me know what I have to do." This gave me hope. So I set up an appointment for today...

srah - Friday, 30 April 2004 - 12:44 PM
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Faith in the unknowing

I don't like to admit that I'm wrong or that I can't do things on my own, which is why I am always panicked on Tuesday afternoons. I believe until Tuesday afternoon that I can program Java on my own. That if I keep working at it for two days straight, it will eventually sort itself out. I think it happened once. But the faith is always there. Well, it's Tuesday afternoon now. And I can't do it! This program has to work. And it doesn't. And I'm lost. And no amount of talking myself through it is helping. It...

srah - Tuesday, 27 April 2004 - 12:35 PM

We could file in to the strains of 'Marian the Librarian'! Who's with me?

I think this year's SI first-year class should make a group effort to all (male and female) grow our hair long enough that it could be put into a bun by this time next year. Ours would be the best graduation ever!!!!1 I r lame....

srah - Saturday, 24 April 2004 - 1:10 PM

'You kids are soft! You lack discipline!'

I just wanted all of you to know that I'm really knuckling down and getting into Full-On Study Mode for finals. I even made up a strict schedule for myself, so that I would know, at every minute of the waking day, where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doing. Ha ha! And this worked for almost six hours, which really impressed me! Then I had to eat ice cream and watch Labyrinth with Rachel and Mr B------. But it was perfectly justifiable because we... uh... we... found lots of examples of 503 terms...

srah - Sunday, 18 April 2004 - 1:25 AM

'So would we need to do a giant queue then?'

For those of you following The Continuing Saga of Why Data Structures Are Dirty, in our last lecture yesterday we learned that certain types of searches "require a queue as wide as big as the width of a tree" and studied iterative deepening. And Matt said it was boring! I'm glad to know that A. and I have poisoned the minds of enough of our classmates that the sniggering was at least double what it was last time....

srah - Saturday, 17 April 2004 - 3:36 PM

'Hello my name is Steve I used to be addicted to crack but now I am clean and selling magazines'

Just kidding. My name is srah, and clearly I have not kicked any such habit, as I have committed myself to a life of weekly suicide, to be committed every Monday night. I need to take a class outside of SI, but the Business School are stingy and won't let me register for their marketing class without an override, which I won't be able to get until classes begin. So for now, I've registered for four SI classes, with the intention of dropping one (which that will be, we shall never know). Here's the damage:...

srah - Wednesday, 31 March 2004 - 10:45 PM

Two more hours, please!

Dear srah, What are you doing up at this ungodly hour? - A Concerned Imaginary Reader Dear Reader, Not sleeping, that's for sure! SRAH I don't know how long I've been at that point, but I woke myself up from a point between asleep and awake where I had been editing my Java program in a semi-conscious state of my imagination. I feel like I was in that state all night, tossing and turning over undeclared variables. I is not feeling mightly rested. I'm just glad I don't have JBuilder installed in my head, because I think I was really...

srah - Tuesday, 30 March 2004 - 5:55 AM


try { StupidProgram.doThatThingIToldYouToDo(); } catch (NullPointerException e) { System.out.println(e.getMessage()); } public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e) { System.out.println("DIE STUPID NULLPOINTEREXCEPTION DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE!!!!!1"); srah.goToSleep(); }...

srah - Monday, 29 March 2004 - 11:24 PM

A message from the Nut-Kicking Council of Srah

Next time someone asks you to transcribe dialogue from user testing videos, I suggest that you kick them squaaaaar in the nuts. That's what I'd do!...

srah - Saturday, 27 March 2004 - 12:54 AM

Queue faites-vous?

Once my professor explained that he was going to be using the word "queue" in the British sense, it was all downhill from there. My friend-and-fellow-French-major and I had the same thought process, wherein we said to ourselves, The British sense? What other sense is there? ... Well... there's the French sense... (lock eyes, erupt in immature giggles). For you see, the French word "queue" can be a line that you stand in or it can be an animal's tail. Oh yeah, or slang for "penis." From then on, any mention of the penultimate entry in a list, slow or...

srah - Friday, 26 March 2004 - 4:18 PM
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What am I going to do with forty subscriptions to Vibe?

I have discovered the future. And it is not pretty. Watching Office Space yesterday, I realized that there are at least two jobs in that film that match up to our School of Information training. First of all, after 501, we are trained in consultancy, which means that we could take over for the Bobs. If I chose that career path, I imagine a conversation something like: srah: Let's see. You're Neil... Diamond? (he nods) srah: Is that your real name? Neil: Yeah. srah: Are you in any relation to the pop singer? Neil: It's just a coincidence. srah: To...

srah - Sunday, 21 March 2004 - 3:18 PM
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Bevaaaaaaare the Curse!

I have my Java Programming lab at 10am on Thursday mornings. Rather than taking over the SHEEPDIP several times a week, SI Computing gives us laptop computers from the Locally Accessible Machine Base for Developing Information Professionals*. Every week, I have a problem with the first laptop they give me. It has no battery life and I can't get it plugged in before it cuts out and has to reboot, or else it doesn't have the JBuilder software installed. Add to that the fact that my 9:00 class has recently been held in the boonies of the Institute for Social...

srah - Sunday, 14 March 2004 - 11:10 AM

How I spent my morning

The first thing I did when I woke up this morning was to look at my watch. OMG, I thought groggily to myself, for I always think groggily in internet acronyms when I wake up in the morning, It's one thingy away from the big 9. I only have two hours until lunch. I need to get up so I can do something productive with my morning. After I got up and hooked up to the jumpstarting machine that resets my brain every morning, I realized that while it was indeed "one thingy away from the big 9," I had...

srah - Tuesday, 9 March 2004 - 10:14 PM

Of all the Greek and Roman grandmas, Cupid, the god of chicken is certainly the best known.

As you may remember reading, we played MadLibs in the car on the way to and from DC. My carmates have asked that I record some of them for posterity, but as most of the things involving our SI professors (whose names have been abbreviated to avoid Googlings) will not interest you, the results are all in the extension. Read on if you dare!...

srah - Sunday, 7 March 2004 - 10:27 AM
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Je me déplaise en faisant la Java

I got an internship offer. First-year students at SI live for internship offers. It's in Peru, home of Machu Picchu, where I have always wanted to go. And I, ungrateful tart that I am, am going to turn it down. When I initially applied for internships through IAESTE, I was a young, energetic Java programmer, full of Hello World! and vim and vigor. I knew that I would pick up useful skills during the semester that would get me a crackerjack internship with plenty of lovely experience! Now I am old and jaded and have come to realize that if...

srah - Friday, 5 March 2004 - 8:10 PM

Stop your whinging, Eston, here it comes

Definition of a bad day: Going to sleep and deciding to finish your programming assignment in the morning is a bad idea. You will have mysterious errors you have never heard of and don't know how to fix on one assignment and the other will be completely unintelligible and you will be so confused you will give up and decide to hand it in late on the same day that you find out you got yet another 15/20 on a homework assigment in that class. You will go to check out the results on your survey in order to do...

srah - Tuesday, 2 March 2004 - 3:09 PM

'I make it a rule always to park on beef jerky' [Day 8 of the DC trip]

Amanda and I woke up early today so that we could see the White House before we left. I had seen it from Constitution Avenue, but hadn't gotten up to the gates. So around 8am, we set off down the street a bit and got a look. We couldn't see many snipers and guards and SS men, so we decided that either they were hiding or they were betting that no anarchists and terrorists would be up and about at 8am on a Saturday. On the gate, there was a button that said "Welcome to the White House". It didn't...

srah - Saturday, 28 February 2004 - 11:42 PM
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Je bois à trop fortes doses/ Je vois des éléphants roses [Day 7 of the DC trip]

I work work worked today to make sure I finished my project before the end of the program. I took a break around noon when my supervisor took me out to lunch, then came back to the office and managed to finish before he left at 4. I spent some more time time foodling around on the Internet and taking pictures of the office for ASB, then went back to the hotel. We sat around and watched various TLC shows to rest up at the end of the week, then got to thinking about dinner. Amanda and I decided we...

srah - Friday, 27 February 2004 - 11:47 PM
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'Six girls, only two guys... where are all the guys?' [Day 6 of the DC trip]

Amanda and I made an after-work date today to go shopping at H&M. There's one just down the street from our hotel, but we hadn't managed to make it earlier in the week. I found a nice little corduroy skirt but alas, do not have any appropriate shoes, so I have to wait to wear it until I get home. Seeing as we couldn't hit up the alumni for internships the other night, we instead hit them up for restaurant suggestions. So tonight we went to the Saigon Inn in Georgetown. I had never been to a Vietnamese restaurant, so...

srah - Thursday, 26 February 2004 - 11:07 PM
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The Electronic Records Pussycat Swingers' Club

They should have swingers' clubs just for information professionals because really, so little in life is mutually exclusive....

srah - Thursday, 26 February 2004 - 11:51 AM

Resolved: That working is (and oughta be) a whole lot better than studying

When you are a student, you have to do research and write reports during the weekends and your free time and at night, after your classes and the jobs you have to work to survive and to pay for your tuition. When you are in the Real World*, you have to do research and write reports during the day and that's all you have to do. And you get paid for it. I suppose I am in school for a reason, and that's so that I can do my research and write my reports and eventually get paid more for...

srah - Thursday, 26 February 2004 - 10:10 AM
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'You should listen to Sarah, because she always knows what she's talking about.' [Day 5 of the DC trip]

I went back to the hotel after work only to find that I was the organizer for the group to travel to the SI Alumni Reception, based on the fact that I was the only one who had called Monique to ask for directions. Directions which I very cleverly wrote down, then left at work. Luckily a few other people had ideas of how to get there, and we were not too late after we subwayed it over there and walked the rest of the way. The big question of the evening was, 'What kind of librarian do you want...

srah - Wednesday, 25 February 2004 - 11:00 PM
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srah's shocking realizations of the week

1) I like group work. Maybe I'm just saying that because I get a week away from my 622 group and I have not yet gone through next week's heinous pain that is Project Managing the Survey Report. But working with my supervisor and his assistant, I realize that I actually have some skills to contribute and can come up with some good ideas. It's not so much that I'm great at HCI compared to other HCI students, but I am more aware of HCI issues than are non-HCI people. Having this work experience makes me feel like I might...

srah - Wednesday, 25 February 2004 - 5:02 PM
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'Sporkie? That's what I'm naming my first-born child!' [Day 4 of the DC trip]

There was a trip to the NPR archives scheduled today, but with a limited number of spots and starting at 5:30pm. So anyone who worked until 6 or didn't make it on the list had to find other plans tonight. Cari went out to dinner with a friend from DC, so Amanda and I sort of lazed around the hotel room until we decided it was time to get something to eat. We ran into Christy and got a call from Matt, who brought along Eunice and Eboni, so we ended up a group of six. After much deliberation, we...

srah - Tuesday, 24 February 2004 - 10:50 PM
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Teh moon rulez #1 [Day 2 of the DC trip]

We got up in the morning, showered and dressed and went off in search of a mythical Waffle Shop of which we had heard tell. It was kind of sketchy but cheap and kind of cool. There seemed to be a lot of locals in addition to the people the hotel had directed there. No one really had any firm plans or things they needed to see, so we set off wandering towards the Mall in a group with Rebecca, Teri, Amanda, Cari, Matt, Tom and Eboni. A group of SI students wandering along Pennsylvania Avenue is automatically going to...

srah - Sunday, 22 February 2004 - 8:31 PM
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'Please don't set my lipgloss on fire!' [Day 1 of the DC trip]

Amanda, Matt, Cari and I left Ann Arbor at 9:01, just on time. I was surprised that I was the lightest packer of all. I'd been afraid that I would take up a lot of space with my suitcase and additional bags for food and things, but I had the smallest suitcase in the group. As I was the second person in the car, I sat in the front passenger seat for the first shift. By the time we switched drivers, I had already created a nest for myself with all of my belongings, so I ended up staying in...

srah - Saturday, 21 February 2004 - 6:00 PM
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Everybody's working for the weekend

Or at least tomorrow. I just need to get through about five hours on campus, then I can come home and nap from about 3pm to Thursday morning. What is wrong with this semester? Why do I feel so tired all of the time?...

srah - Tuesday, 10 February 2004 - 10:24 PM

'And when you got to check where the user's head is at/ Best pick up a copy of Beyer and Holtzblatt'

Remember back when I whinged that there were no songs for the HCI professional? Well, I can't complain about that anymore... Uh, yeah. I want to cry, and I don't know if they're tears of sorrow or joy. I have listened to it three times in the 15 minutes since I downloaded it, though... [via little.yellow.different]...

srah - Monday, 9 February 2004 - 7:10 PM

Liberal Arts at Work on Ruining My Life?

tbone and I also agreed that a liberal arts education has also ruined our chances at happiness. At the point where 50% of college-bound seniors in my graduating class were headed for the University of Michigan, I went to Albion College. At Albion, all of my professors had or were working toward PhDs but they actually taught me themselves. They invited me to their houses for dinner, they took me on class trips, they knew me well enough to write recommendations for me, and they still know me when I come back to campus. As an undergrad at U-M, I...

srah - Saturday, 7 February 2004 - 2:53 PM
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February is the cruelest month

I'd like to give a big shout-out to the folks at SI Computing for making it through the month of January without a significant webmail outage! You go, people! Directly to Hell! Because it's out again!...

srah - Sunday, 1 February 2004 - 11:49 PM


When I'm working in a group, I expect my responsibilities to be Foibles, Hijinks and Baked Goods because if I were my groupmates, I wouldn't trust me with anything important. What do I know about anything, anyway? So when one of my suggestions or ideas is met with a "Hey, we should do that" or a "Good point!" or someone lets me take charge of a situation rather than gently prying my fingers from the reins, I am constantly surprised and want to inform them of the errors of their ways. Other than the fact that I seem to always...

srah - Sunday, 1 February 2004 - 5:50 PM

Yes, I have a question on the homework: WTF, mate?

At this point in my SI career... ... if I had a friend who was interested in a career as an information professional of some sort and was looking at U-M, I would tell them to turn around and run as fast as they possibly can. ... if I hadn't already spent a semester's worth of time and tuition here, I would be thinking about dropping out. ... if I felt that the Choice & Learning foundations course was actually building a foundation for my career as an information professional, I would be rethinking my career path. ... I am...

srah - Thursday, 22 January 2004 - 12:36 PM

Caw! Caw!

Economics, as far as I can tell so far, seems to be all about defining problems and finding feasible solutions to them. Feasible schmeasible. Who's to say it's not feasible to hitch a ride to the Rose Bowl on a giant eagle? Economics is for people with no imagination....

srah - Friday, 16 January 2004 - 1:18 AM

Hello, world!

One Java lab down. I'm not dead yet. I didn't burst into tears, either, and I even followed along as we created programs to do such fascinating things as print a character string to the screen and carry on intriguing dialogue like: program: What is your name? srah-user: Mr B------ sucks program: Hello, Mr B------ sucks! You may now address me as srah, Java Programmer Extraordinaire! Coming soon to a toaster near you!...

srah - Thursday, 15 January 2004 - 2:10 PM

Microeconomics? Megasuckonomics, more like it!

Our Search and Retrieval professors apologized for the fact that we are in the crappiest room in the crappiest building on campus (Dennison 269, if you're counting) and explained that SI is too stupid to realize they've grown too big for their own facilities, so we just have to beg to LS&A every semester and they throw us those rooms that aren't fit for their own uses. Okay, maybe those weren't their exact words. Anyway, the point is, they knew we had these complaints, they understood them, but they explained that this is why it had to be this way....

srah - Saturday, 10 January 2004 - 1:21 PM

'I'd like to kill the guy who invented this'

As Teen Talk Barbie informed us, "Math is hard." And in the words of Jimmy Buffett, "Math sucks." My semester is looking distressingly math- and logic- and computer-science-heavy. I was all ready to put all of my energy into Java Programming as my most insanely difficult hardest class when my Choice and Learning GSI informed us that the myths about his class requiring math knowledge were false. "You don't need to know calculus!" he laughed, "All it requires is a bit of advanced algebra!" Alge-who, now? I have also been informed by an SI alum that you need to know...

srah - Saturday, 10 January 2004 - 12:20 PM

Then again, I was raised by dorks

The difference between the dorks and the "cool kids" is that cool kids have to feign (or succeed in) disinterest in everything. They have to be nonchalant and not show excitement over anything. You are a dork if you get excited about things - especially if the majority of the population can't match your excitement. I think that dorks make the best teachers. Can you imagine one of the cool kids in high school going into education? "Today we're going to learn about, like, the end-to-end principle or something. Whatever. Why are you bouncing up and down in the back,...

srah - Saturday, 10 January 2004 - 11:23 AM

It sucks... but in a cute way?

Hi, yeah, I'm cursed. First I go blog-ranting on and on about how I hate our courseware program, then 3.5 hours later, I go to my first class of the semester... taught by one of the creators/administrators of said program. Teacher: Who here has used CourseTools? *all hands raise* Teacher: Who has used CourseTools:NextGeneration? *most hands raise, since this class' website is on CTNG* Teacher: And which do you prefer? *chorus of "THE OLD ONE!!!1"s, to the apparent surprise of the instructor* So much for all of those brownie points I racked up for logging onto the class website at...

srah - Wednesday, 7 January 2004 - 5:05 PM

Ye'll walk the plank, Robert H. Frank!!!1

I thought that $122.50 was an insane amount to pay for one textbook (a textbook on microeconomics, to make it worse) until I discovered that I was getting off lightly. Ouch. At least my $90 Java textbook sounds potentially useful......

srah - Sunday, 4 January 2004 - 7:24 PM

How'dya figure?

Not bad, considering that I have adopted as my new mantra B is for Bubble Tea; that's good enough for me. 6.5? How do they calculate this stuff? And why don't I care?...

srah - Monday, 22 December 2003 - 10:18 PM
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Curse of the Information Professional

I started bitching about the user interface of the labeling computers at UPS yesterday because my sister had to go from using the keyboard to the mouse and back again. GOMS GOMS GOMS! The end of the semester has not released me from critiquing user interfaces everywhere I go. I fear it will be with me for the rest of my life. Curse you, Tom Brinck!...

srah - Saturday, 20 December 2003 - 1:23 PM

Things that I have learned after one semester at SI

No one else knows what they're doing, either. The second semester will be easier, if only because I won't waste so much time wondering if I will ever make friends. The point of Social Systems & Collections was to teach us vocabulary and introduce us to articles and authors we will have to reference for the rest of our lives as information professionals. There actually was a point to Use of Information, and it wasn't necessarily just to teach us how to work in groups. Grad school is haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard. But I will survive, because I always do....

srah - Tuesday, 16 December 2003 - 2:28 PM

One exam to rule them all

Less than six hours until I am free from the tyranny that is the shopping cart first semester. Vay-cay plans? Sleeping, cleaning my room, dreaded Christmas shopping, leisure reading and party-party-partying. Oh, and being a complete and utter nerd, of course....

srah - Monday, 15 December 2003 - 10:19 AM

Zis webmail, she goes down more often zan ze 'ores at SI North

Mr B------ and I have imagined the inside of SI North, the building where all of our Graduate Student Instructors have their offices. We have speculated that it's full of French whores, lounging on giant mushrooms in old-fashioned lingerie, smoking hookahs and bitching about webmail being down (which comes to mind because it is right now, just as it is every weekend). You would think that in a school so focused on technology and so full of people studying Human-Computer Interaction, there would be somebody here who could make it possible for humans to interact with computers once in a...

srah - Saturday, 13 December 2003 - 10:39 AM

Three hours in the life of srah

The beast that is Social Systems & Collections has been defeated! Since I couldn't blog during the exam but I kept getting hung up on things, I took some wee notes on my thoughts. 12:50 - I'm hungry. Ten minutes to go, so I'll just log into CourseTools and go get some soup-- HEY! The questions have been posted! Start exam? Eat? Start exam? Eat, I think. Located some cup-a-soup and tortilla chips to nibble on. 12:55 - Now on to the exam! ... but I'm cold. Put on a sweatshirt. Still cold. Put on slippers. Still cold. It occurs...

srah - Friday, 12 December 2003 - 4:03 PM

Proctor me! Proctor me now!

Bad idea: Scheduling a final exam. Worse idea: Scheduling a final exam to be taken en ligne from your home. Yes, it's open book and open note and yes, we're bound by honor code* not to collaborate on answers. It's not cheating that I'm concerned about... it's wandering off to find something to eat and forgetting that I'm in the middle of an exam. It's too comfortable at home! I need to be in a structured environment with someone threatening to slap me with a ruler if I get out of line! I need to be prevented from going to...

srah - Friday, 12 December 2003 - 11:50 AM

Walking in a Nelson & Winter wonderland

One of the things that makes me sad about graduate school is that it's made me into a complete dork who has no idea how to interact in normal society. Well okay, I was kind of that way to start with. But it really scared me at our Super King Kong Mega Mega Study Group last night that we could tell jokes with punchlines like, "Well I've got a structuration theory for you right here!" Ha ha ha ha ha. Gives me a little giggle just thinking about it. So I would like to thank my blog and my readers...

srah - Friday, 12 December 2003 - 11:37 AM

Collaboration haiku

End of group project. At 3am, groupthinking becomes nothinking....

srah - Wednesday, 10 December 2003 - 3:32 AM
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Skirt +2

I wore a skirt for my presentation today. I was considered quite SEXXXY* by all who encountered me. But not S-E-X-X-Y, because that would be something altogether different. Wearing a skirt gave me magical powers, apparently. It was my maaagic skirt, to paraphrase Forrest Gump. I felt like I was dressed up and therefore must know what I was talking about. Either that or I was so sick of rehearsing that I wanted it to be over with. A little bit of both. I was perfectly ready to go for the first hour and 45 minutes of class, then I...

srah - Tuesday, 9 December 2003 - 7:48 PM
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The Role of Emotion in the Songs of Neil Diamond

I was somewhere in between dream and reality this morning as I tried to wake up. I had been dreaming about editing Mah 501 Group Mate's term paper when my alarm went off. Wow, that's really impressive how he worked this music into his paper, I thought. How did he do that? It's so appropriate for the paper, too. That's pretty interesting. I should have done that. Why didn't I do that? ... ...Waiiiiiit, this is "He Ain't Heavy... He's My Brother. What does that have to do with 504?" Hey, this isn't a 504 paper! I'm in bed! Note...

srah - Thursday, 4 December 2003 - 7:23 AM
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srah's roar of triumph and glory: 'mew!'

I am so proud of myself for not putting off starting this 13-page paper until tomorrow night, since it's due Friday. Seriously, starting tonight - while sounding completely bonkers-insane to everyone I've talked to - is a great leap in anti-procrastination for the srah. I am srah, hear me roar! I think I have some kind of paper-writing hyperactivity or ADD, though. Not just because I am blogging right now when I should be writing a paper - that's just procrastination and being easily distracted. It's just that once I get motivated to write a paper, I want to write...

srah - Wednesday, 3 December 2003 - 9:16 PM

Professional what, now?

My body only went to discussion section today (instead of getting much-needed sleep) because we were doing course evaluations at the end. My brain, however, stayed in its hibernative state and tried in vain to follow the discussion while being distracted by the completely unrelated and unprovoked idea that SI Computing doesn't like the name of our computer lab, the DIAD (Digital Information Access and Dissemination lab). So while others discussed information professionalism, srah's little brain chugged away and produced these lovely replacements: Information Professionals' And Nerds' Electronic Manipulation Area (short and pale and young and lovely...) No Eating or...

srah - Wednesday, 3 December 2003 - 12:19 PM
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'501: Now with 15% more bitchslapping!'

The remarkable thing about me is that I can survive anything. This is only because I overreact in the first place and think that lots of work is going to kill me. It's not going to kill me. It's just going to make me suffer a little. It's 5pm and I'm not dead yet. Time for a break, then more suffering when I get home....

srah - Friday, 21 November 2003 - 4:59 PM

Ain't too stressed to blog, sweet darlin'

Have you ever wanted to kill people on the street because they're so happy and you have so much work to do? Have you ever wanted to kill people on the bus because they have seats and you have so much work to do? All of a sudden am stressed beyond my imagination. Am too stressed to cry, because tears would blur my vision and impede my productivity. Am too stressed to take the time out to make myself a tinfoil hat and go crazy in a proper tinfoil-hat fashion. Am apparently not too stressed to blog. Am never too...

srah - Thursday, 20 November 2003 - 6:09 PM
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Well... that was surprisingly easy...

Last semester I struggled over a borrowed laptop, trying desperately to find things that would fit into my schedule. This time I got into all of the sections I wanted on the first try. It feels like I haven't worked hard enough for it.   9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 M                     T               543 - Programming I W 622 - Evaluation of Systems & Services       503 DS       R 502 DS 543 DS  ...

srah - Wednesday, 19 November 2003 - 10:31 AM

Hooray! Now I can hate me on the bus!

After months of planning and stalling, srah finally gets around to going to buy a cell phone. Our scene takes place at the AT&T Wireless store at the mall. (approaches counter) AT&T Wireless Dude: Can I help you? srah: Yes. I would like a cell phone. (Rolls eyes, realizing that she is in a cell phone store. Continues.) AT&T Wireless Dude: Alright, what are you looking for? srah: I know exactly what I want because I tried to buy a phone on your website, but it's completely unusable so I couldn't. (Dies a little on the inside, realizing how SI...

srah - Saturday, 15 November 2003 - 4:12 PM
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Bring home my name/ on the wings of Gwaihir*

(listening to Neil Diamond as I get ready this morning) srah: I always want to sing this "Sar... Saruman" instead of "Soo... Soolaimon". (pause) srah: I am such a nerd. Mom: Well, from what I've heard, you're in good company at SI. srah: This is very true. Hopefully Return of the King will come out after all of our exams are done. Otherwise we're in trouble! Mom: Why's that? srah: Because no one will show up for class the next day! Mom: Oh. Well, that's okay. Your teachers probably won't either. ––––– * thanks to Mr B------ for the nerd-assistance...

srah - Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 11:04 AM
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Tea. Sugar. Please? Hello. What?

Sometimes when I stay up late doing a long paper, like, say a 540 take-home midterm, I am easily distracted and prone to insanity and random obscenities for the rest of the day. Luckily that won't be the case today, because I got me a good four hours of sleep. And on a related note, September Morn is a really fucking good song....

srah - Thursday, 6 November 2003 - 8:00 AM

Speaking of nibbling...

My lovely assistant, Mr Dave, brought Twizzlers Bites to class today. I don't even like the damned things, but it's a three-hour class and I need chemical assistance to stay awake, so I had one. And it wasn't any good at all. So I had another one. And that one wasn't any good either. But I kind of had the taste of the last one lingering in my mouth, so I figured I would have another. And another. And another. And another. At one point, I decided to carefully nibble away at each damned tiny candy in order to make...

srah - Wednesday, 5 November 2003 - 7:33 PM
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Frustrated is better than bored

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! Putain de merde! Sometimes one just needs to vent....

srah - Tuesday, 4 November 2003 - 6:01 PM

This is a valuable tool, after all

In my group meeting today, I got to sound smart by knowing things about blogs. Who knew?...

srah - Thursday, 30 October 2003 - 7:15 PM

Work group? Fun group, more like it!

What I like most about my work group for User Interface Design is that, while we aren't terribly focused, this isn't always a bad thing. Our meetings may last five hours where everyone else's last one, but we manage to find a balance between working and having fun, so we get things done and don't notice the time going by. It's a lot less stressful than trying to bring everyone together for a quick, productive meeting and breaking up. Dinner, working, playing... 'sall good. C'est cool. C'est relaxe....

srah - Sunday, 26 October 2003 - 9:38 PM

I don't love the smell of consulting in the morning

The paper that I've been editing this weekend is our 15-page Use of Information paper. In this class, we have practical experience doing whatever it is exactly that they're trying to teach us to do. We are divided into groups and sent to a University office, non-profit organization, or library site for the semester, to examine their work processes and tell them how they could improve their communication or workflow or things like that. It smells suspiciously of consulting. Last week in our discussion section, our groups convened to discuss our cultural models, diagrams showing the interactions in the offices....

srah - Sunday, 26 October 2003 - 8:37 PM

'Green Eggs and Ham?'

My User Interface Design group had a... uh... meeting last night (a meeting which consisted of drinks, dinner, Outburst, Taboo and poker) and got to talking about how nerdy everyone at SI is. They disagree. They don't consider themselves nerds because they don't think they're smart enough or work hard enough. And yet, despite their love for the Lord of the Rings and younger propensities for Magic: The Gathering (you know who you are), they don't consider themselves geeks. Dorks didn't seem to appeal to them either. How difficult are they? Just accept one name and embrace it, because you...

srah - Friday, 10 October 2003 - 7:17 AM
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What if?

While ragging on a class for doing a crappy job on the first paper of the year, I think a few things should be taken into consideration. If no one has followed the directions correctly and no one has done the assignment correctly, is this a reflection on student performance, or perhaps something deeper? Is this a problem with student interpretation of the directions or, dare I say it, the directions themselves? This is, you will understand, all completely hypothetical and did not happen this morning....

srah - Wednesday, 8 October 2003 - 11:09 AM

It's all downhill from here

I finally got back my first number-graded paper as a graduate student today. Everything up to this point has been checks and check-plusses, which are just joke-grades and have been tossed at me left and right and willy-nilly. The results were much better than expected, but I'm sure there will be plenty more to bring me back to my sad, pathetic reality soon. Either that or I am a crackerjack writer and will get a fantastic report card to show my parents. I'm not particularly concerned because I was prepared for failure by all of my professors, who have been...

srah - Tuesday, 7 October 2003 - 7:11 PM

Comma chameleon

Hypothetically, if you finally notice, a month into the semester, that someone is in your class, is it rude to loudly exclaim, "HEY! WHAT? YOU'RE IN THIS CLASS?" when you see them? Even if, hypothetically, you only technically met them in person this weekend? It seems terrible, like you're saying, "Hey there, Completely Unremarkable Person, it took me a month to notice you." Not that I have done anything like that, or anything. Twice in the past week. But on a completely unrelated subject, can you suggest any nearby holes for me to crawl into? Also, and I'm just asking...

srah - Tuesday, 7 October 2003 - 7:02 PM

C'est le temps que tu as perdu pour ta rose qui fait ta rose si importante

I am such a nerd. No one else seems to like them at all, but I get really excited about my Social Systems and Collections readings and lectures. On Friday, the professor was talking about the impact of artefacts on memory and the social character of "individual" memory (Radley, p. 48*). That is to say, different objects or words will mean different things to different people based on their own experiences, à la Proust's madeleine or in the way that everyone seems to come up with strange and different Unconscious Mutterings answers that never would have occurred to me. One...

srah - Tuesday, 7 October 2003 - 6:18 PM
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New entrance essay question: What happens 72 days from today?

Sometimes I am astounded by the sheer number of nerds that SI has attracted to one place. Other times I am astounded by the vast quantity of nerdiness that has been amassed here. Depends on how you look at it, I guess. Either way, I seem to spend a lot of time being astounded. Do you think there's a way to harness this power and ensure that it is used for good rather than evil? I'm thinking maybe we could fashion it into some kind of ring......

srah - Monday, 6 October 2003 - 9:45 PM


We spend all of our time informing ourselves with information about the way people are informed or inform themselves about information. There are too many levels here. I get confused and can never remember which one I'm on. Is the semester over yet?...

srah - Friday, 3 October 2003 - 9:37 AM

What else is new?

I think I made two new friends this week. I am distributing Post-It®s left and right. I am socializing! I am networking! I am doing a bit of homework as well! I am sleeping! I am still tired!...

srah - Thursday, 2 October 2003 - 11:57 AM

Most of their free time is spent reading, but sometimes they write papers

Mr B------ has beaten me to the punch with The Official HCI Webpage. I'm not sure that any of the pictures are accurate representations of SI students, though - they really should be wearing t-shirts on their heads instead. Room for improvement!...

srah - Wednesday, 1 October 2003 - 12:06 PM

'My uncle thought he was St Jerome'

"What Jerome is ignorant of, no man has ever known." - St Augustine Today is the saint's day of St Jerome, patron saint not only of translators, but also of librarians, archivists and libraries. I am totally naming all of my children Jérôme. [via languagehat]...

srah - Tuesday, 30 September 2003 - 10:08 PM
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This is not my beautiful house

And more importantly, this is not an effective use of my time. Why do I never have things on hand so that I can prepare today for tomorrow's classes? This is why I'm always behind! This is why I'm losing my mind! This is why I just rhymed! You should leave this site and go unwind. Ignoring me can be underlined. You could watch TV for deaf people (signed). Or listen to a talking book for the blind. Go check and see if your shoes are shined. Read the dictionary and see how things are defined. You can throw me...

srah - Tuesday, 30 September 2003 - 12:37 PM
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I plan on never accomplishing anything again as long as I live

Brrrrrrrrrr! *rubs hands together* Paper after paper after paper! Ah, there's nothing like a brisk mental workout to get you-- zzzzzzzzzzzzz;jaofjaf;oiijc;oaJj. *slowly raises head from the keyboard, emits a piteous wail* This week is going to be monstrous. Kill me now....

srah - Monday, 29 September 2003 - 2:17 AM

'Regatta' is not a kind of cheese

For our first Social Systems & Collections paper, we have to examine the social systems and collections in the TV show The Restaurant. I have discovered, from watching the provided clips over and over again, that what reality TV shows us is that everyone on Earth except me is a friggin' moron. I'm not sure I want to be a human being anymore. Do you think the bunnies will have me?...

srah - Saturday, 27 September 2003 - 7:03 PM
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I'm in gradjit school

Where were you last Wednesday afternoon? I hear you ask. I don't know why you're so obsessed with my whereabouts, but I'll ignore that for now. For your information, we spent the last half hour of this week's User Interface Design class... at the arcade. I spent my class time shooting innocent bystanders, being sworn at by South Park pinball and getting hit in the head with air hockey pucks. Jealous much?...

srah - Sunday, 21 September 2003 - 12:00 AM

Best. Combination. Ever.

Talk Like a Pirate Day at SI. How can we apply this? Piracy as a social system: What is their collection? Booty. Read some much better pirate haiku. [via Dave Barry's Blog]...

srah - Friday, 19 September 2003 - 12:45 PM
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Oi be a grad school poirate

I've always had a favorite class for every semester or year of school. I usually have a least favorite class as well. What's really strange for me, three weeks into the semester, is that I love and hate each one of my classes. Understanding Networked Computing used to be my favorite class, because there wasn't a lot of work and I got it. Well, I don't get it anymore. I need to re-read. I need more sleep. I need someone to take me up on my offer of cookies and teach me things. I might need to have a good...

srah - Friday, 19 September 2003 - 10:50 AM

Go briny Blue!

It be a great leap to Talk Like a Pirate with me shipmates. Be they land-lubbers or know they the Pirate Code? Will they engage in parlay or make me walk the metaphorical plank of ridicule? Luckily, oi associates with a lot of nerrrds. Arrrrr....

srah - Friday, 19 September 2003 - 10:25 AM
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Post-It®s Post-It®s everywhere, nor any drop to drink

I am so amused by most of my professors and GSIs. They seem like good people, and I'd kinda like to stick Post-It®s on their foreheads, too. I think the whole Post-It® thing is actually pretty normal - it's just that most people don't think of it in terms of yellow sticky notes. The people I've labeled as my own are what Anne Shirley would have called "kindred spirits". I suspect that I am quite fond of meeting new people. I am sad that I don't get more opportunities to meet my classmates and learn more about them, but I...

srah - Thursday, 18 September 2003 - 9:30 PM
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The problem's plain to see: too much technology

I think I'm the worst Human-Computer Interaction specializationist* ever. Why am I always the one whining about how we don't get paper copies of anything, or how optical mice aren't as good as roller-ball ones, or how we seem to spend all of our time in Foundations classes talking about business and computers and never about libraries or archives? I should probably be, like, embracing technology or something, shouldn't I? In other grad school news, Use of Information should probably be retitled How to be a Consultant. The entire purpose of the class seems to be to train consultants. I...

srah - Thursday, 18 September 2003 - 8:23 PM
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Cookies? Yum.

There are so many groups I have to join that, despite my professor's urgings, I was putting off joining an Understanding Networked Computing study group for as long as possible - at least until I had my actual work groups in other classes planned out. But I think I'm going to have to give in sooner rather than later. Today in lecture, I felt like my brain was panting as it tried to keep up with the professor. I got a stabbing pain in my head at one point, which I think may have been a brain cramp. Poor unused...

srah - Thursday, 18 September 2003 - 11:09 AM
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More writing in this blog in the next day after today

Has been a tough week. Have not had much sleep. Visions of Zs are dancing in my heads and I would like to go to beds. That rhymes a lot. I think I'm on the other side now, though... at least until next week. Probably will blog tomorrow all of the things I've been holding off on in my attempts to be productive. I said "off on". I'm getting distracted mid-sentence. Where was I? ;osa iejjf ao jmfiv;oesw...

srah - Wednesday, 17 September 2003 - 7:20 PM

Homework? What homework?

I have to come up with 250 user interfaces. I am going insane. Is a peanut a user interface? It's gotten to the point where I have to make a separate list of Things That Are Not User Interfaces so that things like "a squirrel", "a lemon" and "a peanut" will stop repeating endlessly in my head. Please send me a screenshot of your Mac desktop or whatever they call the desktop on a Mac....

srah - Tuesday, 16 September 2003 - 9:38 PM

Too much Information (Science)

Today someone I was working in a group with, whose name I didn't and still don't know, told me that she usually can't concentrate on a full bladder. Good advice that will make me examine my own study techniques? Or overshare? Both, I think....

srah - Tuesday, 16 September 2003 - 6:56 PM

Placating the fevered masses

Today was at least the third time I've linked to my Social Systems & Collections class (that's four) here in my blog. I fear that I'm in danger of becoming one of those people who gets so wrapped up in what they're doing that they can't relate to anyone else outside that field anymore. So, in order to remind my readers that I do realize there are people who don't understand/care about my Information-information-overloaded ramblings, that I do have other interests and that I can post other things on this here blog, here is a nice picture of a bunny...

srah - Friday, 12 September 2003 - 12:59 PM

Knowing me, knowing you

In English, we only have one word: to know. In many other languages, however, there is a distinction made between what my professor called know-how (Spanish/French conocer, connaitre) and know-that (saber, savoir). I would tend to define them more along the lines of know-of (being familiar with something or someone - "I know Italy", "I know Johnny Depp") and know-that (facts, how to to things - "I know that I'm failing", "I know how to do long division"). I wonder how the fact that we only have one word affects the way that English speakers know things. How does it...

srah - Friday, 12 September 2003 - 12:41 PM

TGI-- what do you mean, it's only Thursday?!

No blogging today. Srah is very tired. Graduate school involves much work and srah needs to re-learn how to read. Is it May 2005 yet?...

srah - Thursday, 11 September 2003 - 11:09 PM

LCD screening

The group projects have begun. When choosing a group in User Interface Design, we had to consider what skills each member brought to the group. C and D said that they both come from computer science backgrounds and know how to do things like program. And D can draw better than either of us. They looked at me. "Um... Need anybody to speak some French? I can speak a whole mess of French!" Hmmm. Apparently that is not a useful skill in this situation. Luckily it was decided that I have writing and expression skills that they lack. They must...

srah - Wednesday, 10 September 2003 - 7:36 PM

Hannibal the Information Professional

As you may or may not know, this past Saturday's halftime show at the Michigan-Houston football game was a tribute to the School of Engineering, which will be 150 years old in 2004. It was clear that there was some engineering influence on their music choices, as the songs they chose made engineering sound like a wild and dangerous discipline. Although I have resigned myself to the fact that it ain't gonna happen in reality, I can still dream of the marching band's Salute to the School of Information. Unfortunately, I can only come up with one song that would...

srah - Wednesday, 10 September 2003 - 10:24 AM
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Hiding in the open

Someone in my Use of Information class was wearing a Blogger t-shirt. I felt a common bond... so I decided not to talk to her. I suppose people from school will discover this site and my blog eventually, but I don't really want to advertise. I've been using this as my web page for all official SI stuff for the time being. It's not that I'm really trying to hide it... but I haven't decided yet where my boundaries are going to be. Update: About an hour after posting this, I found an SI classmate's weblog and left a comment...

srah - Tuesday, 9 September 2003 - 6:05 PM

Hail to the colors that float in the light

The University of Michigan makes a killing, I'm sure, on merchandise. You see it everywhere. One of the more popular styles is the plain block-letter "Michigan" with the name of a specific sport or school within the university (in this case, figure skating). They have "Michigan Law" shirts. "Michigan Medicine". "Michigan Public Health". "Michigan Social Work". "Michigan Undecided" (really). Do they have "Michigan Information"? No, because people would always be asking us for directions. The Archives & Records Management students have designed their own "Michigan Archives" t-shirts. I would suggest that we make our own "Michigan School of Information Human-Computer...

srah - Saturday, 6 September 2003 - 8:18 PM
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'With Brigitte Bardot playing part of hypotenuse'

"Plagiarize, Let no one else's work evade your eyes, Remember why the good Lord made your eyes, So don't shade your eyes, But plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize..." - "Lobachevsky", Tom Lehrer One thing that grad school is really good at is putting the fear of god into you. Or the fear of university, anyway. All I've heard during this week of introductions is warning after warning about plagiarization. And now Cheryl brought it up, too (no doubt herself inspired by countless warnings at Kent). Now I'm afraid to write anything. Clearly I'm not going to go lifting chunks of text from...

srah - Saturday, 6 September 2003 - 10:04 AM

Go go nerd power!

For my Social Systems & Collections foundation course, we have to post a self-introduction on the class website. Reading through the 63 that are up so far, it occurs to me that with a school full of 250 people interested in information, information retrieval, and information use, we could play some kick-ass Trivial Pursuit....

srah - Thursday, 4 September 2003 - 8:12 PM

Two seems like a lot to me, okay?

I am about to corner the world market on table tents. This is what one of my Graduate Student Instructors has called the cardstock-folded-in-half nametags that we have to carry around with us and proudly display so that the teachers know who we are. I am thinking of consolidating my collection into une seule table tent so that I can put all of my efforts into that one. My name is clearly not sufficient. My table tent will have my life story on it! Be multicolored! Covered in stickers! Laminated! I think my enthusiasm is misplaced. What did we do...

srah - Thursday, 4 September 2003 - 3:16 PM

I will destroy Buchanan Enterprises

I had two of my forehead-sticky victims in my 9:00 class this morning. They WILL be mine!...

srah - Wednesday, 3 September 2003 - 10:14 PM

And they rode on in the friscalating dusklight

After two days of orientation, I am completely discombobulated. Half of me is unbelievably stressed out by meeting people and making small talk. This half has had enough of hysterically funny conversations where you laugh and laugh and laugh but are constantly stressed that you're going to be the one who drops the ball and makes the other two people in the conversation stop and look at their watches. The other half has gotten used to the orientation lifestyle and doesn't know how she's going to last from Thursday to Tuesday without seeing all of the new people she's met....

srah - Friday, 29 August 2003 - 3:42 PM

Marking your territory

Have you ever been friend-infatuated with anyone? Have you ever met someone and been so attracted to them upon first meeting them that you want to declare YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND and mark them with a Post-it® so that everyone knows that this is your potential friend-to-be and so that you won't lose them later? No? Uh... me neither....

srah - Friday, 29 August 2003 - 2:10 PM
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Highlights of Wednesday's orientation

Overheard: Student 1: So how did you spend your summer? Student 2: Two words: Tae-bo and crosswords. I was happy because the dean of the School of Information actually got up and said he didn't know how to describe "Information" to people who ask, either. It brings together all of the groups of people in information professions and acquaints them with the issues related to information while training them for those careers. I am actually quite excited for my mandatory Foundations courses, which everyone in SI has to take. I'm interested in learning more about all of the other specializations...

srah - Thursday, 28 August 2003 - 8:22 AM


Tired. Too tired to blog. Orientation is much better than workshops, even if the class sessions I want are all full. Best of all, now I have friends and am super über charming and everyone loves me. I am happy....

srah - Wednesday, 27 August 2003 - 9:26 PM

How I spent my birthday afternoon

Seriously, do not click here (requires Flash)....

srah - Tuesday, 26 August 2003 - 3:11 PM
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What do you get when you fill a classroom with librarians, archival librarians and computer-interacting librarians? Silence. I'm not exactly Miss Chatty, but once someone takes the first step, I can talk an ear or two off. The problem is, no one talks. Or they whisper. The silence is accablante. I don't want to make friends. I just want to have them already....

srah - Tuesday, 26 August 2003 - 1:42 PM
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Hello again, hello

Our Intro to SI Computing workshop is having a ten-minute break. I should probably be human-interacting, but am instead computer-interacting. Would any humans like to interact with my computer? I am not going to have any friends. Approach me... IF YOU DARE!...

srah - Monday, 25 August 2003 - 10:29 AM

Intro to SI

People kept asking me if I'm nervous or excited about starting grad school. I really wasn't. I just wanted to get orientation over with so I would finally be able to register for classes so I would finally have a class schedule so I could finally get a job. But now I'm here. And I know squat. And I'm scared. If I were the kind of person who said things like "buggin'", I would tell you that I am buggin' right now. What kind of mutant am I that I've lived 21 years of my life in Ann Arbor and...

srah - Monday, 25 August 2003 - 8:31 AM

Ess-are-ay-aitch goes to ess-eye

Went on my visit to SI. I think I am the only person on Earth who prounounces it "sigh" instead of "ess-eye". I am some kind of mutant. Among the various other things I learned/reheard, I found out that the School of Information has their own career services person. I was told that she can "videotape a mock interview" and heard instead that she can "videotape and mock interviews", and I think my eyes bugged out in fear. After my visit, I came back to work and my mom pointed out that my sweater was mis-buttoned. Way to make an...

srah - Wednesday, 18 June 2003 - 2:35 PM

Clap if you believe in Archives Fairies

Sometimes I feel like there is a war going on over my soul. Sometimes I feel like the Archives Fairies and the Human-Computer-Interaction Fairies are fighting over me. I really want to support my side and all, but the Archives Fairies seem so strong. Maybe they cheat. Or maybe it's the economy. If the HCI fairies would throw a job in my direction, I would certainly help them, but the Archives Fairies have stability and a steady income on their side. I am weak and give in to their evil. Forgive me and help me, HCI Fairies, before the Archives...

srah - Tuesday, 10 June 2003 - 9:38 AM
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Meanwhile, back at the ranch

When I tell people that I'm going to grad school at U-M, they have a tendancy to say "Oh, so you can live at home! Oh... so you'll have to live at home..." as if living at home will be miserable or upsetting. I lived at home during my undergrad summers and had no problem, and when people react in this way, I tend to say that my family's not bad to live with. But now, 1.5 hours away from landing, it occurs to me that they may have been making those "Well... good luck..." faces not because it will...

srah - Monday, 5 May 2003 - 5:45 AM
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Alt+F4 to exit

I'm going to graduate school to learn how to make web sites based on the principles of information science. I hope that my sites will be simple yet attractive, practical and easily navigable. The point will be for information to be accessed in the most convenient way possible. In other words, they will be everything that this isn't. No one told me the school had a website. And it's not the type of thing I could have found out for myself, since there's no text to come up in search engines. I am disappointed that I am not prominently featured...

srah - Monday, 17 February 2003 - 11:03 AM
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Home sweet home

As previously blogged, I have been accepted to the Master's program in the Human-Computer Interaction specialization of the University of Michigan's School of Information. It's a good thing, too, as I had put all of my eggs in one basket and couldn't be arsed to apply anywhere else. SI manages to offer a program that interests me and also allows me the opportunity to live at home. So no more empty-nesting for Mommy and Daddy - the fledgling shall return to the roost. I imagine it will be a bit difficult living at home after living all alone for seven...

srah - Saturday, 8 February 2003 - 6:16 PM

I almost deleted this as spam...

On behalf of the Dean and Faculty of the School of Information, I am pleased to offer you admission to the Master of Science in Information program at the School of Information, University of Michigan for Fall 2003... Good thing I didn't. Classes begin September 3!...

srah - Thursday, 6 February 2003 - 2:34 AM

Them monkeys has fleas

In my package (received today, with no customs charges, because Extand is on crack), there was a goodly amount of mail that had come for me since I've been out of the country. Much of this mail was from various universities, as I have apparently become College Search Fodder again. One begins: Dear GRE Search Service Participant, We understand that you may be interested in pursuing graduate education in public health... Why thank you, University of Minnesota, for informing me of this. I may be interested in pursuing graduate education in public health, just as I may decide to move...

srah - Tuesday, 14 January 2003 - 12:27 PM

Yes, cow, I have two whole paragraphs!

srah - Monday, 18 November 2002 - 11:28 AM

Waitin' for the dinner bell to do the bell thing

On a positive note, while waiting for dinner time to roll around, I finally got bored enough to sit down and sort out my graduate school applications. Half of it will be off to Rackham as soon as I get to La Poste, and all that's left to do is the essay. Thankfully Mr Colas, the harried Technology Maestro at the school, says he'll be setting me up a user ID next week. Then I'll have access to the school's intranet diskspace, so I won't have to do the whole thing in one sitting....

srah - Saturday, 12 October 2002 - 10:27 AM
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Best school ever

My lycée sent me a packet with a big picture of the school on the front. It looks very lovely. It was only built in 1997. Inside, the packet has details about each of the fields of study (it's all Greek to me - I can't tell the difference between a BEP carrières sanitaires et sociales and a BAC sciences médico-sociales) and, more importantly, leads on accomodations. So I should be pretty set by the time I get there. Now all I have to worry about it how to lug my millions of pairs of shoes (that's what's going to...

srah - Tuesday, 17 September 2002 - 9:50 AM
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Well, the GRE is over. I think my scores are okay, so I don't think I'll retake it. They were really anal at the testing center about what you could bring in the test room and what you could do. You couldn't even bring in a sweatshirt, although the practice test information said you should layer just in case it's hot or cold. I prefer written tests, where you can cross out answers you know are wrong. Whatever. I'm just glad it's over with....

srah - Wednesday, 4 September 2002 - 10:24 PM

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