I'm back! I spent Wednesday-Sunday at JMU for another session of intense 8-5 lecture-listening. 8( I have never felt so overwhelmed by information. Imagine a room full of tech-savvy people, most if not all of whom are in the top percentile bracket for intelligence (I'm not bragging here -- but the room was full of smarties, what else can I say?). Now imagine all of them slack-jawed and googly-eyed and glazed-over due to information overload and utter confusion. That would be the picture of my class Wednesday through Sunday.
You'd think building a database would be fairly simple, right? Create records, link to specific subjects, define keywords, etc. Yeah, turns out creating a database of any sort of collection is MIND-BOGGLING COMPLICATED. Our professor said at the start of the sessions that by no means would we understand much of anything by the time we left, and that we should expect our brains to be oatmeal, and he wasn't kidding. Metadata, reciprocity, schemes, authorized content, thesauri, F.I.S.A., general/domain/sys/info-seek, classification, authority control, entities, attributes, values, AACR, collocation....and that's just a tip of the jargon iceberg. And apparently the term "keywords" is anathema.
And this jargon iceberg is MASSIVE. The whole library science field is jargon, practically, and the jargon all defines OTHER jargon. Term = term = term = term.
I was confident going into this semester that I could RULE THE WORLD, I was doing so well, and the last semester was pretty much a cake walk. Well, the cake walk has turned into a hike to Mt. Doom. And Mt. Doom is my IOP semester-long project of creating a database, making it work with the collection I've chosen to index (that may or may not be the correct term) (I have decided to create a MST3K database), and THEN the project consists of a 35-page paper detailing HOW the database works, and the professor should be able to pretty much build the database just from reading the paper. Also, there are a flobbity-jillion appendices and sometimes one appendix will then spawn another appendix. The professor had to create a flow-chart across the ENTIRE WHITEBOARD detailing each section of the paper, and what pages would spawn what reports and appendices and other sub-databases.
So yeah. Remember that list of optimistic 25 things I want to accomplish in 2011? That's going to get a whole lot harder. But I'm hanging in there. I've possibly got a small paid writing gig in the works, I requested information about child sponsorship, and I'm slowly working on ways to accomplish other goals. I want to do things outside of myself, and I want to be more engaged in my world, and I want to be a positive force. That takes quite a bit of effort, but I'm sticking with it, and even if I'm a still, small positive force, a still small positive force is better than a negative force, or a force that simply does nothing. A non-force.
Still picking at chapped lips. Oh well.