A Day in the Life of SJSU iSchool Student and SAA Student Chapter Chair Rebecca Leung

iStudent Blog

Published: March 29, 2017

Rebecca Leung is in her final semester at the iSchool. Here’s a glimpse into a day in which she goes to work at the Bay Area Video Coalition.

Ever wonder how other students work a job, answer discussion questions, put together a PowerPoint presentation and have time to spend with their loved ones and pets (sorry Fido, only a few minutes left for you)—all without losing their marbles or their reading notes? This post is part of a series giving you a microscopic view of how students manage their lives, internships and course work at the iSchool. We hope these posts give you a better feeling for who your classmates are—people just like you!

Rebecca Leung is in her final semester at the iSchool, and the chair of SJSU’s Society of American Archivists Student Chapter (SAASC). During her course work, she has followed the MLIS Archives and Preservation Career Pathway and this semester, she’s working as a media preservation intern at the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) in San Francisco, California. She currently lives in the East Bay. “Though my day is always different,” she says, here’s a glimpse into a day in which she goes to work at the Bay Area Video Coalition.

7:30 am
I typically wake up around 7:30 am. I’m most productive in the morning. It’s like the thoughts have been percolating while I was sleeping. I check my email and do a few administrative tasks for school or SAASC. It’s important to keep active with SAASC to make sure that our group is always relevant and up-to-date for our members. The most important thing for me to do in the morning, which he never lets me forget, is to feed my cat.

8:30 am
I try to leave the house by this time so that my husband can drop me off at BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). Even though there are frequent trains into San Francisco, I somehow always manage to hit the time when I have eight minutes to wait for the train. I guess it’s better than being late! While I ride the crowded train, I check email and peruse my course modules using the Canvas app on my phone.

9:30 am
By this time, I’m in San Francisco. There is always something happening in this neighborhood, even at this early hour. Once I saw a woman walking with a kitten on her shoulders. I also saw a poster complaining about techies taking up all the housing. Last Thursday there was music blaring as I rode the escalator!

10:00 am
I walk from the train to BAVC, eating a banana along the way. Once at BAVC, I start the day by digitizing video. The first step is to set the brightness and color levels using a waveform monitor and vectorscope. It takes hours to digitize video because: 1) I’m a beginner; and 2) it is necessary to carefully supervise the video while it is digitizing and make notes of any anomalies, which are called “artifacts”. After the digitization is complete, I review the artifacts with a staff member. These notes are maintained for the client so they know what to expect when reviewing the file. The notes are also helpful during the Quality Control process, during which another staff member carefully reviews the work, including any artifacts.

Note: In this photo is one of BAVC’s preservation workstations. You can see the bars that help set the brightness and color levels. You can also see two versions of the waveform monitor [for brightness, on the lefthand side of the computer screen and in the tower of monitors] and the vectorscope (for color, on the righthand side of the computer screen and in the tower of monitors).

Noon
I take lunch around noon. This is my chance to unwind and enjoy the day. As I stroll, I like to take photos of the neighborhood street art. There are a lot of interesting places to eat in the neighborhood, including an artisan chocolate factory, which is conveniently located around the corner from BAVC.

1:00 pm
For the rest of the afternoon, I work on the AV Artifact Atlas, which is a collaborative online project that serves as a directory of AV artifacts that can occur while digitizing video. This is an important resource because it helps media preservationists and archivists speak a common language when discussing digitization errors. The atlas identifies the artifact, describes it, and explains whether it can be fixed. Media preservation is a little different than traditional archives work, and I love what I’m learning in my internship! Many thanks to Kelly Haydon and Kathy O’Regan at BAVC for mentoring me!

6:30 pm – 11:00 pm
I arrive at home around 6:30 pm and have dinner with my husband. I usually spend a few hours catching up on schoolwork and SAASC work. I try to finish a couple of competencies for my e-portfolio every week. However, the best time for me to do schoolwork is on the days that I am not working or interning. I do my best to dedicate a few whole days every week to school assignments. If I’m not too busy in the late evening, I’ll watch television with my husband, read news stories on my phone, practice yoga or play with my cat. (Reading for pleasure will have to wait until after graduation!) It’s always a busy day, but very rewarding.

Photos courtesy of Kelly Haydon and Rebecca Leung

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