How SJSU iSchool Students Rev Up for the End of the Semester and Unwind for Summer

iStudent Blog

Published: May 10, 2017

You’re almost there—the end of the semester is almost here. Some of you may be feeling relief while others may be feeling overwhelmed. Do not despair! Help, hope and happy days are ahead. SJSU iSchool students have become experts at organizing, planning and finding the right way to celebrate and are very willing to share their tips with you.

Resources and Tips to Help You Along Your Way
If you need help with making that research paper really shine, take a look at this post with writing tips from faculty and student writers and editors. If it’s tech support that you need during this time of stress (my computer likes to threaten a complete meltdown when I’m writing major papers), then go first to the iSchool Tech Support page on the website and check out this interview with Alfredo Alcantar, the iSchool’s Learning Management System (LMS) coordinator. He’s got your back if you’re having issues with Canvas, the SJSU iSchool’s LMS.

When it comes to asking questions of tech support, there is no stupid question; however, as an aspiring information professional and student of the SJSU iSchool, make sure you have made a thorough search through the school’s website and the corresponding support forms and pages before you contact a person. The answer to your question may be right in front of you, not to mention the satisfaction you’ll have if you can find it on your own.

Through personal experience with writing (and obviously I do quite a bit of it), I’ve learned this: The more I write, the better my writing becomes. If your future career requires good communication skills (and most of them do), then I suggest you develop your writing skills to the point of near-perfection.

Community Profiles writer Nick Perilli relies on strength of character to get through the final weeks of final projects. If you don’t have that strength of character, then there’s nothing like graduate school to help you build it—in the best way possible. “Powering through takes sheer force of will and perseverance,” says Perilli. “I’m sure we’ve all done the work to get to these final weeks, so we all have a metric ton of information to pull from for our projects – it’s the drive that needs to be maintained.” In other words, don’t celebrate too early; instead, buckle down and get it done!

SLASC Assistant Communications Director Amy Nykamp goes full out and simply takes a day off from her job to put in the extra work on her final papers. She is currently enjoying Info 244 Online Searching and Info 280 History of Books and Libraries. For the Online Searching class, Nykamp is researching the economic and socio-cultural environment that culminated in the Ferguson riots as well as researching the memes that were created as a result. Her research will also benefit a friend of hers who is a professor and looking to publish their cumulative research into a major scholarly journal. Then she may switch over to her research paper on the history of the Library of Congress. “When I can no longer concentrate on a particular project,” says Nykamp, “I take a break to watch TV or read, and then work on a different class assignment. That helps keep me fresh.”

Before the Semester Ends, Don’t Forget
SOTES—aka Student Opinion of Teaching Effectiveness evaluations—are a way for San José State University to review the abilities of full-time and part-time faculty. These evaluations are available through MySJSU at the end of the semester. Instructors will all send gentle reminders for you to fill these out. Faculty at the iSchool is top-notch and these instructors work hard to give you the best, most relevant and current resources and information to help equip you for the working world of the LIS profession. Be honest and thoughtful while filling out these forms and be sure to give props to those instructors who go the extra mile to help make you a success. As an added perk, if you fill out a SOTE evaluation for your class, your instructor will release your final grade sooner.

Before You Relax and Forget About Grad School for the Summer, Think Ahead
Though it may be tempting to run far, far away from your computer and vow not to read a textbook for the next three months, take a moment to reevaluate and plan ahead. Take a look at your Advising Toolkit and the Excel spreadsheets with your classes, competencies and E-portfolio evidence materials. Re-read your career goals and connections to faculty content specialists. Do you have any questions about your chosen career path or particular course work you should include?

Reviewing your classes for the upcoming semester, by reading past syllabi and ordering your textbooks will help you get settled for a smooth start when August rolls around. Nykamp starts her preparations early. “I look at the green sheets from the prior semester and read the various assignments to determine if a particular class is manageable with others or as a summer class. As soon as a syllabus is posted for my classes for the next semester, I print that and put the deadlines into my calendar.”

Some people stay in the grad school state of mind by staying in school. “Taking a couple summer courses helps keep me in the academic mindset without the stress that a fall or spring course load brings,” says Perilli. “Not to say that summer courses are easier or require any less of a commitment, but the typical easygoing beach-dream summer mindset kind of mixes with the academic one and changes the atmosphere of the work.” Relax a little, post a discussion, go to the beach and read for your week’s assignments and then come home not too sunburned and write a paper. Rinse and repeat.

Nykamp is taking her SJSU iSchool skills to the streets, or literally to the trees and mountains. “This month, I will join several members of the SLA to visit the Yosemite Library and volunteer there for a couple of days. We don’t yet know what our work will entail, but I’m really excited!”

Whatever your course load this semester or plans for the summer, we wish you all the best of luck and hope you enjoy your favorite kind of relaxation!

For related content, check out these articles:
Community Profile– Heather Kiger and the Intership of Dreams

Choose Your Own Adventure in Special Libraries

The ALASC Descriptor’s Early Winter 2016 Issue– Community

image courtesy of samuiblue