Students, Faculty and Staff Share their Plans for Winter Break

iStudent Blog

Published: December 20,2016

Woohoo! The semester is over, instructors are finishing up with their grading and we’re on to some holiday madness and hopefully some relaxation. In my typical end of the semester style, I finished up my final assignment for the second of my two classes, spent the next three days catching up on work and laundry and then promptly contracted a flu virus. I hope that your winter break is off to a better start.

SJSU iSchool student Kate Spaulding who writes the Career Blog and serves on the Student Research Journal editorial team as a copy editor, is taking a break from her writing and editing duties to catch up on life. “You know,” says Kate, “the really fun tasks, like scheduling an appointment with the eye doctor, calling the plumber (and being available during their ‘window’), and trying to sell a rug on Craigslist. I also know that I should – though I usually procrastinate for a while – organize my files and save classwork from Canvas.” It’s not all drudgery. She’ll also be heading to the Dickens’ Fair with some classmates and then spending time in Kauai, Hawaii with friends and family.

The iSchool’s SJSU King Library Liaison Ann Agee and her colleagues at the university library and the San José Public Library get together for a holiday potluck. “It’s always an amazing array of main dishes and, most importantly, desserts,” says Agee. She and her officemates put up stockings, decking the halls at the office, so to speak. On the home front, she and her family will be celebrating both Christmas and a family birthday, doubling up the presents and family get-togethers.

Student Terra Emerson just finished up the end of the semester, and the end of her first year at the SJSU iSchool and celebrated California-style with friends, family and margaritas. Then she’s off for a chilling Midwest winter adventure to Flint, Michigan with her partner. Brrr… That’s what adorable black cats are for—keeping warm.

Jennifer Velásquez will take a brief respite from teaching her Programming for Young Adults course at the iSchool to prepping for the spring semester and a course she’ll be teaching in January through the American Library Association. Sounds relaxing, no? She does find a way to celebrate the end of the semester, though a three-week European vacation isn’t in the cards. “I’d say that I celebrate by doing something sophisticated and worldly,” says Velásquez, “but the truth is, right after I submit my grades I usually buy myself a piece of jewelry. I wish I could say what I reward myself with is exotic and elegant – but it is most likely cubic zirconia and tacky.” Luckily, she can still have fun and share her sense of humor with the teens at Teen Library @ Central, San Antonio Public Library System.

As Director of the SJSU School of Information, Dr. Sandra Hirsh doesn’t have the same kind of break that students have. “My work continues even as the semester comes to close, so I don’t have any end of the semester celebrations.  Maybe I should start a new tradition though!” Hirsh is going to be able to do some relaxing when she and her family head to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. “I also hope to do some biking and running during the break, too.” Such admirable amounts of energy—even while she’s relaxing, she’s not sitting still!

Student Emily Winders-Gaddis just finished up her semester and a class with me. Her idea of celebrating includes checking out a stack of books to read and shows to watch from the library in Seattle where she works. “I’m giving my mind a chance to relax and have a little fun!” Winders-Gaddis likes to go all out at Christmas and is happy to have the time to decorate now that the semester is over. “My boyfriend and I are planning a weekend trip to Leavenworth, Washington,” she says. “The town turns in to a decorated winter wonderland around December.”

Debbie Faires is the iSchool’s Director of Online Learning and so her semester’s end blends right into the next semester’s beginning. She’s already hard at work on preparations for the upcoming Info 203 courses, including training Collaborate assistants and Info 203 peer mentors. Faires and her husband will be hosting family over the holidays. “We have some musicians in the family,” says Faires, “so concerts and informal music sessions at home are always a big part of our time together.”

Steph Barnaby, the ALASC events coordinator, is celebrating the end of the semester by catching up on her favorite Netflix shows and movies, as well as much needed sleep. I think we can all relate to the latter. Being in Boston, Massachusetts means having a white Christmas and needing to wear a pink CareBears hat to keep one’s ears warm. Besides using the time to recharge a bit, Steph is hoping to make it to Boston’s First Night Celebration.


From all of us here on the SJSU iSchool webpages to all of you in the iSchool community, warmest wishes for a wonderful winter break!


For other great SJSU iSchool articles, check out:
Recommended Reading for Winter Break (from the iSchool Career Blog)
The iSchool’s Library Liaiason Answers Your Research Needs
he iSchool’s Research Journal, Spotlighted by Editor-in-Cheif Tamarack Hockin
A Day in the Life of Dr. Sandra Hirsh– Inspiration from the iSchool Leadership


image courtesy of 89studio



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