Potentially headed back to Knoxville

I’ve applied for a job in Knoxville. No, I’m not going to tell you what it is, you think I want everybody applying for it? 🙂 It does tie in my web design skills and library background nicely and I hope I get the job.

I’ve tried the PhD thing twice now, once at UT and currently here at Missouri. It’s really not for me. But if nothing else comes along I’ll finish out my assistantship here and possibility even finish the PhD if I can keep myself motivated that long. But I’ve determined academic research isn’t for me, I’d rather be out there doing something.

Stephanie is applying for jobs both here in Missouri and at UT. So who gets a job where and when determines who moves back to Knoxville first. But we’ll both be in Knoxville eventually along with Lisa and all the critters.

Wish us luck. 🙂

The semester is now officially over

Actually the semester has been over for a while, but I got my grades today. Two As and an incomplete. Pretty good considering the wild semester I’ve had. I’ve got a meeting about finishing up the incomplete on Tuesday and the summer semester starts June 13th.

New semester and problems solved

Well, my first class seems like it will be ok. It’s Quantitative Research II, Analysis of Variance. The texts are good, much clearer than last semester’s regression analysis class. The instructor seems good, he actually took time to explain things until everyone understood, and has a very different teaching style than last semester’s professor.

There are no tests or papers to write, just exercises and problems to do every week. Sounds fine to me. I’m also taking this class with a group of people from SISLT, so hopefully things will be easier than last semester when I was a bit lost. One interesting thing about the class is we are using SAS from the Unix command line, no GUIs here.

I figured out the problems with Stephanie’s blog and now WordPress and Gallery are playing together nicely. Unfortunately, I’m having to rebuild Stephanie’s gallery from scratch. In my attempts to make things work I choose to delete instead of reassign pictures to a new user. That was a painful, click-happy error. In an effort to not put all my photo galley eggs in one basket, Lisa now has her own site.

In other news I decided not to go with Bluehost. I couldn’t get any partial refunds on my current hosting contracts and I found out I had some free (with ads) hosting with GoDaddy. So hobbitandmonk.com is living on GoDaddy for a while. I’ll revisit hosting options once my current contracts are closer to expiring.

A new semester begins

Today begins a new semester. Being back in classes will hopefully save me from myself. People spend their free time in lots of different ways. I usually work on web sites. Changes to this site went pretty well, my other projects didn’t turn out as planned. In attempting to integrate Stephanie’s blog and photo gallery I accidentally deleted her photos. And it turns out that the plugin to tie Gallery and WordPress together isn’t working quite right. Maybe I’ll get that figured out at some point. It might be configuration issue with the server and Apache mod_rewrite but the people that Stephanie’s blog is hosted with say everything is normal.

I’ve been looking at BlueHost for a while. Their servers and software are more current than where Stephanie’s site is currently hosted, and they offer a lot more disk space. I signed up today and got a free domain name. Since Stephanie’s site is hobbit81.com and this site is librarymonk.com I got the domain hobbitandmonk.com. Not much there at the moment, I just think it’s a fun name. 🙂

Since Stephanie’s gallery is in disarray, I decided to make a separate site for Lisa. So if you are so inclined, take a look. How many kids have a website before they’re even born. 🙂

So here’s hoping classes give me something else to do.

Grades are in

Grades are in. I got 2 A’s and a B. Which makes my GPA 3.7. (No plus/minus system for grad students) It was a rough semester, I’m happy to do as well as I did. The statistics class, Quantitative Research I, was especially hard but at least I got a B. I’m taking Quantitative Research II next semester to get my research sequence out of the way.

I made an A in Qualitative Research I, so you’d think I would take Qualitative Research II next semester. There are problems with that idea. Qual II requires an actual research project and field work. That might not be so bad if the class wasn’t in the Educational Psychology department, same as Qual I. The classes just don’t have a lot of bearing on library and info science. That was the extremely frustrating thing about Qual I, I’m not sure the professor really understood what I was talking about. So I’m very happy with the A there.

My second A was an independent study. If you can’t make an A there, you picked the wrong independent study. 🙂

Thoughts on Tennessee, Missouri and the Ph.D

I got an email today that latest edition of the UT SIS Alumni Newsletter was online. It looks like SIS is finally getting some focus and direction thanks to the new director, Ed Cortez. The focus is pretty heavy on information science and technology, but they’ve still got some library focused items in the works too. Still, I’d like to be a fly on the wall at the faculty meetings. The faculty meetings I attended during 2004-2005 were very interesting. It was like nobody wanted to make any major decisions without a permanent director in place.

To be fair, the entire College of Communication and Information was in a bit of an upheaval during my time as a doctoral student and still doesn’t have a permenant dean yet. I picked a bad time to get a Ph.D I guess. My whole time there the Ph.D program was supposedly being revised. Believe me it needs it. The program is 87 hours semester hours, and 27 hours of that was a required core. Of course my primary concentration was information sciences and all of my master’s work counted toward that, so subtract 15 hours and you have 72 hours.

72 hours for Ph.D that was primarily communications stuff that I wasn’t that interested in and I didn’t have to and really couldn’t take that many more information science classes. Plus there was that nice involuntary break I took for a while. So I was looking for greener pastures when the Missouri opportunity appeared (see earlier post).

The SISLT Ph.D program is more library oriented and definately fits my interests better. The program is also shorter, 57 hours, and six of my UT credits will transfer, bringing me down to 51 hours. So I’ll still finish the degree here in about the same time a would have finished the UT degree had I not been forced into the extended vacation. So I haven’t lost that much time.

The program and the degree are good, even if I’m still a bit unsure about what to do with the degree once I have it. I do know that staying in Missouri isn’t an option. I would like mountains, hills and trees and more moderate weather. It’s 29 degrees now and this summer it was regularly over 95 degrees. Not exactly the climate I’m used to.

Stephanie and I really want to go back to Tennessee, or at least back to the area (North Carolina, Virginia etc.) so that may limit my teaching opportunities. And I’m not sure I like the odd and irregular schedule of a professor either. I’d greatly prefer the more regular schedule that working in a library would bring. Only time will tell.

Walking to class

Wow, 3 days and 3 posts to my blog. I haven’t been this consistent in a while.

Anyway today left the wheel chair in the trunk and I walked to class. And really the wheelchair is no faster than walking with crutches. The only advantages the chair has are that when I get tired I can stop and rest very easily and I can be pushed by someone else if needed. But with the crutches I can take more direct routes than looking for the wheelchair accessible doors, etc.

I finally decided that the wheelchair is a convenience, not a necessity 95% of the time. Sure I get worn out using the crutches. But I got worn out using the chair too. My left knee is very unhappy with me from all the walking, but that’s nothing new. So from now on I with be walking a lot more and wheeling a lot less. Hopefully it will just get easier from here.

Really a student now

Well, I’m really a student now. Spent 6 hours today talking homework for Qualitative Methods I. Qual I is basically statistics and regression analysis. Which isn’t that hard, I’m reasonably good with SPSS. Except for this homework we had to show our work. So while we didn’t have to do everything by hand, I used Excel, we couldn’t just plug the data into SPSS and interpret the results.

I haven’t had to actually show my work in a stats class since an undergrad class in Elementary Statistics in 1999. So I was a but rusty, ok extremely rusty. 🙂 Thankfully Stephanie is good with numbers and she helped get things figured out. Thanks Hobbit, my brain hasn’t had to work that hard in a while.

I went to a SLIST Ph.D student meeting last Friday. There were about two dozen students there. Most of the Ph.D students are more focused on educational technology, there are about six or so information science doctoral students. This Friday I have a meeting with the other doctoral students that are funded by the same grant I’m on. I’m well on my way to getting back in the academic swing on things.

In other news I’ve had a new computer for a few weeks now. it’s a Dell Dimension 9100. the specs of mine are a little different then the system in the review, but it’s a very nice system and I’m happy to have a computer that works like it’s supposed to.

On the baby front Stephanie has a doctors appointment tomorrow to see how things and going with Peanut. More about that tomorrow.

What’s new

Well I’m now in Week 2 of classes. I just have class on Monday and Tuesday afternoons 4 to 6:30 so it’s not too bad. Driving is going ok, just wish gas wasn’t so expensive. Parking is a pain on Tuesday afternoons so last week Stephanie drove me to class and then shops. Thanks, Hobbit!:-) The parking lot for the building I have to go to is super crowded and it’s a long haul to my class. Maybe the parking lot will be less crowded today.

Stephanie had an ultrasound last Friday, everything looks good. Details and pictures are on her blog.