It’s been a few weeks since I posted anything on here, mostly because I’ve been up to my eyeballs in project stuff. The two weeks before my presentation was pure panic to get my report written and presentation made, because: a. I had underestimated how much time I needed to write it as I am a slow writer and it turned out to be longer than I was expecting, and b. I have always struggled to get assignments written unless I am nearing a looming deadline. So I don’t regret not starting writing up the report any earlier because that’s my study style, but I am very pleased that the stress is over.
To get my report written, I hijacked a corner on the silent study floor because my office has too much noise and clutter for me to concentrate for long periods of time on written work. I hadn’t written anything remotely academic since my undergraduate dissertation over two years ago, so I found writing my report to be challenging to say the least, and am also now slightly nervous about getting back into assignments when I start my masters in a couple of weeks. Alas, quite a few late nights, a lot of cans of Relentless, and 15,000 words later and the thing is written. I just have my referencing to do now, which again is something I’ve been putting off because I haven’t done any since undergrad and I work in a library so I’m probably supposed to get that bit spot on!!
Not only did I have the report to write, but also – the part I’d been dreading – I had to make a presentation about it to give to library staff. I’d always wanted to use Prezi before and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I found it to be very confusing at first and it took me a while to get used to, but it’s so pretty! Being a perfectionist, I had some issues with it because there is always something you could change or move, so I spent a good part of the weekend before my presentation was due jigging things around and trying to make the best presentation I could. I managed to get it made just in time, and then the thing I was scared about… giving the presentation!
The only presentation I’d given since being in *school* was a 10-minute one in my interview for this job. The presentation I’d made for this project, however, took a good 40 minutes to get through. How terrifying! The morning of the presentation I was very hopeful I’d wake up too ill to get into work, but unfortunately this did not happen, so I had to go and face my fears. I’d baked a cake the night before in an attempt to sweeten up my audience, and I was also wearing a nice smart dress (I had a deal with my line manager that if I wore a dress, she would too. This was most definitely worth it). When the time arrived, the room was far fuller than we had expected, with attendees not only from all across the library, but also from Disability Services, the Dean of Students, and some other people who we didn’t even know. I thought I was going to throw up in front of them but thankfully my bodily functions didn’t let me down. I made my way through the presentation without stumbling on my words too much, and an interesting cross-departmental discussion took place afterwards. I’ve since had a lot of positive feedback both on the content and my use of Prezi, and apparently I didn’t look particularly nervous – so I am now considering a career change to acting.
Since then, I’ve also given my presentation to some men in suits from Estates, who also found it interesting and have asked to have my report sent to them once I’ve finished it (should probably get to that, really…), and I am giving it again tomorrow to some people, including the head of the library, who couldn’t make it to the first one.
I’m not going to sit here and type out all of the findings of my report, as it appears I’m unable to do that without producing something that’s 50% longer than my undergraduate dissertation was, but I shall give you the link to my presentation, which has most of the key findings in it and I think gives a pretty good overview of what I’ve been up to:
SO. Things other than my project have been fairly non-existent since my last post here. I helped out with some cultural awareness training sessions that went really well (and not only because we supplied food) and led to some interesting discussions. I helped out with some library sessions for mature students last week, which didn’t go entirely as planned because we experienced a lot of technical difficulties. I also visited ULITA on Friday afternoon – it was pretty interesting to see how things that aren’t books are catalogued and stored, and the building was lovely! I’m sure there are a few other things that I must have done but my mind is failing me this morning.
I have one week left at work as of today, which is a bit scary, and I’m going to be super busy for the whole of it helping various librarians with their inductions and teaching sessions. I’m going to be very sad to leave as I’ve had a really great time here, but I’m excited to be moving on to the next chapter of my life 🙂 (also, I won a £1000 scholarship towards my tuition fees, so yay for that too)