These posts are related to my time at the University of North Carolina at Chapel (UNC), specifically the School of Library and Information and Science (SILS), where I graduated with a Master’s of Science in Information Science in 2004. I also received my Bachelor’s degree in linguistics at UNC in 2002.
while six of our crew experienced the unc-duke game at the dean dome (tim wearing a tarheel-styled mexican wrestler mask), abe, jane, erik, and i watched the nailbiter at carlie and todd’s house, replete with chips, dips, carrots, and trail mix.
i was on my toes for the last several minutes. and it all came down to a second unc free throw that bounced off the rim, was recovered by unc, and followed up by a 2-point shot that brought us into the lead by 1 point with only seconds left in the game. duke fouled unc on the shot, we brought the lead to 75-73, and duke was unable to respond.
this graph of the score over the course of the game (courtesy of espn) pretty accurately conveys how close and hard fought it was, how unc dominated in the beginning of the second half, lost their lead, and then totally came from behind to win the game. it’s a beautiful information visualization.
after the game, we got ourselves together, made it to franklin street to watch some nascent bonfires, and then spent the majority of the night at linda’s, drinking and eating and talking about what happened.
oh katie. i understand how hopeless things feel. but the truth is i had just as hard a time as you are. surely mom and dad have told you that they worried that i was going to drop out during my second year. they must have because they still remind me about it. basically i was hating that the subjects i loved (or had loved) like art and english were not as enjoyable when i took art and english classes.
i stumbled upon linguistics because i happened to take an intro to linguistics class which i enjoyed and because a professor was very persuasive about recruiting me into the program. i was never entirely sure of my decision, it just seemed like the most interesting option of several less desirable options. even after i formally decided on linguistics as my major (after cycling through art and english) i only really enjoyed a few of the classes. probably because i just don’t like taking classes.
and c’mon, linguistics is useless! but so is every other liberal arts major. they don’t teach you enough to be an expert in any field, but they do try to expose you to broad subject matter and force you to think critically about it. all the other useful skills you’ll pick up during your first job and every job and experience you have thereafter, over the course of your life. it’s unfortunate that undergraduate programs seem to overemphasize the importance of figuring out exactly what career you want before you’ve experienced doing any work in that career.
and not to speak for matthew, but he’s been struggling with the same exact thing for three years! he only now started a major in history, something he’s really interested in learning more about, but it’s not like that move provides him with a sure path to a career after he graduates. remember that mom and dad and so many people their age would say that they’re still trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives. one of the hardest things to learn is how to live with uncertainty.
in all honesty, the major you choose doesn’t really matter. it certainly won’t force you down a road you don’t want to go, and it probably won’t limit your future opportunities in any significant way. just think of it like a concentration. it’s something you’re interested in now that you happened to be taking a bunch of classes in. by the time you graduate, you could be interested in doing completely different things. and you’ll have no problem doing them no matter what your major is. all that future employers may want to see is that you’ve had a well-rounded education with an array of interesting or relevant experiences.
at the hypertext conference i heard dan gillmor talk about his experience of journalism, and something at that moment resonated with me. there are things that a journalist does (communicating, writing, explaining) that i would like to be doing more of in the future.
at work we’re going to be unveiling a new website look and feel, and for some reason it was never demoed to me and i haven’t been asked if i’d like to give it a critique. the confidence i have in my ability to do so makes me think about all the unique and special skills that i (as well as others) have which tend to fall outside our primary work responsibilities. and thus go under-utilized.
a few weeks ago i was poking around rebecky’s design work and projects. her stuff makes me wish i was doing more to develop my graphic design skills. i would love to spend time studying fonts and typography. i would love to be doing more with digital photography.
my relationship with my former graduate school (and university) falls somewhere between playful and adversarial. after participating in a scholarly communications panel at the library and seeing doc searls give his talk on campus, it occurred to me that i might eventually like to pursue some sort of slow phd.
this past summer i emailed the assistant dean at SILS to let him know i’d love to teach one of the intro database classes at sils. i’ve poked around durham tech and wake tech, but haven’t pursued anything seriously yet.
usually happy hour is at “the library” but when school ends, they don’t open till later, so we started heading to “he’s not” to enjoy the weather. haven’t done much picture taking this semester, (who knows maybe this was the last official happy hour of the semester) so anyway, decided to get some pictures of friends and revelers