The Editor returns to school!

library education

Library image courtesy of Unsplash, Pixabay.

Since last April, I have been VERY busy. I competed in a walking/running competition for a few months over this spring and summer. For anybody who didn’t catch that blog post, we formed teams representing different countries (the competition had an Olympics theme) and each person on each team had to walk one million steps in four months.

That’s about 8,333 steps per day, every day. You had to walk until your team amassed a total of 10 million steps or until the deadline of the contest. You could win by being on one of the three fastest teams or by doing as many steps as possible before your team finished. Once your team finished, you couldn’t do any more steps in the contest.

Unfortunately, Team Poland (mine) didn’t win anything (some of our team members got sick and needed surgery) but I’m happy to say that I did take first place in the individual category. (And my legs are still mad at me, too.) I also got fitter and lost weight.

It was fun to push myself and see what I could do. I managed 61,234 steps one day — 27 miles. I never imagined that I was capable of that. EVER.

I got pretty close to 3 million steps. My final total was 2,658,171 steps or 1,183.9 miles. My team finished before the deadline but by then, I’d done so many steps that no one from any other team could catch up to the high bar I’d set. And believe me, they tried.

So right after that, I had a break for a while and then plunged into the first college class I’d taken since I graduated college. There are other marketing-related skills that I want to learn and this class was an introductory course at the college I’m attending. (For the first time in years, I had to decline some social invitations. “Sorry — I have homework!”)

The class dealt with a lot of topics — information literacy, citation styles, plagiarism, Creative Commons, topics like that. Mostly, I’m struck by how much has changed since I graduated. Before, you’d go to a library, do your research, maybe check out a few books. These days, there is more information than we can possibly use in a lifetime and a lot of it is online. You have to learn how to find sources through Boolean searches, narrow down the sources to use, and decide which sources are credible and which are not.

There were some interesting facts to learn. Ever think about how many books you read in a year? 20? 50? 100? 100 years ago, according to the class, people might read 50 books in their lifetime.

I also had to learn about the various citation styles that exist now — Turabian, APA, MLA. I’d heard of some of these but I had to learn the APA citation style. Citation styles vary by academic discipline (another new fact for me) and that’s why I picked up APA citation style.

One section of the class dealt with cloud storage websites. There’s a LOT more out there than just Dropbox and Google Drive, people. The variety is amazing.

The class was a lot of work, but well worth it. It will be a good foundation for future classes. I’ll keep you posted.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “The Editor returns to school!

  1. Sounds busy! I’m especially impressed with your walking competition–27 miles in a day is amazing!! Are you going to run a marathon next??

  2. Servetus

    Well, you always had to decide which sources were credible (or not). Do you really think there’s that much difference? There have always been multiple citation styles and multiple ways to get information. This is something that puzzles college instructors because to us the majority of the skills necessary for obtaining and evaluating information are pretty contiguous with those of the past. Boolean searches might be an exception.

    • True, but the class taught me to become even more discriminating when I evaluate a source or decide to share it. And it was useful to have a refresher course in citation styles, something I needed for future classes.

  3. Congrats! Going back to school is applaudable!🙌🏻

  4. APA (running away wildly screaming. Oh, Ok it just was part of my last job)
    Cool about going back – concentration maybe be more difficult, but learning new stuff is always rewarding.
    Impressive about the walking/running
    Hope you are snug and warm and full of smiles
    A little holiday wrap up from me to you
    Waiting for sunset on Christmas Eve is like standing toes-over-the-edge on a high diving board.
    Every year we’d cruise casually by the window to keep an eye on the sun’s progress until it was officially evening.
    Then the shout “Christmas Eve Gift!” would ring out.
    You see, the traditions says that the first person to voice that phrase on Christmas Eve to another would be graced with good fortune and joy all the next year.
    (And of course, whomever was first won. Everything was a contest…)
    It’s more difficult to be first now with caller ID.
    As all those who have become my friends in blogland are spread widely across time zones, I’d like to wish you all “Christmas Eve Gift” now.
    And as I already feel so fortunate to have such wonderful readers and writers in this neighborhood, I wish to share any phrase acquired good fortune and joy with you in thanks.
    No matter where you are or what you are guided by, hope you have a very merry Christmas and a new year full of adventure and joy.
    Peace on earth and goodwill towards all creatures great and small.

SPEAK!!!

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