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.

8 Comments

Filed under Writing