The past week-plus has been one of the most harried and hectic times I have had in the last few years. Re-starting my MLIS (Masters of Library and Information Science) degree has added a huge amount of organizing on my part for the two classes I am taking. Add on top of that, the three classes that I am teaching at my local JuCo…mix in a bit of personal Life, my OBOD lessons….shake and stir…and you have a recipe for chaos. Sort of. My organization skills are far better than they were in 2009, when I first started and stopped this degree program. I have a far better vision of where I want to take this degree, combined with my other three degrees. But still, there’s a metric ton of work that I just added to myself. But, like any degree program, its a matter of being organized, and being disciplined with my time. I can do this, and I know I can do this.
Its interesting though, at least for me. Everything seems to be clicking into place, even when there’s a little bit of effort that needs to be made with some of the puzzle pieces. Instead of carving out puzzle pieces to match the connections as I have in the past – these pieces are fitting together. Perhaps, the best descriptive I can give to the entire process is that its like stepping out of a fog, and into a clear blue, sunny day. And even that descriptive is not quite accurate. But I do realize where all this started – and it was not that far in the past.
Back in December, I finished Emma Restall Orr‘s book “The Wakeful World” and relayed how I had started to find connections between parts of my world in the post “Are We Asking the Right Question?“. Now, I am a few more steps down my Path since that “aha!” moment, and I continue to see connections between areas I could not even begin to fathom as being connected. For instance, my career path has always been along the Technology field. I have been a Help Desk Analyst, a Desktop Support Technician, a Systems Administrator, a Disaster Recovery Technician, a Database Administrator, a Digital Storage Administrator, and even a Vice President of Information Technology (albeit only for 88 days before I made the decision to leave a severely toxic work environment). Up until I started teaching, my focus has been on hardware, and the maintenance of the software installed on those systems. My focus then switched to showing students that these computers were merely tools, which could gather information that could be analyzed and utilized to make informed business decisions. In my second semester of teaching – a compressed Summer session format – I found myself trying to find comparisons to better showcase that perception to my students.
I showed the students how a simple decision-making process concerning the development of software for a company’s needs could be twisted and utilized as a process for shopping for groceries. It was just a matter of changing the terms into something that correlated to this change in the needs geared to the process. I have used this same example in every class since, and have been astonished by the “aha!” moments that I see each time I explain it. Margot Adler details something similar in her book “Drawing Down the Moon“, which I have mentioned previously in “Enough Magick“:
…the people were transformed into the essence of bears, fishing as the bears would – essentially becoming bears in the stream. They didn’t physically change. They remained as human beings in physical form, but they changed the manner in which they went about catching the fish. They did as bears would do. In the way that they envisioned bears would. Their technique might not have been picture perfect as far as bears went, but it was the results that they sought. Perfection of technique was not the answer.
I see the magick of teaching in the classroom. I get the chance to spin examples relating modern information science concepts and technology into everyday examples, which the students seem to understand far better. This allegorical approach seemingly works well, particularly with my students who are vaguely familiar with the computer as an entertainment device, as well as students who are only now coming to terms with a technology that they have eschewed throughout their life.
With my background in technology, coupled with my time of being in front of the classroom, and my undying love for the History of our world, and our environment – I can see the true calling for Information Sciences. As a tool, it can be utilized to inform the individual about the world around them. For instance, pictures and blog postings about The Medicine Wheel in Wyoming can convey the beauty of a very beautiful location that lies very much off the beaten path. A Natural Site that holds such a dramatic visual location, and an underlying atmosphere of Gods and Spirits that want to whisper in the ears of those who take the time to visit. Those pictures and blogs can be conveyed to the casual observer through the technologies that comprise the Information Sciences. And this is only a lonely, solitary example of the usage of Information Sciences. Many, many more applications can (and will) be visualized and put into use in the coming future. The magick is in the Information that is to be brought forward to those interested in the topic. Providing the images (and sounds – I plan on taking video at the site in my next visit in 2015), which entice the viewer to want to visit.
And all of this is brought about by connections, seeing how all aspects of our environment are connected to one another. I have stepped out of the mist, and see where my knowledge can lead to. Where exactly I fit on that Pattern, I do not know. I know that my desire is to find ways to preserve the information of our Histories for future generations – the stories, the information, the tales, the knowledge, the images, the sounds…and I do know that the Gods have been slowly nudging me in this direction. I have stepped out into the open, out of the mist, and I see where I am led to. I do not know my place in that final step of the process, but I am willing to move towards it now. With purpose, with determination. I teach, I inform, I work my own Magick…so that others may know and remember…so the History will not die…