Odds & Ends
In my Wednesday night class, Foundations of Librarianship, I had to find and read on my own a couple library journal articles a week, and write about them in my journal. I managed to keep up with that pretty well. Before I handed it in I wrote a summary, saying I had had some reservations about entering a library science program. The reservations were founded in the fact that library science was my second choice of graduate school programs, and because of the dichotomy between circulation and reference.
In the public library I worked in the longest, the administration made sure that the circ. and reference staffs were cross-trained, so they weren't helpless on the other department's turf. But here there's nothing like that. There are reference librarians who have been here for years, with their masters' in library science and their juris doctorates, collecting a salary exorbitant compared to my wages, and they have no idea how to check out a book to somebody.
Because a library school could turn out a graduate who was so clueless about the basics of a circulating library's functions, I had big ideological problems with my participation in what I saw - and really, still do see - as a sort of a fraud.
Discovering the library school really did have a dedicated archives track made me feel better about all that. Because it places me out of that game, the circulation versus reference war. Because it is a war. The reference staff feel superior because they have masters' degrees. The circulation staff resent the reference staff because the reference staff make more money and don't seem to actually do a whole lot.
I didn't go into all that in my final journal entry. I just mentioned the matter. And I mentioned it because I realised it was kinda clear in some of the earlier journal entries that I had some sort of issues with being in the program.
So as an illustration of the resolution, that I had decided to move beyond all these things, I closed the journal writing about Xenophon.
Anything related to classical studies is still a mental panacea to me. I can be anxious, worried, or angry, and all I have to do is think about the dance of Greek in Cicero's Latin, or the disdain of nineteenth-century scholars for Xenophon's Greek compared to that of Thucydides, and all is well. Ahhh.
Xenophon wrote a book titled Hellenica. The Penguin English version translates that as A History of My Times. Xenophon intended it to be a continuation of Thucydides' History of the Pelopennesian War. The first two words of the Hellenica are "meta tauta," "after this," this being Thucydides.
But I think about that a lot, in the since of "from this point onwards," and it has a very positive feel to me.
Let's look ahead.