Teach and be taught.

(Images of Tavi Gevinson and Ira Glass via WSJ. Magazine.)

As I was browsing through my Google Reader, I saw Simply Lovely (a lovely blog I follow) linked to a Wall Street Journal article. Before I even started reading, I immediately recognized Tavi Gevinson and Ira Glass. I was amazed that they were photographed together, and I was instantly curiously. They are not two people I would place together.

Tavi has a blog called Style Rookie that I started following a couple years ago. She started blogging when she was 13 about things she liked. She likes thrift store finds and taking her own picture. She creatively puts outfits together and really has insightful things to say. I’ve followed her for the past three years, so I feel a little attached. Tavi is precious, and I admire her ferocity. I love any teenager who has the courage and confidence to be themselves. Being a teenager is tough, and to do it with style is just phenomenal.

Ira is the host of This American Life. I listen to the podcast religiously, he makes the mundane sound fascinating. My entire grad school statement of purpose was about my great love for stories. Ira can tell a story, and get others to tell a story in a way very few can.

The WSJ article was wonderful, basically Ira Glass is a mentor for Tavi Gevinson. He helps her navigate an adult media world and gives her advice. As a teacher, as someone who has grown a lot, and as someone who has watched others grow, I truly believe in the power of mentorship. It is so important that we surround ourselves with positive influences and remember to be positive influences for others. Experiences is invaluable and must be shared.

Both these people fascinate me, and I have even more respect for both of them now. Opportunites to teach and be taught are everywhere.

Alabama: Grad School Begins

I’ve been in Alabama the past few days for graduate school orientation at the University of Alabama. They have an exceptional distance learning program for library and information studies.  As this trip came nearer, I found it quite difficult to explain to others exactly what I was doing. Yes, it is graduate school, and yes, it is in another state. UA’s program is a synchronous online program, meaning it is virtual class on set days. It is NOT a go at your own pace program. Every Monday I will sit down to “attend” Organization of Information from 6:00pm – 8:45pm. Every Wednesday I will sit down to “attend” Introduction to Library Information Studies. I will be attending classes for the next two years. Ready. set. learn.

This program is accredited by the American Library Association and I have been beyond impressed with all of the faculty and students I’ve met. These aren’t just book lovers, these people are lovers of information in general. There are lawyers, researchers, historians, archivers, those who work in public libraries, and a few teachers. The people  in my cohort are from all over the country and we have a few from out of the country as well. I’m nervous about returning to school, but so is everyone else. All of these people have full time jobs and other commitments. It can and will be done.

Walking around campus has made me feel nostalgic about my years in Aggieland. There really is nothing like being enrolled in school. Anything is possible, and learning can take you anywhere and on any path. My road has forked, and who knows where this new journey will lead me.

We toured the Bear Bryant Museum and were able to see the archives. It made me think of the museums I love, and how much they must have in the back. The museum is in the process of digitizing tape and scanning in pictures and articles. Every institution that collects data is currently in the same predicament. Many of my peers have worked with organizations to help with digitization.

There will always be a need for information and Google will not replace the library. Libaries are the keepers of history. Libraries are the keepers of our futures. Read a book people, you won’t regret it.