Has it really been three years?
That’s the question my classmates and I keep asking. You begin a master’s program like a long-distance swimmer standing on the edge of an ocean, excited about the possibilities ahead. You hit the middle, neck deep in deadlines and assignments, and wonder “What the h____ was I thinking?” Then you reach the end and realize — it’s over. You’ve made it to the other side. It feels like a triumph, but it feels like something else, too. It’s like saying goodbye, not just to the craziness of the journey, but to that person you were when you started it.
Creating the capstone gave me a chance to relive the transformative learning experiences of the past three years. I started the program as a wordsmith who loved libraries. Although I had taken numerous professional risks earlier in life, I had spent several subsequent years in the professional “safe zone,” doing work that I knew I could do and that others thought I should be doing. I was used to the writer role, and enjoyed it, but I wanted to do — and be — more.
The MLIS program was a chance for me to do things that I had been drawn to but could not do in my day job. I shot video, created a photography portfolio, started this blog, designed multiple websites, and recorded a podcast. I participated in discussions about the role of libraries, the ethics of unpaid library labor, and the impact of technological change on library service to marginalized populations. I read thousands of pages and wrote tens of thousands of words, and I loved every moment of it. My weekly discussion boards and daily readings were my refuge from job stress or whatever personal challenge I was facing. When I became discouraged by the rain outside or a soul-piercing microaggression, my class assignments kept me focused on something bigger, positive, and better. The work I did as an MLIS student was a product of both my intellect and my heart. And I put my whole heart into it.
The capstone conveys what I have learned and how I plan to use the knowledge in my future career. I hope you read it, and I hope it inspires you in some way.
Capstone link: https://stacytorianportfolio.weebly.com/