Cantilever Lives?

[2007-05-06 – Wanted to add an update to mention that the paper I link to in the second paragraph of this post (not counting this added part in italics of course) won first runner-up in the 2007 CLA Student Writing contest.  The posted version of the paper is the one I handed in for class and isn't significantly different from the one that placed in the contest except for some tightening up and very minor re-working.  Also, a very public
thanks to John M, Bruce F and Michael T
as well as a few anonymous male classmates who gave me the great
feedback which helped make my paper into something much better than I
could've written without their help!]


Sabina's been brave enough to put some of her essays and other assignments
on her web page which I think is pretty cool.  I've put a few of my assignments up on this blog in the past and would like to put more – maybe even everything I've written here eventually (if I can swallow my embarrassment about how crappy some of them are.)

Here's another one for the collection – a recent Children's Lit paper on the experiences of lone male patrons in children's libraries.  My professor really liked this one and even suggested I might try to get it published which is cool.  (Ahh, we've just had a “blog = ego” moment.  Carrying right along…)

Whether they're good, bad or indifferent, I think it's just good for other students to be able to see other people's work, compare what they're doing and how, maybe get ideas for articles to read from the bibliography page and who knows, possibly even learn something new. 

For anyone who doesn't know, the “Cantilever” referred to in the title of this post was an idea that David Jackson (who's now graduated from the LIS program), Sabina, Linda Bussiere and I were toying with last semester.  We wanted to start an open-source repository of student writings for the reasons I listed above and more.  It never really happened but who knows, maybe someone on the Student Council can champion the idea next semester? 

Comments 2

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Awesome idea. Especially if what was deposited had prof's comments on them, or were edited to fix what was commented on before being deposited.
    I've just finished my first term of MLIS, and I have to tell you that your posting of your 504 research proposal was incredibly helpful. I came across it as I was reading through your old blogs related to library school (by which I mean, procrastinating and getting easily distracted).
    We were not given much direction on how to write a proposal (no notes on general format or anything), just “go read a few thesis proposals in the GRC.” It seemed to me like saying “learn how to write an essay by reading 5 good essays.”
    As I researched “how to write a proposal” what I found was that nobody did it the same way, and it was more frustrating than fruitful to try and develop a format based on what the textbooks said. But then I took a look at the headings you had used and the light bulb just kind of went on.
    Maybe if the GRC doesn't want to start a depository, YOU could host a voluntary one on your site! When students write something of which they are particularly proud, they send it to you for posting. Or, we'll just keep doing it the way it's always been done – some upper term student is nice enough to give his or her old assignment to one person to use as an example, and it gets passed around and photocopied.
    My point is that making past assignments and papers available would not just be interesting, but would be useful for future students in the program.

    Posted 17 Aug 2006 at 3:33 pm
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    There's a lot of that “sink or swim” stuff in this program that I'm not a fan of. Just one example – why doesn't the department offer a session in the first week on public speaking for those who feel they need it? Instead, they just throw people into a bunch of presentations – group and solo – with no tips or training – which leads to people reinforcing bad habits rather than learning good ones.
    I've tossed around the idea of hosting a student writing repository on this site but have limited space available as well as limited access to the server if I (or someone) eventually wanted to program the repository to be a fully functional, interactive online database. Plus part of me likes the idea of the Student Council doing it to provide legitimacy and continuity once I'm away from here and might not care as much about keeping it up. (This is the same reason that Spirit of Librarianship Award, which came out of a student idea, was handed over to SC.)
    When we talked about Cantilever originally, I liked the idea of having two categories – one for the stellar work that got a really good grade (85%+ seems to define this in this program) and has had corrections made and another one for papers that maybe didn't get a high mark but that people are proud of and just want to put out there for others to see/learn from.
    I have a feeling I'm going to be incredibly swamped this semester but making some progress on Cantilever is on my “long shortlist” of things to do.

    Posted 22 Aug 2006 at 5:01 am

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