Glancing Back and Continuing Forward
As the semester comes to and end and I go through Module 13 on Reflective Practice, I am reminded by Professor Stephens (2019, lecture) to breathe. It is hard to find balance in the midst of finals chaos, but I have some thoughts on some of the other aspects of the lecture and readings.
This semester has honestly been a bit chaotic. I moved across the country at the beginning, but I have also gotten a job at the local library and begun working with some of the librarians on potential programs and it has been, in part, due to the lessons in this class. In short, I have jumped headfirst in freezing waters and started swimming. Now, however, I feel more confident in my abilities and my ideas. I feel braver. I feel more daring. I also feel as though the world of librarianship has opened up. For any video game nerds out there, its like I’ve uncovered a part of the map that was previously shrouded and gained some experience in doing so. I’ve leveled up and can now continue my journey into more difficult terrain, wielding bigger, badder weapons and tools. I (hopefully!) graduate next semester, as I only have the final 289 course left. This is the beginning of the next step in my life and I am looking at it with excitement and wonder, and I have this class to thank for those feelings of curiosity, confidence, and enthusiasm.
Pawesome Pets (Thoughts on compassion)
I had some thoughts that sort of resonated with Professor Stephens’s (2019) piece “Talk About Compassion”. In it, he describes Dozer, his elderly rescue and talked about the ways animals can help us learn compassion and empathy. My own library has “Read to a service dog” programs, and recently did a “Cat Café” where the local cat shelter, Orphan Angels, brought in cats for the community to hang out with (and maybe adopt) while they enjoyed complimentary bagels and coffee donated by local businesses. My dog, Buddy, while not an elderly dog, was at a shelter for almost two years, had demodex mange, was extremely nervous, and had been adopted and brought back twice before he came into my life. He is now a happy, cuddly boy with a love for all squeaky toys, blanket caves, and keeping the cat in line.
I have always had animals (mostly dogs, a couple horses, cats, reptiles, and birds) throughout my life. I have also worked at an animal care facility (like a dog and cat hotel) caring for, bathing, and overseeing playgroups of dogs of so many colors, breeds, ages, and personalities. I am reminded of an elderly man who brought in his dog to be bathed before bringing him to the vet to be put down, as the dog could barely stand and it was his time. He wished for his boy to go out with dignity, I suppose, looking his best in his final moments. My coworker and I spent the next couple hours carefully bathing him, petting him, brushing his fur, loving on him, and making him look so fluffy and handsome before sending him on with his human. The man was very happy and thought his boy looked wonderful.
These moments and all of the animals in my life have, indeed, taught me compassion and I am grateful for those experiences and all the animals in my life, both my own and other people’s furry (feathery, scaly) friends. They’ve taught me to get back up when I’ve been knocked down, to love and care with all I have, to be present, to understand that “troublesome” behavior on the outside almost always has an underlying cause and it usually just takes some kindness, patience, and understanding to help that animal or person with whatever they may be struggling with.
I am so very grateful to have taken this class. By chance, I picked this class and it was a lucky pick! I want to thank you all for making this a wonderful, insightful semester. I want to thank Professor Stephens, as well, for guiding us on this journey and showing us a new perspective on librarianship. You all rock!
Stephens, M. (2019). Reflective practice. [Video lecture]. Retrieved from https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=18b56a0d-72c1-4fc9-a23d-ab080135e49d
Stephens, M. (2019). Talk about compassion. In M. Stephens (Ed.). Wholehearted Librarianship. (pp. 39-41). Retrieved from https://287.hyperlib.sjsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/StephensWholeheartedDozer.pdf