I’ve hit the wall on Competency N

With nine competencies written and seven passed, I have absolutely hit a wall. I am attempting Competency N, which is about evaluation of library programs and services. I am finding that the material I need to write about was not really addressed in depth in the courses that I enrolled in at SJSU, so I am doing a lot of research just to get an understanding of some of the competencies. Thankfully, I can make most of my assignments work for evidence to support the competencies, but I’m not sure how long this will last as I get near the end. I’ve been trying to formulate my thoughts and just cannot seem to do it, so I write on this blog to keep my fingers going. If I write about something else, I stay motivated to return to my required writing. This project has got to be the most difficult thing I have ever done. My confidence levels are all over the place. One minute I am telling myself I can do this. The next minute, I am thinking I am going to fail. I am a fighter though, and I think the best way to get rid of the negative thoughts is just to get this done and keep working at it. It’s like rock climing and I keep slipping and looking for something to hang on to.

My technique so far through this eportfolio project is to decide what competency I want to work on. I have all of my assignments organized into folders, so I take a look at these as potential artifacts/evidence. Next, I start a Word document and write out the details of the competency. I put a few key terms on the paper and some thoughts and points I want to make. I research the topic a little if I need more understanding. I write as much as I can and then I walk away to digest some of the thoughts. Baking and cleaning my house help me to think. I am a multitasker and need to be doing something else that is not too complicated when I am in thinking mode.

This weekend I baked oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies and banana flax seed muffins to help me think. I’ve made the muffins before, but this was the first time I made this recipe for oatmeal cookies. They are fantastic. Plus, they are gluten/dairy/egg/soy free. There is no lack of flavor though. The recipes are from the Allergen Free Baker’s Handbook that I refer to so often on this blog. Here are a few pictures of the treats.

Blueberry Millet Muffins

To get myself in the writing mode and think about what I want to write for Comp D of my Eportfolio for San Jose State University, I decided to bake something. The Eportfolio is the capstone project for my master’s degree in library and information science (MLIS). I am halfway through the project with seven more competencies to write. So far, each submission has passed on the first draft. I don’t expect this to happen every time as I get to the more difficult competencies, which I am saving for last.

Deciding what to bake is easy when I get out my favorite cookbook, the Allergen Free Baker’s Handbook by Cybele Pascal. Every recipe in this cookbook that I have made has turned out great. I think I have made eleven recipes so far, and a few of these multiple times. These muffins are the Blueberry Millet Muffins (from p. 30) which are made with a gluten free flour blend plus a cup of organic millet flour. I have used millet flour in recipes a few times and it has a nice texture.

Now, back to writing about planning, management, and marketing/advocacy for libraries.