I was really excited this past weekend to see my dream of a board game lazy susan come to life. When I came home from class tonight, I immediately placed it on the table of our gaming/dining room, spun it around a bit, and got excited about future gaming and puzzle assembling that will be more fun with this new gadget.
I also had to smile when I thought back to my presentation this evening, and how I talked about my insecurities. When I brought up my Instructables site to show the “handout” I put together, my confidence soared as I saw the 220+ views and the 4 favorites it had received. In fact, my confidence was boosted again when adding the link to my post, as the views are now at 252 and favorites are up to 5! I not only made something cool, but others are looking and thinking it’s cool as well! It was really fun to see other classmates pull up their Instructables guides and find similar surprising amounts of views and favorites.
What will become of Rachel the Maker after this class ends on Wednesday? I wish I knew. Making will likely come to a halt as I focus on my Ragnar Relay training and work extra hours in the St. Kate’s Office of the Registrar in preparation for the upcoming fall semester. Despite this, I did enjoy having time to explore new technologies, materials, and tools. I want — and need — to make more time to create. I especially think it’d be fun to take jewelry making, knitting/crocheting, and pottery classes to create artistic and practical things. Plus, classes give me the structured environment that I thrive in when learning new things. Only one more year until I finish my graduate degree, and then I can more fully dabble in some of these interests.
I think that was the biggest challenge for me this summer. I know now that a successful maker really needs to spend the time geeking out about a particular topic. At this point in my life, likely due to a demanding job and graduate school, I tend to explore a plethora of interests at a very basic level. Developing new skills takes time, and you need to make a conscious effort to devote the time to do so. Mentally, I just don’t think I’m quite there yet — and that’s okay.
Overall, I am glad I took this course this summer. I needed a reason to experiment and tinker (which I don’t normally do), and making it a requirement for class was really helpful. I needed to experience a differently-structured class in my graduate program to explore different learning styles and step away from my comforts and strengths. I needed to be around creative people to be inspired and encouraged to try new things. And, I needed a class that was lighthearted and fun to make taking a summer class enjoyable!
Like Tony, I am concerned that the higher education bubble will burst. Taking this class has shown me that considering a career at a library may be a logical next step in my career. It combines my previous careers in K-12 and higher education with the new technological skills I’ve developed in the LIS classes I’m completing as part of my MAOL degree. This class has shown me that libraries fill roles that our current school systems struggle to provide, and that they are a vital and vibrant part of our community. I look forward to watching the maker movement continue to grow and thrive in public libraries.
Thanks for a fun summer, you all. I truly enjoyed making, failing, and succeeding with you.