Friday, October 06, 2006

you think you know...

but you have no idea, this is the diary of a post-structuralist, in a social sciences program.

so...i got my first assignment back. uh...i got a B. to say that i'm not taking it very well would be putting it VERY lightly. i haven't gotten a B on anything since high school. the assignment was 6 pages long and had three comments written on the paper: "good!" "why such an old review?" "this from a review...how pertinent today?" (which was a total mis-reading of the context of my quote i used) and one on my works cited where i omitted one word in the reference list (i didn't write the word "accessed" before a web site, but only listed the date)

this is the assignment (quoted verbatim from the class wiki): This assignment is meant to give you an opportunity to familiarize yourself with evaluation criteria for reference tools and to write your own review of a selected resource. Choose a single title of either a general reference work OR a library and information science reference work that has been published within the last five years: it may be in print, online, on disc (i.e. CD-ROM). Part A: Examine your selection in detail and then find two published reviews of the work. Provide a critique of the two reviews. Do not critique the work itself in Part A.

i chose as my reference tool IMDb. of the two reviews i selected, one was written in 1996, and one was written in 2001. the reason i selected those two reviews to critique, was because of the different methodologies and voices employed by the authors. the one written in 1996 was a quantitative review, written in an objective voice, that ran a IMDb through a series of tests (ie. IMDb has a hit rate of 90% for titles, features x amount of actor listings, accuracy rate of 98%, etc). the other, more contemporary review was placed in a reference-professional specific context, and was written in a more subjective voice: "imagine you're standing around the water cooler at work, and all of a sudden, pretty in pink comes up, and you want to know the name of the actor who played ducky, i turn to imdb!"

my critque of the reviews situated them both within the context of their time, and intended audiences, and ultimately, resulted in a conclusion that critiquing reviews is dependent on the interpolation of the meaning created between the review, the audience/user/ and their target demographic. i basically took a post-structuralist approach to the thing, and what r told me is that basically, they wanted a summary of what review A offered/didn't offer, and what review B offered/didn't offer.

therein lies the rub. homey don't play that. i don't even know if i'm capable of thinking about things in that way, i've scheduled a meeting with the prof to discuss where i went wrong, what the assignment actually intended (as the comments on the paper weren't enough for me to glean anything constructive) and basically, where i stand in relation to Library and Information Studies. I really don't know how to think the way they want me to. how can you NOT want to know what's behind the curtain? it would never even occur to me to approach an assignment like this as just a summary of the various attributes...i don't see the synthesis in that, or the extrapolation. i can't turn off the part of my brain that was influenced by my exposure to critical theory. so, ultimately, if that means i'm going to be a B student, then i can deal with that. i just need to have the program laid out for me. i basically have to make peace with LIS.

the thing is...how can LIBRARY school be so structuralist? i don't get it! the library is a channel for media and culture! my whole freakin paper that i wrote on why i wanted into the program and my research interests involved dissecting the role of the library within a critical theory context and the library as the site of cultural/ideological reproduction. hells, if i could have found a wait to fit lacan in there, don't think that i wouldn't have!

i'm completely flummoxed, and i think u of t is totally BUNK. u of t prides itself on being such a institution, the "ivy league" of canada. it's a total crock. theoretically, their praxis is WAY behind what's going on in other universities...they're not pushing s**t. i hate to say it, but my time at york, where i studied with some pretty effin cool profs is trouncing my FIS experience so far.

but again, it's a means to an end. i hope i don't get crapped on for writing this stuff in my blog. i'm pretty much writing assuming that my audience is my close friends and family. and well, if they want me to shut up, then i think they're dealing with the wrong broad.

tonight for dinner it's my boy's da's bday...so we're going to indian rice factory. i've never been, but it's supposed to be quite good. and i can use a dose of indian food. after, we might go to a friend of the boy's from high school's house party. we went to the same high school, but i had a crew that was a year older...so i'm debating whether or not i want to go. i like going to these things cuz his immediate crew are awesome, and funny...but then it turns into a big high school reunion thing, where a lot of dudskis show up...but i LOVE seeing how the dudskis turned out...so i'm always so torn. i don't do well in house party situations, and it's not my crew, but i love to observe how all these high school peeps ended up. what to do?

fin.

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