Wherein she writes a paper…because that’s what college students do.

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So I am taking this class called Research I. It will be followed up by Research II and Research III. And all these classes are requirements for the BS in Nursing program I am in right now. Well, even though I am not that old, my first time around in college was soon after the Internet and e-mail went mainstream. Actually, I don’t think the real Internet was actually so mainstream when I started college in 1994…our e-mail at Grove City College was on a Vax system, which was DOS-based, instead of Windows-based. There was no mouse involved.

When I wanted to write a paper at GCC, I went into the basement of the Henry Buhl library and did some searching of the databases that we had residing down there. Some of this was computerized…but it wasn’t on a normal computer. It was a special database program. I don’t remember the intricacies of the system, but I do remember scanning a ton of abstracts before finding the articles I needed. Once I found an article that was a keeper, I went to the little periodical request window and had to fill out a form to request the journal that my article was in. Then, one of the library workers had to go find it in the bowels of the library and bring it back to me. Then, I had to spend my laundry money on photocopying the pages I needed before heading back to my dorm room to write said paper. Well, at least the photocopying hasn’t changed.

Y’all, there have been Technological Advances since I graduated from GCC in early 1999. Now, the Internet had already arrived by then, but you could still use the Vax system for e-mail if you wanted to. Now, everything is Windows-based (unless you are a Mac person). And now that I am at my new school and am taking this class, I am having to learn the new technology, embrace it, and implement it in my life.

At my new library, you go to their website on the Internet and search for articles that way. It doesn’t matter if you are in the library, in a computer lab, or sitting at home IN YOUR PAJAMAS. You can just search and search and search for articles to your little heart’s content. And some of them? Some of them are available in FULL-TEXT FORMAT right on the computer! You don’t have to go find them! You can just print them out! It’s amazing! I have never seen anything like it!

Some of them still have to be found in an actual journal and photocopied using actual money, although it is less my laundry money and more my Diet Coke Addiction money now. But even that is easier! The library at my school just keeps all those journals on shelves on the main level of the library! Periodical Holdings Room? What’s that? I have the freedom to go up to a shelf, find the Oncology Nursing Forum from November 2004, pull it off the shelf, and go over and photocopy whatever I want from it! It’s an amazing method…and much easier than what I used to go through.

And to think that I was scared by all this new technology. Pah! It’s better than what I am used to…but now I have to go use all that research because, well, I have a paper to write.

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7 responses »

  1. 🙂 I went through the same thing when I went back to school! I also went to college for the first time in 1994, and it truely was very different then. I LOVE being able to do almost all of my research from my desk at home. Full Text Databases ROCK!!! Good luck on your paper.

  2. It really is amazing isn’t it. How technology changes everything. Yesterday I was nextblogging and I found a blog of a girl who is participating in a study abroad program in London – just like I did. And she is blogging all the details of her daily life to her friends and family back home. I would have KILLED for that when I was in London. I didn’t even have email. And when I came back I went into this big depression because I felt like I had this life changing experience and no one knew about it and no one understood. That blog would have meant the world to me.

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