Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Is This Also Called Burnout?

Lately I've been worrying that I'm becoming stupider.

When I assist students at the reference desk, I'm often familiar with the assignment they are working on, and so I forget to listen to them fully. I recognize this as a type of arrogance or lack of humility that can develop when desensitized to students who are at the very beginning of their academic work; I've also observed instances of it in interactions between faculty members and students.

Then there are the times I catch myself being curmudgeonly about technology -- even here, on a weblog. I complain about the experience of reading online while expecting someone to read my own online posts. I can appreciate the grand tradition of technology-based dystopias, but it seems foolish to imagine having any influence on the sea change in information consumption.

Projects that would have once seemed simple now seem dishearteningly difficult and complicated. I can't tell if I was naive in the past, or if I am too easily defeated now. Along similar lines, I find I have less to say; I am surprised and outraged by less. Was I over-reacting in the past, or have I become complacent? I am also becoming weary of fighting for libraries. To me, the benefit of libraries and librarians is maddeningly obvious, and so why am I constantly in the position of reminding even those people in my own institution?

Upon re-read, it sounds like I'm ready for a holiday! Happy Thanksgiving!

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