info school insider baseball, who cares 

Reading apps today. Realized that I've gotten to the place where explicit mention of "passion" or "a calling" in the app essay is a sign of a bad app to me.

Which may seem odd to folks who know me as probably TOO passionate about the work I do.

So here's the distinction I see. The apps that use the words a lot don't have a whole lot to back them up with. Little to no experience, no pre-existing knowledge of the fields from other sources.

info school insider baseball, who cares 

And they see the degree as the sole end in sight; they have no vision and little if any curiosity about what comes after it.

Whereas those with what strikes me as a genuine passion or calling:

- do not use those words. DO NOT USE THOSE WORDS.
- talk instead about the object/goal/aim they have in view
- (correctly IMO) see the degree as a means to their object/goal/aim and can explain how it fits for them

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info school insider baseball, who cares 

Now, it definitely happens that someone with a genuine passion has a terrifyingly unrealistic "Imma play pro sportsball!" object/goal/aim in view, at which point my question to myself is "can we deflect this applicant toward something more reasonable without destroying them forever." Usually I feel fairly confident about that. The info professions contain multitudes.

But the ones where some vaguely-limned "passion" or "calling" is all they're giving me?

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info school insider baseball, who cares 

I don't trust what they're telling me. I can't. I end up wondering if their "passion" is gonna get 'em through:

- the first assignment they bomb
- the first instructor they hate
- the first group project they hate (and if they think group projects end at graduation, HOO NELLIE HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR THEM AND THEY WILL NOT LIKE IT)
- the first wall they slam into, whether it's tech or writing or research methods or who even knows

And that's just the DEGREE.

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info school insider baseball, who cares 

Post-degree, is their "passion" gonna get them through

- the hell that is jobhunting in these fields
- the first set of "other duties as assigned"
- the first job responsibility they feel unready for (there's GONNA BE ONE, guaranteed)
- the first asshole coworker
- the first useless boss

Like, no lie, there are days I'm amazed I lasted as long as I did. It sure wasn't "passion" that ever kept me going, though. Sheer bloody-minded stubbornness, yeah.

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info school insider baseball, who cares 

And that stubbornness? Was and is not a unilaterally good thing in me. I could have stepped out of a lot of the work shit I took, if I'd been less stubborn and more willing to f***ing walk.

Not to mention that my passion sometimes leads me wrong. I'm still processing #mnlib18, but I'm very clear on "that did not go how I wanted or expected it to, and I need to recalibrate my approach."

So yeah. Dear applicants: Bottle the passion talk, 'k? Love, me.

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info school insider baseball, who cares 

@dsalo I think that years in the serials mines definitely helped clarify I could put up with drudgery, bullshit, and title changes. Not that I was a happy or well-adjusted libschool student (in my defense, my mom died <2 mo before I started, I was injured at work and disabled for a year, and I worked full time). But I was tenacious and didn’t expect sunshine and rainbows either.

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info school insider baseball, who cares 

@dsalo I wonder now what was in my application exactly. I do know I talked about encounters with day-to-day life and unknown people in the older materials my student workers handled sometimes. And convinced them to let me into the archives program.

info school insider baseball, who cares 

@platypus That sounds like an app I would have recommended up the chain. Concrete experience counts for a lot with me as an app reader.

(Not everything, or we'd fall into the "can't get into librarianship until you work in libraries" trap. But a lot.)

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