Lessons from an Older Woman

The other day I met an older lady who opened my mind to brand new possibilities, that I can honestly tell you, had never crossed my mind.

Now, before I tell you any more about my experiences with Roxanne, I should probably tell you that

One, Roxanne is the librarian at Clark College; and

Two, I’m writing a research paper for my English 102 class and I needed her expertise.

For my English 102 class we were assigned to visit the library and speak with a librarian on our topic to gain some insight. I walked into the Connell Library on the Clark College campus and met Roxanne. She promptly showed me all about the search engines that Clark already pays for so we can use them for free.

First we looked up Proquest and searched for scholarly articles on divorce. Unfortunately, we didn’t find any especially useful articles. Then we searched on the Gale Virtual Reference Encyclopedia site. I quickly decided that the Gale Virtual Reference Encyclopedia site was my favorite! I found fantastic articles on divorce from:

-The Encyclopedia of Sociology

-The Encyclopedia of Gender and Society

-The Encyclopedia of Mathematics and Society

-The St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture

I learned that The Encyclopedia of Gender and Society has an entire chapter on divorce that shares ideas that very similarly mimic my ideas. When we did the “Listening In, Speaking Up” assignment in class, I based my notes and work on information I found in that chapter. The chapter touched on the many potential causes and effects of divorce. Lewandowski, the author of The Encyclopedia of Gender and Society, describes that the economy and society, as well as “preexisting” presumptions about marriage, contribute to the high divorce rate. He also describes that children suffer from divorce because their quality of life declines; women suffer financially from divorce and men take on less ideal role changes.

I also learned that I was right to look at divorce from a sociological perspective and I believe that my Sociology 101 textbook will be a big help with my 10 page paper. I would like to interview my Sociology 101 teacher on the trends that marriage has recently taken on, but I’m a bit put off by her. She’s not as approachable as Roxanne or Lindsay (my English 102 teacher).

The next thing that Roxanne taught me was how to search the school library database. We ended up finding a nice print source that was in our library that I could check out and use as a source. I checked out a book called Understanding the Divorce Cycle: The Children of Divorce in Their Own Marriages by Nicholas H. Wolfinger. I feel like this book will be a beneficial source because it is written by the Assistant Professor of the Department of Family and Consumer Studies at the University of Utah. Wolfinger is also the Assistant Professor of Sociology at the U of U who has spent his entire career researching the “intergenerational transmission of divorce.”

Roxanne also taught me that there is an library loan system between the Connell Library at Clark College and hundreds of other libraries in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. We did a search on the Summit system (the loan system) only to discover that our initial search for books on divorce gave us a list of realistic fiction children’s books. Instead of continuing on that site, we decided to focus on a more difficult task.

Together Roxanne and I worked to narrow my topic question down. I approached her with the question of, “What does it mean that 50% of marriages end in divorce?” and she said that I should think about narrowing my question down to a specific population. She also suggested that I phrase my question a little differently. She offered the question of, “Why are there so many divorces in the United States?” and I have contemplated giving that inquiry question a shot.

My plan of action is to search for more information on divorce and its causes, and then decipher a good inquiry question using the two questions that I currently have as a base.

Once we agreed that I would think about rephrasing my question, I thanked her and then left to browse more books on divorce. I found my first book, Understanding the Divorce Cycle: The Children of Divorce in Their Own Marriages, in the upstairs “H” section (I learned that the “H” actually stands for “Social Sciences” in the Library of Congress style of book sorting that Clark College uses) so I decided to peruse the section again for more good books on divorce. Sadly, I didn’t find any more useful books on divorce so I spend a little bit of time studying before heading off to my English 102 class.

When I hit my English 102 class, I felt ready to learn. My mind was awake and I found myself grateful for my encounter with Roxanne who taught me so much about efficient studying.

If you need any studying help, I definitely recommend talking with a knowledgeable librarian.

Happy studying,

❤ Siarra

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4 thoughts on “Lessons from an Older Woman

  1. Great job, Honey!
    The library and staff are definitely a great resource, especially at school libraries, and are always available. I’m glad that you are promoting this idea in your blog! Many people have seemed to forgotten the vast amount of knowledge located at local libraries or are just unwilling to look for it. It’s important that people continue to educate themselves, in and outside of school.
    Your writing style is also very clear and organized. You have quite the knack for writing articles!

    1. Hey Jes!
      Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog! 🙂
      I appreciate your kind words; maybe I will think about becoming a journalist! I really want to have the opportunity to communicate with people in power so it might be the perfect fit! Especially with all this research on the importance of stay at home mothers and marriage rates… I’d like to have a job where I can be very close to home but still feel like I’m successful and making a mark on the world!
      ❤ you forever and always,
      Your Wifey

  2. I too met with Roxanne for my library visit! I walked into the meeting not knowing what to expect (and if you read my blog a, little turned off by the idea) but as I spent more time sharing ideas and learning from Roxanne, I let my guard down and became a student of somebody whose research skills are far superior to mine. Roxanne is great! Very approachable, knowledgeable, and she gives you the feeling that you are with somebody who really wants to help you out. Similar to you, the encyclopedia page was also one of my favorites. Although it did not have articles specifically related to my question of, “How have steroids affected Major League Baseball?” it did have hundreds of articles on steroids and athletes, steroids and health, and on the roots of baseball. All of which I plan to include in my essay.
    Also, I remembered how you were the center of attention at the beginning of Tuesday’s class because of responses to one of your blogs that consisted of not necessarily the nicest comments. I am really glad to see that you did not sway from your opinion. As you probably understand, part of being a writer who shares their beliefs, especially such controversial beliefs, is bound to have to deal with some critics who have opposing views. Luckily you are still looking into your questions and moving forward with your research. The only advice I have for you is to stay strong and write about what YOU want to write about without other people’s opinions in mind. Good luck!
    Joseph Rubino

    1. What a lovely and heart felt comment! Thanks Joey.
      And I think your question is really interesting! Good luck with it! And thanks for commenting!
      ❤ Siarra

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