From San Marcos to Namibia then back to high school

For new librarian, McCallum is the school she wish had gone to when she was a student

UN-BOO-LIEVABLE%3A+The+decorations+in+the+library+have+gotten+creepier+with+each+passing+FIT+session+dedicated+to+outfitting+the+library+for+Halloween+season.+%E2%80%9CMy+favorite+part+of+this+whole+process+has+been+dealing+with+the+kids%2C%E2%80%9D+librarian+Jain+Thompson+said.+%E2%80%9CThe+FIT+sessions+have+been+so+much+fun%2C+and+we%E2%80%99ve+all+become+a+pretty+good+team.%E2%80%9D+New+additions+to+the+library+include+Frankenstein%E2%80%99s+monster+and+a+spooky+colony+of+bats.+Photo+and+reporting+by+Anna+Nagle.
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From San Marcos to Namibia then back to high school

UN-BOO-LIEVABLE: The decorations in the library have gotten creepier with each passing FIT session dedicated to outfitting the library for Halloween season. “My favorite part of this whole process has been dealing with the kids,” librarian Jain Thompson said. “The FIT sessions have been so much fun, and we’ve all become a pretty good team.” New additions to the library include Frankenstein’s monster and a spooky colony of bats. Photo and reporting by Anna Nagle.

UN-BOO-LIEVABLE: The decorations in the library have gotten creepier with each passing FIT session dedicated to outfitting the library for Halloween season. “My favorite part of this whole process has been dealing with the kids,” librarian Jain Thompson said. “The FIT sessions have been so much fun, and we’ve all become a pretty good team.” New additions to the library include Frankenstein’s monster and a spooky colony of bats. Photo and reporting by Anna Nagle.

Anna Nagle

UN-BOO-LIEVABLE: The decorations in the library have gotten creepier with each passing FIT session dedicated to outfitting the library for Halloween season. “My favorite part of this whole process has been dealing with the kids,” librarian Jain Thompson said. “The FIT sessions have been so much fun, and we’ve all become a pretty good team.” New additions to the library include Frankenstein’s monster and a spooky colony of bats. Photo and reporting by Anna Nagle.

Anna Nagle

Anna Nagle

UN-BOO-LIEVABLE: The decorations in the library have gotten creepier with each passing FIT session dedicated to outfitting the library for Halloween season. “My favorite part of this whole process has been dealing with the kids,” librarian Jain Thompson said. “The FIT sessions have been so much fun, and we’ve all become a pretty good team.” New additions to the library include Frankenstein’s monster and a spooky colony of bats. Photo and reporting by Anna Nagle.

Javi Vela, staff reporter

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By the time she graduated, Jain Thompson was ready to be done with high school.

She took her diploma and went straight to work at an animal hospital, while also attending ACC classes at the North Ridge campus. She was out of high school, but Thompson knew that she still wasn’t where she was supposed to be.

I realized later that I should have gone to art school because I would have been an awesome art teacher and I would have gotten to do what I love.”

— first-year librarian Jain Thompson

“I felt I didn’t fit in,” she said. “I was failing classes until I just decided to not listen to what I was being told and [to] just take the classes I wanted to take.”

Thompson began taking classes at the ACC Rio Grande campus, declaring a major in anthropology.

“After that shift my transcript began to have more A’s on it,” she said. “It’s just amazing what that can do.”

Thompson then decided to follow her passions to San Marcos and enrolled in Texas State.

“I got grades good enough to where I could have gone to UT,” Thompson said, “but Texas State has a better anthropology program.”

Anthropology, the study of human cultures and their development, is something that fascinates Thompson.

“I focused in cultural anthropology and became obsessed with hunter-gatherers, which was just exhilarating for me and still is,” she said.

Jain Thompson issues Chromebooks on the first day of school. Photo by Nora Kadas.

Then, Thompson embarked on one of her biggest changes yet: she moved to Namibia for a year to teach English.

I just decided to not listen to what I was being told and [to] just take the classes I wanted to take.”

— librarian Jain Thompson on why she started taking college anthropology classes

“That’s what exposed me to teaching and schools,” Thompson said.

After returning from Namibia, Thompson attended the School of Information at UT, which was where received her teacher’s certificate to become a librarian.

Now, Thompson feels like she finally has found a school where she fits in.

“[McCallum is] the kind of school that I wish I had gone to,” she explained. “There’s art everywhere and I knew this was a good school.”

Thompson is all about giving students the chance she feels she didn’t get. Thinking about her younger self, Thompson had a chance to reflect on where she was in high school and how she can help students now.

“I think about my younger self, I was really interested in art, mostly painting,” she said. “Everyone around me told me not to go to art school and that I’d never get a job. I realized later that I should have gone to art school because I would have been an awesome art teacher and I would have gotten to do what I love.”

Thompson loves the arts focus that the school takes because it gives students a chance to be creative and express themselves. Working in the library, Thompson has an opportunity to expose students to just that. Thompson’s focus on art and literature makes it apparent that she is excited to help students learn in a way that only a librarian can.

Dave Winter
Jain Thompson poses a favorite book in her new digs in the Mac library.

One of the best parts of settling into the campus for Thompson is working with Jane Farmer.

“She’s a mentor,” Thompson said. “I want to be a school librarian, and she’s just showing me how to be a school librarian, so it’s great. I feel really lucky.”

Working in an inclusive, open environment is something that fits right into where Thompson wants to be.

“It all just feels perfect,” she said.

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