Saturday, August 20, 2011

Control Freaks in (Cyber)Spaaaaaaace!

I picked an online program rather than a face-to-face program for a few important reasons. First, simple logistics prevent me from attending daytime classes because of my full-time day job. Similarly, because I don't drive, many night classes are out of range or wouldn't fit into a tight schedule. I'd be tied to my geographical location and might not be able to take vacations, participate in regular rehearsals or performances, or visit family, if I had to attend classes at prescheduled times and places. I also considered my personal working and studying style, which involves several intense, head-down sprints over the course of a project. Ideally I'd be able to work on school assignments when I felt like working -- whether that be 7 PM or 3 AM -- and not inconvenience others. My score on the Online Learning Readiness Assessment was "over 45", so it appears that an online program was the right choice. For something as important as a postgraduate degree, I wished to begin with an environment advantageous to myself.

I didn't, however, consider the factor of teamwork in graduate classes! I'm very glad to realize that -- according to the two presentations assigned to the 203 class -- many others in the program are leery about teamwork, too. I'm also surprised to hear my own prejudices and objections expressed so freely. It seems like all of the folks who were used to doing all the work in their undergraduate groups ended up here!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I have my own circulation assistant.

I am a lucky reader. The public library branches in my area are closed by the time I get home from work, but my girlfriend is available to make book runs. And, boy, is that awesome! Not only do I not have to remember due dates, but I have conversations like this:

Her: I'm taking back the second Carey book since you won't finish that series. :P
Me: Yes. It sucked.
Her: Arrow's Fall if they have it. And would you consider a different Lackey series with a coauthor?
Me: Nah; I've been through a bunch, and I've read the ones I wanted to.
Her: k
Me: Anything in the last 2 years from Lackey alone.
Her: k. The new King book, Under the Dome?
Me: Ooh! Okay.

It's like having a librarian Pandora, or Jango. (And now you know my taste in literary popcorn. No shame!)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Revving up...

The semester officially starts at the end of August, but my first course is one on using the tools and systems available to distance learners, so it opens up before other classes begin. As part of the course (LIBR 203: Online Social Networking: Technology and Tools), I get to update my blog! (Hi, howyabeen?)

Right now I'm awash in information, and I'm hoping I haven't jumped into the deep end by registering for a full course load in my first semester. I'm taking LIBR 200, 202, and 204 (and 203, but that's a one-unit introductory course, and it only takes a couple of weeks) as well as working full-time. I'm really glad I quit my second choir! And that the church committee (that was supposed to have finished its work by now, but has been extended indefinitely) so rarely meets nowadays.

And how did I forget about textbooks? I guess while I was thinking "online curriculum", I was planning for online text resources and databases, not hard copy. Oops. Starting a new Amazon list for those and looking for used copies. I ought to check out one of the secondhand textbook exchanges online, too. Any suggestions?