Thursday, September 2, 2010

Not A Real Post

One requirement for my online class (in lieu of tests) is participation in the "discussion board".  While I"ve taught online classes quite a few times, and am currently teaching a hybrid course and two web-enhanced courses, I've never actually TAKEN an online course.  This is my first one.

So I started out a little bit ... anxious.  Excited, but anxious.  I'm an intellectual, I love books and discussion, I've been in higher education my entire adult life as a student, researcher, and faculty member.  I've worked in higher education for over almost 10 years.  This should be fun, intellectually stimulating, and while it may be challenging, it shouldn't be impossible for me to do.

Then came the 17-page syllabus, and rubric after rubric that somehow manage to not exactly say what they're really trying to measure. 

I calmed myself down, and wrote my discussion board post.  The syllabus recommended that you post "early in the week" and return often to comment on others' posts, so I posted mine on Monday.  I thought it was a bit nerdish, but I thought others would follow within the day.  Nope, noone posted until Wednesday or Thursday, so I looked like a big fat giant nasty nerd for three days.

Then I found out someone from my past, someone that I worked with at a former institution, but who was also involved in a personal event in my life, is also in the class.  This person and I have not always had positive interactions due to the personal event, but when we last parted ways it was amicable and pleasant.  On the surface.

She's in this class (that's what this tweet was about).

So now, whatever anxiety I was having, whatever worry I had about my capacity to do the work and contribute meaningfully to the class, is now wrapped up in this blast-from-the-past.

This week my task is:
Using Birnbaum, Mintzberg and your own experiences, please respond to some of these topics: What are the distinctions of academic institutions that make them so unique in their organizational aspects? What are the influences (and potentially competing values) of multiple constituencies? What are the unique issues of governance? How have you experienced any of these in your work/studies within universities and colleges?
(That's what this tweet was about.)

The reading was really interesting, and I wrote tons of notes in the margin.  But to meaningfully contribute my experiences within colleges, I will have to speak of events that occurred at my previous institution.  Where another class member currently works.  Which might make for a great discussion.

Unless there's still tension from the personal thing.  In which case she'll be like a spider waiting to sink venomous fangs into me.  On a discussion board.  For a class that I really want to do well in.

I got home last night and had a phenomenal headache.  I checked my blood pressure, which was higher than the number it was when they put me in the hospital when I was pregnant.  I spent the evening doing deep breathing and then I went to bed early.  Today the headache is gone, but I still have to do this stupid discussion board post that is probably the cause of the stress.

It's Thursday, and noone has posted yet.  I'm not going to post first this week, so I obviously still have some time to work on it. 

(All the while wondering what she'll think when she reads it.)

So this is what you get instead of a real post.

4 comments:

Mrs. Call Me Crazy said...

Ugh. I always thought that online classes were so HARD! But you'll be great! Glad I foud your blog, smart lady!

And as far as the person from your past, I looked at your picture and I can assume that you are better looking. So you win.

inBetween said...

So nice to find you! Thanks for your post on my blog. I've already started reading around on all the info you have here -- this is going to be really helpful. I'm definitely thinking of cloth diapers and so many other of your passions...

Julie said...

How funny! I am right there with you. I am taking 3 online classes this semester and one is Music Literature. I feel I am in way over my head but it's still fun.

The entertaining part to me is that almost all the other students are 18-19ish and some are even still in High School. I feel really old yet somehow really wise. lol

Good Luck to you!

Funky Mama Bird said...

I completed my business degree online and I ALWAYS was the first one on the discussion board. I also always lead the "group" project, after one time letting someone else have control and having them drop the ball. Which I caught, but dammit, I was proud of my 4.0 and was not going to let some chucklehead mess it up!