Being department chair coupled with starting graduate school hasn’t been good for my blog, but I feel great about what I’m doing and learning. I had an excellent start to the school year. My Hero with a Thousand Faces elective class is going very well. We’re reading The Iliad together right now. My British literature classes are going well; we wrapped up summer reading and start Beowulf in earnest this week and the next. My ninth grade class is full of hard workers.
I am connecting with fellow students in my program at Virginia Tech through Facebook, and that has added a whole new dimension to my use of social networking. One of my classmates set up a study group for us, and it has been helpful. For instance, I found out who among our group is taking more than the first three hours our program of study recommends. I needed financial aid, and I had to go at least half time, so I had to add a fourth three-hour class. It was good to know who is taking the class. I was using Excel for an assignment in that class last week, and I had to call my dad for a little bit of help (I’m weak with Excel). This week, a classmate mentioned she was having some trouble with making the chart in Excel. I was all ready to share what I’d learned, but it turned out she used a different program and made it work. It’s easy to feel disconnected from fellow classmates when you’re studying online, and Facebook has been great for connecting and feeling at least a little bit like I’m part of a class.
I’ve been doing well with my assignments so far. The level of challenge has been mixed, but I understand that much of it is intended to be introductory material. Perhaps program designers needed to think about where most people are in their level of computer knowledge. I am a bit concerned that one of my classes is a little dated in the era of Web 2.0, but I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve completed a few more lessons.
I am in love with my new MacBook. I took advantage of the free iPod with rebate promotion, and I also now have an iPod for the very first time ever, and I love it, too. It’s an iPod Touch. I am not sure I will go back to a PC after the Betsy iBook and now this MacBook. I am really glad that I was able to get the computer — never would have happened in a million years if not for financial aid. I have to say our Federal Student Aid program is really excellent; I was able to go to undergrad and now attend grad school when there is no way I’d ever have been able to do either without financial aid. I think it’s great that we offer that opportunity to students.
So, I’ll try to update soon with content and the like. Stay tuned!