You may recognize this road sign, which I have borrowed from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation‘s helpful guide to common and not-so-common road signs. It means there’s a bump or uneven pavement on the road ahead. The yellow “caution” indicates drivers should slow down and keep control of their vehicles.
There’s a bump coming up in the road ahead of me, too. I’ve decided to go back to school.
Oh, it seemed like a good idea back when I applied to Royal Roads University earlier this year. This is kind of a “bucket list” thing; something I have wanted to do for a long time. My own children are close to completing their own degrees, and they are pretty self-sufficient. It seemed like a good time to pursue my own.
The degree I’m pursuing is a two-year online BA in Professional Communication. It’s set up so students “manage their education while maintaining work and family life” due to the “unique learning model that combines convenient web-based learning with short [three-week] on-campus residencies.”
So I find myself three weeks away from this on-campus residency, which is on the other side of the country in Victoria, B.C., up to my neck in work and wondering what on earth I was thinking.
I already have a stack of “work” work. Now I’ve added three textbooks to read and assignments to complete every week until I go. There are apparently 45 of us in this class of 2012, and we all had to introduce ourselves in three separate online discussion forums and comment on at least two of the other posts. We have to watch several videos and speeches and comment on those. My in-box overflows every day with an extra 30-50 messages because there appears to be no way to subscribe to the forums in digest form.
I’m having to work hard at not freaking out, too:
- I’m paranoid about missing an assignment because it’s up to the students to find them, and I’ve already discovered a forum I hadn’t subscribed to a week after it had launched.
- One of the first three concurrent courses is my absolute all-time least favourite, Public Speaking.
- Almost all the other students are quite a bit younger than me; am I too old for this?
- My three weeks in residence will be in a typical tiny single-bed dorm room, with a shared bathroom down the hall.
- It’s been a long time since I’ve been in school and I can’t help but worry about keeping up.
All of this to say that there is very definitely a big bump in the road ahead. Part of my attempt to slow down and keep control of the vehicle is sharply cutting back my online life outside of Royal Roads. I’ll try to blog occasionally and share what’s going on, and maybe I’ll get on Twitter or Facebook once in a while.
So it may seem like I’ve dropped off the face of the earth, but it’s just off the radar for now. See you in September, maybe!
Good for you! …you will pull your socks up to meet the new challenges..it will get easier as time goes on….maybe you can help your school redesign their program – especially regarding the email problem!
Good Luck. I will be watching for your blog post.
Thanks Judith, both for commenting and for your support! Sounds like you may have done something similar?
GOOD for you Sue. Your friends and colleagues all know you’ve got the right (write) stuff to get it (right) write. Congratulations, I admire your courage to take this on. I am sure there will be lots of sharp curves and uphills at Royal Roads but just put her in overdrive and GO!
Thank you, Mary! Apparently there is actually quite a steep hill from the residence to the classrooms as well. I will think of your encouragement as I mentally shift into overdrive there and in the courses!
Great news, Sue! Wow I admire your dedication. It’s something I’ve been thinking about too. What was the final motivator for you to actually apply? Best wishes in your journey.
Thanks for commenting, Karen, and for your best wishes. I’m not sure what pushed me to do it this year, other than I ran across information on Royal Roads several times and it seemed a “cosmic” coincidence. And the timing of the residency part was good, because in August there’s someone here to look after the dog while I’m away! If you’re thinking about it, go for it!
Funny, I had recently been looking at Royal Roads’ course offerings. Scott is trying to decide what he wants to be when he grows up (having lost his job last month). Seems like an exciting venture, albeit challenging when you’re trying to keep all the other balls in the air. I am sure that you will excel! Have fun while you’re at it.
What was the matter with African drumming, ice sculpting, slow cuisine, web coding, basic plumbing or all those things you’ve never learned? You picked something you’re already so good at. My prediction: 2013 you’ll be the professor. Good on you, for taking on a new challenge.
Thank you, Sue & Barb, for your support and kind words! It will be an adventure and there will be plenty new to me, I’m sure.
I’ll miss your blog posts. It’s sure to be a life-changing experience. Good for you for diving in. I’m impressed.
Aww, thanks, Gloria! I hope to still post once in a while and of course will hope to be able to read YOURS too.
Sue, I wish you all the best on your excellent adventure. I agree with Barb that you could be TEACHING this stuff. When you’re in Victoria, if you need to vent, I’m only a Skype call away.xo
Donna, thanks for your kind words and support. I just may take you up on that emergency Skype call!
I retired and then began an MA online. I never dreamed it’d take so much work…in 6-7 weeks of intensive coursework, 1200 posts were shared. I,too, worried about missing vital info, and currently have an Inc in the course due to a computer glitch.
Think of it this way — it’s a heck of a lot easier than commuting to BC. Also I’m betting you find your time in your cubicle a blessing, because you can tune out the world and devote most of your energy to your new endeavor — exactly what it takes to succeed at distance learning. Best of luck!!!
John, thanks so much for your words of support! I hope your computer glitch gets sorted out. Yes, three weeks there beats commuting for a year or two, and I’m sure it will fly past. One week to go…