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About This Club

<p>Are you taking freshman classes or studying for your PhD and need some support? This group is open to adults who are starting or returning to college. Whether you are attending online, on campus, full-time, part-time, or something in between we welcome you. This group's privacy settings are public and membership is open, meaning automatic for anyone wishing to join. </p>
  1. What's new in this club
  2. Looks like it's been a while since anyone has posted. I'm about to head back, myself, and figured I'd just pop in to see if anyone else is doing the student thing this fall. I ended up dropping the Harvard Extension program. The first class I took was excellent, but the two I signed up for the following semester were a very mixed bag. One was fine -- not inspiring, but okay. The other was just an awful experience. The content was not as described, and the instructor was not great at managing the online environment or adjusting for varying student needs. (That second part would have been fine if the course had been targeted to more advanced students, but it was specifically described as being for newbies as well as more experienced learners.) I consider myself pretty tech-capable, but I simply could not keep up with the number of apps the instructor required us to download, learn and use for various projects, and I found his expectations extremely vague. Plus, since he didn't grade anything or even provide meaningful feedback, there was really no way to know whether we were even on the right track. By the time I figured out all of this, unfortunately, it was past the drop-with-refund date. I dropped the class, anyway, in the name of preserving my sanity. Then I did the math and realized that the average of one great class, one just okay class and one miserable class was "just okay," and decided it wasn't worth the cost to continue in the program. At the urging of my boss, who is enrolled in the program already, I opted to take another look at the master's degree I had abandoned when I got the breast cancer diagnosis. It feels a little silly, since even with the credits I'm transferring in, it'll take me two-ish years to complete the program -- and I'm no spring chicken and don't "need" any more educational credentials to keep or progress in my job -- but I decided to go for it. So, this fall I'm starting an M.A. in Applied Learning and Instruction. I'll be taking two classes: Motivation in Learning and Performance Graduate Research in Education I've got my textbooks and a brand new three-ring binder with my syllabi printed and filed away. Classes start August 22. Anyone else heading back to school soon?
  3. Yay! Congrats Ethel 😉 I'm still around, just didn't do anything this past year. But, I'm back at it next week!
  4. I finished classes at the end of May, passed my first specialty board exam in June, passed my second board exam in late July and finished clinicals at the end of July. My clinical site hired me for a registry position and I just finished my first week! I am so relieved to be done with school and to be working. Since this is a registry position, not full-time, I will start looking for a 2nd job fairly soon. I'm working as a sonographer for a vascular surgery group. Since it is clinic and not hospital, the pay isn't that great, but the hours are great. No evenings, no weekends, and no call! I'm hoping to get a general ultrasound job at a hospital to round out the hours and to get more experience, but I'm not looking forward to working evenings/weekends. How is everyone doing?
  5. I also can't resist learning more when something calls me. I have been working on a Teaching Certificate for The One-Room School House Method offered by Aletheia Christian College in Idaho (www.aletheiachristian.org). I don't know of any other program like theirs and I have really enjoyed it. It won't give me state certification to work in the public school system, but I don't want to work in the public school system. It's perfect for teaching in multi-age home-school co-op classes, starting your own pandemic pod or microschool, or you own one-room private school (which I'm doing). Because I had an AS and a BA already, it is only taking me about a year and a half. We do a weekly evening Zoom class which is perfect for me as I'm in another state. The price is very affordable. The college dean, Diane Davis, is very supportive and wonderful to work with.
  6. I finished my graduate certificate in Independent Educational Consulting a year ago and opened my college admissions consulting business just as students were being sent home from their high schools. It has been an exciting time to be working in this arena. I've been doing continuing education in conferences for a couple of my professional organizations and even got to present on homeschooling at one big conference last fall.
  7. After deciding I was probably done once I completed the graduate certificate, I got academically itchy again a couple of months ago. I looked and looked for a master's program that got me excited enough to justify the tuition cost, but couldn't find anything. Finally, I looked back at the Learning Design and Technology certificate from Harvard Extension that I had drooled over for a few years and determined that it is my best option. The program is online, but is conducted through live seminars (not asynchronous, like the last classes I took). It requires four courses, but has a fair amount of flexibility to choose options that will align with my specific interests. Tuition is pricey, so I'm doing only one course per semester, but if I can include the summer sessions on both ends, I can finish in just over a calendar year. My director at work has enthusiastically agreed to allow me to flex my work hours around the twice-weekly class times. I start in June. What's everyone else doing these days?
  8. @dirty ethel rackham Thanks for the wonderful update! What a roller coaster of emotions and experiences you've been having! My own update is much more tame in comparison. I had one of those weird thoughts one gets at 1 am; mine is that I'd REALLY like to continue with grad studies and pursue my PhD. I simply love research and being associated with an academic institute, with the flexibility to work within the community as well. I think I've discovered the perfect fit within my current university that combines my 2 interests. Before I could second guess myself, I e-mailed a prof in the program, whom I've met and who I'll be taking a course with this January. Hopefully she won't notice that I wrote the e-mail at 2am. 😉
  9. Nice to see the updates. Here's mine: I started back in clinicals at the beginning of August. I'm at the hospital 4 days a week. I was switched to a hospital in an urban area that is a hot spot for COVID. Fortunately, they have adequate PPE and our department is fully supportive of taking precautions. We are allowed one N95 mask a week and we wear a procedure mask over that and a face shield. We also wear an isolation gown (the more cloth-like ones, not the plastic ones.) Since we are in close contact with a patient for a good 30 - 40 minutes at a time and there is significant community spread in this area, we treat everyone as potentionally COVID positive. Even though I am not supposed to scan known positive or PUI patients, there are always the Schrodinger's Cat patients that come in through the ER or through outpatient. (They both have COVID and don't have COVID without test results 😄) The inpatients with that are Positive or PUI are scanned portably by the techs. I actually feel safer at the hospital with all our precautions than I do out in public with people in my town who act like there is no virus. A few days before I was to return to clinicals, I found out that my old site didn't want me back because I was "too slow and taking up too much of their time." (Hello! Student here. There is no way I'm going to be as fast as the techs with 20 years experience.) That was a blow to my ego and a shock since all my reviews prior to the shutdowns were very positive and I was working on a game plan with my clinical instructor to help improve my speed. I did find out later that they are under a ton of stress due to getting bought out by another hospital system that really put the hammer down since COVID. Lots of productivity pressure. So, with my confidence at an all-time low, I was sent into a hospital where the instructor is intimidating as all get out. She barely acknowledged my existence the first week. Most of the techs speak Russian and they hardly spoke any English my first 2 weeks there. They thought I was stupid because I wouldn't realize that they were speaking to me and they often had to repeat themselves. I basically tuned out their conversations because I couldn't understand them and wouldn't realize that they had switched to English. I wasn't getting the benefit of learning about cases because they didn't discuss them in English. My two saving graces were my fellow student who was with me (he was there before the COVID shut down so he knew the ropes) and one tech who didn't speak Russian who took me under her wing. Things have been improving in the last 2 weeks. The Russian techs have taken more of an interest in my training and speak English in front of me more often. (I guess bringing in good tea and muffins helped win them over 😋.) My fellow student has moved to a different site so we are no longer in competition for scan time. And I had a conversation with my CI about the progress I need to be making. I am finally starting to earn the comps I need to pass this rotation. The patients here are interesting. I really see the inequities in health care in this country. So many people living with serious health conditions that would have been treatable if they had better access to care. We see them much further along in the disease process. Some of them are a trip. Last week, I was scanning an elderly man (inpatient) who kept insisting that he had a meeting to go to. He likely had a UTI and was confused. He kept sitting up and looking for his keys. (He was wearing a hospital gown and nothing else.) He ended up getting out of bed and accusing me of stealing his pants and his keys. I had to get help to get him back in bed. He looked at me and said "You tryin' to get shot or somethin'?" I'm like "Whoa, I'm not in Kansas anymore!" All I could think was "Where you hiding a gun in that gown?" and "I hope he doesn't hurt himself. I don't want to get in trouble." I am so exhausted all the time. Between the long commute, the PPE (so incredibly hot), the stress of trying to get good at something with a long learning curve, thus dealing with failure on a regular basis, and the challenging social environment, I am getting close to burn-out. We had started out doing 36 hours a week to try to catch up on clinical hours. Fortunately, we will be moving back to 3 days a week - 24 hours a week. I can start working out more and scheduling doctor's appointments and stuff. I will be moving to a new site (a "bougie" Maternal Fetal Medicine clinic in a wealthy suburb) in November. Since we moved all our fall classes into the summer semester and did them online, we only have one lab on campus this semester. We will be back to a full academic load in addition to clinicals in January. We will be continue the hybrid format ... lecture content online and lab in person at school. I don't know how I am going to handle being back in study mode!
  10. Congratulations on getting a second job. All the best with teaching this fall. I hope it goes really well!
  11. I'm taking a graduate course in statistics this fall toward my graduate degree in program evaluation. It will be on-line, though there is supposed to be a live class each week, which I'm happy about. I've been doing a lot of review this summer so I'll be up to speed with stats. I haven't taken a stats class in about 25 years. The review is going really well. I'm feeling pretty confident about the course. I'm also volunteering to complete a program evaluation for a brain injury services agency. It's going very well. I'm just about ready for the data collection phase, my favourite part!
  12. Nope. I'm in California. Half of the hospitals (maybe more than half?) aren't letting students in this fall. It's all very tenuous.
  13. I reached the halfway mark in my math master's degree this summer! Technically, I have one more paper to write and then I'm there. I just have one class in Orton Gillingham instruction and my internship left for my Special Ed. program and am hoping to finish by January. Everything moved online in the spring and will be online for fall as well. I feel like my brain is still recovering from my summer classes. My next classes start the weekend of 9/25 so I have over a month. In-service starts on 8/24 for my district, so I basically have one week off before getting fully back into the swing of things. @sassenach are you in a location where cases are relatively low right now? I hope you're able to get through your clinicals too! Congrats on getting back on campus - I miss seeing my cohort in person!!
  14. How is the fall looking for you all? My nursing education is moving forward. I'm about to start semester 2 out of 4. We just got our clinical assignments yesterday and I'm thrilled that we actually have clinicals to go to. Hoping and praying that the hospitals stay open all semester. I'm currently working on finishing my clinical hours for the spring semester. We just had our skills check-off yesterday. My first time on campus since March. It was so great to see my classmates in person. I feel like I've processed all the stages of grief about losing the nursing school experience that I had planned for. At this point, I accept that everything may go to hell. All we can do is just keep swimming!
  15. Since I posted this I added a second job. I will now be teaching 6 hours at the local state U in addition to 7 hours at the CC. Both schools offered me another class beyond that, but I had already committed to both, and teaching 19 hours sounded crazy, so I just held on to my original 13 hour commitment. All my classes are still officially seated, but for all but one, they are either supposed to be hybrid or I have permission to make them hybrid, reducing the number of students in the classroom at a time and replacing some class meetings with Zoom meetings.
  16. They are scheduled for in-person in the fall. Having experienced taking classes online in an emergency last semester, I will design them to be easy to move online at any point. I would be surprised if it doesn't happen at some point in the semester. All it would take is one person in the class testing positive an the whole class would be quarantined. 🤷‍♀️
  17. Congratulations! That's phenomenal. Enjoy the teaching. Will your classes be in-person or on-line? It's so inspiring to hear about these success stories. Thanks for sharing!
  18. I finished my MA in English Lit in May. I just got hired to teach classes at the local community college for fall which was my goal when I went back to school. Good luck to everyone who is still in progress!
  19. Not yet. The class ahead of us is just starting back at clinicals this week. There are several sites that are not yet taking students so they have had to scramble to get those students into other clinical sites. They hope to get us back in August. However, we just got permission to go back to the lab to practice scanning on each other again.
  20. Congratulations!!! That's wonderful. Are you able to complete your clinical hours through the Covid closures?
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