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Jenny in Florida

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Everything posted by Jenny in Florida

  1. So, funny story . . . I missed the 1:1. Work this week is beyond busy, and I apparently misread the meeting invite he sent (or at least copied it onto my personal calendar incorrectly). I put to bed the piece of the work project I was working late on and switched to my personal laptop to figure out how to log into the meeting . . . and realized I was 28 minutes late to a 30-minute meeting. I decided that was the last sign I needed. I sent him an email apologizing for missing the meeting but letting him know that I had planned to use our time to discuss leaving the class. I gave him a brief, polite but not inaccurate summary of my frustrations and explained that, for me, these classes are supposed to give me something to look forward to instead of something to stress about. I then let my teammates for the group project know I am out and went ahead and submitted the withdrawal. I'm sure I'll feel a bit queasy about it next time I have to make a payment on the credit card for a course I'm not even finishing, but right now I just feel relieved. Thanks again for helping me think it through. (And I will for sure let you all know if he responds to my email.)
  2. I haven't had to update my resume recently, but when I was actively job hunting, I had a section on my resume for something like "Continuing and Professional Education." Anything that didn't terminate in some kind of recognizable credential got listed there with a brief description.
  3. Thanks, everyone. This week at work has turned into a bear. And because I was heads down on this big project that has to be done at work, I missed a whole conversation with the group for the class I'm considering dropping. They met and made decisions without me (fair enough, since I didn't respond and they were available to meet), but it really just underlines that this course is more trouble than I have energy to cope with at the moment. I feel pretty peaceful about dropping it and getting on with other things. Given how close I am now to the 1:1 with the professor, however, I do plan to keep that appointment and let him know that I am dropping and why. Maybe it will help those who stick around.
  4. So, what's funny is that my job is actually writing and developing asynchronous course materials (mostly for workplace safety and driver education and similar topics, not academic stuff). I have nothing against a well-designed asynchronous experience in certain situations. I just found the ones I had in the other program to be very poorly designed (kind of ironic, given the field and focus of the certificate). I did have a good experience with the faculty member who heads this other program, however, when I tried to begin the MA a couple of years ago. And my boss just started the program and is very happy with what she's doing so far. I also think it would be both fun and valuable to be in the same program as someone I know in real life, even though we would not be in the same cohort. Plenty of opportunity to compare notes and such. But, yes, for sure I will list the courses I have completed/do complete on my resume. The summer course and the one I will be sticking with this semester are both pretty closely aligned with my area of professional interest. Also, at least for the foreseeable future, I'm not looking for a new job. Barring disaster -- or an offer too good to refuse falling out of the sky (which has actually happened to two people in my department in the last few months) -- the plan is to stay with my current employer until I retire. I'd just like to continue getting better at what I do, exercising my brain and possibly setting myself up for more responsibility along the way.
  5. We had the exact same issue when we bought this house. I called/contacted every insurer I knew of, and no one would issue a policy because the roof had too few years left. Our real estate agent put us in touch with a broker, who found one provider willing to do the policy.
  6. Oh! On the topic of group projects, by the way: I also have a group project/presentation to do for my other class. That one is in progress and going well, however. The parameters and goals are clear to me, and communication is being done through email and a single shared document to which we all contribute. It's manageable and also relevant to my interests. I would still prefer to just tackle the project by myself, but I can acknowledge there is some value in collaboration.
  7. I mean, that has been what has happened before. At some point when I was doing the other graduate certificate, I opted to just lean into that and volunteer to assemble all the parts and proofread/edit to make sure we were presenting a consistent voice. That mitigated my stress because I had my fingers in all the parts of the pie and had the perfect excuse to clean up and fill in as necessary. In this case, though, at least two of the other three students seem to be much more plugged into and interested in this project than I am.
  8. I hate group projects, honestly. Sometimes, despite my reluctance, those projects have turned out to be the most valuable aspect of a course, but I always react badly to the idea.
  9. I shied away from the MA for a few reasons. I was on track to start the program when I got my breast cancer diagnosis, and I ended up dropping the intro class in favor of devoting the energy I had to completing the graduate certificate. That cert can lead into the MA, but by the time I finished the cert and came up for air after treatment, I felt like I had lost enough time to make it less attractive to jump into another lengthy program. Also, the state university classes are asynchronous, and I liked the fact that HES has regularly scheduled, instructor-led sessions. Finally, I had been very unimpressed with the quality of most of the courses I took for the graduate certificate and was kind of turned off on the university as a result. However, the MA I'm considering is offered by a different department (despite the fact that the cert credits can be used to meet some requirements). And my boss is really loving the MA program so far. So, I'm revisiting the possibility.
  10. So, if I do end up dropping this course, it makes it somewhat unlikely that I will continue with the certificate. I would more likely look for a different program. (The master's degree at the state university or possibly jumping to something entirely different like doing a certificate or associate's degree in graphic design.) However, even if I do decide to forge ahead with the HES cert, I wouldn't necessarily need to take this specific class again. I just need a course that checks off the technology requirement box. I have done all of the recommended work thus far, including contributing to the early stages of the group project. He has not yet acknowledged any of that work, let alone provided feedback. He has emphasized repeatedly that there are no hard and fast requirements for the final project, that he will evaluate everyone's work based on where they start and how much they progress, The group project is not of interest to me and does not relate to my job in any meaningful way.
  11. Honestly, that sounds like the worst of both worlds. I end up having to sit through the class, siphoning off time and energy I could be devoting to my other class, constantly evaluating how much I need to do to meet the bare minimum, while more or less guaranteeing I will not learn what I hoped to get out of the course and likely torpedoing my GPA. I do think the calculus would be different if this were an undergrad degree or if I were banking on this credential to have a big impact on my career. Then it might be worth gritting my teeth and riding it out for the sake of a line on my transcript. But that's not the case. Although I don't expect every class to be a circus of non-stop joy, this was supposed to be something for me to enjoy, not to endure.
  12. The class is in the digital media department, but is an option to fulfill the "technology" requirement for the learning design certificate. I'm hesitant to post a lot of details because I don't want to distract everyone with too much information. With that said, the class requires each student to design and prototype some kind of application of their own and also to collaborate on a class-wide project of which each four-person team has a particular piece to complete.
  13. He has assured us that, although he won't be grading anything until the end of the course (because he doesn't think it's fair to grade us on things we aren't expected to know yet), that doesn't mean there will be no feedback. He has told us several times that he will be regularly reviewing our work and providing feedback (which is one of the reasons given for using the platforms he has chosen -- that he can check in on our work in progress). And, yes, I thought the 30 minutes with each student thing was insane, but he has said it repeatedly.
  14. Well, the problem with slacking off is that this course involves a significant group project component. I would not feel right about not pulling my weight on the team. Also, I need a B in every class in order to earn the certificate. So, not a lot of wiggle room, especially since the grading criteria are somewhere between murky and non-existent. And a quick clarification: Because I did the other graduate certificate the at state university, I already have more credit hours that will transfer to any master's program I've found. The credits I am completing/would complete through HES are valuable only towards their cert or master's degrees.
  15. I already tried hitting up Rate My Professor for reviews. He has no ratings for either the extension school or the regular university. I have found references to him being on the faculty at another major university, but no ratings for him at that school, either.
  16. After years of looking at this program and repeatedly deciding it was too expensive, I finally decided to jump in start a graduate certificate through the Harvard Extension School over the summer. It's a series of four classes, with some flexibility in what you take, as long as you check off all four topics. The class I took over the summer was excellent. Those two class meetings were absolutely the highlights of my week. (And these days, I have trouble finding things to enjoy or look forward to, so that was a very big deal.) For the fall, because the semester is longer than the summer session, classes meet only once a week. In the name of keeping myself busy and maintaining the two class-a-week thing, I decided to register for two courses, rationalizing that the workload for each course would also be spread out over more than twice as many weeks. I gulped when I paid the tuition, but all of my loved ones assured me that we could afford it and it was worth it if it made me happier. It turns out, though, that one of the classes is just okay and the other is making me straight-up miserable. The professor in the second class is clearly brilliant, but the course itself is disorganized and confusing (at least to me). Despite being described as appropriate for beginners in the particular discipline -- and the fact that I'm not a complete beginner -- I feel lost and stressed all the time. I don't understand what he wants us to do much of the time. There are no graded assignments until the very end of the course, and even four weeks in we have not received any feedback on the "recommended work" we have done. We are required to use multiple online tools and platforms for the work, and he doesn't use any one of them consistently for communication. Sometimes, information about those "recommended" projects is posted in Canvas, sometimes on the primary collaboration platform he has us using, sometimes on another platform he just added and sometimes in gmail. Unfortunately, by the time I figured out just how bad a fit the course is for me (or vice versa?), I was past the drop-with-refund date. At that point, I figured I had little to lose by hanging in until the final withdrawal date to see if things get better. In the meantime, though, he has assigned us to start on a group project that will run the remainder of the semester. I do not want to leave my team in the lurch if I drop out later, so I am now leaning towards just giving up now. The professor has required all 40 students to sign up for a weekly 30-minute 1:1 session with him (which also seems unreasonable to me, since it means he's spending 20 hours per week just on that). My first one is tomorrow evening, and at the moment my loose plan is to log into that session and lay out on the virtual table exactly how much I'm struggling and how I feel about this and let him know that, unless there's something I'm not seeing or something I can do that will make the situation a whole lot better, I plan to withdraw. Then, unless he pulls me back from the ledge, I'll likely go ahead and withdraw. I will appeal and see if I can shake loose a partial refund, but I am desperate enough to get away from this that I won't be devastated if I get denied. There are larger implications, here, in that after this experience I'm not sure I want to risk throwing more money at this program. But dropping this course would likely mean a change of plans, educationally, from what I thought I would be doing. I should probably clarify that I don't need this certificate for any reason. I like to continue building my professional knowledge and working my brain, but skipping out on this program won't impact my career in any way. In fact, my boss is in her first semester of a master's degree program through the state university that she is really excited about and has been prodding me to join. Because of some credits I already have from the university and the fact that their tuition is so much lower than the HES costs, I could almost cover the tuition for the MA for what it would cost me to take two more classes through HES. I hate the idea of "wasting" money, but neither I nor my poor husband (who has to listen to me stress out and be miserable about this class) want me to stick with this just to prove a point or squeeze out a transcript grade. Can anyone give me a really good reason not to withdraw?
  17. Stayed up far too late last night watching the long-delayed Tony Awards, during which I did some living room pacing to log the last of my steps. Consequently, I had trouble getting out of bed on time and wound up walking just barely 3K and running out of time to do any additional exercise before work. I hope to take a break this morning and do something. It's going to be a challenging week. Work is extremely busy, and I'm struggling with keeping up with school (or possibly making the difficult decision to withdraw from one of the two classes, despite the fact that I am past the refund date). Food logging has fallen by the wayside again, and I'm afraid to get on the scale. I'm planning to focus on just keeping my head above water and meeting my minimum daily goals for steps and exercise until I get this project out the door and figure out what to do about school. Fall Frenzy Challenge Update: 129.4 of 500K Daily Walking Streak: 212 Days South Lake Trail ?: 0 of 13 miles
  18. I think I missed posting yesterday, but it was nothing exceptional. Walked just about 4K this morning. No other exercises, because I've decided not to worry about that on weekends. I am getting a late start and have a full day of schoolwork ahead. So, not sure how or when I'll log the balance of my steps. I do have photos to share, though, of a couple of birds the dog and I encountered on our walk this morning. Fall Frenzy Challenge Update: 125.0 of 500K Daily Walking Streak: 211 Days South Lake Trail ?: 0 of 13 miles
  19. I broke the balance of yesterday's steps into two shorter walks, which worked well and meant I didn't end up pacing the living room later in the evening. Last night was another not-quite-four-hours-of-sleep experience, but I got out of bed at a reasonable time and walked (3.5K) and exercised (30 minutes) before work. I also opted to walk the dog to and from her flu shot appointment at the vet (another 2.9K), which puts me a little over 10,000 steps for the day so far. I've definitely not been eating well the last few days, and I didn't even log yesterday (or today, so far). It's been a crummy week, emotionally, and I'm busy and tired. If food isn't easy and quick, it's just not happening at all, so I have fallen back into opening packages, cans and bags and calling it a meal. Planning to force myself to get on the scale tomorrow morning, though, to see just how bad the situation is. Meantime, I'll take another walk and/or ride the stationary bike later, depending on weather and who needs me to do what this evening. Fall Frenzy Challenge Update: 112.3 of 500K Daily Walking Streak: 209 Days South Lake Trail ?: 0 of 13 miles
  20. I realized at some point not too long ago that I haven't really had ceremony to recognize most of my achievements or milestones (at least, not since I graduated from middle school in 1978). And that is largely because I have taken a somewhat unconventional path through life. When I'm in charge of things, I work hard to make them special for others. So, I do sometimes feel sad that I haven't had those opportunities. I didn't graduate from high school in a traditional way. I finished my B.A. mid year, and there was no ceremony until the end of the following semester, by which time I was working and had pretty much moved on from the whole college experience. My husband and I planned and paid for our own very small wedding (which happened under a sort of emotional cloud because of some drama in my extended family). I didn't have a baby shower with for my daughter. (My husband and a friend did organize a lunch meet-up at a restaurant when I was having our son.) I earned a graduate certificate a year or so ago, which arrived in the mail. I showed it to my husband, who said, "Congratulations" and went back to whatever he was doing. I know it's dumb. I know none of it "matters." I know I could arrange my own party or tell my family that I insist they do something for me. (I will say that that latter idea hasn't worked for me when I've tried similar things before. Like the time I explicitly told my husband and son and his then-girlfriend that I really wanted them to come to the opening of a project I had facilitated at the local library . . . My husband showed up grumpy and complained about the crowds and noise. My son showed up late. The girlfriend didn't feel well and didn't come at all.) But homeschooling was a Really. Big. Deal. for me, and it sure would have been nice if anyone had noticed.
  21. @Not_a_Number I'm sorry. I know it's not funny when you're in the middle of it, but I did snort-laugh at your description of your daughter plotting the points on the graph. You seriously could have been describing my son.
  22. The class is Digital Media: From Designs to Prototypes. It's a graduate level course, but was described as requiring no prior experience or knowledge. I'm taking it to fulfill a requirement for a certificate in learning design and technology. I actually do have some development experience and I have a basic working knowledge of coding in general with a smattering of JavaScript, but I feel like I'm just barely grasping at the professor's coattails most of the time. He spends most of our class time (virtual) demonstrating seemingly random things you can do with the tools he's having us use and showing us YouTube snippets of various ad campaigns (both real and imaginary, including multiple clips from Mad Men) which are supposed to serve as jumping-off points to discuss developing personas. The assignments are vague at best, and he has said he won't actually grade anything until towards the end of the semester, because he wants to give us a chance to show we are developing our knowledge and skills. He starts class late and runs even later, yet rarely gets through what's on the syllabus for that meeting, meaning the fairly loose "suggested completion dates" for projects have also slipped. In an effort to make up for the fact that we were behind by the end of the very first class, he has added twice-weekly two-hour "optional" sessions, scheduled during the day when I am working. He also announced last night that we are supposed to arrange with him 30 minutes of time weekly to go over our proposed projects individually. I am honestly miserable and incredibly disappointed. These are not inexpensive classes, and the fact that I took two classes was supposed to be a "treat" for myself. The other class is boring but okay. This one is terrible. As to your second point -- I had the same result when we tried the "you'll do it over until you do it right" approach. He would simply dig in his heels and do nothing for days, thereby bringing all of his schoolwork to a grinding halt while we fought it out over that one assignment. Only when I would refuse to allow him to attend outside activities would he get his rear in gear and produce something that was just barely good enough to get him back in the game. (One time, he chose instead to text a friend and ask their parents to drive him to the activity, then left the house while I was in the bathroom. Yes, I did go and retrieve him, which apparently embarrassed him enough that he didn't try that again. But, yeah, he would routinely expend far more effort and time not doing something he didn't want to do than would have been required to do a mediocre job and be done with it.)
  23. Well, define "aim." My husband has admitted that just listening to me talk (complain) about this class is causing him anxiety. Despite the fact that I am past the drop date and doing so would mean losing all of the tuition I paid for this stupidly expensive class, he is completely supportive of my withdrawing just so he wouldn't have to hear it anymore.
  24. I'm even willing to admit that I am sometimes resistant and sulky. (If you're not careful, I'll tell you about one of the classes I'm taking this semester.)
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