, , ,

When I first registered for school, I thought I would jump headlong into my degree. But the more I thought about it, the less confident I felt about this school thing. What IS expected of me? Can I manage my time well? is there something I’m missing here? And I figured I had better find out now with a course that didn’t count toward my certificate, rather than finding out later that I couldn’t study and work and train for races (and guide dogs, as it later turned out, though I didn’t know that at the time).

Enter Comm 100 – a course I affectionately dubbed “University for Dummies”.

The first thing I noticed about this course was that it contained a physical (printed) textbook. I chose to purchase the electronic copy of my textbook, just as a fact-finding mission. Other than that, I was good to go.

I learned a few things about myself during this course.

The textbook encouraged keeping a learning journal, which I kept up for about two months (one third of my course contract). But I found that was just one more thing to do, and I wasn’t getting a lot of value out of it. That might change one day, but maybe journalling isn’t for me.

I was consistent in my study habits… when I was studying. But I was not consistent with the course, in general. I found that I had great chunks of time (even as long as a month) where I would not even think about the course, or the textbook. I finished not long before my course contract end date, quite possibly because I knew I had the time and flexibility, and knew I would finish the course in the end. Not my finest confession, but I am being honest about being a student and prone to a certain amount of socially conditioned procrastination.

This course was easy to follow, with little tidbits about time management, note-taking, and critical thinking. It was not overly difficult, with the exception of the final paper which stressed me out immeasurably. There were lessons on finding sources, evaluating those sources, and general writing principles, but the paper felt like it was tagged on at the end – like a final exam without a final exam. Or maybe I just don’t like papers?

This little detour probably was not necessary, from an academic standpoint. However, I’m glad I took it – it showed me a few not-so-flattering truths about my study habits.

And because one detour wasn’t enough… I took another.

Come back tomorrow for that lovely journey.