My first class in a loooong time ended about a month ago. I really enjoyed it, but it was not easy. It took me a while to find a good balance between work, kids, home, and school. I don’t think it helped that it was summer and some weeks I just wanted to be lazy. In the end, I am really proud that I got a 97%, an A, in the class.
I learned a lot about myself as well. It’s been so long since I’ve been in school that I forgot what an overacheiver I am. I don’t like to just complete a project, I like to do it well and different from anyone else. It’s why many of my classmates hated me in college. Teacher’s Pet? Oh, yeah.
It’s very different going to school while working full-time and raising young kids. There’s also a big difference between going to class and taking an online course. I found that, because everything was written, I had to be much more thoughtful than if I had been in a classroom setting. Where I might have said something in class, I not had to make sure it was a complete sentence with proper grammar. Speaking and writing are simply different.
I also found I had to be very, very diligent and disciplined. There was no waiting until the last minute because I had to work every day and take care of the kids. One of the things I like best about the IMC program at WVU is that it has a very specific schedule that is common to all classes. I knew on Day 1 what was due and when, so there were no surprises. This allowed me to schedule my time.
While the course is scheduled, it’s flexible enough that I was able to successfully stay on task while traveling for work one week, attending the Sheehan Reunion over a weekend, and spending three days with my parents at their house on the river over Independence Day. Since everywhere I went there was Internet access, I could complete my assignments without any problem. While I certainly missed out on boat time while I worked on a paper, it sure was great to close the laptop and join the kids for a while.
The change hasn’t been very easy on my kids, though. They were both upset at times that I couldn’t spend time with them when they wanted. I’m hoping to do better this time, to do more after they go to bed, but there’s also something to be said for showing my kids that my needs are important too. I told them both that getting my Master’s Degree is really important to me, and while I’m doing my best to not let it interfere with our time, there are simply some days when I need to do school work.
I think once we’re all back in school it will be easier. We’ll be back into more of a normal routine of school, homework, TaeKwonDo, and Scouts. I foresee nights of all three of us doing homework together, with Sass learning how to read, Buddy learning long division, and me working on a marketing plan.