What To Say?

April 16, 2008

This afternoon when I got home from work, a large envelope from SCSU was waiting for me in my mailbox. In it was the Noel-Levitz exit survey which the graduate school gives to all degree recipients and graduate candidates. Well, I’ve been thinking for quite a while about my entire graduate experience, trying to come up with what I would consider to be a fair assessment of my experience. Do I want to share how dissatisfied I am about many aspects of the distance program? If so, with whom? I am starting to be able to look back at those experiences that have bothered me with a little less emotion. But ultimately, I think it is important to voice my opinions in some way.

So, then came the survey. I filled it out this afternoon and have it ready to be mailed back to the school. Now, I know that the Noel-Levitz survey is standardized and that is not tailored to specific institutions. However, it is in no way geared to distance students. There were absolutely no questions about the online/distance experience. A piece of paper was included, and we were invited to write comments on it. I furiously scribbled all sorts of comments in my No. 2 pencil about the need to do some type of assessment targeted at distance students. I hope that others have done the same thing. I’m debating whether I should write a letter with some of my thoughts about my experiences and include it with the survey. I haven’t decided yet. I still need to concentrate on finishing my schoolwork – and making sure that all of my graduation requirements are met.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 . . . It’s Coming

April 16, 2008

Within the next 10 days my last class will be over, and I will officially be done with the program. I’m surprised by how excited I am. Although, why this surprises me is mystery. Overall, I somewhat feel as if I am coming out of a two and a half year hibernation – everything seems bright, shiny and new. The fact that spring seems to have arrived is definitely adding my lighthearted and happy mood. Today, the sky was blue, the grass was green and the temperature was quite nice.

While I certainly have done non-school-related things since I started the program back in the fall of 2005, I do feel as if I have put a good portion of my life on hold. My husband has long grown tired of hearing my stock responses to almost every major question – “Let’s wait until I finish school,” “Please, just let me finish school,” “No, I can’t because I have homework that I need to do.” I have lost count of how many things I have put off because of school. Partly, this is because of money. Paying for tuition has had a huge impact on our lives. I actually just finished paying off the credit card bill for this last semester. Yeah, no more tuition!!!!!

So, I’m starting to feel human again. I wasn’t entirely aware of how much of myself I was repressing. But, I’m ready to feel less constrained and less constricted. I’m willing to bet that I will probably have some adjusting to do and will probably feel like I am at loose ends for a while. But, it will be good. I will have my life back – maybe I can get back to gym, maybe I can clean my house, maybe I can detach this laptop from my hip. Wow, it all sounds incredibly wonderful!