Thursday, September 20, 2007

Missing the Boat?

I just wonder if I'm wandering around in my own little boat, missing the big picture of the grad school experience.

I sent out an email to the 7 people who are taking the same two classes I'm taking a couple of weeks after school started. I suggested we might want to exchange contact information, in case we wanted to discuss things pertinent to one class or the other. I included my IM info, as well as email and Twitter. I guess I honestly thought we would create some kind of network since we are all distance students.

Of the seven, two replied. One said, "Great idea!" but didn't give any contact info. The other provided contact information, and we've exchanged a couple of emails. I'm so accustomed to engaging with others through the 'Net that I'm surprised at the lack of response. Maybe it's just that the others don't want to add anything else to their undoubtedly already full plates. Maybe they don't live online like I do. Maybe I'm just sailing around all by myself.

When I see the interaction going on in other distance ed classes, though, I'm envious. I would really like to have some kind of interaction with my classmates, even if it's just an informal introduction and the occasional session of commiseration. I would love to be able to chat with them (and the professors?) someplace like TappedIn, to be able to get a sense of where we are and where we are going with the instruction. I just feel a bit isolated right now: wading through the pages of the text, completing the prescribed exercises, me and my laptop ("Fred"), alone in the big world of Education.

One of the courses is listing "discussions" as an element of the assignments for upcoming lessons. Hopefully I'll feel a bit less lonely, less like the "new kid" in a school where everyone knows everyone else except for me.

Oh well, back to sorting out ISD models and Flash tutorials. Come on, Fred, we've got work to do.
(Photo from leighblackall's Flickr photostream, accessed via Creative Commons)

1 comment:

SherryC said...

While it would be nice if your fellow students would come out and play, you also have a network outside of your class. You will have to rely on that. Let me know what I can do to help. You were certainly there for me while I was pushing my way through my lonely online degree.

You also need to remember that there are those of us that utilize technology to the fullest and those that are just getting by. We can't expect everyone to be at our level - even when they are seeking a Master's degree in TECHNOLOGY. Hang in there and jump the hoops!