Monday, January 12, 2015

career transition milestone

Today was sort of a milestone for me.  I conducted my first ever face-to-face class with a section of live students (as opposed to an online section of students).  It was…what...stressful for me to say the least.  I can only imagine how bad it was for them.  Nobody wants to listen to somebody like me ramble.  Unfortunately, I did a lot of rambling today, even though I came organized with an itinerary and estimated time for each topic so everything would be covered.  As much as I hate talking, obviously some of my students are as bad.  Our class is small (13 students), so we went around the room and introduced ourselves.  A few people talked for several minutes, but some said no more than their names and majors.  It’s OK; they’ll have lots of chances to “talk” in our online discussion forums.

It all went smoothly enough though.  The university was having technical troubles with email and Blackboard off and on all day.  A few times I was trying to show something to the class and the network froze up or Blackboard crashed.  So it goes with technology – it’s wonderful when it works.  The fact that things were NOT working as planned gave us an important talking point.  Students will always have at least 3 days’ notice on any assignment and all assignments must be turned in electronically; therefore they should not wait until the last hours before the due date expires to start working.  You just never know when the Internet will crap out.  My students nodded in agreement, but nobody is perfect (we all know).    
I can’t say I really enjoyed standing up in front of the room and leading the class for an hour.  We were supposed to meet for 75 minutes, but after an hour there was just nothing left to talk about.  Some students (younger ones) were out the door immediately.  Several of the older students wanted to linger and chat.  That was fine.

For some people, the gift of gab is inborn.  My first husband was that way; my current husband is also a chatterbox, but to a lesser degree.  A friend once posited that my husbands were attracted to me because they liked to talk and wanted a wife who didn’t interrupt.  Perhaps there is some truth to it.  When I was young, I rarely said anything unless I had to.  If I had a dime for every time somebody asked me if a “cat got my tongue”, I’d have been a millionaire by the time I reached 18.

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