My first classes!

I’ve got a bit to catch up on but this will bring my blog current. As noted previously, I’ve been very, very busy getting settled into school. On top of that, my “old life” continues to swarm around me and I’m, quite frankly, very tired of it. All I can do is hope and pray that it will all be behind me in the near future and that my schedule will settle down as I want to focus 100% of my attention on my studies.

Last Thursday, I attended my first two classes and WHAT A JOY they both were! I felt like I had finally arrived home after a very long (and much unwanted) journey. It was exciting to immersed back into a field which I know so well only to discover that my previous training and experiences remain relevant today. While techniques may change and research is certainly beginning to reveal why certain exemplary (but previously unstudied) pedagogical practices work, much remains to be done. After attending these courses, my mind was left with countless possibilities for potential research topics that beg to be explored. Of course, my overactive mind merely went into overload as I thought about many of these but that’s alright! It’s better to have too many ideas than not enough.

I just returned, a moment ago from my third (of four) classes and, again, I was absolutely thrilled with the calibre of instruction, the professionalism and expertise of the professor, and enthralled with the topics discussed. Without question, the academic environment at UCR is VASTLY SUPERIOR, in every way, nearly all others I have experienced over the past twenty years (since I earned my MA).

One thing that I really noticed – something that hasn’t ever happened before – is that unlike my previous educational experiences, my age seemed to actually be a benefit. Specifically, my life experiences made once theoretical topics jump out at me with relevancy – simply because I have gone through so much. This was vastly different from both my undergrad and grad experiences because, at that time, I simply did not know what I do today. Interestingly, it also causes me to have many, many more questions  – too many to ask (otherwise, the professor wouldn’t accomplish anything else) – so I asked only the most relevant ones. My only concern is that, at this point in time, I’m free associating so many ideas that I might overload my professors. 🙂

I’m going to have to call it quits tonight as I’m just too tired. But it’s a “good tired” – not the stressed out “tired” that I’ve come to know and hate. 🙂 Tomorrow, I’ll be attending my fourth (and final) class for this semester and I’ll write more then.