the view at 65 is worth it

Friday, April 30, 2010

My family was so glad to see me go

I must have talked non-stop during the week before my departure for Edmonton. I didn’t know I was that nervous. My apologies to family and friends. You lent me your ears and I kept them. Nevertheless, the big day came this morning. And of course I could hardly sleep both nights before. You’d think I was a kid again about to leave for Disneyland. Maybe I am. But at 65 I’m supposed to be “in need of” long sleeps. Ha!
I was wide awake at 2:00 am to catch the 5:15 am big ferry from Nanaimo to Vancouver. I caught a bit of sleep in my car on the ferry. That’s when the rain started. All the way to just south of Merritt. Did I say torrential rains and snow flurries and fog? All three. But, a sunny reprieve in Merritt and through Kamloops. Decided to stop for the night in Salmon Arm. I’ve got a small pot of coffee brewing in my comfortable hotel room. It’s quiet and tomorrow I head through the big Rockies themselves towards Calgary. I can’t stop thinking about my course material and I’ve read and studied so much, that if anyone gave me a hug right now, I’d probably leak. LOL, tbc.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Overwhelming? Betcha!

Think of it. By the time April rolled to midway, I had 4 texts to read plus two binders full of course readings. And all in preparation for the Spring Institute starting May 2, 2010. Add to that 2 reflective essays ( all be they short ones ), a book review and preparations for an in-class assignment, not in the least of which getting used to working with eClass trying to find who is discussing what and the latest news, plus arranging for accommodations in Edmonton and trying to figure out how to get my student card ( did I mentioned writing big cheques for tuition and assessment fees? ), no wonder I needed a noon-time nap. Overwhelming? Betcha! But, I confess, I knew that was coming so I prepared ahead of time.
65 years old but upstairs ain’t no attic dustbowl yet.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Keeping on top of it all

In September 1963, I left for downtown Toronto to attend the Ontario College of Art & Design, which would be my home for the next 4 years. Imagine coming from a small southwestern Ontario town of Wallaceburg ( pop. 9000 ) to arrive in a big metropolis of well over 1 million people. Petrified to say the least. In my pocket was a small map my father had drawn. It was a simple square. On the left ( West ) side he had written Hwy.427; on the East side he wrote DVP ( Don Valley Parkway ); at the top 401, and at the bottom Lake Ontario. “There,” he said. “No matter where you travel in downtown Toronto, when you hit any of these 4 sides you’ll know exactly where you are. You will never get lost.” I studied and worked in Toronto from 1961 to 1982, and I never got lost once.
So, to keep on top of all my university studies I’ve had to draw another square in order not to get lost in the complexities of eClass learning. Left side, course 502; right side, course 503; top, “Readings” and bottom, “Writings”. I’ll try not to get lost.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Wind, Rain and Power Outs

“When Cyberspace is down.”
Just when I thought I was back on the learning curve, our “metanemeses” struck again. A violent Pacific wind and rain storm struck, knocking out power at 8:45 am. No cozy “storm watching,” snuggling with hot chocolate. Power out means no water, no toilets ( good thing we have a rain barrel for the necessary flushes – I know, “to much information”), no heat, no light, brrrr, and no computer. I had planned to spend time familiarizing myself with eClass. I couldn’t even access Big Wave Dave to check how bad this one was. Power came back on 9 hours later, and Big Wave Dave says it’s supposed to subside later tonight. But there is a secret to survival. It’s called hardcopy. I read lots.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Falling off the learning curve trying to go "live"

Yes, I was all excited about my first “live” eClass session with my fellow students and faculty. I was up early because of the time difference between the coast and Edmonton. There I sat, headset on, microphone in front of my face, online, and right into the eClass home page. That’s when everything stopped. I tried for 30 minutes to wiggle and weave my way ( kinda like browsing ) through all sorts of links and buttons. To no avail. I ended up missing the whole thing.
“Was it my age,?” as I wallowed in self-pity.
“Have I made a big mistake venturing outside the world of distance studies where I am more familiar with things on paper?
I had to catch the ferry into town and the fresh ocean breeze did blow away the regrets, as did a visit with my granddaughter who was also on the ferry. So, I climbed back on the learning curve determined to try again. Later in the day I was able to access a recording of the live session plus show eClass that “I had been down but not out.”

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