The Pioneer Post

The Pioneer Post is a resource for online students that provides tips and information about distance education.

 

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

This week we have invited our distance learning students to contribute writings that describe what their life as a distance learner is like.

Our first contribution is from Francie Tuescher, a student in UW-Platteville’s online Master of Science in Project Management program.


A Year in the Life of a Distance Learner - Part 1
By Francie Tuescher


Greetings!

Full disclosure: I'm a 44-year-old mother with one daughter who is graduating from preschool and one daughter who recently graduated from college. I'm married, employed full-time, have a dial-up Internet connection and a laptop that chooses to shut down at whim. In my spare time, I help my husband with the livestock and crops. It has been 23 years since my head was buried in a textbook, and I'm preparing to graduate from UW-Platteville’s online Master of Science in Project Management program.

Turn the clock back to year one in the program. I know I need to develop a routine and find some strategies that work for me. I move the computer to the kitchen counter. I make the kitchen table my desk. I transform my dining room into a within-sight playroom, and ask my teenaged daughter to “sign up” for computer time.

After time, I begin to develop a routine. I turn on the computer. While it's dialing up, I start supper on the stove. While I'm waiting to log into D2L, I throw in a load of laundry, stir the pasta, and pick up a few toys. Now I'm ready to go.

Not quite yet!

My husband walks in -- and quickly walks out -- as he sees the computer booted up and a certain tenseness in the air. The pasta boils over. I actually progress to about half-way through an assignment, but break to spend time with my toddler. I neglect to save my work and my computer chooses to shut down. I check in on my group assignments about six times a day and wonder why everyone else is not as prompt at replying.

My work demands that I travel three days this week. I stay late two evenings preparing budget revisions due yesterday, and pick up pizza on the way home (again). I wish everyone shared my love of pizza! It's 10:00 p.m., and I anxiously log in to see if my first grade in the program has been posted. Yes! I did it, and I’m re-energized for the next assignment. I can do this!

Stay tuned for year two: Something's Gotta Give!

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Sarah S. said...

I really enjoy reading the blogs of other students. I am finding great tips for coping and a feeling of relief that I am not the only one juggling my courses with daily life.

March 24, 2007 at 1:32 PM  

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