My first quarter at CTU was eventful, more so than I thought probable. Routines and schedules require greater regulation and pacing to manage simultaneous coursework, research, and writing.
Attending the first Symposium in mid-October held anticipation to meet the professors and my fellow classmates. I question whether I belong in the Management group or the Computer Science group. My aptitudes qualify me for both, but my interest is more for Computer Science. My new colleagues work mostly as IT professionals in security, enterprise architecture, and cloud computing. Two others in the cohort work within education and everyone is distributed throughout the US. One classmate works and lives in Germany. Alas, my worldview is re-established just as it was for me as a former military wife living overseas.
The power outage in the hotel was most memorable. Several of us had just returned from dinner. A car in a nearby parking lot ran into a light pole. The whole block went dark. In my room, I had just read on Facebook where UCF News reported how Bill Gates praised UCF’s online learning then poof!
I brought my new Canon Tsi digital camera and took photos nearly every chance I could to remember the event. My mother would have been 80 years old during the Symposium. Her passing earlier in the year made me reflect on the importance of communicating story for our children.
Here is my Flickr stream of CTU photos
During the semester, while studying the four books required for Usability, I also learned to use Endnote and collected works for my annotated bibliography that will be used in my dissertation. Assignments were aligned with work, but making homework real comes at a cost. Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval was required at both institutions. Ironically, the required tutorials were different, but complementary. The timing required to obtain approval caused angst to meet the deadline. My family has been especially supportive with doing yard work, bringing over food, arranging home improvements, and participating in my research of course. When I was a kid growing up in Princeton, Indiana one of my favorite games was to play Lost in Space where we emulated turbulence trying to stand on a piece of plywood supported by a large rock. That TV show had it right. Obtaining an education is a family affair and I hope to contribute to the design of family learning quests someday.
Here are my top 10 personal resolutions for 2011
10. Process thoughts and redefine voice
9. Refine inquiry and focus pursuit
8. Keep the photographer’s eye alert, whether carrying camera or not
7. Find the edges of where disbelief is suspended
6. Synchronize optimism for the future and enjoyment of the present
5. Practice feeling awe everyday
4. Fold up thoughts into mental origami
3. Seek out authenticity in all its forms
2. Be true to oneself, be original
1. Never give up, never surrender