I love school so much that I decided to spend the weekend there. Just kidding. Well, I did spend the weekend there but it wasn't because I have an unhealthy attachment to my school. (Go, MSPP! Woohoo!)
This past weekend was my 1st Weekend in Residence. From 8 am to 5 pm (Saturday AND Sunday) this lady was hitting the books. At first I wasn't sure what to expect. (I feel like I say that a lot. It must be the "new student" aspect of me.)
Before I launch into my WIR spiel I have to give you the back story.
After a long semester of interning in Washington, D.C. I got to be lazy and float around in my pool all summer. Living in Arizona, you really don't want to be hanging around anywhere that isn't a pool in 110+ degree heat. So, my little dog and I are chillin' on a big floaty when it hits me: What the heck is my schedule going to be when I get to MSPP?!
As if MSPP was reading my mind, I opened my email and noticed that my inbox had a new message. The email was from the director of the Forensic Program and attached to the email was the course schedule. I read every bit of the email carefully. Basically, I had the choice of taking traditional courses (where you sit in classroom and listen to a live lecture) or blended courses (where you do some online work and some in-class work, hybrid) or a combination of both. What is a girl to do? Take blended, of course!
Some weeks later I was enrolled in all blended courses. I didn't know how I would be able to handle not sitting in class every night. I am the epitome of a teacher's pet. I show up to class way before I have to, I finish all my readings and classwork before the lecture, my hand is perpetually in the air, and my classmates are constantly giving me that "Great, we're in class with Hermione Granger" look. So, how was I going to handle not being the one with all the answers; not being able to engage my professor in an intense conversations about one thing or another, not being able to raise my hand every chance I got? Torture! Well... not really.
I've found that through the blended courses I "hear" a lot more. Since my big mouth isn't always getting in the way I learn so much more about my fellow students. You know how it is... There is always that one person in class that won't shut up (me) and then you get the handful of people who don't ever talk. This way- the blended way- everyone has their room to speak. Everyone's voice is "heard" when we all get a fair chance to respond to our weekly discussion questions. It is actually kind of nice.
Then there is the WIR. This is the "in-class" portion of the hybrid/blended model. Everything else is done online up until this point. When the weekend begins you are sitting for 8 hours a day (for 2 days) with your classmates and professor. Sounds like a nightmare, doesn't it? Actually I LOVED it! I got to learn everyone's name, see everyone's face, and put a name with all the postings I've been reading all semester. There was a lot of great discussion to be had and I felt like I learned tons.
So, I should take this opportunity to thank all of my classmates and the professor for an awesome WIR and then apologize to anyone else who has been in a class with me before I discovered the beauty of "blended." ;-)