OK. I return to my blog. So far, so good here at the UNI master's program. I do think this distance learning is a wonderful tool. Yet I am filled with fear.
I think I need to explain why.
I keep remembering the disastrous attempt of 1994 at Buena Vista University. I had committed to their Masters program in counseling. I spent the month of June on campus away from my family, hired expensive daycare for my 3 small children, bought a new computer, and received A's in the intense first courses (and I mean INTENSE, for the research methods class demanded work from 8 AM to midnight). Then as I prepared for the fall course, I received an email from professor, Jon Hixon, saying I had been removed from the cohort because I had failed to send my GRE scores to them by August 31. (BTW: Buena Vista didn't need full GRE scores, they just wanted the writing test. And btw, they removed this requirement less than a year later.)
Here's the thing. I had called the GRE testing center over thirty times to schedule a test, and I do not exaggerate. I pushed redial for a half-hour one afternoon, trying to get through, yet I would only reach their machine stating they were away from the desk at the moment, so try again in a few minutes Several different weeks I called that number, trying to schedule, but was never successful.
Then, I am embarrassed to say, the summer progressed, we bought a new camper, and I forgot that there was a due date for taking the stupid thing. My brother was in a master's program, and he just needed his GRE done before the end of the program, and somehow, I just morphed into that mode. When I received the letter, I immediately emailed an apology for the oversight, hoped all the work I had done over would speak to my writing skills (the prof had said I was the strongest writer in the cohort), and promised to schedule the test immediately. Nothing mattered. He would not listen to my pleas. He just kept saying, "Your refusal to take the test is your fault."
But I kept trying to plead my case with words and actions. I was helped by another to find a national 800 number, I scheduled the GRE, scored 5.5 out of 6, and had that sent to BVU by the end of September. I wrote a letter pleading for understanding and compassion, citing the busy life of a mother and teacher and how sometimes mistakes happen. It didn't matter.
I was completely humiliated. It was awful: how could I let such an important thing slip??? But I did, and try as I might, I couldn't fix it.
But I will say this about Buena Vista: I'll never agree with the dispassionate way they treated me, and I will make sure my children do not attend that school. What they did was senseless. All my effort and significant amount of money deserved a four week extension, for that was all that was needed. I will despise Jon Hixon all the rest of my days. A little kindness in this life will do far more good that living rigidly by illogical rules.
But still, I am scared. What if I do something stupid again? What if something important slips by me on this cyber approach to education? What if....what if....what if...???
Yet, I try to remain firm: I will overcome my humiliation and do this. Wish me luck.