Blog 9: Creating the Perfect Monster

Blog 9: Creating the Perfect Monster

I thought that I would apply for a Phd, be accepted at some amazing university (the University of Minnesota was my first choice) and I would learn, adapt, write and be done. And go on to become a magnificent teaching creature. Except that…part of it happened and then…the rest didn’t.

I got accepted, took my first class and…hated it. I despised the data collection – which involved video taping my own teaching, – I despised the the transcription of the data, the reading of the data and monitoring my own class engagement in isolation and confusion. The advisor, whom I had initially liked, turned out to be short with me, impatient, and abruptly dismissive of my questions. Her old-school style of advising was…well, uncomfortable. It was clear that the learning journey I had anticipated and waited for: was not going to happen. I realized that she had thought I would do research for her, and write for her. By the end of the semester, I knew the area of study was not a good fit – and neither was the advisor. But, I could not admit that I need to re-think my plan. My option was to continue to take classes online – and apply for a degree change to the Learning Technologies PhD program, or – quit.

I decided to wait it out for a semester or two and take more classes. So, I took classes. At Phd prices. I sought advice from professors but no one seemed interested in my situation or in helping me proceed forward or to make a better plan. So, I kept taking classes. No one thought to advise me or ask me anything or tell me the drill. I am now almost done with an expensive Master’s of Education in Learning Technologies. I fear I got accepted into the program, not because I am any good (although I do have a rather tough Master’s degree in History, already) but because I had completed most of the classes and they had to let me in to the program. Or because it looks bad for U of MN data, when graduate students drop out. Discouraging thoughts.

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