- Most of my conversations are on some form of instant messenging service, and sometimes with back and forth emails.
- I belong to a few different social networking sites and/or message boards. Most of my friends in these places I know IRL (in real life), but haven't seen in months or years.
- When I finish my Masters, I will have never stepped foot on the campus of the school I'm attending. I have yet to even be in the same state as that school.
- Even the guy I'm currently "seeing" lives in a different state and we rely on IM, email, phone, and webcams to "date". (Yay! I'm kinda sorta "seeing" someone!) Don't worry, I've known this person IRL for quite some time now, so it's not like I'm dating someone I only know online.
For instance, in undergrad, had I done the same project I was doing this week for school, we would have talked about it in class. We might have had some sort of practice day in a computer lab. It would have definitely been more formal and structured.
Instead, to teach myself, I had to rely on an informational packet, three instructional DVDs (which I couldn't get to work), various listserv/Blackboard discussions, the website itself, and a recording of a chat help session with the professor where people typed in questions and she audio recorded the answers.
It's no wonder I was confused. For something I've been seeing information come in for about three weeks, I really shouldn't have procrastinated it until two nights ago. It is due today. I got so lost on how to do one of the problems that I called the customer service number on the website.
Other Girl: Good afternoon, how I can help you?
Me: (Afternoon? It's midnight. What?) Yeah, I'm a new user of this program, I'm a grad student, and I was wondering how to ________ .
Other Girl: (in an definite Australian accent) Well, usually, you __________ .
Me: (Oh! Australia! Of course. At least she speaks English!) Yeah, I tried that.
Other Girl: We aren't really supposed to help grad students.
Me: (CRAP! I can't even call Katie, since she's in my time zone!) Oh, well, yeah. Haha. It's midnight here, so I was just trying to call someone.
Other Girl: Heh. Yeah, well, we've been told not to.
Me: No problem. Thanks anyway!
Luckily, I finally figured it out and the whole assignment was submitted just after 1 AM. With that email, the craziness of this week is officially over and I'm finally back on top of everything.
I love school, but the unstructured way I'm doing things sometimes makes me feel like this:
(Penny Walsh poses among books thrown from their shelves during an earthquake in Gisborne, New Zealand.)