This semester, I have excitingly added student to my dance card by returning to the classroom through ODU's distance learning program. In November, I signed up for a class about classical rhetoric and theory building as a non-degree seeking student, and as January emerged, my anticipation for returning to the classroom on the other side of the desk swelled. I marked my first day on the calendar, and knew that this day would be amazing...not too much pressure, right? What could possibly go wrong? (It's a terrible cliché, I know, but I really set myself up for it.)
Well, it turns out that a lot can go wrong; the technology gods failed to smile upon me as numerous technical difficulties locked me out of the class. The hours that John and I spent with tech support moved forward with no regard to my scheduled obligation, and I typed, clicked, and watched frustratingly as no suggestion worked. I sat in agony as the class’ start time approached and passed. But it's okay; this experience is a lesson in patience. I was forced to accept that my anxiety didn’t solve any problems, and that patience was needed to cope with mounting frustrations that were beyond my control. While I never want to suffer the disappointment of missing class, I am pleased to acknowledge that I survived a night of everything going wrong.
This week, I welcomed two new groups of students who also had their first days of class. I have a better understanding of how many of them must feel as they anticipate this new semester. I suggest that you take on the role of student for the lessons that you can learn inside and outside the classroom. It is a worthwhile endeavor, even when glitches get in the way.