Epic Tale of My Cohort Experience: Week 15

Monday: 12/02/13
I have reached the final week of class.  I am beyond thrilled, but I am also more stressed out than I have ever been.  It just doesn’t make sense to me.  I am in a cohort.  We are all taking the same classes.  I would assume our professors talk to one another and they would not overload us so much. Why is it when I have taken other classes, not part of this cohort, the final week of school was blissful and serene?  What is the point of this cohort and more importantly, why didn’t we do more of this work throughout the semester instead of the final week of class?

My first class we talk about the take home final.  No one in my class seems to be freaking out the way I am over it.  It is very intense. We have not talked about most of what it contains and each question has at least 5-7 questions to answer.  This is not how you write a test.  My only thought is my classmates have checked out and are not really listening and have not read what this test actually contains.  A scanning of the room confirms this theory.  Our professor tells us we must come to class at our scheduled exam time to turn it in.  What???? What is the point of a take-home final if you can’t just put it in your professors mailbox or deliver it to his office?  Now I will have to drive all the way back to school, park, and walk to the building just to hand in a final. This is absurd.  The due date is Friday, December 13th. This does buy me some more time than I anticipated, but I also planned on having it finished by Wednesday along with everything else so I could start getting things ready for Christmas. Oh well, I will deal with this later.

Next I go to the dreaded class.  Today we are divided into groups of four and two of us are scheduled to teach a lesson.  I signed up to teach mine today because I wanted to get it over with so I could relax on Wednesday.  It goes well.  I pray that my hostile professor does not join my group while I am teaching and God answers my prayer.

Tuesday: 12/03/13
I have a huge project due today, but I finished it up on Sunday so I can’t wait to turn it in and feel the relief that goes along with it.  Now I have to start working on a portfolio for this class.  I am not too worried about it, but I know it will be time consuming.

In my next class we spend our time working on our projects.  The professor has drastically reduced the amount of work we have to do for the final.  My partner and I hang back after class to finish some things up and our professor tells us how much he appreciates us and how we probably don’t even need to turn in our final because we all know what grade we will get.  This may not be entirely appropriate for our professor to say, but these words only make me work harder so I do not disappoint him.

Wednesday: 12/04/13
I am so thankful today is the last time I will have to attend a regularly scheduled class with the professor who loves himself too much.  We spend our time talking about the new processes we will have to undergo when we do our student teaching.  As helpful as the information is, it is not coming at the right time.  I would rather attend a meeting about this right before I am actually going to student teach.  Not only is this a huge waste of time right now, but it is also adding to the anxiety of those who choose to listen, anxiety that is not necessary to induce because this is a new process and by the time we student teach everything he is telling us right now will probably change.

Today during the dreaded class I am thrilled I simply have to sit in my group and listen to the other 2 students present their reading lessons.  I carefully remove the extra chairs surrounding us so the hostile professor cannot set-up position at our table.  The lesson starts and despite my efforts, he joins my group.  Things go well at first and then he pushes my buttons.  He shares his view that not everything we read or learn should hold some kind of value or applicable lesson.  I share my differing opinion and explain that if I am not going to learn something from an activity or reading I would not waste my time doing it.  We go back and forth for quite awhile and it is very entertaining for my group.  I finally tell him I understand what he is saying and his way of thinking is his opinion and one way to look at things, but I happen to have a different opinion. He backs down and tells me he just wants to make sure I know what he is saying because he fears my way of thinking will get me into trouble as a teacher to which I laugh and reply that I have a teenage daughter, I am surrounded by teenagers, and I am fully aware of what I am walking into.  I left out the part about how he has never taught a day of actual school in his life.  When he left our table, the girl who saw me cry the first day of school, (who now happens to be a friend of mine) said, “That was AWESOME!”

I was so happy to leave that room knowing I will only see this man 2 more times in my life!

Thursday: 12/5/13
Snow is in the forecast for tomorrow and I am preparing myself for missing my last day of the dreaded class.  I also have a seminar scheduled for 10AM tomorrow.  We will have to see what happens.

My first class today is bittersweet.  This is my favorite class.  This is the class that has kept me going the whole semester.  I was supposed to have this same professor next semester, but he is taking the spring semester off to write another book.  He will teach again next fall and then he is retiring.  I am thankful I was able to meet him and have him as a teacher.  He is very inspiring.  He is what all professors should be.  Today we talk about our final portfolio.  I wasn’t worried about the portfolio until this class.  He wants them to be creative.  He also talks about the presentation we are supposed to give the day of our final.  I thought I would just get up there and talk, but he wants us to have something prepared.  It is supposed to be like a speech.  I am a little stressed, but I know I can pull this off.  I kind of just don’t want to though.

Before I leave my first class I discuss the possibility of snow tomorrow with my professor because he is in charge of the 10 o’clock seminar.  He told me to not even worry about attending.  Again, this is why I love him so much.  He gets the adult attending college!

Our next class we work on our projects again.  Ours is almost finished and once again our professor as eliminated some of the work.  It is very doable now.

Later I email my hostile professor about the impending snowstorm.  I explain how far I drive to school and talk about how a 2 hour delay would mean my youngest daughter would not start school until 11:30 AM, which is the same time class starts.  I told him I would do everything in my power to make it to class if possible, but I also had to be realistic.  He responded kindly and told me not to put myself or my children in danger.  Maybe if our class had been online I would have gotten along with him better.

Friday: 12/06/13
Well my kids have their first snow day of the year.  The roads are bad.  The 10AM seminar is canceled and I decide it is not worth risking my life to drive to a 45 minute class.  My friend, the girl who saw me cry, records class for me so I can hear the exam review.

I spend the day completing a project and the extremely difficult take-home final.  After I finish the take-home final I email my professor to ask if I can turn it in next week on one of the days I will already be up at school.  He is gracious and allows me to do this, but tells me not to let anyone know. I am relieved to know I will not have to drive an hour there and an hour back just to hand in a final exam.  I now will have the whole day next Friday to get ready for Christmas!

The snow sure is beautiful.

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