My Journey Through Graduate School

When I created this instructional design blog for a course assignment in March, 2012, I never thought the time would pass so quickly while working on my Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology (MSIDT). Alas, here I am, nearly two years later enrolled in the final course. Wow! It sure has been a lot of work but as they say when exercising, ‘No pain, no gain’.

Along the way, I gained more than I lost, and it is not weight I am writing about in this post. Rather, I am really writing about the blessings which came to me while on my journey to achieve this graduate degree. How do your blessings stack up to mine?

  1. Wonderful classmates from a variety of employment fields including, but not limited to K-12 teachers, higher education instructors, military personnel, consultants, and a few healthcare professionals like myself; all with lots of experiences to share, plenty of reading assignments to complete, and weekly topics to master
  2. Super qualified, knowledgeable professors from a variety of educational settings and experiences
  3. Challenging discussions and assignments which forced me to think outside the box and support my views with scholarly references
  4. Comprehensive projects which exposed me to new technology and pushed me to learn new skills in instructional design
  5. A well-rounded graduate education which included courses on organizational change, learning theories, instructional design and advanced instructional design, foundations of research, distance learning, project management, multimedia design and development, program evaluation, assessments in online environments, online instructional strategies, and a capstone project
  6. Greater appreciation for the sacrifices students make to excel in their graduate studies while also working full time and caring for spouses, children, and other loved ones
  7. A healthy respect and appreciation for all of the university personnel involved in the assessment, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of each course in this 100% online graduate program
  8. A debt of gratitude to all of the technical staff, library personnel, advisors, financial aid specialists, and other support staff working behind the scenes to make our online experiences unforgettable

Now that my journey through graduate school is nearing its end, I find myself creating a bucket list of things to do, places to go, and people to see, starting on December 23, 2013, the day after the end of my last course. How does your bucket list compare to mine?

  1. Read my Bible, pray, and journal every day
  2. Eat more healthy
  3. Exercise more
  4. Get more sleep
  5. Drink more water
  6. Listen to inspiring music more often
  7. Read a book every week
  8. Resume volunteering at my church
  9. Volunteer in a local non-profit
  10. Spend more time with my husband, children, and grandchildren
  11. Make new friends and keep the old ones
  12. Send more cards and prepare more meals for shut-ins and the seriously ill
  13. Get debt-free
  14. Resume guitar lessons so my grandson and I can play together
  15. Clean my house, de-clutter, and re-organize

For sure, this journey had many curves and pot holes along the way, but the time it took to arrive at the final destination went much quicker than I ever imagined. I will miss my classmates, especially Sally, and also my professors, but I know when I submit the final assignment for the final course, I will be ready to let that chapter of my life close, and allow a new chapter to open, which I may write about on another day, at another time.

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