They say you only get one shot at making a first impression. I wonder what the odds are of actually making that impression a good one. It seems that you could easily make a negative first impression without even trying. If that’s the easier way to go, wouldn’t that be the more likely outcome of the first impression? I don’t actually know. I was never good with probabilities.
Last week, I began the graduate level courses necessary for me to become a teacher. Before my official start date, I started to wonder if I’d bitten off more than I could chew. I began to question whether or not I really wanted to be a teacher that badly. Sure, I’d wanted to be a teacher at a very young age, but would it be worth the stress?
A full-time job. A part-time job. And now, graduate level classes. Yes, it would be completely worth it on the other side of everything.
But it’s all very new to me right now. I did fairly well while taking classes in seminary, where I attended classes that were taught by professors in person. Now my classes are all online. Class discussions take place on message boards. Most of my reading material comes in digital form. When I was an undergrad, e-books were a thing of science-fiction.
My first week was extremely difficult for me. Most of the issues stemmed from poor time management on my part, though some of that I couldn’t control.
The reading assignments for the week were found in e-books. However, I had no idea how to access those books once I purchased them. So I emailed the bookstore. They responded, very succinctly, by letting me know that an email had been sent with instructions for how to access my new books. I’ll admit, I have missed things in the past when I’ve quickly skimmed through emails. But I don’t recall receiving anything after my purchase, aside from an order confirmation (which wouldn’t even count as a receipt, as it did not include the cost of my books). That confirmation only contained a link back to the bookstore site to check on the status of my order.So I emailed again. This time I got no response. I gave them 24 hours and emailed again. This was Wednesday. By then I was panicking. I had only a few days to read five chapters (in books I did not have) and formulate educated responses to online discussion questions and submit a five-page paper. I did what any panicky student might do. I asked for help.
I got online and posted my question about accessing the e-books to the forum that was designed for technical questions and problems, which I believed this to be. A couple of helpful students responded (for which I’m grateful, even though their suggestions were fruitless without the receipt and appropriate numbers from the bookstore). A response also appeared from the professor (whom I have not yet formally met). He let me know that questions such as these should be reserved for a more social discussion board.
Awesome. I got fussed at by the professor for posting a question in the wrong place while also announcing that, three days into the course, I still didn’t have my books. Great first impression, right?Don’t worry. I was able to finish my work for the week. The bookstore finally came through on Friday (giving me two whole days to finish the work during an already busy weekend). I managed to submit everything in the 11th hour. Which I’m sure only served to further impress my professor. Gonna be a long summer, kids.