May. 7th, 2017

Semester 1

May. 7th, 2017 06:41 pm
bigmog: (Default)
I've just finished my first semester as a graduate student at Virginia Tech. Some thoughts so far:

The school itself is way big but online students are just a small part of the student population. They attempt to treat both types of students equally which can backfire.

A student ID can only be issued on the campus and they won't mail it so I have no easy means of proving that I'm a student. Although I do get a .edu email address which is occasionally useful for discounts.

Once or twice I got an email inviting me to attend an event that was only local on campus. I notified that the organizer that such emails made me feel excluded and that they shouldn't email remote students with such events.

The top moron award goes to the IT help desk that tried to call me at 6am for input on a ticket that I had submit. They assume that everyone must be on Eastern time despite my phone number clearly being from a Colorado area code. I raised hell on this mistake and I'm not done either.

I took two courses: Fundamentals of Computer Science and E-commerce.

The computer science course was super interesting and I challenged me to learn a lot about how computers work. The instructor, while certainly knowledgeable, struggled in using technology like WebEx for her lectures. She would have benefited from some capable teacher's assistants.

TA's are the real work horses in academia. In the other class, the instructor only did the first meeting and they left all the rest to his TA. Now, this TA was excellent but why isn't the instructor more involved? I'll raise this question with my advisor.

That course wasn't nearly as interesting perhaps because I've been a web developer in a previous career. The technical aspects of running an e-commerce site were reduced to configuring a hosted WordPress. Yawn. Sure WordPress is super popular and could be worth knowing but not very challenging.

Now I'm nervously awaiting my final grades. In order to have my tuition reimbursed by work, I need a 3.0 or higher. I kept up on the homework and projects throughout the semester so I'm hoping that will offset my poor scores in the final exams.

August 2017

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