Nathanial Garrod

Current Success and Near-Future Plans

School is moving along well. This past week held midterms for both of my classes.

On Monday we had an in-class exam in my Student Development Theory class. The exam was comprised of an essay question (we had an option to select between two) and nine identification questions (of which we could choose eight). I chose to write my essay on Nevitt Sanford, and the terms that surround his theory commonly known as “challenge-and-support.” We had to describe those terms as if we were giving a presentation at a small Midwestern institution that had not previously utilized student development theory in their student affairs program. The prompt further required us to apply that theory to practice, suggesting ways this theory could manifest itself in the daily routine of student affairs practitioners.

 Having spent the majority of the week before the exam studying for it, I felt good about the test when I left the computer lab where we typed the essays. The professor e-mailed my class today to let us know the grades were posted. With equal parts excitement and trepidation I logged on to D2L, our web blackboard system (it’s basically just another WebCT or Moodle), to check my grade. I was filled with a thrill of joy when I saw the A pop up on the screen.

I got a notice on my door from the management of my complex that my lease is expiring on May 31. Which seems so far and so soon. For those who do not know, I will not be renewing my lease here in Stillwater. I will be moving closer to the Northwest Oklahoma City metropolitan area so I can be closer to work. I am very excited about this. It means I will be able to be a bit more flexible about the time I put in at work. I have really struggled this year with the commute to work 3-4 times a week, and I think that reversing it to a commute to school will help a lot.

Which brings me to my next transition. I am going to be staying at two classes a semester next semester. I shifted down to two classes this semester for a number of reasons. Some of it was related to building a strategy for my academic success (which has been paying off, it seems) and some of it was related to the schedule of course offerings.

 Yes, it will add a year to my program. Yes, that was a doubt and concern for me when I first thought about it. But I have spent so much of my life trying to prove that I am good enough, that I am better than what my past echoes I am. And none of that has ever proven to be true. I earned an undergraduate degree in four years, despite a culture that says a four-year degree is near impossible. What do I have to prove and to whom? Nothing, and to no one. If anything, staying in school longer has benefits. I will be able to spend more time creating experiences for myself, becoming versed in different processes and creating a wider network. Sure, another year does not initially seem ideal, but I am excited for the potential that comes with it. 

I miss everyone at home, and if I haven’t called to catch up recently, I probably will soon!

2 Comments on “Current Success and Near-Future Plans

  1. Bekah
    March 10, 2012

    That’s one of the issues I’m currently debating and struggling with in terms of classes and how long I want to be in school. Right now, since I’m not taking summer classes, I’ve added an extra semester to my degree. If I drop from 3 classes to 2, it’ll add one more semester, to make it a full year. The bonus, though, is that if I do take fewer classes I can potentially work a steady schedule again.

    (and we use d2l for school, too. /random)

    • Nathanialjg
      March 10, 2012

      It’s weird to be prioritizing work as being just as important as school, and to be in a job that leads to a career.

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