GSPM Week One & Kuleana Academy

It seems my streak of irregular posts continues….

Right now I’m sitting in Kahului airport catching one of the last flights back to Honolulu. I’ve been here roughly 12 hours, spending time with an old friend for his birthday. And while I’m sitting waiting to board, I thought I would at least start a new post.

Last Monday (1/16) I started graduate school. While I’m enjoying it so far, it hasn’t been really what I expected; though to be fair, I didn’t really know what to expect. The last time I was in school was 15 years ago for my undergraduate degree.

Nothing I say here is meant as a complaint; I’m thrilled to be a student again. Thrilled to be pursing a graduate degree and thrilled to be doing so from such a prestigious school as George Washington University. But it hasn’t been without its stressors and frustrations.

Maybe that stress is a product of participating in the first weekend of Kuleana Academy during the same weekend my before first “big” assignment for school was due.

So first, school. I knew it would be self-directed study. I knew I’d have to set my own schedule and complete assignments at my own pace within certain parameters. That’s all true. But I also expected that assignments would have a natural progression, that assignments would build on previous lessons. At least for the last assignment of my first week, that didn’t seem to me to be the case. So I ended up spending significant time just trying to figure out what was ultimately expected.

After spending more hours that I thought would be required so early in the course and with a deadline looming, after several rewrites of my paper, I finally just submitted the assignment. Thoroughly unhappy with the final product, I was sure it wouldn’t garner me much better than a C, I uploaded my paper and had a twinge that maybe I was, in fact, not cut out for this.

Add to all of this a non-stop, fully busy weekend with a great bunch of people for my first weekend of Kuleana Academy. I don’t get stressed very easily, but last weekend and rewarding as it was, was also one of the most stressful I’ve experienced in quite some time.

I’ll try to write more about my experience in that program later.

In the end, my grade on that assignment was much higher than I expected, which is definitely a good thing. But maybe even more importantly, I gained some confidence from the experience. If I can do well (I got a B+) while being so disappointed in my own work, then I know I can do well in the program. I just need to prioritize and manage my time better. It’s easier than it sounds, but I’m on my way.

Right before beginning to write this post, I my first assignment for Week Two of my first course. Because I knew I was coming to Maui for the day to hang out, I made sure to complete the assignment early. It may not sound like much, but it feels like a big deal to me.

Alright. Well, I should be boarding shortly. Hopefully you enjoyed this quick update.

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