Tag Archives: College

Group Dynamics

As a mature student, there is one area in my college pursuits that I continue to struggle with – group work.  This is where you find out exactly what you and your classmates are made of.  If you are depending on each other for the grade, well then things get interesting really quick. 

In one of the classes I have this semester, we have some big, bold personalities.  That’s cool; I prefer this to the lame and the meek.  However, if you put all the big and bolds in one group then it takes a few weeks to get your groove and sort out who is the Alpha Dog and how the rest of the pack is going to file in place. 

The course is really interesting and the teacher has a neat way of viewing the world.   I look forward to each class because of that alone.

At the end of  the class, we split into two groups.  It was a simple divide of where people sat in the room.  The division splits us in such a way that all the people in their twenties are on one side and all of us that are in our thirties (or over) are on the other side.  One guy sitting on the other side of the room referred to the 30’s crowd (without a lick of malice) as the “elders”. 

Lovely.

The problem is the “elders” can be a bit cantankerous and set in their ways. It truly seems to take us longer to come to a consensus and get things done.  We tend to veer off task and pepper our work time with personal anecdotal stories.  This does not bode well for “elderly” stereotypes that I have tried so hard to overcome.    

The young’uns must get a real kick out of us.

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Filed under adult education, No Adult Left Behind

The drop out temptation

I won’t be in a big hurry to attend another summer semester any time soon.  Summer is alluring because you can knock out a bunch of credits quickly and make great headway on your path to a degree in a blink of an eye.  For me, this one was almost a disaster.  Halfway through the semester, I found comic relief in the fact that I was dangerously close to blowing it and I am the one who wrote a book to advise and motivate adults to go back to college. 

But that is real.  That is the real challenge of college.  Some semesters and some days are a struggle.  It is just like a job, a marriage or anything that brings joy and is worth having – there are challenges. 

The trouble with college is that dropping out is sometimes so seductive.  About halfway through the semester, I toyed with the idea.  The semester is only 6 weeks in the summer session so I would have dropped the classes with only three weeks to go.  No refund. 

The semester is hardly over for me.  I still have a project that I have to complete in the fall.  The thought of that looming over my head haunts me a bit.  It would have been worse if I dropped completely. 

I got by.   Woody Allen said that 90% of success is just showing up.

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Filed under adult education, No Adult Left Behind