As the Spring 2017 semester is over and I’ve launched into my Summer 2017 course, I’ve been trying to synthesize the experience and come up with some deliverables that I can share with you.
It hasn’t been easy.
I’ll start by inviting you over to my LinkedIn profile to check out my final paper and presentation, Responding to a Changing Labor Market: What Can We Learn From the Past?
I somehow managed to earn an “A” in both my classes, a fact that I am extremely proud of. I worked really hard and I’m glad my hard work for my first semester has paid off. My professors were all phenomenal and I learned so much from them!
In terms of what I can share about being successful inside and outside the classroom, I think there are some lessons I’ve learned that can be broadly applied.
Refer to Subject Matter Experts
As I worked on my projects, I found myself often going back to presentations that I have been on the receiving end of. As a member of the school board in my community, I am surrounded by people who have invested a lot of time, money, and effort into understanding the public education system in the United States. As my research led me more and more toward recommending that we need to invest in public education I was grateful for their thorough presentations and expertise.
This, of course, can certainly apply in so many areas. You may not know the answer to the problem you are facing but someone else does. Ask them for help! If you don’t know who to ask, just start asking. Someone is bound to know someone and “we all do better when we all do better.”
As I was preparing for the semester to begin, I somehow managed to develop this notion that I could just do all my homework in the evenings and I would almost never have to do anything on the weekends. In hindsight all I can think is “Rachel, have you met yourself?”
My peak time of day is 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. You may notice this is squarely in the middle of a standard work day. By the evening my brain in friend and intellectual pursuits are, by and large, off the table. Once I realized that and started working harder to do homework during my lunch break and sacrificing my weekends I felt a lot less overwhelmed.
My big take-away from this is that it doesn’t matter what you want to have happen. Certainly we can change, but sometimes we have to take ourselves as we are and work everything else around that.
This goes hand-in-hand with accepting yourself. Decide what your top priority for the day, week, month, or year is and then order things after that. Does Nateanite do laundry the way I do it? He absolutely does not. Did we have clean clothes to wear over the course of the semester? We absolutely did. Household work is something that fell solidly by the wayside for me, and it continues to be solidly on the wayside. I think it will be until at least May 2019.
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