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noni_muss

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08:35 pm: Must vent
I am supposed to graduate this semester, so I signed up for the last class that I need for this term. It is supposed to be collaborative time between me and my advisor, during which we're supposed to work out the what/when/how etc. of the final project. I was just looking back at my calendar, and I started attempting to contact my advisor on January 15th. Despite numerous e-mails, it was not until February 12th that we actually managed to meet. At that time, she informed me I needed to propose my idea to the entire committee, which I was not previously aware of.

At that first meeting, I told her my idea for my project was to create a self-guided learning module for preservice or new teachers who found themselves working in inclusive classrooms with special education students, but hadn't received any previous training on differentiating of instruction. (BTW, this is what happened to me when I was a new teacher. I had NO training about serving special education students in the general education classroom as an undergrad, and when I struggled to meet their needs, I thought I was just a shitty teacher. It wasn't until later that I learned teacher training programs are what's shitty; no wonder half of new teachers quit within the first five years!) Anyhoo, my prof. said it was a great idea, so off I go to start my website on ULD, which is supposed to be the format for this self-guided learning module.

I e-mailed all the members of my committee, and prepare my proposal. However, between the four of us, it was impossible to nail down a time we could all meet until March 3. At the proposal meeting I learn that, if I am to graduate this term, I have to present by April 17th, AND that my project must be completed and submitted to all memebers of the committee two weeks before the oral defense is scheduled. Oh, and wouldn't it be awesome if I designed my project as a district-wide professional development, so that all the teachers at my school could learn about my topic? Oh, and wouldn't it be even cooler if I postponed graduation until next year so that I could present it at my school and include the feedback from my co-workers in the results section of my project?!?

Bitches pushed me too far there.

When I made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that pushing back my graduation date was NOT AN OPTION, they reeled in their enthusiasm. However, once the idea of designing the project as a professional development training was out there, it could not be so easily swept back under the rug. As a result, not only was all the time I'd spent on the website wasted, but I had to do a TON more research, as they wanted me to include a review of the literature on professional development and adult learning.

So anyhow, since I didn't meet with my committee until nearly two months into the term, I then had only six weeks to finish the project I should have had all semester to do, and now it's taking a totally different and unexpected format than I had been preparing for, and I have to research a new topic, and I have to create lesson plans and presentation materials for a professional development training. But wait, it's not a full 6 weeks, because the committee members are supposed to get copies to review two weeks before the oral defense. So I have a month. And I work full time.

So I've been working and studying and reading and writing and ignoring my friends and tivoing my shows and missing all the movies I've been wanting to see and crying and fretting and losing sleep and snapping at my students and overall generally freaking out. But I finished my draft and sent it to my prof. to review. We were going to meet Thursday, so I thought if I sent her a draft, she could propose any revisions when we met. Then, I could make any changes I needed to, finish up the lesson plans and some revision to the powerpoint presentations, and be done by Sunday.

Under this stupidly optimistic delusion, I spent this week thinking "Sunday. I'll be done on Sunday. Printing it off on Sunday. Delivering to profs. on Sunday. Sunday." However, when my prof. and I met Thursday, she had not finished reading my paper, (still hasn't), but informs me that the methodology section of my paper didn't need to be included in the final paper, it is just for the proposal. Oh yeah, and I'm supposed to have a conclusion section where I talk about what I learned, what my educational and professional goals are, how I proposed to deliver the project, how and why I selected the topic, etc. etc. And I'm sitting there trying not to chew a hole through the inside of my cheek or grab her and scream into her face THEN WHY THE FUCK IS THIS THE FIRST I'M HEARING ABOUT THIS!!!!

Anyhoo, she decides that I have enough more to do and/or change that she wants to meet me again next Thursday, which means that I won't be done on Sunday. And the other committee members won't be getting the final projects two weeks ahead of time (which my prof. said she'll talk to them about, but again, this is the woman who didn't respond to my e-mails for the first month of the term.) So if she wants me to make any more revisions after next Thursday, even if I pull a SERIOUS late night, I can't see being able to get it finished before 5 p. m.  Friday, and I don't think the other committee members will check their office mailboxes over the weekend, so essentially they wouldn't get my stuff until Monday - two DAYS before my oral defense, rather than the two WEEKS required by the guidelines.

And that's what's up with me.

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