Monday, January 10, 2011

And so it begins...... Week 1

Format Note:
I've decided to add a couple of sections to the weekly blog.
"Preparation" to give insight to what I had to do to prepare for the week - a general summary.
"Reflection and Expectations" to give thoughts on the challenges of the week while preparing and to provide any relevant expectations of the upcoming class.
This will require me to write these two sections BEFORE class.
I will then conclude the weekly update with "Class Summary" and "Personal Thoughts"

In preparation for classes this week, a couple of things had to be accomplished.  Since I had taken the Economics pre-assessment test and didn't do so well, I needed to take the Ivy Class on Economics.  So, finishing that this week while experiencing the wonderful world of cedar fever proved to be a challenge.  I studied most of the week and most of the day Saturday, then took the test Saturday night and ....passed!

Mid-week, we received our learning team assignments from Dr. Ford.  We are grouped into learning teams with four members each.  These four people will stay as a learning team for 2 semesters.

We also received a note from Professor Warren earlier this week stating that we should read the first two chapters in our textbook and be ready to discuss SWOT in class.  "Two chapters", I thought, "no big deal".  So, I had put off reading those chapters until after I finished the economics assessment.  Well, two chapters turned out to be a BIG deal for me.  This is a honking big book and the print is small, two chapters proved to be ALOT of reading!  But, I finished it Monday morning and am ready for class.

Commercial Break: Reflection and Expectations
While doing the required study / pretest for economics and the reading for marketing, I'm a little anxious about ramping up my study skills.  It's been 21 years since I've really had to engage studying habits this intense and at that time I was a full-time student.
Incidentally, the message in church yesterday was "What are you doing to prepare for Sunday".  The point being that corporate worship and hearing from God, requires preparation (basing it on the events leading up to Acts 10:44).  This hit me specifically because of the amount of "preparation" I had done this week for the 4 hours of class.  What if I had prepared with the same intensity for Sunday worship (this takes on different meaning for different folks)?  Just that thought has totally changed my morning quiet time, starting this morning.

I'm looking forward to this evening's class to get to know my learning team.  I'm excited to see what each of us will be able to contribute to the team.  I am a little anxious about economics, even though I made a 90 on the pre-assessment, I feel like I essentially crammed and am worried that a lot of it might not "stick".  I have no idea what to expect out of marketing tonight, but I think I will really enjoy diving into that class.

Class Time:
There was a much more relaxed atmosphere tonight as class started.  After the normal introductions with at the beginning of each class and going over each class syllabus, we were off to the races.  We immediately dove into a SWOT analysis for a scenario with Apple Computer's IPhone being offered on the Verizon network.  Great discussion and just gave us a taste for the type of discussion to follow.  Time flew by and we were done with Marketing class for the evening, had a 20 min break and Economics was to begin.

I have to hand it to Dr Estrada, he definitely knows how to use real life examples / stories that help you understand the principle of economics.  The evening was spent with lecture on the basics of economics and helped reinforce some of the assessment studies that we had to do.

One evening done.....lots of work ahead.

Personal Thoughts:
The evening met expectations of being engaging and sitting through this with our learning teams.  Going through the syllabus made me understand that our learning teams are really going to be working a lot together and leaning on each other to get all of this work done.  One interesting observation was watching each learning team start to plan together.  Since there is a project that we will actually compete with each other - that competitive component seemed to thrust each team into tight groups at the end of class this evening.  Each trying to figure out their best meeting options and likely how to get started asap on their project.
Wish I had more introspection that this, but this is just beginning........

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