Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Need Some Opinions

Originally, I was supposed to be taking 8 units this semester.  One class, a research and methodology class, was full and hard as I tried, I could not get in.  It is offered through the Elementary Education department and is a core class.  That department is much bigger than the Reading department, you can always get into a Reading department class.

After much wringing of hands and excessive talking about it, I decided that I would wait until summer school to take the class.  In the spring, I would be taking my Master's Project (the equivalent of a thesis but with a "product" instead of a research question), and doing an internship at the local community college along with a four unit internship.  Even with taking the class in summer school, I would be allowed to walk in the May '08 graduation ceremonies and, as long as I finish the class successfully, I could get hired for the Fall '09 semester.

It was all settled and decided in my mind... until last night.  After class, some of us were discussing what to take next semester.  The subject of the research class came up.  Everyone I know in the program took it in summer school.  Everyone I know hated the class.  It is a lot of reading and writing (research!) and deals with quantitative versus qualitative research, something about P values and N values and all sorts of stuff.  So... my original plan to take the class during a regular semester was to stretch out all the work over 15 weeks instead of doing it in 6 weeks.

So now... I  don't know, I'm wondering whether it is better to:

1. Take the class, carry 8 units, pay more money and have a pretty heavy load.  The Master's Project is 1 unit, but more than 1 unit worth of work.  I will be writing a literature review that will be anywhere from 15 to 50 pages long in addition to refining the project and finalizing all the details.  (Guess what?  The project involves blogging!!!!)  Added to the workload will be approximately 5 to 7 hours per week of an internship at the local communit college working in a reading development class.


2. Wait until summer school to take the class and just suffer through the six weeks of research and methodology hell.

Part of me is really liking the idea of just being done in May.  Completely done.  Finito.  Another part of me is thinking that I have been struggling with my work load this semester due to the reasons I've been moaning and groaning about for the last few months:  sleep issues, poor diet, no exercise, weight gain, yada, yada, yada.  

Will I be able to pull it together to manage the heavier workload?

HOWEVER, if I do manage it, I will be finished and not have to spend six weeks, from mid-May to July slaving over a computer, reading research studies until my eyes pop out and writing multiple papers.  I'll have from mid-May to August free of school to collapse, relax, hang out with the family, do cartwheels, whatever until it is time to start teaching for the fall semester.

What do you guys think?  I put a poll up in the sidebar.  It is just for today and part of tomorrow.  I meet with my grad advisor tomorrow and I think I will make my final decision after talking to her.  So, go vote in my poll and leave me some comments if you need to elaborate on what you think I should do and why.

Thanks!  The next few months of my family's life will be affected by the click of your mouse!

11 down, 19 to go


AJU5's Mom said...

So, I have found that students who take on too much get more frustrated than students who are taking a normal load. But, this is undergrad (at a CC)... You like math - so the stats part shouldn't be too bad (P and N values...). I know it doesn't sound "fun", but could you start the project now and get a good handful done before the spring term actually starts? That would allow you to be completely done in May. The kids might not love this, but you could explain that it is a trade-off for a free summer when you can spend more time with them!

John Ross said...

How about this: pretty much the same kind of theory as aju's mom only take it in the summer, but start working on it spring semester so you have some of it done before the 6 weeks summer class.

metro mama said...

I vote for option 1, if you can stand to have a dirty house for a while!

Aliki2006 said...

Hmmm...I would take it in the summer, personally. I know it's so tempting to overload now, but the spring is a hard semester to get through (for me at least) for many reasons--the weather, the short days, the cold viruses that sweep through, general post-holiday malaise) and it might be taking on too much. If you can start some work on it in the spring you might set yourself up for an easier time of it in the summer. Also, if that is the only class you're focused on in the summer you can make a schedule for yourself and perhaps end up being more productive in the long run.

Julie Pippert said...

I don't know...I see the temptation to be done, but at what cost?

Anonymous said...

I'd do it in the summer -- but that's just me. I'd rather have a lighter load for a longer period. But I'm a bit of wimp.

evenshine said...

I'm the opposite of SB...I'd rather have a tougher load for a shorter time. That's usually the way I worked things for my MA, anyway. Different in college, though- more of a "slack away!" mentality prevailed with me. Good luck!

All Rileyed Up said...

Boo hoo, I missed the poll. Um, I'd go for the get it done before summer option. You seem like a good multitasker and then you'll have a free summer. How's it go with your advisor?

Mel said...

Drat....missed the poll.

Whatdya decide?