Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Academic Planning for the Fall: Seminary Edition

Last night, I had a virtual Academic Planning session with Wesley Theological Seminary.  I have spent months thinking about my fall schedule, both the classes I might take, and the larger schedule issues:  will I still be employed?  How will my schedule of online classes that I'm teaching impact the seminary classes that I'm taking?  Will I have classes to teach?

I've spent the last few weeks studying the schedule of available seminary classes for fall and figuring out how they will be offered.  There will be online classes, virtual classes, hybrid classes, and face to face classes.  Since I expect to still be employed for fall, I plan to take classes from a distance, so no face to face classes.  I'm also ruling out hybrid classes, since they usually include a few face to face sessions.

I've spent the last few weeks referring back to the catalog to make sure that I'm planning to take the right classes.  But I decided not to register, since I knew I would be having the Academic Planning session on June 14.  Perhaps I would learn something new, and then I would need to go back and register all over again.

Now I'm wishing I had just gone ahead and signed up for those classes.  I was on the right track after all.  I didn't register immediately after the Academic Planning session because I needed to be across town at 7:00, plus I was tired of staring at the computer screen.  During the night, I tossed and turned and dreamed I couldn't get into any classes, and finally, I decided to get up to get the task done.

So of course, the system is down for maintenance.

I also have grading to do, and I had been feeling behind in that area.  And later this week, I'll be doing the onground intensive (remotely and virtually) for my spiritual direction certificate program.  I'm not surprised that I'm having trouble sleeping.  I'm making use of this early morning time, the time that most people would call the middle of the night.

So let me remember the key points of the Academic Planning Session.  For the most part, it was a review for me, but unlike some meetings that are just reviews of already known information, I was happy to hear it again.  I wanted validation and to be sure that I'd been reading the catalog and other information correctly.

It was also interesting to be on the other side, the student side, not the administrator side.  When we got to the part about academic dishonesty, I turned my camera off and took a quick bathroom break.  Having taught English classes for several decades, I understand the importance of giving credit where credit is due.  When the registrar urged us to reach out if we got into any kind of trouble and not to wait until the last day of the semester, I smiled.  I've said similar sentences in every new student orientation.

So, when the registration part of the portal opens up, I plan to register for the first required Old Testament class, and the first required New Testament class.  There's a Spiritual Formation for the Practice of Ministry section that I can take remotely, but there is no remote option for the first Spiritual Formation for the Practice of Ministry class.  That's O.K.  I'm not sure how many classes I can really do while I'm still working, and I may be working through the rest of the year, if we're not all moved to the Ft. Lauderdale campus.  The online section of the course in early church history is already full, but I'll put myself on the waitlist.  Again, if I get a seat, I'm not sure I'll take the class.  

It's hard to know how much I can do until I see the syllabi for the classes, to see how many papers are required and how many pages we'll read each week.  Once we get closer to the start of class, I should have a better idea of what the rest of my schedule will look like.  I can always use the drop-add option during the first 2 weeks, if I don't have access to course materials before then.

So, now to wait for the registration system to re-open.

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