On-campus, online and traveling between the two

By Amy Nielsen

I travel for three reasons - for a purpose, with purpose, or without a care.

I have been travelling internationally since I was small. I consider myself a third culture kid. My mother is the one who taught me about the three kinds of travels, though we never talked about it as such. We travelled together with the rest of our immediate family, she went away on her own for business for many weeks at a time – beginning when I was in grade school, and then there were the trips we took alone together – some of my most favorite memories.


Memory Lane in a little black book

By Amy Nielsen

I have the little black book that I started in culinary school. Get your head out of the gutter. It is my master recipe book. It’s a black heavy cardboard spiral bound thing, four inches by six inches with thick textured paper inside – like those sketch books angst-ridden teens carry around. This one has graph paper inside it and a sticker of the conch republic on the cover. That alone should tell you something about me.


Understanding your learning style smooths the road to success

By Amy Nielsen

I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Temple Grandin speak this past week at a very small theater in our rural community. Hearing her speak has been on my bucket list since I first read one of her books in the mid-nineties in college. Reading her words was the first time I understood that people are allowed to think differently. I grew up thinking differently.


What Have I Done?

By Amy Nielsen

It is time to register for my second term of classes for my Masters degree already. I am a bit at a loss as to how I got here this fast. I feel like I just started this whirlwind journey last week.

On the student-run Facebook pages discussions are flying about which teacher is best, online vs on campus options, and how to tweak the plan of study to make the program all you need and want it to be. 


Midterm Thoughts

By Amy Nielsen

It’s midterm. I’m stuffed full to the brim of new materials and I need a break. One of my classes is done for the term, it only ran half the time but with double the work. It was one of those classes that makes you stop and rethink everything you thought you wanted to do with your career. It almost makes me wish it were continuing for the rest of the term – almost.

I thought I would just go on to a bigger fish pond once I moved up to graduate school. I had no idea the new pond came with grander and more dangerous weeds and some really big barracuda.


Purpose redefined

By Amy Nielsen

I spent the weekend away from all things reality in the land of Faeries among dear, far flung friends in a land we lived in a lifetime ago.

To do so, I had to complete all of last week’s assignments for my master’s program by Thursday morning. Pushing through the early mornings and late nights afforded me the peace of mind and freedom of spirit to truly enjoy myself. This weekend away happened to coincide with my midterm exams this week.

I needed the brain break.


Communicate with your support network

By Jenna Moede

I talked about creating a support network recently and the benefits you will reap from it, but you have a couple of must do tasks to keep your end of the bargain when it comes to the support network.  

First, you can't just expect everyone you have chosen to know what you need from them, how to support you, or when you need help.  

Communicate with your support network. While I have really close relationships with everyone I have personally chosen, they can't read my mind.  


Coddiwompling to a Degree

By Amy Nielsen

Coddiwomple (v.) - To travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination.

The Urban Dictionary. I am beginning to believe a master’s program is designed to allow one the space to coddiwomple along in interesting topics with real world implications towards an eventual narrowing of focus upon reaching that vague destination of graduation.


Sweet Mother Mary what have I gotten myself into?

By Amy Nielsen

Week three of my master’s of science degree program and I have hit the “Oh sweet Mary Mother of all that is holy, what on Earth have I gotten myself into?” phase of freshman life.

Between the crash course in online scholarly research and APA citations, coordinating all of the class syllabi dates with my already busy life, and an organic chemistry professor who prefers the shotgun method of online instruction – I might just lose my ever-loving mind.

Week one went something like this - “Where are my classes and how do I know what to learn?”


Labor Day classes start

By Amy Nielsen

Nothing like stepping off the proverbial master’s degree cliff into your next career step - on Labor Day.

While I just completed a year-long, online certificate program, this beginning feels so much bigger. I am embarking on something I had no idea I would ever in a million years need to do, let alone want to do. I am so stoked for this educational adventure it makes me giggle.

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