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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Education
December 19, 2014

Canadian Excellence

A Year in the Life: TEC Blog

August 2009: The first week of classes

The first day:

It was Tech TEC day on campus (a day for volunteer technology ambassadors) and I was excited to get started Ė so excited, in fact, that I got my first ever speeding ticket on the way in, making me five minutes late to class. Not a great omen, if youíre into those types of things.

On the other hand, as I stepped through the door to gaze at my peers for the first time I was "psyched" to see that everyone in the room appeared to be a mature student. My recently-ex colleagues joked that I would be called "Grandma Gaudun" due to my mature status. Actually, I think I was one of the younger ones there. Hallelujah.

The day provided us with early access to our laptops, which again, to my delight, were totally "suped up" with software, including Microsoft Office and Photoshop Elements. The ever-handy Matthew Little gave us the scoop on student software pricing Ė music to a software-junkyís ears.

Overall, the first day of school was "aiight".

The first week:

Itís been a few years since I was a full time student. Coming from the corporate world, here are a few of the major adjustments youíll find the first week.

Adjustment 1: Eating, or lack thereof. My nickname at one company was "Snacker" because I was always, well, snacking. Since Iíve been bad at packing lunches, Iím practically starving right now. Itís largely my own fault. Iím trying to save money so Iím not buying anything other than one extra large Tim Hortonís per day. The upside, I discovered a microwave, which means I can mix up the sandwich diet with my beloved TV dinners.

Adjustment 2: New technology - While I'm a self-proclaimed techie, at least in the world of marketing and communications, all of the software we are using is new to me. Even the email system is something that only vaguely resembles Outlook.

Adjustment 3 - School hours Ė While the days are technically shorter than a typical work day, donít expect to end on time: lots of discussion the first week.

Adjustment 4 - New friends. Iíve naturally gravitated to the mature students, especially the ones with kids, so we all can complain together about how hard it is to do both. But in general, most people are out of their element and very friendly and welcoming. Iím practicing using first names as much as possible so I can stop starting conversations with, "Iím sorry, Iíve forgot your name already". And, unlike Tech TEC day, there is a much higher percentage of new grads. I tried to slip "thatís sick" and "totally bucc" into a couple of conversations just to fit it. Weíll see how that pans out for me.

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