Educational Ennui

With my wife tackling her B.Ed. (and hoping to transfer to my alma mater for Grad School) and one of my colleagues also starting the MA program I did, I’ve been tripping down educational memory lane of late.

That came to a head a little while ago as I participated in a FB message exchange with some of my former classmates as we responded to a query from one of our number about an instructional design challenge.  My friend Peter summed it up well:

As an aside, you have no idea how much I miss this kind of dialogue with you guys. This thread made my day.

With that, I got a pang of sadness.  I genuinely miss my grad school cohort and all the energy that came from the learning.  I had a core group of people I enjoyed working with on team assignments, and I think we were a truly high performing team.  If my wife gets into the program I will be incredibly proud of her, but at the same time it will be sad in a way, because I will only bear witness to what she gets to experience for the 23 months of the program.  I never had a better time in school at any level than I did at RRU and I keep hoping for other opportunities like that.

Is this a revelation or a breakthrough?  Can a period of “non education” genuinely make you sad?  Or is the sadness a sign that you should be doing something to learn and grow? I get truly envious of people who can jet off to conferences, seminars, and workshops while I feel I get left behind and holding on for the one conference event per year that I can afford to do (only because it’s local).  It’s not that I don’t get learning opportunities here – because I do.  But they’re just not the same as that long program.

At some point I may feel better about this, but my educational soul feels a little sad.


About Mark L. Sheppard

learning geek, lifelong learner, terminally curious, recovering blogger and Ed Tech explorer.

Posted on May 25, 2012, in blog, commentary, Instructional Design, opinion, PLN, reflection, thoughts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Hey Mark,

    As one who shared some of those group assignments with you and that other guy (who could turn the words “Cleveland Indians” into a monosyllable under the right conditions), I admit that your post tweaked a nostalgic nerve. Those days at RRU were fun (and challenging) but sometimes the ennui that you feel is just the pressure/frustration that needs to build up to launch you onto the next level of what you seek.

    If you have not yet watched Neil Gaiman’s address to the graduating class of 2012’s University of the Arts, you may want to view it, keeping in mind how “Make Good Art” may relate to Instructional Design.

    Enjoy your Argos.

    Cheers, bob

  2. Mark,

    The energy generated through collaboration during grad school was highly addictive. I’m lucky enough to have found a position where that collaboration continues. It has been fun pulling you into that on occasion.
    PSS will rock the program just like you did!

    I’m planning to return to RRU in the Fall, working towards an eventual MBA in HR. I hope that the new cohort will bring as much energy and enthusiasm as MALT class of 2008!


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