Landing : Athabascau University

A Day in the Life of an AU Student

I arrived home from the learning analytics conference on Tuesday night close to midnight.  It was really good, and I'll hopefully get to blogging about it in the next couple of days.  But right now, I feel the need to write about what happened next...

Wednesday morning and back to real life.  I got up made lunches and fired up my work computer logged in and managed to catch up on my email before getting locked out. A quick call to the Help Desk and --no solution and no techs available, will get a call back later--grrr... 

Meanwhile... my son came in to let me know my two-year old was throwing up and my other son wouldn't get out of bed (he'd tried to wait up for me the night before). I went upstairs to survey the damage and found out my five-year old daughter has a sore foot and is unable to walk.  Well, at least two kids managed to get off to school!

Back to work... the tech called back and got me up and running again and I found two tasks for the day: (1) understand the new Net Throughput report, (2) script a 15-minute Netiquette lesson.  (Talk about going from the macro to micro level!)    I did mange to get in a couple of productive hours and was starting to feel good about my ability to clear these projects when....

My daughter called from the school.  Power was out and I had to pick them up.  Seriously? When I got home, I decided Becca's sore foot needed a trip to the doctor.  Got home in time for a phone call: I got a promotion--Hooray!! On to newspaper route, groceries, supper and homework.  I settled Joel in to do his and then went to finish mine (remember that throughput report?).  I got it out in time to be on my boss's desk in the am India-time, and back up to cozy up and watch Survivor as a family. And everyone went to bed.

Thursday, 4:30 am wake up to the sick baby crying for juice.  OK. No point to go back to bed, so I made lunches and started looking at course possibilities for the new semester.  Also find my paper published in IRRODL Technical Notes-- Hooray!!  Got to my desk at 5:30.  Answers to Throughput questions waiting for me...and I WILL finish netiquette script! Couple of hours of solid work, three kids out the door to school. Drove my mom to the airport and then met with Terry about research project.  And back to work (pesky Netiquette lesson!)

It really was a remarkable couple of days.  But as I've thought about it more, the most remarkable things about them, might be how unremarkable they really were.  The next couple of days are likely to bring just as many surprises!  And from everything I've heard from others, they were quite simialr to the remarkable unremarkable days of my fellow students.  Just a couple of days in the life of an adult online learner.

So here's where I get to do my mini rant: I'm tired of being told that online learners are unniterested, uninvolved and unengaged, because from where I sit, I see us as completely connected to our work, communities, families and school--we may just be too involved to step back and notice the remarkableness of it all.

So this all has me thinking (always dangerous)... maybe we need to record "A Day in the Life of an AU Student".  Get a bunch of AU students to record everything that they do for a day or two and  share it on the Landing or in a publication (thesis anyone?). 

We would likely all be thoroughly surprised with the results!


  • Personally, I think the integration of your academic studies into your life is a fabulous thing. I believe that is what I established when I was a graduate student, with a full time job and two kids, even before the days of online courses. Of course, then it was much more difficult to have seamless integration, because of travel and place.

    Now that my work life is totally online, I do not differentiate it from any other part of my life. I never shut it off, but then I never shut off any other part of my life. I have had discussions with online colleagues, who believe, and perhaps it's true, that they work 9-to-5 Monday to Friday. I can't understand this approach. I organize so much of my work when trying to get to sleep at night or when I'm walking or driving somewhere that it is impossible to separate work from life. Why bother trying?

    So what I am saying, from my perspective, is that you are very fortunate that you are able to integrate (and in this sense it doesn't seem like the right word) so many aspects of your life. It is enriching.

    Caroline Park April 14, 2011 - 10:28am

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