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I need an online course to learn how to “properly” take an online course

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This week is a kvetch times ten.

A few months ago, I announced on social media that I was going back to school as a “mature student” to study the business side of publishing books, and signing up for my first online continuing education course.

I’ve already published 10 books of my own, so I thought it was time to help other aspiring authors get published. Hundreds “loved” my decision on Facebook, and the more than 150 comments all kvelling for me made me feel like I had just won an Olympic medal.

I got a lot of, “You go girl!” and a lot of, “You’ve got this!” And so many kvelled saying how “brave” I am, and had given them the confidence to go back to school too. A few commenters even said that online classes are “great!”

Um, false!

I could kvetch all day about how terrible they are. I can honestly kvetch, in hindsight, that I would have rather learned how to play the oboe, than to have taken this online class.

I could really use the almost thousand dollars I spent on the class to get Botox from all the wrinkles I now have, thanks to how stressful this experience has been. Online learning, in my opinion, sucks.

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I didn’t get off to the greatest start. Within a week, I had already gotten in “trouble,” and although I’m not a drinker, I did think, the only f*cking way you’re going to get through these next few months with this instructor is to start day drinking. But you know… kids!

It took me more than eight hours – I could have flown to Rome in that time – to even figure out how to enroll, and I work at a website. I do look back and think, Eckler, you really needed an online course to teach you how to take an online course. Sigh.

All I can say is that you’d better brace yourself if you’re an adult thinking of taking a course online. It’s been months, and not once have I heard my instructor’s, or my 24 classmates’ voices, nor seen their faces. My classmates could be aged 20 or 80.

Each Sunday, my instructor posts the “module” for the week, which, I’ve learned in “academia,” means: “This is what we will be learning this week.” Then we read her “lectures” and assigned readings, and complete homework by the following Sunday. So pretty much I’m kvetching that I paid almost $1,000 to teach myself!

Photo: Courtesy Rebecca Eckler

I will kvell about this perk of online learning: I can wear a ball gown or a ratty bathrobe while doing the assignments, and no one would know.

My 16-year-old daughter, meanwhile, had been online learning in her bedroom from 9 am to 3 pm since the lockdown began, and never once complained. She rolled out of bed at 8:59 am to attend her 9 am class, and she got to see classmates and teachers on her screen.

As for my son, while I never thought I’d need to use math as an adult (I still count on my fingers), here I am, attempting to help my son with math, which I’ll kvetch about too. Now my kids know how truly stupid I am.

Kvetch number two? Once the alphabet gets incorporated alongside numbers, I’m out!

I can’t even guesstimate the number of times I said, “Google it,” or, “Ask Siri,” which leads me back to being an adult taking an online course.

The word “adult,” is very important here, because after the teacher sent me a harsh email in week one saying that I was “discussing too much,” and my answers were “too long,” my immediate reaction was, “But it says right there: Discussion Board.” A “discussion board” apparently is where we are just supposed to post our completed homework. (See why I needed a course in online learning before taking an online course?)

I so wanted to kvetch to my 75-year-old mother that my teacher was picking on me, before remembering I’m an adult. This is where online learning, as adults, becomes tricky. Yes, I am the student and my instructor is the instructor.

This is unlike high school, where you couldn’t talk back to teachers. Although I did. Whenever a teacher told me to go to the principal’s office, I just walked out of the school to take an afternoon nap. I know! I’m such a bad ass!

But I still can’t talk back to my teacher. I’m not even sure if I get an online recess, or am allowed an online lunchtime. Let’s just say, it’s irksome to be reprimanded as an adult, by an adult instructor.

Even if you are right, as an adult student, you better keep yourself in check, because the one thing that hasn’t changed is the power dynamic.

Please, do not talk to me as if I’m a child, shaming me for doing too much work. It’s almost laughable, except it’s now my reality: the more you work as an adult student, the more work it puts on the instructor’s plate. Apparently, they do not like this. (They kvetch about this!)

Essentially, though, I think a lot of instructors need their own damn course on how to teach adults.

Photo: Courtesy Rebecca Eckler

I do find the readings interesting, and I’ve learned some things, but the fact that I thought I could take this class and enjoy it while working, raising kids and starting a new book, was possibly the worst decision in my life, and trust me, I’ve made some very questionable decisions. (One day I hope you meet “Tequila Rebecca.” She really makes questionable decisions, but she’s fun too!)

This “instructor” simply does not like me. Life is not fair – and yes, I can kvetch for hours, but I’m not taking this class to earn her respect, or be her friend. I’m there to learn.

Truthfully, and this is awful, I’m just sticking with the class because I think it pisses my instructor off more to have me in it than to have me drop out. It’s not like my mommy is going to ground her 45-year-old daughter for dropping an online course.

I also love that my 57-year-old boyfriend can kvell he’s dating a “university student.” I think it’s funny, and I encourage him to use that line.

So many live by the motto, “You’re never too old to learn.” I believe this, in theory, but I do think it’s a huge adjustment to online learning. Also, my “fast and loose” banter does not bode well in “academia world.” When I got in trouble for that, I kvetched, “I speak like that to everyone, be it Toronto Mayor John Tory, or a stranger.”

Alas, you cannot banter in an online class, even with classmates. (If you’ll allow me to brag here, I kvell that I love to banter with anyone and everyone.)

Finally, when I got another e-mail telling me, after reading an entire manuscript, that I had to not just edit as an assignment, but that I could only answer with 300 words maximum, I did kvetch, “WTF? You want me to basically tweet an answer to such a huge assignment, like I’m Donald Trump?”

So I thank you, from my heart, for kvelling over me going back to school, but don’t be fooled.

I’m probably going to sign up for another course, because I think it would be beneficial. I certainly hope the next instructor will act way more “kosher.” I do know adults who have had positive experiences.

Anyone know a good oboe teacher?

Rebecca Eckler is the internationally bestselling author of ten books, including Knocked Up, How to Raise a Boyfriend, and Blissfully Blended Bullshit. She is the Executive Editor of SavvyMom.ca

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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