The program I am in is online, with a couple of trips to the home campus for labs, and clinicals done locally. The problem with this is the extreme attachment that developed between me and my computer. At first, I only had a desktop model in my sewing room/office/study room. This room became my cave. My husband would occasionally throw food into the slot in the door, but would otherwise not venture in. I would stumble to the desk in my pajamas with coffee cup clutched in hand and install myself in the chair in front of the screen as soon as my eyes opened each morning. Keeping a wary eye on the clock, I would fit some schoolwork into the slot of time before I had to go out to see my first patient.
The political/policy class included a lot of “discussions”. Now, having a discussion face-to-face with a group of people usually includes a lot of listening, and an occasional comment by yourself, and lots of “I shoulda said this” and I “coulda said that” after the fact. Online discussions, however, are a totally different ball of strings. First, you know that you must have a reference or two to back up your initial statements. Okay fine, got that. You post something that you feel is pertinent to the subject at hand, and hopefully sounds intelligent and scholarly.
Then the fun begins. There is inevitably someone in the group that tweaks your nose and you have to respond. Okay, I feel I have to respond. I find it difficult to not respond. In real life, you probably wouldn’t say anything; but in a computer discussion, it goes on for a week. You have days to mull things over, find references to back up your point, and post pithy and relevant replies (you hope). You get sucked into a vortex of postings and comments on postings. You rush in each morning, and afternoon after work, and evening before you go to bed to check the replies, and check to see what grades have posted, and before you know it…the computer seems to be stuck to your fingertips. OCD? Not me!
I can just feel the instructor laughing, knowing that she has gotten us all interested in a subject we would not ordinarily care about. Politics of nursing? Policy changes? Roles and practice protocols? Wow, how slick this is. Online classes are not so distant as “distance learning” would suggest.
Then, we got a laptop. It follows me everywhere. My husband thought it would get me out of my cave, it did, but I am still stuck in e-world. Help! I need a computerectomy!