The Road Back, Part 1

MyPicture_5 As I’ve previously twittered, I contacted Pepperdine last week to get the 411 on finishing my doctorate in Ed Tech. Awesome Student Services Director, Besenia, sent me the info. Step one: I needed to write a brief explanation behind my leave of absence and why I was looking to be readmitted. So last night I sat down with my little OLPC (the MacBook Pro was busy backing up and uploading the new blog software) and revisited where I was at about two years ago when I stepped away for my doctorate program. I shouldn’t have been too surprised at how quickly the emotions rolled back to me as I tried to recall the details of those times. The question then became what parts of the story to include and what parts to keep out.

Steely Dan - Citizen Steely Dan 1972-1980 - King of the World Music: King Of The World from the album “Citizen Steely Dan: 1972-1980 (Disc 2) [Box Set]” by Steely Dan


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Having tormented my close friends with my relationship travails going back to the time just before finishing my master’s program at Pepperdine, in 2002, I knew well enough to leave all of that out of the memo. So, restricting myself to what was going on in my professional life, I was still left to wonder how much detail to include. As with the unnecessary personal stuff, including too much detail might look like a case of excuse making or whining. So, I went for covering the chain of events, trying to keep to the relevant facts and letting the facts tell the story. jbb

1. Why Did I Take My Leave:

Thank you for taking the time to consider my re-application to the Ed-Tech doctorate program. I took my leave from the program in the beginning of the Spring 2006 term during my second year with Cadre X. In the beginning of that school year I had taken a job teaching technology at DeMille Middle School here in Long Beach. Besides teaching four computer classes I had agreed to help out with some staffing problems by teaching a pre-Algebra class. As is traditional in many institutions, being the least senior staff member, I was given a group of 35 eighth graders who were demonsteribly not interested in learning pre-Algebra. By December I found that I was taking more sick days than I had in the previous ten years of teaching and that the eighth graders were “winning.” Needless to say I was finding it difficult to devote the necessary time and energy to my studies with Cadre X because of this Black Hole of a class. So, I decided, rather than fail at both my teaching and my work with CadreX, I would take a leave from Pepperdine.

As an addendum to this narrative, when I took some time off in March of that Spring, the principal was called in to assist a frustrated substitute and after spending a couple of days with that class he decided that the students had been missasigned. He sent fifteen students to merge with another pre-Algebra class and redesignated the remaining twenty as a basic math class and remained the rest of the school year to co-teach the class with me. It was no victory but I felt better about the hours I had spent trying to work with that class.

2. Why I am ready to return.

moi, abir & ali

I believe that I am ready return to the program because I faced the difficulty of my work environment and not only survived but in the following two years expanded my teaching-duties to include classes in journalism, yearbook and basic word processing. I am ready to return because I need to finish what I left at Pepperdine two-years ago. I am ready to return because I am about to take my career to the next level teaching media in education for/with Holly Ludgate at Full Sail University. I will be in the perfect position to match my studies with my work.

3. EdTech progress over the past two years.

As previously mentioned I’ve spent the past two years expanding my curriculum to include teaching journalism and yearbook. When I took over yearbook I moved the program to a completely digital process using only digital cameras, and managing the work-flow with iPhoto, Photoshop, PageMaker, InDesign and my in-class Macintosh network. I added journalism this past year and chose to forgo the expense and limitations of paper and instead put up a website using Joomla as my CMS to put my students’ work online. I’ve also taken the opportunity over the past two Januarys to attend Apple’s MacExpo in San Francisco networking with fellow educators, tech journalists and tech-enthusiasts.

4. Explain the “C” in LX’s 771B class

I believe that my “C” performance in my 771B class was a result of the stress of my prior work environment and not being able to give my work at Pepperdine the time and level of concentration that I normally would have given. I have no doubt that my low performance in that class not only doesn’t reflect what I am capable of doing but what I am ready to perform.

Related Twitters:

  • 9 more weeks, need 2 do my pepperdine app online, turn in a request 2 readmit letter. oh yeah, & teach my normal load. Projector still dead #

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