Last summer, June 2019, I quite my job as a marketer (and occasional customer-service-representative) for a small company, and went back to school. This week, I begin my second year in a Business degree program. I’m planning to major in marketing, but am getting a lot of basic training in accounting, financing, and management along the way. It’s been an good program so far, and should only get better as I am able to take higher level classes.
Of course, that’s not the most interesting thing about this year.
Spring term, as the Covid-19 pandemic went from theoretical to pervasive, I got my first taste of remote learning. Before this, I did have a little experience with online classes, from both perspectives. I worked as a teaching assistant for a few online classes back in grad school (around 2011), and my first term back at school last summer included two online classes. But these classes felt very different.
Some of it was the panic in the air, as students and teachers alike scrambled to make the best of a chaotic, painful situation. Some of it was the suddenness. Sure, online classes are nothing new, but most teachers had maybe two weeks notice before they were suddenly online teachers…some of whom had never taught online before. My classes actually went really smoothly, but many of my classmates had less stellar experiences.
All of my classes had a live check-in of some kind or another; one had fully live lectures. Now I know the term for these are “synchronous classes”–where you meet online at a specific time, as opposed to just watching recorded lectures and posting in message boards at your leisure. I found this much easier to handle than the “asynchronous” classes I’d participated in, and it really helped it feel like a class that was worth my time and money.
When I went back to school, I knew it would be different than my previous degrees, but I had no idea how different. I probably still don’t.
This blog has been quiet, and I’m sure my return to school has something to do with that. But, I haven’t been completely idle! I find I only have so much creative energy in me at any given time, and I’ve been making the most of it.
I plan to make a whole post (or two) about this, but the most envirgorating thing I’ve been doing over the last year and a half is podcasting with my friend Robin. We currently have two podcasts!
CLAMPcast in Wonderland is a retrospective on the works of manga superstar group CLAMP, where we discuss their publications from the last thirty years, and the influence they had on us as teens and now as adult creators.
In April we started a second podcast, Write for Me, Write for You, which focuses on (you guessed it) writing. Robin and I are each committed to finishing [at least the first draft of] a book in 2020, and this podcast chronicles that journey. In each episode, we also tackle different challenges that writers face, bringing our experiences in publishing and comics to the table.
The Great Ouran Analysis
Some of you may remember this blog series I started…in like 2017. In it, I analyze the anime Ouran High School Host Club episode by episode. It never got past five episodes, but I’ve been re-writing the original posts, and should be continuing the series this fall. After all the analysis we do in our CLAMP podcast, I feel like my voice has really grown, and I can tackle this series with new insight. Well, and it’s fun.
Check it out with the intro post (it should be interesting even if you’re not an anime fan).
I’d feel really horrible if this wasn’t on the list somewhere. I’ve been working through a few different WIPs, and trying to get back into the habit of daily writing (with mixed success). The podcast has helped give me a focus and a deadline, and I’m currently about a fourth of the way through a story about a school’s D&D club. Still figuring it out, but I like the direction it’s going. It’s YA, of course, and pretty queer.
Thank you for sticking with this little blog as my voice changes and my focus shifts. I still consider this my home-base, and I have no plans to abandon it, even if I may get sidetracked occasionally. I decided to go back to school so that I could pursue the things I love, and my blog and writing are both a big part of that. Here’s to many years ahead!