Howdy Pardners

Well, (such a deep subject for such a shallow mind) my blog experience is closing in on 6-8 months now. The winter here in New Mexico has been cold so I have not been able to work in my unheated upholstery shop. The weather is turning and warming up so I may be able to get back to submitting upholstery how-to's and projects soon. As you can read I am still going to the Universtiy of Phoenix and selling in my eBay store. Both experiences have had there challanges. I appreciate all of those (world wide) that take the time and find a tidbit of interest in my bantering. You all take care........Duane

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Ol' Farts Gettin' His Edumacation The Learning Team Experience Part 2

Well some of you have surmised that at 61 years of age I went back to college. I say went back or I should say started college because I never went to college in the first place. By the time that I had graduated from Coquille High (Coquille, Oregon) in 1967 I was a licensed journeyman meat cutter. Having entered into the Meat Cutters Union when I was a junior and completed the two year apprentice shortly after I had graduated. Back in 1967, in our country, you could leave high school and go to work making a fairly decent wage. If I remember correctly gasoline was 25 cents a gallon, a loaf of bread was 30 cents or less (can you believe how much bread costs today) and ground beef was 39 cents a pound. Things have certainly changed, and not necessarily for the better, in our country today. So I had no intention to go to college which in today's economy it may have not made much of a difference anyway. There are college graduates with Masters Degrees that are unemployed today.

So with that being said I am now enrolled at the University of Phoenix here in Albuquerque. If you are unaware of the UoP's format we attend class once a week for four hours and each course is for five weeks. Students at the UoP go all year round with a two week break during the holidays. With that format you can obtain your bachelor's degree in 3 1/2 years instead of the normal four years at a regular University. This requires you to do most all of your assignments and homework on-line. You are also assigned a "team" that you do team assignments with. The UoP is trying to get future corporate workers to be able to assimilate into the work force and the corporate team concept. At 61 years of age I really buy into that program.....not. This takes me to my team. Learning Team "E".

Learning Team E (the E is supposed to stand for Excellence) is comprised of an unemployed bank manager,  an Iraqi Vet struggling with severe PTSD,  a widowed mother of two grade school kids and me a crusty ol' fart that demands excellence. So three guys and a gal. All learning teams at the UoP are required to submit a team charter. Team E's charter is comprehensive including language that identifies the responsibilities of each member of the team to the other members. The UoP is attempting, here again, to assimilate future corporate employees into the realm of the corporate world by requiring them to come up with a charter. Well charters are all well and good but at this level of our academic careers as bought as worthless as "tits on a boar hog". You can encourage excellence, you can demand responsibility, and you can describe consequences if there is not compliance but if a team member does not want to follow the guidelines of the charter there really are not a lot of avenues to take to resolve any issues.

So with that being said I take you to last week (Jan. 26th - Feb 1st). The team was to make a team power point presentation on Tuesday evening on Feb. 1st. I guess I should tell you that the class is psychology/211. the presentation is to be based on Adult Social Development which I find interesting because of the events that transpired. My initial duties were to find an article in the UoP library (no books everything is PDF files on line) related to the subject that we were to present. The article I found was basically about the reciprocity of negative affects between parent and child and how that can affect the child's early adulthood (yawn). It is my opinion that Psychologists like to pin labels on individuals particularly children. We are extroverts, introverts, interpersonal, intrapersonal, popular, rejected......and all of the rest of the clinical terms that the so called experts like to pin on us. I guess it is a good thing otherwise the unemployment numbers would be higher. The team was going to use that information but illustrate how bad people can be raised in good families and how bad family situations can produce successful people. Everything is going well except that one team member has decided to go A.W.O.L. on us. There has been limited communication and input from this member and you must keep in mind that this is a "team effort" and graded accordingly. The class is on Tuesday evening and we finally get a email that the member in question will have her portion of the power point with her when she gets to class that evening. Just a little to late. So through an act of God we get a pass. The weather front that strangled a major portion of the United States hit New Mexico as well. In Albuquerque 3-4 inches of snow and some cold weather pretty much shuts the whole damn town down. So the Tuesday evening class was canceled and we did not have to make our presentation because of an act of God.

So I fast forward to Saturday February 5th, 2010 where we had a make-up class. Pretty cool of the University of Phoenix where those that did not attend the makeup class get the same credit as those that did. I wonder what brainyack thought that one up? In order to do this the proper way the three participating members of the team had a private conversation with our instructor. At this point, with the team, we are all pretty much done with this non-participating member. It is to bad that the situation had to come to this but there did not seem to be much choice in the matter.

So another saga in the on-going "Edumacation" of the ol' fart at the University of Phoenix. If there are any other "Phoenixers" out there that read this let me know what your experience's have been.

Until We Meet Again
Happy Trails

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