The School Bell Has Rung

Hello everyone! I can’t believe that we have already completed one week of class already! After a long summer of working nearly every day, I thought I was ready for classes to start, but it turns out that starting classes before Labor Day feels a bit like punishment to me (the college where I did my undergrad always started after labor day).  Fortunately, the weather in Duluth was cloudy, misty and cold last week, making the idea of sitting in class every day much easier.  I’m still struggling to get used to the class schedule of 9-4 everyday-the last time I had class for 6 hours a day (we get a one hour lunch break) was elementary school!

In fact there have been many ways that this first week felt reminiscent of Kindergarten/First Grade.

1) Pictures: On the first day of class we all had to get our picture taken for our Pharmacy Student ID’s.  Unlike your student ID though, we were all dressed up, had to sit on a stool, and we had to make sure we stayed in the right order to not get names mixed up with the pictures.

2) We got to go on a Field Trip; in fact we got to go on two in one week!  On Tuesday we got to go to Sandstone on a retreat with the students from the Twin Cities.  It was a lot of fun to get to meet the students from the twin cities in person.  It felt a bit like First Grade when you first met the students in the other First Grade classroom (except with a lot more people)! Then on Thursday we went out to rural communities throughout the northland/central MN to learn about organizations, education, health care, and public services in rural communities.  Remember touring the fire station in Kindergarten?  You have such a different perspective touring one as an adult!

fire dept 

My classmates checking out the Fire Truck!

3) Learning; Not just learning about pharmacy, but learning how to learn all over again.  I knew coming into the Pharmacy School at UMD would involve the use of ITV for our classes; but I didn’t fully grasp how much new technology I would have to learn! Just in this one week I have learned how to use moodle, create my own google site, take electronic notes and use the print icon on a web page to save a web page as a pdf (I know some of you may not be very impressed, but as someone who did not even have internet at home until two years ago, this has been a huge learning curve for me).

4) Names: Just like in Kindergarten, many of us came in knowing a few of our classmates from undergrad or even from our hometowns. However, knowing two or three names does not give you too much of an advantage when you have 168 names to learn, plus all the different professors/staff/faculty in each department…and I’m horrible at learning names.  Maybe by December I’ll know everyone’s name…

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