Lady Gaga and the Panopticon: How I Discovered eSchool Was Not For Me

Hey Everyone!

Hope your break has been going well. Of course mine has been extremely productive. You know, YouTube videos, video games, web comics, movies. Tons of work going on in the World Of Fraser. Right now I’m working out how to make light sabres and create explosions in my new video editing software. Ground breaking stuff, like always.

Since you last heard from me I’ve been freed from the drudgery of the office. OK, it wasn’t that bad but it’s nice to be able to sleep in until noon on a Thursday again. I’ve survived the Christmas rush of family, neighbours and the like and at the same time have learned something new. Who would have guessed that, eh?

Being one of the younger members on both sides of my family, everyone but my one younger cousin and younger brother have gone through or are currently going through their post-secondary education. This meant that annual familial Christmas gatherings could provide a wealth of information that might help me figure out what I want to do with the next few years of my life.

Most conversations regarding my choice to leave school went along the lines of “It’s good that you found out early. Don’t want to be in your last semester and decide it isn’t what you want.” Not exactly any new information, but I guess it’s always nice to hear this once in a while.

Luckily, I ended up sitting next to my aunt and uncle from Quebec. My cousin, their daughter, was a huge inspiration when it came to my zombie blog. She would comment on the posts and really made me think about what I was writing therefore forcing me to look further into the subject allowing me to write, in my opinion, more thought provoking posts. My conversation about this with my aunt led us to talking about what my cousin studied at McGill. Cultural studies. Until that night I had no clue that there were degree versions of what my elective at Humber was.

The next day I immediately looked into how to apply to McGill and what the program requirements were.

My dreams were immediately crushed.

McGill requires at least four 4U courses out of the minimum six required to complete grade 12. Due to the nature of the arts program I was in and my lack of affinity with the maths and sciences I had five 4M courses and only two 4U courses. I immediately went to Facebook (where else?) to find out if McGill really took this to heart. I knew this was in vain and my fears were met with my friends’ suggestions of eLearning.

Having friends coming from a similar view point (the lack of 4U courses) was extremely useful in deciding if eCourses would be right for me. I looked at it from a few points.

1) Time: Most of the courses are organized to be completed in 60 days. This is done by completing one activity a day. Activities usually take around an hour and a half. By completing two activities a day I could finish in a month. This doesn’t seem too bad but when you throw in the fact that I plan on working, most likely full-time, and that I would need to complete 2 of these courses then it gets a little time consuming.
2) Grades: I have no way of knowing what my final grades for these courses might end up being. My high school average is more than enough to get me into most programs and the marks from the eCourses might now pan out to allow me to maintain an average that would allow me to be considered for McGill.
3) Getting ahead of myself: I probably should mention that soon after discovering McGill had crushed my dreams of writing papers about Lady Gaga and The Panopticon (sounds like a really bad fantasy novel, right?), I decided that I was not going to give up. I put Google to use and looked for Cultural Studies programs similar to McGill’s in Ontario schools. No luck at The Universities of Ottawa or Toronto, but I soon found what I was looking for at Carleton University.

While eSchool was an option, I knew my limits. My reasoning for not taking online courses might make me sound like I am making excuses, but following the stress-filled first semester at Humber, I knew that it probably wasn’t the best option for me. However, that does not mean that online schooling is wrong for everyone. If you need to improve grades or, like myself, meet certain criteria then it might be a great option for you.

I’ve now added Cultural Studies to an ever growing list of programs I will be applying for (hopefully within the week) and hopefully it will be part of a list that I’ll have to choose from down the road. Wish me luck!

Anyway, have a Happy New Year! I’m going back to my light sabre and then I’m off to ring in the New Year with some old friends.



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