So, I've mentioned that I'm enrolled in two classes this semester, haven't I? There's the Dickens class that meets every week and then there's the online Kazakh-American Reading Group that I'm participating in as an Independent Study course.
The first course is going well. I've managed to stay on top of the reading. Done well on both the first presentation and the small paper. As of today, I'm about halfway through the last book, Our Mutual Friend, and beginning to work on my final paper. Things I have complete control over.
What I don't have control over? My Kazakh-American Reading Group. Participation has been a bit sketchy. We only had a handful of Kazakh women participating and all of them were doing it because they wanted to, not because they were in any way required to. On the other side of that equation, there were the handful of graduate students who are absolutely required to participate if they want a good grade at the end of the semester. I fit into the second half of that equation. While I was very excited and eager to take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn about another culture through a discussion on American literature, I was also aware that at some point my instructor would be grading me.
So, to make a long story short, participation was sketchy. I think we're down to one active Kazakh woman and perhaps three or four graduate students. Because we only made it through one book, I need to do something extra to receive full credit for the course.
So, I decided to explore an alternative delivery method. I created a Blackboard course (well, I'm still creating it, to be honest) and now I need to test the international internet barriers. I need someone from Kazakhstan to visit the university's Blackboard site.
I've sent individual e-mails. And now I've resorted to posting directly to the group, instructor, fellow grad students, and all.
I find it very difficult to not be in complete control of my coursework!