Let’s Play a Game

Every time I get onto the website to write a blog post, this scene from Firefly runs through my head were Jayne is “reading” Simon’s diary (for those who haven’t seen Firefly, just ignore this part) and I get this weird feeling realizing that, in fact, people are reading what I’m saying. It’s not as if this is a new thing; I’ve been writing essays since third grade, I’ve had an op-ed written up in a local paper, and a short story in a literary magazine. I should be used to people reading my words and yet… somehow this feels different.

So yes, I recognize that blogs are not actually diaries, but also, I think they function- at least for me- in a relatively similar way. And, even though I’ve been journaling since I was 14, it’s never been something I shared. Beyond this, I’ve recently fallen out of the habit of journaling and in the absence of my normal journal, this blog has become sort of a de facto diary for me. With this in mind, remember that I am much less polished of a writer and person when I’m just spilling my thoughts out, rather than when I’m writing something to be presented. And, even though this is being read and by extension presented to people, it has an entirely different context which informs the level of fluidity of style and grammar that I’m allowing myself to take which normally, for “published” work, I would not. I’m saying all this because as I reread some of my blog last night I noticed an absolutely atrocious number of spelling and grammar errors that I had somehow missed, and I feel- maybe unnecessarily- that I should apologize for them. So this here is an apology, and also a thanks for not being grammar police about it.

As I was sitting there thinking about the people who hardly know me reading this blog, I thought, I may have been working with many of them for a few weeks, but we haven’t known each other for very much time at all. I think it’s important you all know some things about me. However, just telling you would be no fun, so I’ve decided to make it a game. You don’t have to play, obviously, but I would very much enjoy learning what things people people think are true about me and what aren’t. So I’m going to say 10 things about myself and you all can guess which one you think is a lie. And if you’d like, you can make your own and I’ll guess what is true and what isn’t. You don’t have to come up with 10 things either, it can be just one true thing and one lie, or any number of truths. Basic rules of Guess The Lie however, is that only one thing can be a lie, and you can’t use outside sources to discover if something is a lie or not (i.e. no googling or internet stalking). Ready? Here we go!

Guess the Lie:

  1. My favorite color is orange.
  2. I was the first girl born into my father’s family in 144 years. All the women married in, and only boys were born.
  3. I wear mismatched socks everyday.
  4. I’ve attended 4 colleges as a student, a total of 5 different times (this is to say 4 schools and one of them twice).
  5. When I was in 8th grade, I wanted to be a medical examiner until I realized how smelly morgues are.
  6. I have 5 left handed siblings.
  7. My favorite numbers are 7, 21, 27, and 47.
  8. I am older than Google by less than a week.
  9. I HATE cilantro.
  10. I have every word to the 2005 movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice memorized to the point that given silence and two hours, I can play the entire movie in my head like I am a DVD or streaming service.

Some of these might be obviously true to some people given that I probably have already mentioned them, being the chatterbox I am, but I wonder, will anyone know which one isn’t true? The answer will be in my next post so guess now while you can! (or don’t. It’s not like I can control your actions.) May the odds be ever in your favor.

This is Only The Beginning

Because it’s only Monday I don’t have a ton to say about this week yet, but the weekend was pretty fun! On Saturday we all went hiking at the Ledges, and then afterwards I got to go to my Grandpa’s birthday party which was pretty fun. I had a tough time explaining to my family exactly what I’m doing this summer. I guess I would get used to that, because most of the time when I mention my internship or future career goals, I get a lot of blank expressions in response. After that, the rest of my Saturday was relatively calm. In fact, I did nothing and it was amazing.

On Sunday, after church, my husband, dad, step-mom, three of my siblings and I all got together to take family portraits. We decided to take them here in Ames, as that was most convenient. Since my brother went to Iowa and we’ve been Hawkeye fans our whole life, my dad had us take some of our pictures in Hawkeye jerseys. we got a lot of less than friendly. After pictures, we went out to dinner and wished Dad a happy Father’s Day.

Today we stared a new course in Unity. It’s complex, but so far pretty fun. Unity is the engine we’ll be making our game with so, it’s good that we are learning how to use it. Anyway, that’s basically all. Hopefully this week is as productive as last!

My family taking pictures under the campanile in our Hawkeye Jerseys (kids faces were removed for privacy, not because they’re disliked or something lol)

HCI- bad user interfaces

we were given homework this week, to document interfaces that are frustrating to use and discuss why they are this way. Any family reading, feel free to skip this one it’s mostly just me complaining about issues I wish weren’t issues.

it’s important to note that I am an iPad user, and instead of a standard laptop, I carry an iPad. I prefer the versatility an iPad has and for the most part find it much better for me than a standard laptop. But this schoolyear, I noticed that there are some compatibility issues with using an iPad for school. There are some school required programs that just don’t work on iPad, like proctorio which is a proctoring service I had to use for tests. Another one was called “myMathLab” with “Stat Crunch” which mostly worked on my laptop except for the dropdown menus which- for no apparent reason- worked until you needed a sidebar menu which only worked with computer mice/trackpads or keyboards, and not by touch like the rest of the program worked. I spent the whole semester needing to use arrow keys to manage any sort of statistical function I wanted to do in Stat Crunch. Another frustrating interface was called Mastering Assignments which is a homework system I needed for most of my science classes. Mastering Assignments uses interactive assignments that the student must complete, and while it worked fine for most things, it did not for drag to match questions. Because dragging a pen or finger on an iPad is an indicator to scroll the screen (such as one might do with a mouse or a scroll bar) when one would click an item to drag it to the place it needed to go, the item could be activated and would drag… but so would the screen. As the item moved, the screen moved so moving the item to the place it needed to be on screen was very frustrating. I don’t have visuals to explain any of these situations, but suffice to say it was very irritating. about half of my assignments had questions that required using the drag function, so I had to use an alternate computer whenever I wanted to finish those parts of the assignment. The compatibility issues of many applications with iPad makes the user experience occasionally very frustrating.

The other very annoying UI issue I’ve been dealing with is on my Xbox. When I arrived here, my husband set up the Xbox for me, but since we didn’t have internet yet, I had to deal with that myself. Setting up the internet was very irritating. I attempted using my personal log in code for about 20 minutes before giving up and using guest access. Guest access works fine, except that it takes 10 minutes to load, requires typing on an Xbox, which just isn’t pleasant, and then after the internet says its working and you leave the “internet access” menu, it’ll spend 5 minutes trying to load something, only to tell you that the internet isn’t in fact working, and you have to try again. After three tries I realized that it’s because you first have to sign into the guest internet, authenticate the access on a separate tab (both of which I was doing) and THEN you have to go to yet a third tab and VERIFY that you authenticated the internet access. Nowhere does it indicate that this is a necessary step, but I have yet to get the internet to work without doing this step, which leads me to believe that it is. And while this is annoying, the more frustrating part is that it must be done every single time one wishes to use the internet on the Xbox. Because I’ve been tasked to play a lot of video games for research purposes, (BTW, the cool factor to getting paid to play video games has not, and will not go away) I am using my Xbox a lot, so I have to sign in to the internet a lot and it is tedious. Anyway those are some of the bad user interfaces I’v head to deal with. That’s all! Thanks for listening to me complain.

This was unexpected but I’m not complaining

I’m not sure why I had this idea that a internship in HCI would require only left brain tasks, but before the program I was prepared to put art aside for the time being and work on learning the logical stuff. This is the stuff I’m not so great at, coding, math, all the difficult concepts I have to work 3 times as hard at to understand. I knew- abstractly- that learning these subjects would ultimately fold into my skillset and be useful, eventually, for my medical art career, but I had this notion that it would be years of hard studying before any of this “computer stuff” (I hate how non-specific this term is, but non-specificity is how I viewed it before coming here) would eventually tie into what I want to be. This is not the case. Already I’m seeing art and medical illustration related applications to practically everything we’re doing. The concept of HCI is so much more closely related to art than I had realized. I had a vaguely similar experience this year in school when I started my sociology class. I will try to explain this well, but it may not make any sense. When I started my sociology class and we started defining sociology and what it relates to, I had a moment of realization of how big and interconnected everything is, and it left this feeling of, for lack of better descriptors, sonder and just general awe of the universe. HCI is the same. We start defining things and I see how interdisciplinary and large the concept really is and I feel as if there isn’t now, and never will be a way to grasp the vastness of it. And art isn’t tangential to HCI: it’s at the very heart of it.

So I’d been thinking, “when I get to this program, I will learn what I can, and one day it’ll make me a better artist and a better hire, but it’s not useful to me yet’. And then I got here and immediately realized I was wrong. It’s useful now. It’s making me a better artist right now.

Day one, we did a tour of VRAC and I got to see virtual and augmented reality up close for the first time and I thought, “yes, this is what I want to do. I can use this to make surgery simulation programs, or videos that students can watch to better understand the complex processes of the human body.” then we talked about 3-D printing and again I thought, “this is what I want to do. I can use this for so many different things. I can go into bioprinting, I can use it in the line of children’s toys I’m designing,” (btw, have I mentioned I’m designing a line of children’s toys? Because I am, and I love talking about it) Even coding, a thing which scares the life out of me, I can immediately see the appeal and uses.

This week we’re working on learning 3-D modeling which was the one thing I immediately recognized from the get-go as “useful” in my eventual career as a medical illustrator. I thought, surely, being an artist, this will be easy for me… I guess I should get used to being wrong because SolidWorks is probably the most complicated computer program I’ve ever used. I mean, it just did not make sense. That being said, it’s getting better, and I was even able to create a little box and lid that snap together. That was cool. But then came Blender. Thank goodness for Blender because I was about to go insane feeling like I’m the only one not understanding what’s going on. Blender clicked almost immediately and I’m having so much fun using it. I’ve created so many little things and absolutely LOVE using it.

Also, I’ve been doing some drawings on top of it all. That’s super fun. I made a little design of everyone in our group. I think it’s pretty cute, but it’s only a rough draft right now. anyway this all to say, I’m glad I applied to this program even though I didn’t even know what HCI was when I did. I’m really learning a lot.

Here are some pictures of the little case that I designed in SolidWorks. It’s a pretty simple design but for someone who literally couldn’t grasp the basics like 4 days ago, I’m proud of it.

And here’s some pictures of the little “farm” I made in blender. It has a well, a shack, a few trees, a tire swing, a cornfield, a bridge, and a little pumpkin patch. I think it’s cute.

This is the little design I was talking about. The interns have taken to collectively calling our group the “VRAC bunch”. and this is a rough doodle of us as the VRAC bunch in with kind of a brady bunch vibe. Anyway, yeah, I’ve been doing art. LOTS of it. That’s unexpected, but definitely a good thing too.

New week, New lessons

Last week we were taking classes on how to code. It was really difficult, and if I’m being honest, I was worse at it than expected. While I have been learning some coding stuff this year, I’m still pretty new to it and I felt that the pace of the course was not set with beginners in mind. This said, I learned a ton and can definitely say that while I am not where I want to be with coding, I am much further along than I was before.

But, this week we’re learning other things, specifically SolidWorks and Blender, which are two different types of modeling software. I thought that being an artist would give me a leg up in this area, but again I find myself struggling. Our SolidWorks instructor said that while an art background will probably help in Blender, it won’t do much for SolidWorks, which – go figure- is all we’ve worked on so far. I’m trying not to let the difficulty of these courses discourage me. I am learning a lot, and much faster than I would in other places, but it is very difficult.

We also started working on designing a t-shirt for our program. Yesterday we brainstormed and I’ve been mocking up one of our concept ideas. I don’t want to say too much about the specifics because I’m not sure who all is reading this and I think the design is meant to be somewhat of a secret. We were advised not to look at past REU’s t-shirt designs because it might influence the design we chose, and it’s meant to be unique. A few people looked anyway in order to “make sure we didn’t accidentally come up with the same idea”.

Tonight we are going to a park. I don’t know what we’re doing there but I’m hoping it doesn’t involve too much exercise. Thus far, the programs attempts at making me exercise have not gone well. We played volleyball in an unairconditioned gym, which would have been fine if I wasn’t still in my work clothes and also- as I learned that day- deeply afraid of the volleyball. Let’s just say I would have killed it if we were playing dodgeball. They also had us do yoga, but it was like speed-running a yoga class. We kept switching poses faster than I could keep up, and as a larger individual, some of the poses required levels of flexibility my body just isn’t capable of. My knees were killing me by the end because of the hardwood floors, but it wasn’t all bad. Towards the end we spent about 10 minutes just lying on the floor. That I was good at.

Anyway -yoga and volleyball aside- I’m having a good time. I’m learning a lot about myself and my limits and where I can push myself. I’m going to keep pushing myself as much as possible and learning new things. I recognize that my desire to be the best at everything can occasionally cause me to want to give up prematurely, but I won’t do that here. I am going to learn all that I can and remind myself I don’t have to be the best, I just have to be better than I was before. That I can do. I’m glad to be here and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week brings.

Reu Playlist

Okay so, I’m a big fan of mixtapes and custom playlists. now, I’ve been told my taste in music is terrible but honestly I don’t care. I like it and since I’m the one listening, that’s what matters right? But I was reading through the blogs yesterday and I saw that Amy added the song she was listening to and I was like, “that’s cool. I’m stealing it.” so this is a playlist of the songs I have been listening to on repeat while I’m here. I will warn you, there’s no real theme or genre to these, so as a playlist it’s kind of terrible, but I have a specific reason for all the music I’m listening to. Without further ado, I present: Kristi’s Reu Playlist.

This song is all emotion. I like to imagine its the story of my life. If that’s the case, I’m about a minute thirty in. That’s where things are a bit repetitive but they’re growing to something bigger. You can tell now that the music is building and you’re starting to get excited for what’s next. I love this song.

I like to listen to this on the way to VRAC. It sounds to me like the kind of song that gets played during the title-sequence of an early 2000s movie while they’re showing b-roll of a protagonist walking around the city.

I could see this song also being a title-sequence song. Mostly though, it just makes me want to be happy and dance around. When I hear this song I can’t help but smile. I listen to is when I feel like the world is going a bit too fast for me.

I’ll be honest, this one is just for the vibes.

I just like this song. It is an example of the the whole being greater than the sum of its parts

Someone once described this song as, “the soundtrack of the universe” and I really like that description. To me, it embodies the feeling I imagine God felt when he created the world. It makes me feel triumphant, which interestingly related to the name of the band who wrote it. Sigur Ros is icelandic for Triumph Rose or something similar (I don’t speak Icelandic). The song means Jumping in Puddles and it’s about fighting tough things and getting back up when things are hard. my favorite lyric is, “Og ég fæ blóðnasir // En ég stend alltaf upp” which I believe means, “And I get a nosebleed, but I always stand back up”

Honestly, I mostly like this for the trumpet line in the opening of the song. It also reminds me of my childhood because it was one of like 8 songs on my childhood iPod.

This one is for when I feel like I can’t give anything more. It was my top song of 2016, but randomly it came back into my daily plays even though I hadn’t heard it in years.

Huge tone shift here. This ones a little on the nose and a tad cringe but, well, so am I. I like listening to this song loudly, and if you’re not a loud music person, I would suggest skipping it. (Grandma, I’m talking about you. You won’t like it.)

This is my calm down song. I listen to it when I need to be away from the world for a minute. It’s not for everyone either, but I love it.

Anyway, that’s really it. I’m a creature of habit and once I latch onto a song I keep it, so these are the songs I’ve been stuck to recently.

What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up?

Everyone gets asked this question a lot as a kid. And for me, the answer changed every few years. First it was brain surgeon, then medical examiner, then cinematographer, then EMT, then briefly I was convinced I would be a nurse (a horrible choice, really) until finally landed on medical illustration. I realized I kept flip-flopping between a medical field job and an art related job. Then, one day, I was scrolling the internet, browsing scholarships (I’m really not sure why, I hadn’t even applied to school yet, but I was) and I saw a scholarship in which students took pictures of microscope slides they thought were pretty and then the slide determined to be the prettiest won the scholarship. It was advertised as a “science art” scholarship and I was like wait, is it really that simple? Is “science art” a thing? So I looked it up. Turns out it absolutely is. And that’s how I found medical illustration.

Yet, in all the years of being asked “What do you want to do when you grow up?”, I never imagined I’d end up here. I wasn’t even aware “here” existed. That’s the funny thing about the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, Once you decide what it is, there’s a very definite- often stereotypical- expectation of what being that thing will mean. For medical illustration though, I had no stereotype to work off of. I had no idea what it meant, just that it sounded like something I’d love to do. The more I researched it the more I realized how varied it can be. Medical illustrators can work in hospitals or research centers or on law offices or even from home. I didn’t know what path I’d end up on, had no clue where I’d go. So when people ask me what I’m going to school for, and I tell them, the next questions are ones like “what is medical illustration?” Or, “how does that work?” Or the ever dreaded, “so how long will you be in school?” And I stumble through answers that are too complicated to casually discuss. Because medical illustration is about as specific a field as “sports”. If someone says, “I want to work in sports” we would all laugh because it’s not much of a plan. But, because the field of medical illustration has so many emerging and new technologies, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact thing I want to do within the field. So I generalize. Then people ask how long I will be in school and I shudder, because there is no definite answer right now. Maybe I will just get a bachelors. maybe I’ll join a masters program, but if not, will I try for a Ph. D? There is no one way to become what I want to be, since what I want to be is unclear. Beyond that, it’s not as east as simply stating what I want to do. I actually have to go do it now.

Now, however, I’ve realized there’s been a distinct change in the question that I’ve been asked all my life. I didn’t notice it at first, but eventually people stopped asking me what I want to be when I grow and began asking me, “what are you doing these days?” With the implication, of course, being that either I already grew up (a ridiculous notion, really), or that I should already be what I wanted, or clearly on the path to it. Yet, if someone were to ask me that question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I still wouldn’t have a definite answer. I still don’t know how this field or my love for it will change in the next few years. Will it get more specific? Maybe I will determine I want to work in bio-printing or surgery simulation production, but maybe I want to go into research. Maybe I want to be part of the group of medical artists that push this field further. There are no answers yet, but this part is clear: where I am now is an important part of getting there.

Here, in this program, I am asked similar questions. They suggest grad school and promote research and I worry that somehow I do not belong. I never truly considered grad school as something I am capable of until recently. Today in our Luncheon Lecture, we discussed the options, and how the world we are in today can so easily and quickly change that we have no idea what the options will be by the time we’re finishing our schooling. So with this in mind, I’m making a list of the things I think I need in a job, and I’m widening my view. I can focus on, “well I want to be this one specific thing” but who knows how the goalposts will have moved by the time I get there? So this is what I need in a job: I want a biological or medical component to my work. I need to be creative. I have to be working on something useful. I want to be learning. These are the goals I am working towards in a career. For now, I’m focusing on medical illustration because that seems to be the way there for me, and honestly, that’s all I need to know now. I have at the very least three more years to figure the rest out.

Speaking of art, I decided it would be fun to draw some pictures of all the other interns. Just quick doodles. These are sketches of the two interns on the project with me. I’ll post a few more at the end of my next blog.


We’re learning to code this week. Coding is very difficult to me and it doesn’t come naturally. I’ve tried to learn how to code before, with very limited success. Every method I’ve tried feels a bit like being dropped into the deep end and being asked to swim. I usually drown in such situations, but I’m trying to look at is as if it is a rogue-like game. A rogue-like game (a term I only became aware of because it is the very type of game my team is working on) is a game in which you have to fail in order to succeed, and in which each failure builds upon the previous ones and makes you stronger. Learning to knit was this way for me. I had to start over about a million times before I finally made my first piece (an only semi-functional potholder) Coding might be a rogue-like process for me. and the good news is this: I have already created my very first successful program today without help. It’s not a very interesting program, but it works, and that’s good enough. It converts degrees Celsius into Fahrenheit. Below is a picture. It’s messy, and only half functional, but so was the potholder. anyway, that’s all. Better get back to it!

We are Sending Letters Today

As some of you may be aware, I am a huge fan of letters. I like receiving them, writing them, and reading them. I also love epistolary novels, and even won first place in contest for writing an epistolary short story. Then today I thought, what is a blog post other than the body portion of a letter? And with that in mind, I decided todays blog is going to be a letter. Please enjoy this letter style blog post. 

Dear friends, family, and other people snooping on my blog,

I’ve been thinking about space lately. Not as in the final frontier but as in the space that we take up and how our environment can completely alter any situation. Moving to Ames for the summer has made me more aware of the space surrounding me, and what things help make my space something I’m comfortable in. 

VRAC (the place in which I’m interning) is a great space. The minute I got here I could feel it. I don’t have any clue how a space can so perfectly embody this feeling of learning, but the way it’s set up, the way people move in the space, even the way it sounds is so conducive to discovery. My new apartment is nice too. I was worried about living in a dorm, being away from my husband, and sharing a space with relative strangers but so far it’s been nothing but good things. 

I feel as if our personal spaces are well designed for learning. My desk at VRAC- though fairly empty right now- is nice. I’m lucky that I got a spot that allows me to see everyone in the room, not just my project team. The conference room where we do a lot of our classes and lessons is right next to the intern desks and that’s very convenient. I don’t know what I expected of the space at ISU, but this is definitely better than my imagination. The only complaint I have is that VRAC doesn’t have bathrooms so we have to make sure to bring our keycards to get back in if we have to go. But honestly the fact that we have keycards allows me to play out “I’m a scientist working in a fancy lab” dreams makes it worth the slight hike. 

Anyway this all to say, the space is good, not just physically, but it’s great for me mentally. It’s allowing me to step back from myself a bit and take a break from all the chaos of my everyday life. While I am here my priority is to learn and grow. And that’s not only exciting but it’s relaxing, in a way. I don’t necessarily know how to verbalize why, but it’s nice to feel as if I’m doing something that’s helpful beyond the specific minutiae of the actual things I’m doing. I can see how doing them is growing my knowledge in the field I’m attempting to make a career in. 

I’m excited for this week. We’re learning to code! I don’t know a lot about coding. I started learning Java in January, but I quickly stalled out as the way that I was attempting to learn just wasn’t working for me. Hopefully this time I’ll get a bit further. They’re starting us with C++ but the game that my team will be working on is in JavaScript. I’m a little worried about the coding languages getting mixed up with all the other things going on in my head. I know programming languages are not the same as spoken language and our brains don’t store them the same way, but part of me is afraid it’ll only confuse me further, like how more and more often I just forget how to speak properly because I can’t remember what words are English and what words are the other languages that I’ve studied. On the other hand, the fact that I’ve been able to comprehend as much as I can of said other languages gives me hope that while- yes coding is very different- it won’t be nearly as hard as I’m working up in my head to be. Here’s hoping that’s the case! Work is starting back up again soon so I should go! Talk later!

Love long and prosper y’all,

Kris Skinner-Rathjens

P.S. Here are some pictures of (my) space.

Jake was very excited about installing these lights and I am definitely not complaining. They absolutely improve my studying. How could you not want to sit and read under lights like these?

Myers-Briggs Personality Test

Today we were asked to take a Myers-Briggs test to determine our personality type. I’ve taken one before, and I was pretty sure I knew what I was going to get. Still, I tried not to let that sway my answers anyway. I got INFP-T which stands for introverted, intuitive, feeling, prospective, with the subtype turbulent. On the 16 personalities site, they call this the mediator. It was fun to see what the other people in the program are. One of my teammates was also an INFP, and the ither was an ESTJ, which is basically the “opposite” personality type. I think this could be interesting to see how we work together given this. I know that in the end what personality types a test defines us as doesn’t really matter too much but it can be a good starting place for beginning to understand these relative strangers I’ve been paired up with.

Today we also had some product demos for various things being made and happening her at VRAC. I really enjoyed all of the demonstrations. A few of them were hard to understand, but the ones that I did were fascinating. I think it’s crazy how even though they’re working on things and concepts entirely different from the things I’m interested in, I can see the ap[plication for my own interests. I’m really enjoying being part of this program and I already can feel how I’m learning and changing how I perceive HCI. Here’s hoping next week is just as fun! Anyway, here’s a picture of me sticking my tongue out.

Reflecting on the first few days of the REU

When I applied to this program, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to get in. Even though I only had a vague idea of what we would be doing, I was really excited by this world of undergrad research. My primary emotion though was nervousness. What if I wasn’t good enough? What if I didn’t understand what was going on? How can I actually be a positive impact in this internship?

I felt nervous all the way up until the welcome dinner. That’s when I started really meeting the people in this program. I met the fellow interns who would be working on the project with me, and I met the people running the program . After that I was a lot less nervous. Everyone here has been so kind and I can tell that they really want me to learn. The environment here and the attitudes about learning are something I’ve never experienced before. So often learning is seen as a means to an end, something done in order to be able to reach an entirely separate end-goal. In VRAC learning is done for learning’s sake.

While I came here with very definite ideas of what I wished to take out of the program, I’m already learning that what I expected and what I get might be very different. I anticipated working all day for a single goal, learning through the work, and to some extent being tossed into the deep end. This is not the case. Already I have learned so much and the program is well structured with good access to educational resources that I never anticipated. I know now that I will leave here a more educated person, but I also see that, while I will be in charge of my own education, I am not alone in it. There are people here who wish to see me exceed as much as I wish it myself, and are willing to help me do so. I am so excited to see what else I learn while I’m here, and I can’t wait to see where this is going.