First assignment jitters


Happy Monday, everyone! I’m usually not this jovial on a Monday morning, but today is a Steeler Day, and I’m already celebrating (let’s hope I continue to celebrate after the game tonight!).

Last night, I was chatting with a classmate of mine on Facebook as we were both working on our homework assignments due for today. Even though we are taking different classes for Late Fall, this is the first assignment due for both of us. I told her that I had “first assignment jitters” and she agreed. It’s not that either of us expects to do poorly on our assignments, it’s just that with every new semester comes a new professor. And while the grading for all IMC courses is pretty standard, each professor has their own preferences and their own grading styles that we must relearn every nine weeks. For example, I’ve had professors who’ve said that a paper’s length doesn’t matter—that a good paper should be as long as it takes to say what I need to say, nothing more. On the other hand, other professors have required papers to be precisely between X and Y number of pages.

At the beginning of one class that I had a few semesters ago, I had a question about the first assignment that I was afraid to ask. It’s not that the professor for that class was inaccessible. On the contrary, she continually urged students to contact her with any questions they had. I just didn’t want to come across as a “needy student” or a “pest.” However, I ultimately ended up e-mailing the professor and got the answer I needed to do my assignment. And since that time, I’ve found that in all my classes thus far every professor has been more than helpful in answering the questions I have regarding assignments and course material.

I don’t think those “first assignment jitters” will every go away completely, but if there’s one piece of advice I could give to incoming IMC students, it’s this: If you have a question regarding an assignment or anything in the course, don’t hesitate or be afraid to ask your professor. If something is confusing you, there’s a good chance you aren’t the only one, and no question is a stupid question!

4 Responses to “First assignment jitters”

  1. Rebecca Says:

    Phew! This post is *almost* a sigh of relief. I’m already nervous, and am not starting the program until Early Spring. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • stacywise Says:

      Hi Rebecca!

      Congrats! Don’t be nervous–be excited! IMC 610 is a great introductory course. It was honestly one of my favorite classes. You learn A LOT in that class, and you also get a feel for the format of the courses (they all follow basically the same format).

  2. Joanne Says:

    Hi Stacy…
    I’m in the last class, but I always feel the same way about the first assignment/discussion post. It takes a couple of weeks to get to settle in to the groove. I also think every class has a different personality, just like you’d expect in an actual classroom experience. I guess it keeps things fresh!

  3. Julie Davis Says:

    Speaking from experience, the first assignment jitters don’t go away completely. However, with the assistance of classmates and a wonderful teaching staff, all of the IMC assignments are feasible. I collaborated with classmates constantly throughout the program, especially to bounce ideas off of them. It was especially helpful when working on the capstone project. I wouldn’t have made it without the help/guidance of Shalane Koon and Heidi Martella!

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