When I started “going to school” at University of Maine Augusta, I didn’t really go anywhere. The class came to me, either through online classes or via ITV or videoconference. When we talk about distance learning, this is a big part of what we mean – bringing college courses to remote locations so people can pursue their educations, no matter where they live.
Now, my distance learning has taken on new meaning. I’m still doing online classes, but I’m also taking a class on campus. Here’s what that has looked like so far…
First, deal with this:
Luckily, my husband usually comes to my rescue.
I drive to the ferry terminal, just a few miles away, and hop on the boat. This pic is from the fall, but you get the idea.
The trip across the bay takes about an hour and twenty minutes. We leave another car on the mainland to avoid having to get reservations and line numbers to take a car on the ferry (a sometimes frustrating process). Luckily, my car is the one on the left.
The drive up to Augusta takes a little over an hour. I give my sincere thanks to the weather gods; during this winter-of-the-many-deep-snows, none of the storms has come on a Monday, my mainland day. I love the trip, a long ride over rolling hills on clear, smooth roads.
I don’t know Augusta very well. It seems like a smallish, spread-out city, still surrounded by woods and anchored to the Kennebec River. The road to UMA wends along Bond Brook for a ways, and then through some wood and on up a hill to campus. This is the first building at the top of the road, the Michael Klahr Holocaust Education Resource Center (here’s another link, too)
I took a walk around campus after class, just to familiarize myself with the layout. This is the other side of the Klahr Center.
The Randall Center is where my class – The Brontës from Page to Screen – is held (a fabulous class, by the way).
This is the area in front of the library.
And here is my only previous connection to campus – I’m pretty sure these are the dishes that beam classes out to remote ITV and videoconference sites all over.
I like poking around campus, and will do it a lot more once the snow clears. In the meantime, when I think of how long it takes me to get here, I’m so grateful I was able to take most of my classes at a distance. My 2 3/4 hour class entails 5 hours of travel, round-trip. I couldn’t have done this every week for the past 6 years of chipping away at my degree, but it’s a nice way to finish off my final semester.
How about you? If you’re on the road to attend classes, how far do you travel?