My post-practicum experience: not all who wander are lost

*This post was written by Caitlin Cheung, a MT student in the Primary/Junior stream.

It is almost midnight here in Toronto, which commences my first week back at OISE after being away for 4 weeks at practicum. I want to be as honest as I can with you guys. I don’t want to paint a picture of the “perfect life” I lead at OISE. That wouldn’t do you any good, and it would not be well with my soul.

In saying this, I want to tell you how hard my first week back was. I’ve done practicums when completing my undergrad at Ryerson. I did two or three days of school and go to my practicum site for two days. Obviously both practicums have their pro’s and con’s. But I found adjusting back into life at OISE after being away for a month was awful. This week I found it tedious to sit and learn a lesson. I was instantly distracted by a sudden movement by a neighbouring student. My teachers even saw how un-engaged I was in class and asked if there was something going on.

It is unfortunately not easy to be submerged back into full time classes after being away for so long. All I can say is, next week there is no excuses. I was warned at orientation:

“You come into this program thirsty for knowledge, and we stick your heads under Niagara Falls.”

At the time, the audience just giggled and laughed. But OISE means business when they say this. This a graduate program. Expect to do readings, assignments and reflections every week. I’m not saying you are in this alone, because that's far from the case. The staff and peer support is amazing here.

All I am saying is this week I was a little lost and I wandered off. (I think its solely because my head and heart are with my students. I’ve emailed my AT multiple times that I am “homesick”) I am assuming the majority of our readers are feeling like this as the semester is coming to an end and/or the holidays are within reach. Just make the rest of your days the best of your days.