Back in December 2014, a company from whom I ordered a messenger bag emailed me that it was on its way.

“Thank you for your purchase,” said the email. “Your package has shipped. You will receive it in seven to ten business days.

While it was good that it was on the way, I wanted it to arrive as soon as possible. Like yesterday. Like mostly everyone else, I hate to wait. Seven to ten business days from the date of the email meant it would not arrive until almost two weeks later.

That email got me to thinking, which is always dangerous. Depending on what or whom we are waiting for and whether he, she, or it is good or bad, seven to ten business days – almost two weeks – can seem fleeting or eternal. It all depends on how badly you want what’s about to happen.

A lot of major events happen quickly. Some of them –- a baby or a wedding — are happy. Others — bills, assignments, taxes, or death — not so. Ever notice how things we do not want come around quicker than those we do?  That same week-or-so can be interminable while we wait for something good to happen.

Case in point, when my husband and I planned to meet in person after talking on the phone, chatting, and emailing each other for the first three weeks, our big day was frozen by a record ice-storm that paralyzed Dallas and Fort Worth in December 2013. As a result, the big “reveal” was postponed until the next weekend. As it turned out, he proved to be worth the wait.

Seven to ten business days are basically two weeks. It can come quickly for something you dread. If it is something or somebody you want, the time can drag like a forty-eight-hour clock.

What thing or event came entirely too fast in your life? And for what or whom did you have to wait an eternity?


Finish Line
Finish Line (Photo credit: jayneandd)


The band plays; the crowd cheers as the stalwart strain toward the goal. In this marathon, we have had to jump hurdles and scale walls at every milepost.

No, I’m not talking about the New York, Boston, or even the Cowtown Marathon. Distance-Learning training is a rigorous, six-week session on building and teaching classes online.  The firing gun blasted us into action on September 4, 2012. Since then, we’ve met and risen above every challenge thrown at us: learning the Blackboard platform,  constructing navigable course menus, story boards, and composing multimedia lessons, quizzes, test pools, and surveys. Most importantly, we’ve coped with logistics, that tricky element that ensures that our pages and links open into content.

At the end of the training, November 30, we knew one last leg of the race – Final Review, including a peer review of our course, yawned ahead. By March 7, we would have to build the rest of our lessons and along with the other bells and whistles. Over Spring Break, we worked feverishly, finalizing our courses.

On the first day back, March 18,  my peer’s report was no surprise: the actual coursework met or exceeded expectations, but the technical side –broken links and pages, unconventional punctuation or headings on lessons, and a missing grade book – needed more tweaking.

Late Sunday night, March 31, I prayed, crossed fingers, toes, and eyes and hit  “Submit”. The next morning, great news! Topping my email messages was the one from the Director: “Congratulations, Kim. You have successfully completed the Distance Learning course.”

As if this course alone hasn’t been demanding enough, I have also been blessed with four-class loads both in the fall and spring semesters.  But, in teaching my on-site classes, I learned the key to survival: simplify, simplify, simplify!  Let the daily quizzes slide. Repeat, for homework. Provide challenges that allow for easier grading. And require all assignments, especially essays, to be posted online. Period.

Now, with colleagues and students cheering me on, I will one last burst of energy into  tired legs and blistered toes  to  lunge triumphantly across the Finish Line.