And we are back — Welcome to Spring 2019 semester at IEDP!

Philly winter hasn’t been that bad at all thus far but this Sunday and Monday are supposed to be quite bad – low of negative 15 Celsius and 8 Fahrenheit. We haven’t seen as much snow yet either but that’s also supposed to come with the coldness so we will see!

Concerns you had about the U.S. east coast weather? Not actualized yet but we will keep you updated for sure.

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Snow has melted just in time for my arrival. Hope to see some more in the near future!

Just like any first week of semester, this week has been lots of syllabus reading and filling in my calendar. Though I am taking different courses this semester, the experience of last semester does help me better predict how things will pan out. Personally, workload for this semester seems more spread out than that for the previous semester. I have most of my courses in the later afternoon as opposed to earlier in the morning in last semester. Also, I have only one course in which I will be able to see my cohort mates all together. Several changes for sure, but I feel more ready for those after a semester.

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The cohort is back!

Because the first day of classes was on Wednesday, I haven’t had my Tuesday classes yet but I’m quite settled with my course selection. Proseminar is the only mandatory course I have for IEDP this semester. We learned to write concept notes and technical proposals last term in prosem but this term, my cohort mates and I will be primarily working on our capstone project which is the IEDP policy brief. I will write a separate post on what policy brief is once I progress a bit more with my own policy brief.

My other courses include a qualitative method class titled seminar in microethnography and two electives. I was especially excited about the electives as last semester, I did not have much room for electives as I was trying to get required courses and a quantitative method course out of the way. I will be taking a course on developmental theories and application to children and another on critical literacy with illustrated texts. They both very much align with my interest areas which are critical literacy, curriculum development and teacher education. And this excitement seems to be a shared experience amongst the IEDPers – last semester was a great gateway to Penn and the field of development in general but now everyone is out to further hone their specific areas of interest and we are excited for it!

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The ritual

Aside from the academics, my on-campus jobs seem to have cruised much more smoothly and faster this semester. Now that I have grasped clearer understanding of my responsibilities and duties as a GA and a fellow at Family Resource Center, there was no hesitation. I jumped right into planning events and here I am, writing a blog post! Speaking of GAship, this term is going to be more exciting as I will have more chance to interact with prospective students (yes, you! Hopefully you who are reading this post right now) and alumni. We’ve already had our first virtual open house and it was a little bit nervous, to be honest, but thrilling to answer questions asked directly from the prospective students!

Though I am still somewhat struggling with jetlag, things are faring well! I shouldn’t forget to mention that I was fortunate to start off the term with some cultural experience with my cohort mates. A few of us went to a fundraising mini concert for local musicians at a bar in Center City. Engaging with local community in Philly felt great and really made me feel like I’m back in school.

It sure will be a hectic semester but I know I will love it. Stay tuned for more to come!

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Good music, good food, great company!