My First Intensive Week #emba27

Augustus Brown Written by Gusby · 2 min read >

Before my first intensive week, I had only one question on my mind; “How intensive is the intensive week?”

My curiosity was borne from the fact that even our normal weekend lectures could be considered as intense. So, the week must be special to warrant the use the “intensive” qualifier.

Crossing a Highway Blind

Anticipation grew as the days drew closer. It was common for people to ask others if they were going to attend intensive week in person. The usual answer was the affirmative.

Conversely, there was no official communication about the event. Typically, our program manager sent a timetable weeks in advance of lectures so we could prepare ahead. But here we were, two weeks to start, and the timetable was not available.

Whenever, anyone asked the program manager, her response was always “It will be sent before intensive week.”  Eventually, we received the timetable on the Friday before intensive week.

The Executives

I wanted to attend the first intensive week lecture as I did every Saturday, by leaving home early. My commute was two hours to school. So if I left home by 6:30am, I would be on campus by 8:30am, with 30 minutes to spare. I was going with a female colleague to school, so I factored in another hour to ensure we left on time. But, things did not go on as planned.

She came late despite the early call. In addition, there was a gridlock on the third mainland bridge. A 2-hour commute turned to a 3-hour one. I joined the first lecture online and arrived on campus 10 minutes before it ended.

I walked into the lecture hall after the lecture and for the first time, it was full. Someone had even taken my regular seating position. But I was not bothered by the inconvenience; it felt refreshing to see everyone. Almost all the online avatars had materialized into people. More people joined in person as days went by, till only one person was left online.

New Perspectives

One facilitator always grumbled that online learning was a scam. After attending just one lecture with him in person, the online participants agreed. The in person experience was much better. If you did not understand something, your colleagues were there to help. A facility not available to online participants.

The lectures themselves were intense. From 9am to 5pm each day, we had back to back sessions which also included individual and group presentations. Each day, I spent at least 3 hours in group meetings. Fortunately, all my group presentations went well.

Finishing Strong

By Friday, I was used to sleeping by 12am and waking up at 5am each day. I woke up as usual and checked out of the hotel before leaving for campus. Friday was stack like all the days before it. However, it was culminating with a group presentation.

We finished the week with a strong group presentation. The intensive week as an awesome experience. The week went by quickly with no dull moments. It was finally time to take a breath.

Our new Class Council had organized an event to help us wind down the intensive week. The event was fun. The food, music and atmosphere were all great. It was on my way home that it dawned on me.

I only noticed after we left the place that I could barely talk. It must have been the loud music, I thought to myself. The following day, I was feeling pains in my chest after eating. This went on for a few more days. Then it dawned on me, the stress from the intensive week was taking its toll on me.


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