Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2 weeks and going strong...

So....2 weeks into the my new college adventure and let me tell you, people, its been hectic with a capital H!!! It seems like I've been on zoom mode permanently and sleep is a thing of the past. Between college and full time work its just rushing from one thing to another....sometimes (well all the time) I have to actually stop and think seriously about what day of the week it is and where am I supposed to be at that time. Good thing I write this stuff down.

Anyhow, I thought I would get some thoughts out there about how I feel concerning my first two weeks. I've had time to get a feel for the classes, the instructors, other students, and just life as a college student in general. Some good, some not so good...but all part and parcel and I'm dealing with it (or deluding myself...hmmm?).

So lets see....what should we start with?

Ah yes, no college semester would be complete without some sort of English Comp class. I've always fancied myself a writer of sorts but writing for pleasure is a whole other world compared to writing essays and whatnot. I don't particularly enjoy this sort of writing as it requires too much preparation and attention to detail. As anyone knows that reads my blog...details are supposed to be fun...not laborious and snooze inducing. At any rate, the teacher is quite nice and funny and tries to make the class and enjoyable experience. Every morning while taking roll she asks us something about if we could learn a new skill what would it be? etc. Certainly gets everyone into the thinking mode and relaxed and ready to go. Not my favorite class but doable.

Next there is math class. I didn't do very well on my entrance exam, or COMPASS, which gauges your math and English
abilities and places you in a class
according to your test scores. Because
I scored low on my math I have to start out at the beginning. The interesting thing is that I was always an A student in math growing up. I was placed in a higher Algebra class then my actual grade due to my advanced skills in that to sit down and face that test and DRAW A COMPLETE BLANK at the very first question was a kick in the ass I'm telling you. Very embarrassing.
At any rate, once I sat down in this class it only took an hour or two to bring back formulas and whatnot and remind me of all that I KNEW I knew...just couldn't recall when I needed it. I approached my math teacher, explained my predicament and she understood completely. Told me that a lot of us *ahem* older students had that problem and generally regained our skills with just a little reminder or refresher. She told me if I got through the online course work quick enough she would place me in the credited math class...of which she was also the instructor. So I've been working on all that while still attending her class. She's fairly straight forward and teaches in an interesting manner. All that classwork is on line so no books or anything, which is a little frustrating. I like to SEE and FEEL things to better understand. I'm a visual creature.

Next there is Public Speaking. I took this class because I'm horrible at speaking around large groups of people. With just a few I'm considered the joker and can really enjoy myself...more than that and I'm hugging the wall trying to disappear. I figure since I'm studying for a Journalism degree, public speaking would help me in that capacity. So far the class has been really interesting and the instructor makes it fun and enjoyable. He looks somewhat like a throwback hippy from the 70's but he's very well travelled, has a lot of experience speaking etc, and is full of stories about his life and teaching. I look forward to that class a lot. So far I've had to speak in front of the class twice and both times I neither passed out nor froze like a deer in headlights so I guess I'm doing OK. We have to give an speech to "inform" the audience of something and I've chosen to speak about the middle east etc. 8 min to reduce 23 years of experience into a nutshell. Fun!!

Of course I had to take something to do with writing for pleasure so I took a class that deals with the college newspaper. From the first day we are required to interview or write articles for both the published copy and the online version. My first interview was with the head of the BOCES office located within the college. I was nervous but she was wonderful and we had a good first interview. My editor, who happens to work for the Green River Star (the local newspaper for the next town over) actually put the interview in with very little changes. Cool!!! We aren't really in a class setting as we just meet once a week and discuss what new article ideas people have come up with. I've found that ideas are easy and the writing is easy....pinning down your subject!!! Not so easy. Everyone is so busy and schedules conflict like fighting dogs. It's tough. However, because I enjoy writing it's fun as well. Our instructor is very kind and accommodating. Pretty much lets us do what we want and pursue our own ideas...just as long as we submit before the deadline so she can edit etc. I really like this class.

I might point out here that so far my backpack weights about a ton and I haven't even mentioned the class with the biggest heaviest book *sigh*. Between carrying this monster around and running helter skelter for classes and work etc...I feel I'm getting plenty of exercise in. Then again, raiding the plentiful supply of vending machines sprouting in every corner like evil mushrooms doesn't really help. ugh!

So far my most interesting class, and the one I look forward to the most, is Psychology. This class from the start grabs my attention and keeps me wanting more. Granted it's early days yet but I'm the sort of person that if my attention isn't garnered fairly early on I lose interest and move on to the next thing. I don't foresee that happening here. The instructor is extremely diligent in her lectures and includes small anecdotes and case studies or humorous incidents to break up the pace and keep us interested and alert. I didn't do as well as I expected on my first test but I found out later that she bases her tests more on her lectures then on the text book. I missed the first class and so missed this bit of info. I studied the text more and gave less attention to her lectures, interesting though they were. Will change that for future tests...LOL Today she showed us an old Candid Camera piece in which one person in an elevator was persuaded to face the back of the elevator simply because everyone else in the elevator faced the back...for no apparent reason. We are learning about how social pressure to conform makes us all do things we wouldn't do willingly...or agree with things we don't agree with but will do so just to fit in etc. Very interesting and, of course, very true. I love this class....low mark and all.

Anyhow, that's sort of a wrap up with my first two weeks. A mixture of sweat blood and tears with some laughter and feelings of accomplishment thrown into the pot...mix it all up and you get one tired college student. Par for the course I'm sure.

I found this grid and thought it was quite apt. I spend too much time trying to find a parking spot and not enough time doing the other stuff...have to leave home earlier and earlier just to get to class on time. Cuts into my few remaining hours of sleep. *sigh* Guess I'll sleep when I'm dead. LOL

Will do another update later on down the line when I've had time to adjust and make the most of this hectic schedule. Don't hold your breath on that just yet though...feels like it's going to take some time. *yawn*


Wrestling With Religion said...

It's always refreshing and stimulating getting back into education after a break. I can sense that in your writing even though it's obviously tiring combining it with work.

You never feel on top of the work until the last exams are over. If you did, it would be too easy and wouldn't actually be stretching you. Everyone finds it tough... it's normal although some people do a good job of hiding it. LOL.

Diane Laney Fitzpatrick said...

You have a full load there, girl. Good for you! Especially taking Public Speaking. You're so brave. Most people avoid it like the plague. You're trying to get good at it. Good luck!

Anisah said...

Sounds like you are keeping busy. I took Public Speaking and English comp. last semester. We didn't have to do a speech in front of the class for a few weeks though. I learned a lot in it as well. All of us were nervous, but at the end we were much more confident.

Keep up the good work!


The Queen said...

Awesome! Keep up the good attitude and the good work!

How are the kids?

Suroor said...

So proud of you dear friend! You are truly inspiring... looking after five kids, working full-time and studying! You amaze me.

Sending warm wishes your way. Good luck!

coolred38 said...

Thank you ladies. Life is hectic but Im getting through it day by day....sometimes min by min. There is a purpose to this madness Im sure...just not too clear on it yet.

Imperfect Stepford Wife said...

Coolred you are a wonderful example of hard-work and dedication. I admire women who do it all. My mom studied, worked and cared for us, and I miust say it made a difference in what I thought I could accomplish in life.

I just graduated in November and know that my daughters are looking at me as their role-model.

oby said...

I know it can be really hard...been there myself. But in the end you will be independent,have bettered your situation and NO ONE can take an education away from you no matter what happens. Keep it up. It is so worth it...and you can always vent here!

Angel Darling said...

Wow,is all I have to say! But, sometimes, the busier you are the more you get done... funny how that happens. Good luck! God bless!

Chiara said...

My Mom went to uni when we were in high school. It was inspiring, in many ways, and a hectic juggle for her that I didn't fully realize at the time.

You are right on track to be the academic star you are. Keep on, keeping on!

btw Nice backpack cartoon by Lynn who got her cartooning start thanks to her obgyn who commissioned her to paint cartoons on the labour room ceiling when she was very young, very poor, and needless to say, in the family way!

Susanne said...

I enjoyed this update on your schooling. Thanks for sharing about your classes and teachers. How did the students like your speech on the Middle East? I bet they found it exciting - I would. So what new skill would you like to have? :-) And how are your kids liking their classes?

coolred38 said...

Again thank you ladies.

Susanne...the date for the middle east speech is later this month..still working on it tho. My speech in English class went very well. Got an A on that...teacher commented that I acted like a that I displayed good humor and insight. Imagine that?

Its been fun so far...hectic but fun.