Sunday, September 12, 2010

College Class Update

I've started my second semester of college after a very hectic first semester. It took me awhile to find my groove that first semester; find time for work, homework and family. As I said...HECTIC!!

Anyhow, just to wave my own flag for a second here, after all that headache, stress and much hair pulling, I did manage to finish the semester on the Deans List. don't ask me how I managed that because I haven't a clue. But still, yay me.

Side note...the only thing that stopped me from finishing with ALL A's was one certain speech teacher that gave me a B in his class. I hate to admit I have serious doubts as to whether I deserved that B. I did flub the first speech (deer in headlights remember...ugh) and got a C but I got A's on the next two and A'ced the the final as well. makes me think he had other issues with me (possibly my connection to Arabs/Islam that he showed obvious dislike for?), but I don't know for sure so I can't say.

Anyways, new semester new stresses, new likes and dislikes etc. Here's a second week into it run down.

Algebra I & II. This class isn't really a class. It's all done on line with a teacher circulating the class encase anyone needs help. No lectures, no examples on the board with detailed explanations etc. I'm a visual person so this is very hard for me to deal with. I'm finding it difficult to understand the rationale in mixing numbers with letters and calling it math. Ugh! It's even more confusing to me because I use to be an ace at math, a whiz, somewhat of a genius actually. When I was young I could do complicated math problems in my head people! No lie. When I was a mere 6th grader I was placed in 9th grade Algebra, which did nothing to make friends for me. For some reason 9th graders did not take kindly to a puny 6th grader showing them up. I mostly kept silent after realizing that just because I was smart didn't mean I had to show it. (oh the memories) I would have to venture a guess and deduce that my "math muscle" has atrophied due to inactivity and such. In other words, Use It or Lose It! I lost it. *sigh*

Good news is that this class is taught by my previous math teacher so we have a relationship established already. She is a good instructor so I'm confident things will go smooth.

Technical Writing: This class is about learning how to write business correspondence, ads, memos, things meant to be published in other words. So far it comes across as very odd. The instructor gives very strange homework that many of us have concluded makes no sense based on what we were taught in class. He also is a very sedate, methodical instructor. a.k.a. boring. I could fall asleep in the time it takes him to get his point across. Most of the students in this class are the same ones that were in my English Comp class last semester. While that class was Las Vegas with its funny lectures, jokes, and all around feel good atmosphere...this one is like a trip through Mr Rodgers Neighborhood...with Mr Rodgers leading the way. No excitement, no laughter, just information given in slow monotones and glazed eyes and big yawns are prevalent. I don't particularly care for this class at the moment but it's required to full fill our English credit so what can I do. Get it out of the way I guess. *sigh*

Spanish I: I actually love Spanish class despite my struggle learning foreign languages. Arabic definitely did not come easy to me (still struggling with that..ugh) but our instructor is a bubbly, sexy energetic Latino woman and she makes all the difference in how the class runs. It's interesting to note that Spanish and Arabic have very similar grammar rules. It's also a "what you see is what you get" in terms of spelling etc. There are no silent letters in other words. I like the class a lot and hope I can learn sufficient Spanish to converse with my many Spanish speaking customers. However, I noticed that I definitely need to be in class and learn the material first hand. The two days I missed for various reasons could be viewed quite well on our first exam. I did well on the sections I was in class...not so well on the sections I was not in class. I vow to not miss any classes if I can help it. I also noticed that she doesn't spend much time on any given section. The first day we were learning vowel sounds and basic Spanish rules...the next words...and the next we were expected to be reading and reciting whole sentences. Obviously it's going to be a speedy train to the final got to be there for the whole ride. LOL

Soy optimista!!!

Wyoming Govt & Politics: I have to admit right here and now that I know very little about the American govt system and how it operates and came to be what it is. Other than what I learned in 9th grade govt. class I have little experience with it. My only excuse being that I have been overseas for all of my adult life and busy with other things...ahem. I thought the class would be boring but it's actually quite interesting. Of course this doesn't mean I'm going to find it a breeze or anything but at least I won't be falling asleep in it as I see many other students doing in that big hall while the lights are off and projector on. LOL The instructor is quite dynamic as well so that's helpful. He is making a potential "dry subject" (at least to me) engaging and thought provoking. Also, it's actually two classes; one day a week are a combined class with several lecturers giving their opinions etc about current events or politics etc, which helps keep boredom at bay with every new face etc; and we've got a once a week class with our own specific instructor fine tuning what we heard in the lecture hall...with his own added commentary. So it's interesting and I think I will learn a lot about politics before I'm done. They also aren't afraid to speak of "controversial" issues and let us comment on those subjects too so that's always fun to be able to speak freely with learned people about certain subjects. Right now we are discussing the topic, "what's so great about being an American and is our democratic system any better than what passes for democracy in other countries?". Fun stuff.

College paper: Of course I continued with writing for the school paper. I was also made Assistant Editor this semester as my instructor really likes my writing. She hinted that I will be made Editor sometime in the future if I continue in this vein. I found it funny that I actually don't always get a chance to look at the college paper once it's published and so was actually surprised to see the last one published from last semester had the whole mid section spread dedicated to one of my articles. She never told me she was doing that so had no particular interest in making it a point to see the paper once it came out. I generally tend to write my piece then let her do what she wants with it and leave it at that. I guess as Asst. Editor I may have to change that blase' attitude. LOL

I just want to point out that that particular article was me blathering on about how I feel every American needs to get a passport and leave the bubble that is America and see the rest of the world rather than rely on such things as Fox News and Oprah to fill them in. Most Americans will never leave their hometown, their state, or even their side of the continent and so obviously will never leave America for any reason. This is to our great disadvantage as the world is made up of more than just America and how can we know a people or culture unless we get out there and experience it? Just a thought. Anyhow....

Developmental Psychology: Same instructor as my previous psych class so at least I know her exam style etc (all from her lectures, the text is more of a back up reading sort of thing). She is very interesting and makes this class enjoyable. Psychology is just fascinating to me and I look forward to it. This class focuses on child development from conception to teen years. After having 5 kids and 'seeing it all" so to speak...I'm hoping it won't be too hectic as far as needing to study etc...but who knows. Last semester my first exam in college was one of hers and I completely bombed it. Got a D simply because it had been 25 years since my last exam and over estimated my abilities...what can I say...I use to be a whiz on past glories obviously doesn't pass exams for you. LOL Got down off that high horse REAL quick and buckled down and learned how to study all over again...or should I say for the first time...LOL. I never actually studied when I was younger...I hate me. Ha ha so do I remembering my cavalier attitude towards studying back then. The ego of youth and all that. Anyhow I like this class and look forward to it.

Well, that's it for now. A little run down for ya. My attitudes about each class may change over time (looking at you Spanish) but for now that's it. Wish me luck.

*side note. My boss moved me from the branch on the other side of town to the one just down the street from me. This means that, not only can my kids come walking down to visit me since during school we don't always get meaningful time together, it also means I don't have to hurry back and forth all the time to make it to work etc. More time to stay at college and get work done etc. Bonus. Down side...these customers are not nearly so interesting as the ones at the other store. *sigh*


Tracey's Life said...

All I have to say is GOOD FOR YOU!!! Yes you should be proud of yourself.

Angel Darling said...

Wow, sounds like a full load of classes, but I know you can do it!... especially now that work is so much closer. I'm kinda a tired of the running across town bit myself.

Chiara said...

"what's so great about being an American and is our democratic system any better than what passes for democracy in other countries?"

Being an American is THE GREATEST!
American democracy is THE BEST!
"what passes for" is your FIRST CLUE!

And don't you forget it, unless you want a D-! :D

Susanne said...

Hey at least Mr. Rogers had the Land of Make Believe! :)

I enjoyed Spanish class also. Although the letters may all have sounds, they sometimes differ a bit in HOW they sound. The "g" comes to mind. Your gov't and politics class sound fun to me! I can imagine how lively some of those topics can get especially the current one!

I love the article you wrote for the college paper! Such great advice!

Great to hear your children can visit you at your current job location. I hope they are doing well. Have fun in school! Let us know how it goes! :)

kellergirl said...

Awesome! I know what you are going through, being a student returning to college after many years. I am 40, and it took me awhile to get into the swing of things. I made the President's List my first semester, and the Dean's the next. But now my classes are harder, as I was stupid and saved the hard one for last! Ugh! You are doing great, congrats!

coolred38 said...

tracey...thank you and I am...sort of. Too busy to spend time being proud just now. LOL

angel...I didnt realize how much gas and time I was spending just going back and forth everyday across town...until I wasnt doing it anymore. Rather surprised me how much longer my tank of gas lasts. ha ha silver linings galore.

chiara...ha ha...I think.

susanne...yes..different sounding letters but at least they arent pronounced way back in your throat making it impossible for nonnative speakers to spit them out. (looking at you arabic...sniff).

Its great having my kids stopping by as they go to or from work (they all work around in our area so its easy for all of us) and my youngest comes and hangs out for an hour or so. Its very cool.

kellergirl..that is inspirational. Presidents List! wow!! Now my lowly Deans List sounds rather second Just kidding. We both deserve accolades...yay us!!!

Susanne said...

Coolred, yeah, I tried to learn the Arabic alphabet at least and my Arab friends are often wanting me to try new words. It's hard when the sounds are the ones we use hear when we are trying to clear the phlegm out of our throats. They conjure up "grossness" instead of real words! :-D

I remember when I took Spanish and I practiced my speech on Hugo Chavez so much that the front part of my mouth was sore. I mentioned it to my teacher and she said that was great because it meant I was saying the words correctly (although my BIL laughed as I said things with my southern accent; he is a native Spanish speaker so I felt intimidated in front of him. :-)). My teacher said most Spanish words were formed in the front part of the mouth near the teeth and lips. I think English is farther back and! Much farther back! :) My Arab friend teases that I have a shallow language and his is deep.

Anyway! I'm glad your children can stop by to see you more now. Hopefully you will still have some interesting work stories to share from time to time. :)

Kaleema said...

Absolutely awesome, Coolred.
I know what it's like to go back to school after years and several kids (and a horrible marriage) later.... It's really hard. But you're doing very well. Congratulations, and best wishes for a good school year.

Lynn said...

I'm glad things are going so great for you!

Good luck with this semester!

Anonymous said...

Wow, congratulations on your excellent work at college!

Algebra gets easier when you keep in mind that the letters actually are numbers. You simply don't know what nunbers they are until you solve the equation. Simple, no?

Spanish will be easy compared to Arabic, and psychology gets more and more fascinating. I wish I could go to class with with you.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on all of your successes in school and otherwise -- I'm so happy for you!

I'm not sure how I came across your blog, but I started reading it about a year ago. I'm rooting for you, CoolRed!

: )

coolred38 said...

susanne...arabic is hard simply because we arent used to making our mouths make those sounds. I also fine..alot of arabs will not correct you during a conversation...their desire not to "shame" will not allow them too. So your mistakes might never be made openly known to you and so you continue with them. LOL

kaleema...yes it is hard. I never ever had to watch every sec of my time and make the most of it. This blog time is now a luxery...LOL.

lynn...thank you.

marahm...I wish you could go with me too...Id definitely be sneaking some answers from ya. ha ha

anon..well thank you. Could use all the cheering I can get.