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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Notes From College

Welcome back to school!

I've quit my job and have gone back to college.  I'm only taking two classes this semester, but they're obviously going to take some work.  I'm 47 years old and a bit rusty when it comes to school now.  The two classes I'm taking are Intro to Information Systems and PC Repair.  My first class was the Intro one and that was back on Thursday.  And yes, I was nervous.

Before I go on and on about school, let me just say that my last "serious" class was probably when I was in the United States Air Force over 25 years ago.  I had classes while I was working security yes, but to be honest they were stupid classes and I found it pretty hard to take them seriously.  College classes are different.  You take them seriously or you fail.  It's that simple.  And I don't want to fail.  I want to work with computers for a living and in order to do that, I need to pass these courses!  So onward we go!

I was anxious to get to my first class.  I didn't have a book for it, though.  There was a book listed online for my PC Repair class, but not for the Intro to Info one.  I asked at the college book store, but they weren't sure either and told me to ask the instructor at my first class.  Ok, no problem.  So I showed up for my first college course with nothing.  No notebook, no paper, no pen, no book, and apparently no forethought.  *chuckle*  When I told my niece about this (She's a straight A, 4.0, Associates degree in Business girl), she was horrified!  "Why didn't you at least take something to take notes with?" she asked me.  I don't know.  I guess I just wasn't sure what to expect.

The professor was really good about things though, and I wasn't the only one there without a book.  He went through everything and basically told us that if we don't want to show up for class, we don't have to!  We also don't have to pass.  He's not there to push us to succeed, he's there to teach.  If you don't want to learn, that's fine.  He said he doesn't like failing people, but last semester he failed a third of his class.  Wow.  That's...harsh.  But if you study and put in the work, you can easily pass the course.  And it WILL take work and study, too!  I can't just show up for class and then pass the tests.  I have to read the course book and if I want more than just a "C" for the class, I need to do the extra projects that will be assigned.  I want to do all the extra because that will not only help me with the tests, it will better my grade and help me learn the things I want to know.  The first assignment for this week:  Read chapters One through Five.  That's a good amount of reading, but I can do it.  Oh, here's a look at my "book":

On the left, you can see the five chapters that I've finished reading.  On the right is what's left.  Now as you can see it really isn't a book.  It's a bunch of loose leaf papers that don't have a binder.  So now I can either haul around a bunch of loose papers, or go and pay more money for a binder to put them in!  These papers cost me $112.50!  Part of that expense was for a code to get into something called "SAM" so I can do extra projects and things.  Another bad thing is that they won't buy this book back.  Because you're paying for the "code" inside, you can't get it used.  Oh well.  You can bet I'll probably be selling my PC Repair book back, though!  *chuckle*  I did buy that one used.

Today I head for my second class, the PC Repair one.  I have to drive way across town to get to the campus for this class.  I'll be heading there early just to find the classroom and to make sure I'm there on time.  And once I find everything, I'm sure there will be someplace where I can sit and read the course book while I wait for class to start.  And yes, for this class I'll not only have my book, I'll also take a notebook and pen to take notes with.  *chuckle*  I'll be a bit more prepared.  And hopefully this class will go just as well as my first one did.  I guess we'll find out.

More later...

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