Friday, April 9, 2010

Back in the College Classroom

It's the same yet oh-so-different to go back to college. It's like putting on a new pair of glasses and viewing the world through the eyes of young adults. After realizing that I could make considerably more on the salary schedule at work next fall if I took a few units at the local community college, I looked to see if there was anything offered "mid-term". Now I'm enrolled in two online classes and one 'living room' class. I thought the LR class was the same as an online class, but I was wrong. The LR class is basically read the textbook on your own, then come in every other week and take a test on a Scantron form. The online classes are more interactive. We actually have online discussions, as well as assignments to complete and some tests.

I figured I would sign up for a couple of business classes so enrolled in Human Resource Management. I also planned to enroll in Principles of Management but it was full and the instructor was adamant about no new admits. My smart daughters told me not to ask ahead of time -- to just show up for the intro night if I want to stand a chance of getting in. Didn't work with this class, but did work with another one I got into. The only other class left that began mid-term was a humanities class called Feminism Theory. I wasn't particularly interested, but showed up for the mandatory 'intro class' last night (the rest of the course is online) and am duly intrigued.

I can now tell you that there have been three waves of feminism to date. The first one was all those years women were at home, having babies and taking care of domestic tasks, without a voice -- leading up to the 1920's and the right to vote. The second wave was in the 60's and 70's -- women's lib, equal pay for equal work, etc. I lived through that wave and feminism seemed to have quieted down since. Yes, we still have 'clean up' to do, especially for women's rights in other countries, but didn't we have it more or less figured out here in the States? Or not??? Enter the third wave of feminism. This is the wave happening now -- the one my young adult aged daughters are living through, consisting of images like the Spice Girls and "girl power" -- rather odd, in a way, that some women should define themselves in roles like empowered Barbie dolls. So it will be an interesting class, much food for thought, and I think I'll have a different way of looking at our society afterward.

The third class I'm taking is a Sociology class (since I missed out on the other Bus. class) . Since it has been many, many years since I first cracked open a sociology class textbook, it will also be enlightening to think about where we are now. Much has happened in the last few decades, technology has impacted our world, many Americans no longer get married and start families in their early 20's, life is different.

I walked around the campus yesterday, paying my fees, picking up a couple textbooks, getting a college library card. This is the life my daughters live. They are brave, I realize. And disciplined. And smart, very smart.

Textbooks cost more than the tuition! It is an outrage! One textbook is between $120 and $200 easily. I paid $117 for a crummy USED textbook. My smart daughters, guiding me through the back-t0-college system, told me to check out,, and a few others. I found the same used textbook for $25 so back to the bookstore the $117 version goes (two days to return for refund). Another book was $47 new, I found it for $2.95 through one of the used books websites. Like a child on the first day of school, my pencils are sharpened, my notebook awaits. My books are calling, and the keyboard is now warmed up and waiting for a 'reading response', so off I go.

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