I'm Going To College!

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Month: September, 2012

Reading, Writing, & Sociology???

The higher you advance in college, the more time it takes to get your homework done.  I swear I have done nothing except read and write since classes started!  I love my classes, but I always love my classes.  Well, except for Sociology.  Does anyone ever like Sociology?  I do not think so.  The lectures are long and…..there is no nice way to say it…..boring.  Culture, values, and norms are bad enough, but do I really have to know how they apply to society?

The most disturbing part of Sociology is that I do not agree with anything I have heard so far.  My lip is swollen from biting it, to keep myself from shouting out, “That’s wrong!” every day.  I am not a fan of Freud or Karl Marx, and I so don’t care about Social Darwinism.  However, the part of this course that bothers me the most is the section on aging.  I am not sure where the authors of our textbook get their information, but I am here to tell you it is all wrong.

Perpetuating the stereotypes of aging is harmful to old people.  Our book states that people over 55 years old (yes, that would be me) do not think creatively or care to learn new things.  I had to laugh at that one!  I was the one who compared The Espionage Act of 1914 to Homeland Security!  I gave a speech about weight loss while eating a cupcake!  I compared a Shakespeare sonnet to a teenage girl with a crush on a rockstar!  I not only learned how to work email, I am now adept at FaceBook, Twitter, and other social media!  I even wrote an academic text on the subject of using social media to help college students!

According to the textbook, old people lose their friends and do not care to make new ones.  I have so many new friends since I started college, that I had to get a bigger memory card for my cell phone!  My friends and I text, shop, eat, go to concerts and movies, and study together.  I know that Olivia is going to dress as an Indian for Halloween, Gary is a good sport about practical jokes, Joe loves scary movies, and Andrea’s boyfriend is a total jerk.  They know that I love to bake, get good grades, and like to have fun as much as they do.

Sociology is essential to satisfy a science requirement for my degree.  I will pass the class, because I do not want to take it again.  And that is about the best thing I can say about a class that makes old people (like me) look useless and unsociable.  Maybe the sociologists who wrote all this nonsense should follow me for a week.  That is, if they can keep up!

Another First Day!

It is vital to understand that higher learning will most often present more questions than answers.  That is precisely what it is supposed to do. The first day of my sophomore year in college was as overwhelming as the first day of my freshmen year.  I should know better than to read the entire syllabus the first day.  It just leaves me feeling like I will never get it all done.  So I did what I always do, take a deep breath and break it into smaller, more manageable parts.  And enlist my grandson, the genius, to help me with studying for tests.

Being smart does not mean you do not need education.  A high IQ indicates you have the ability to learn, but it does not mean you automatically know everything.  It does not even guarantee your success at everything you attempt.  Some things, like playing guitar or knitting, require more practice than ability.  Where a marginally talented musician, who spends hours practicing and experimenting, can become a virtuoso;  a musician with a high level of natural talent can fail miserably if he neglects to hone his skills.  With this in mind, I am beginning my sophomore year in college.  (Insert scream of happiness here!)

Students should set their academic expectations high, but temper them with realistic goals.  I was extremely excited about taking American Sign Language.  It took hours to arrange and rearrange my schedule to fit the class, which requires a longer time period than most classes.  I found the class to be fascinating.  I have always been able to pick up languages quickly, and was pleased to discover that American Sign Language was no exception.  After the second day of signing, I woke up to find my right hand swollen, with every joint burning, like it had been set on fire.  A quick trip to the doctor provided a brutal dose of reality.  I was almost sixty years old and had arthritis in both hands.  Prescription drugs could help with the pain and allow me to stay in the class for a while.  But the drugs for arthritis are harsh and very damaging to internal organs.  There was, also, no way to know how long the drugs would work.  With my heart breaking, I turned down the offer of prescription medications, and dropped out of Sign Language.  I have no doubt in my ability to learn American Sign Language, but I understand that I am physically unable to keep up.

Plans may change, but the goal remains the same.  Going to college is my chance to learn, to discover, and understand what I do not know.  That has not changed with the schedule change.  Although I am saddened at having to drop ASL, I am looking forward to taking a different language next year.  But in the meantime, I have Shakespeare, History, and Modern Literature to learn.

Which reminds me….I have homework to do!