Okay, seems like I'm having a lot of trouble blogging these days. But I promised to share a bit of my college thoughts and experiences, so here goes…the Cliffs Notes version.
As I mentioned earlier, I've never attended college so hadn't the foggiest idea about courses, credits, curriculum, process, or academic policy in any way, shape, or form. So this entire venture has been a learning experience.
Because I entered on a degree path, I found out that I am required to take certain courses in proper order. All fresh[wo]men have to take English Composition 101/102, plus, there are a certain number of Tier 1 and 2 general education courses required for a degree. In addition, for a degree in the College of Humanities, I have to pass four semesters of a foreign language.
Way, way back in high school, I had taken two years of Spanish and one year of French. I love languages! However, very little of it stuck so I decided to take Latin in college. What was I thinking?! LOL However, I am thoroughly enjoying myself even though learning Latin takes massive amounts of time for me to absorb and memorize. And I do mean scads and scads of hours studying. I find myself wondering: would Latin have been this hard if I'd gone straight from high school to college? A moot point but still one I've pondered.
What have I liked the most? Learning! One delight in attending as an older student who is actively motivated by the sheer joy of the learning process, is that I have found enjoyment in every topic and assignment. Somewhere within each one--from visual analysis in English Comp to the meaning of equity in the Anthropology course--I have found a thread to trace that resonates with my own heart. This is very cool! Nearly every experience and subject has led me to explore in unexpected ways my own growth as well as my current WIPs. Not that I had much time for my own personal writing, but I did make quick notes to jog my memory later.
What have I disliked? Being in a small classroom with teenagers who are fast in everything they do, say, and learn. The pace is rapid, the energy is high, and I feel left in the dust after the 45 minutes have passed. They are race horses and I'm a draft horse! LOL My anxiety and insecurity was a daily challenge to manage.
What was my greatest surprise? Probably a tie between the aforementioned Latin study time I require and the way classrooms are handled. In my very limited exposure thus far, the teachers struggle valiantly to stimulate the students. I guess I figured that college students would be more self-motivated, but that doesn't appear to be the case in freshman classes. The other disturbing aspect of the classroom is its focus upon group work. Ugh. As someone who is a pretty extreme introvert, this group focus is a great drain on my energy and psyche. When I was in high school, I don't recall hardly any group work, and I liked it that way, so this aspect is particularly shocking.
However, all in all, I am thoroughly enjoying UA, and I'm looking forward to next semester, which will be 102 in both English Comp and Latin, plus a Tier 1 course in GeoScience. In order to complete the full freshman credit requirements, I will need to take several courses over the summer but that's better than overloading myself during the regular semesters. However, there may be a stumbling block to attaining a degree that I hadn't foreseen. It seems that the agency my husband works for may be denied affiliation next year, and that means that I wouldn't be eligible for reduced tuition which is the only reason we can afford college right now. So, I plan on really enjoying this next semester. I'm a firm believer that everything happens as it is meant to, though, so … carpe diem!
If you have anything to share, I would love to hear of your college experiences past or present; feel free to email me privately!
P.S. If I ever get around to it, I may post a few of the assignments that I found particularly interesting.