Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lots and Lots of Homework

Five weeks ago I began a project that's only about 27 years overdue. Last week I hit midterms in my first semester as a college Freshman. I'm a student at Columbia College (of Columbia Missouri), and am taking my courses online. As such, they are abbreviated into eight week courses. Because of the magnified workload the maximum number of classes I can take is two. And yes, I am glad for that. Now...

Before starting I lamented (to myself because there is no one left with whom to lament such things) that I'd sure like to take three or four classes so I can get this thing done quickly. Yeah, that would have been a mistake. The biggest lesson I've learned so far is that I haven't changed much in 27 years where school is concerned. From the first assignment I was reading half the description and then going off half cocked to finish the paper without bothering to read anything else. The next lesson I learned was that school hadn't changed all that much either. My instructors kind of expect me to turn in what they've asked for. Imagine that! What hasn't helped is that I can usually get a decent grade even when doing it 'my way', but decent isn't good enough anymore. I want 95-100, not 92 or 86. The good thing is that I've found I have other habits which are actually helpful in school.

I tend to be inquisitive and am usually not content with generic answers and explanations. These classes aren't self directed but they are self motivated in that there are no lectures. I have a list of things to read and a list of assignments to write based on what I've learned from what I've read. Two of my textbooks are great. The other one sucks. Either way, I end up online looking for more no matter what the assignment is (and no, I don't usually look to Wikipedia for those answers). And I'm getting better at reading all the instructions now as well.

If I had more hours in a day I might be able to juggle homework and the kids and taking the older one to school and back and band practice and getting my company off the ground. As it is I'm grabbing for what I can when I can. Like most people, I'm sure... Anyway, I'm having fun. I'm really liking my English Composition class. More than I thought I would, actually. If I could figure out how to make a decent living at 50 with an English degree I might chuck my previous plans and do that instead. It doesn't hurt that I seem to be doing well in the class. Then again I'm doing well in American Government too but the passion is definitely in English. I may even post one of my assignments. It was a compare/contrast essay. It almost looks like something for my Government class but only because I'm still a follower of the political stuff. At least it's not writing about getting divorced!

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