Category Archives: School

Youthful Misgivings

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of lectures, assignments, tests, projects, and homework — lots of homework. I have had little time to do much of anything else, including writing. As I had expected, going back to college at a matured age allows me a unique prospective of what is being taught. Things that I have learned over years of trial-and-error in the corporate life, the professors are spoon feeding kids. Only but a few are actually taking the medicine. A large percentage fight, kick, and struggle with it.

Even yesterday, I sat in one of the first year classes filled with recently graduated high-schoolers, listening to the professor give important life lessons. Yeah, I knew and could instantly recall the lesson from my life-experience. This is important stuff here; stuff I wish someone had told me years ago. Instead of listening, a group of selfie-type girl decided to take the time to whisper about what was being posted on FaceBook. Even went as far as passing the smartphone back and forth. This wasn’t the coy pass-the-note-and-don’t-let-the-teacher-see type of thing. These girls were deliberate and disruptive in their doings. Of course I found the whole thing disrespectful, and I wanted to say something. Yeah, that would have earned me points with my classmates. However, if that happened in one of my training classes (and yes, at one point I was a teacher — okay, corporate trainer) I would have fired them on the spot. But I digress…

I try, as much as I can, to ignore the misgivings of our millennial youth and focus on getting my education. As a result I am finding the experience thus far very rewarding. Though a large portion of what is being taught I know from experience, there is information that I am learning. Is this worth it? I find it a thrilling adventure I wish I had taken earlier in life. Then again, had I done this in my youth, perhaps I would not have appreciated it as much. I am looking forward to next semester and have already begun obsessively planning my class schedule for next year (yes, the WHOLE year).

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First Day of School (after decades)

IMG_2003  Well kiddos, this is it. Almost 35 years in the making (aside for those two semesters back in 2000). We have cautiously picked out our outfit: dark washed jeans (worn enough to not look brand new), a nondescript black polo shirt (with a modest Harley-Davidson logo); the good pair of boots (for that added height); even packed the Harley-Davidson lunchbox and backpack (couldn’t find a Scooby-Doo one). All ready. Enough to give the illusion of being cool, but not enough to be too scary (though I do admit I was tempted to wear the leather top hat — maybe later in the semester). The schedule has been entered into the iPhone’s calendar (with appropriate room numbers). All in preparation for the first day of school.
There is some feeling of trepidation and anxiety. Maybe I’m not good enough, will all the other kids poke fun at me, or perhaps it will revel how much of a failure I am (damn my step-father for filling my head with such foolishness — a topic for another time, but I forgive him). Nevertheless, I am still excited. I’m thrilled with the notion of things I might learn, the doors that will be opened up, and the revelations I will make.
I hang-out at the closest Starbucks, nearly two hours early. Enough time to enjoy my caffeine beverage of choice, check over the pre-class notes, begin writing this post, and to put on my game face (a selfie moment if there ever was one).
Even though school doesn’t start for another half an hour (at least for me), I arrive early to get my bearings (love the fact that motorcycles can park right up next to the building), find the classrooms, and, most importantly, locate the bathrooms. I’m lucky that all of my classes are in the same building — three are side by side! I settle down in my first class, make small talk with the teacher until the rest of the class arrive, then it is down to business.
The next few hours go by surprisingly fast. I do have an hour and a half lunch break, but I’m ecstatic to get the first-day jitters out of my system so I can focus on learning as much as I can over the next 16 weeks. However, there are a few things I’ve noticed thus far. Here is my list of the top FIVE.

5. Young people today are clueless. I’m not saying that YOUR child is clueless, but then again… Were we (today’s adults) as clueless? They have no sense of responsibility, purpose, or maturity. And think, we give these people licenses to pilot half ton or more machines at high rates of speed on roads that the rest of us sane people use.

4. Teal colored and/or highlighted hair must be the new fashion. Quite of few young women were sporting this new colored hair-do. And for the guys, teal is kind of a bluish / green.

3. I’m all for new technology. I even have an iPhone! But it seems like almost EVERYTHING is done online. I might be cool with this, we sort of had something like this twenty years ago, but as I get older I seem to trust it less and less. Most classes (with the exception of history — she’s new, so I forgive her) spent a majority of the time orienting us with their version of the online tool. One teacher even continued to modify stuff WHILE talking about it. You know, if I wanted to do online classes I would have signed up for them. Well, let’s see how this goes.

2. It is never a good idea to schedule an hour and a half, lecture-laden class RIGHT AFTER lunch. Note to self: eat a lighter lunch on Mondays and Wednesdays.

1. Teachers / professors today do not fall into the stereotypical mono-droaning (yes, I made that word up) lecturers that I remember. Then again I was much younger at the time and went to school with a different mindset. However, it seems that teachers / professors are required to be more entertainers then educators (edutainers?) Except of course for history — she’s new, so I forgive her.

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