Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Random: First Day of the Semester 2015

If the only thing keeping you from going back to school to get/finish your degree is your fear that you are too old, set that fear aside.  Once you get onto a campus, you will find that no one cares how old you are except you.  Further, no one will notice how old you are unless you tell them.  They will assume you are just as capable as any other student... because you.are.there.  Just being there makes you equal.  It is liberating.

If this is something you want to do, you need to go do it.  Let yourself be amazed.


I couldn't get my campus email programmed into the new phone I got over Christmas break.  It was frustrating because I had managed to get my campus email onto my previous smartphone just fine last year even though I didn't know anything then.
I could have felt really old and stupid about this new phone.  Instead, I decided to stop wrestling with it and wait a few days for the semester to start so I could ask one of the younger students for help.  That's what I did first thing this morning.  I asked the gal next to me if she knew how to do it.   Amazingly, she had also just gotten a new phone over break and couldn't figure out how to get her campus email on it either.  The gal in front of us turned around and suggested we go to the campus IT Help department; that's what she had done.
So that's what I did after class.  When I walked in, there was already a student sitting with a tech guy getting her email set up on her phone.  And just to make me feel even better about it all, the guy who worked on my phone had to fiddle with it for quite some time before he got it functioning.

Technology.  It doesn't care how old/young you are.
Everyone has trouble with it.


I learned there is a great deal of traffic both to and from my college's city at 7:30am.
I also found that if you arrive on campus at 7:40am, you get your choice of parking spaces.
If you show up at 7:45am, not so much.


Three women from my fall semester class are in this semester's class with me. I had been in a small study group with two of them.  We all sat next to each other and chatted like peers.
... mostly about cell phones.  :-)


Our teacher spent most of today's first class with introductions.  He wanted to know what each student hoped to get out of his class.  I introduced myself as a transfer student from the 1980's.
"And I hope to learn how I'm supposed to be doing all the things I've been doing," I said.
"What have you been doing?" he asked.
"A lot of radio and on-line marketing."

As he moved on to the next student, the two women from my study group turned to each other.
"Roses is on our team, again."
"Oh, definitely."

And the young man in front of me that I'd never met twisted around and mouthed, "You and me, partners."  And he winked.

Can I tell you?
These three people made me feel valuable.

No one in radio had ever made me feel like my experience was worth anything.


You need to go back to school.
Experience is valued there.

Do you feel valued?


On my way across campus to the IT department, I slowed at the crosswalk to let another student catch up to me.
As we proceeded to cross the street together, I told him, "I don't like making people stop for just one person."
"Me, either," he said.  "When I'm alone, I run across."
"Do you throw your hands up over your head and yell like Kermit the Frog while you do it?" (I don't know why this visual entered my head nor why I felt the need to share it.)
He replied, "No.  They usually stop."

I cracked up laughing.
I don't even know why that's funny.


During today's introductory class, the teacher said we'd need a copy of the 2014 AP Stylebook.
After class, I texted The Husband to ask if he had one at work or if he could get one for free anywhere.  He responded that he could get his hands on the 1997 version.

It helps to know that even though the AP Stylebook is updated frequently, most news rooms do not bother to purchase the newer versions.  (read: cheap, budget cuts)
It is both funny and sad that fully I believed The Husband's available Stylebook is, indeed, 17 years old.

Without The Husband for a source, I posted a public plea on Facebook:  "Quick, before I spend money on one, does anyone have a copy of the 2014 AP Stylebook I can have for the semester?"
I tucked my phone in my pocket and headed out to the bookstore across campus.  By the time I got there, comments had accumulated on Facebook.
Several journalist friends who work in newspaper had responded to offer me their copies.  Each one noted the year of their version.  The most recent copy was 2003.

Who says reporters aren't funny?


Elder Son's classmate who was in both my PR and self defense classes last semester also replied on Facebook that she has a copy of the Stylebook I need.  She had bought it for the same class last year.  She is currently across the globe on foreign exchange study.
"Is your book... in the United States?"
"Lol.  Yes."

Her mom is going to drop it off on her way to work tomorrow.
Her mom is my age.
I'm going to call her Mrs. when she gets here.  Because she's my classmate's mom.


There are 20 students in my spring semester class.
There were exactly 20 desks in the classroom.
When the 19th student arrived, there were two seats side-by-side in the front row.  The teacher invited him to choose any seat he wanted. The student looked at the only two seats available and mused, "I suppose, technically, that is a choice."

I like that guy.

I also really like the gal who was charming and bubbly and introduced herself as socially awkward.
She's someone I really want to sit next to.  She never stopped smiling.


Today was a very good day.
Today I am very happy I went back to school.


Quinn and Angel brandi said...

Mommy doesn't even have an old smart phone so there!
Oh, and after being computer tech savvy for years, now she gets lost and grumpy.
She went back to school for 6 months after getting laid off in 2001 and enjoyed it and learned lots and wondered why some of the younger students were bored!
We are proud of you! Many wishes of success on the college adventure!

Former newspaper editor said...

Congrats!! By the way, there's an electronic AP Stylebook at I think it's $20-$25 a year (yes, I have a subscription; no, I can't remember what I pay!). Searching the online one is MUCH easier than dealing with the book. :)

Shoshanah Lee Marohn said...

Good for you! Keep us updated on all of your adventures. :)

Patrick Cox said...

I'm playing catch up on my reading, and found this post. So, here it is, late! Well done and I hope you really enjoy it. I finally got my first degree (BSc) in 1999 and my Master's degree in 2003 - five years before I retired.

Go for it - worth every moment and every drop of sweat.