Monday, January 14, 2013

Speaking Of

Speaking of being back at it, I've returned to the classroom as a student as well this New Year.
I had an opportunity to take a graduate level class on East Asian Studies this semester.  Now, in Indiana, to renew your license you have to accumulate 90 points from professional development of any sort that the principal deems worthy.  Graduate courses earn you a whopping 45 points. That in its self was a big temptation.  I always love having new material to teach and I love to learn.
Since I only need the points and not the graduate credits, I don't have to pay for it. In fact, I receive the texts free, a stipend for me, and a stipend for the school to buy supplies to teach lessons about East Asia. Apparently, this class is only offered in five places, so it is a unique opportunity for teachers.
Win, win, win, or so I thought.
As I got closer to the day, I began to fret.
 Perhaps we all have our pet peeves, idiosyncrasies, or maybe I'm just crazy, but I hate parking lots. I hate parking garages.  I hate being late and I hate being nervous about where to park and what to do.  I wasn't about to get a parking pass for 8 classes.  Part of our classes are at an Asian educational center across the river.
Then, I don't know how to get a "B." Don't laugh, it isn't funny.  I went back to finish my schooling when I was 40. My goal, complete a bachelor's degree in anthrolpology, get into the master's program for teaching.  All of this required that you maintain a decent GPA.  So how do you plan to get a "B."  At what point do you stop reading, writing or stop studying?
I got the syllabus and nine texts were listed. Nine? There are only eleven classes, are you kidding me.
Also, I go into work at 7 on most days and by 4, I'm all done, finished, mentally exhausted, so how excited was I going to be about being in a classroom again from 6 to 9?
For a long time, the big thing in education as been cooperative group work.  I had a wonderful experience, umm,  once or twice in those 3 years I about killed myself polishing off 119 hours of A's, with that whole cooperative group thing. You CAN NOT make people cooperate.  This is particularly annoying to me knowing I will walk back into the classroom with no group to do the work, just me. I finally figured out to just say, "Give it to me, I'll do it. "   Anyhoo, the thought of having to do work in a group was causing me some serious anxiety.
Lastly, I am the old person at work and since I'd decided to be crabby about this whole "back to college" experience, I figured I'd again be the old lady of the group, which was worth some additional crabbiness.
You know that Handy Man, he is a tool maker by day and a Gramerly manager by night.  God love that man, he's happy for us to have some supper out and drive me to class. He even walked up to class to pick me up in the dark and cold.  So sweet.
There's several people about my age in class. I am only responsible for my ownest self and there are no grades.  I doubt I'll do any less work as it seems I'm hard wired that way, but it will take the pressure off.
So, I'm up to my eyeballs in Chinese History and Proverbs.
Here are two Youtube links shared by the professor that I loved, but then I'm a big anthropological nerd.


  1. Good for you. That kind of curiosity and drive is what keeps you young. I enjoyed your second video. What a different perspective on the world instead of what is on the news all the time. I don't mean to minimize the effort you are making. I can't even imagine. I have decided to curtail my volunteer work at my granddaughter's classroom. The walk to the back of the school and the walk back is so hard on my knees. Compared to you I am a slacker!

  2. Just saw the first video. What a mind opening experience you are having.

  3. Good Luck and you go girl! I think it is wonderful to learn new things. I completely understand your issues with parking garages -- I am the same way and I am absolutely directionally impaired -- and I get freaked out going anywhere I have never been before.
    Your students are so lucky to have a teacher who wants to learn new things to share with them. You are doing great things for little minds.