Confessions of a “Non-Traditional Student.”
At the age of fifty, I declared that since half my life was over…the other half (arbitrarily estimated at fifty more years) would be…mine. Really it was more of a threat than a promise, but when complaining that everyone but me had been allowed to pursue a college education, and by implication, a career. “Everyone” being my children, and “pursue” meaning opportunity. Their response: “go for it, Mom. Do it…” Right. Me and a bunch of eighteen-year-old kids.
So I drove off to the Community College, grabbed a course bulletin, and sat down in the cafeteria. So far so good. Hmmm…what to study. Since I had no idea at this point if I would just take a couple of courses, or what. First things first…. courses that would be interesting, add to my store of knowledge, and something that I could do without making a fool of myself.
Since I was already a newspaper writer, English seemed like a logical course of study. Psychology was a no-brainer, pardon the pun. I wanted courses that I would enjoy, learn from, and be able to use in some capacity later on.
Well, I took to school like a duck in water. After the initial “oh no, not another senior student come to make my life miserable,” the professors put up with me and in fact treated me exactly as any other students. Although a lot of them were eighteen, many were much older, and they all treated me [almost] as a peer. I refrained from trying to hang out with them. I didn’t tell the English profs that I had been a working writer, mainly because one of the reasons I wanted to take the course was to test my writing skills. Psychology was just darn interesting.
By the end of the first school quarter I was hooked. I loved school, much more than I had in high school…yes, MUCH more! I signed up for English and Psychology courses the Winter quarter, and the Spring Quarter. Summer session was tempting, and I got into position to attend classes as a full-time student the following September.
By this time it had occurred to me that I really wanted to pursue an Associates Degree in General Studies, which I completed in May of 1988. I had taken great pains to make sure than my course work was on track in case I wanted to transfer credits, which I did…93 credits transferred to Cleveland State for September semester of 1988.
[…to be continued]