More Notes on 37-Year-Old Me, Going Back to School:

Yesterday I went to an orientation at UCF geared for transfer students. There were 350-400 students in this ballroom getting oriented. There were powerpoint presentations that covered procedures, and there was a video that portrayed student life and so on. The video was like something you’d see on MTV or like a commercial you’d see during a college football game: cheerleaders cheering, football players colliding, students running into the fountain on campus and all kinds of craziness - with a hard driving guitar soundtrack. It was very loud, and I was right under a speaker.

At one point, we were escorted out of the ballroom in groups, by college and by major. So all of the engineers got up and walked out. All of the Business majors. And so on.

I wasn’t the oldest one there, and I was glad, because you’re walking out of a crowded-as-hell ballroom with hundreds of students lookin at you. I don’t know why I can’t get over this issue. I mean: I even had trouble looking these younger students in the face. Isn’t that weird? There were young students running the orientation: escorting us to our advisers, escorting us to registration stations...these escorts were young-as-hell. I felt so out of place. Usually, though, I don’t even need conditions like these in order to feel out of place. (It can all be traced back to some greater mental problem, I'm sure.) I don’t know why I worry so much about what people think of me. I swear, though, I know I never looked that young - not even in kindergarden. But there were a few students - very few - who were older than their twenties, older than old-ass-me even. Maybe one percent.

It was weird sitting there at the table with all these young-as-hell students - some had their parents with them. Their parents didn’t look much older than I am . . . YIKES! Enough about that. It doesn't matter. I'm taking classes online. All of them, if possible.

They almost didn’t let me register for the class I wanted. I am only tentatively enrolled, in fact. I might get dropped. I didn’t have an exact match to their requirement for freshman comp part two or whatever. I have a B.A. in English already. ODU thought I had enough classes to give me an English degree. The course numbers just don’t match. I hope I don’t get dropped!

In other college campus news, saw this article about how colleges are 'watching troubled students.' Um...yeah...good luck with that. How do you decide whom to watch? How do you administer treatment or enforce laws? How do you even find a legal path to take? How do you avoid infringing on people's rights? The article described the activities of some students who they were 'watching.' One student was found sleeping in a car. Well. That might be me if I ever decide to go to quit my job and attend school full time.


nancy =) said...

hiya =) followed you here from the cozy shack...anyway just wanted to let you know that i got you beat...i am a 46 year old college freshmen...started last fall...and i'm there, and not taking anything on-line...the kids kinda dig me...the professors are so happy to have me there because i actually participate in their class, whereas hardly any of the young kids do...good luck, and enjoy yourself =)

~ n

Bobby said...

That's awesome Nancy. Yeah, I don't know why I'm so hung up on the age thing.

Kids are kids - it seems like they can be unpredictable. But they can be unpredictably accepting and open and respectful and cool. I'm the one being childish here, I guess.

I've always been self conscious, I guess - to a fault. A severe fault. I really should get out more!!

I should take some courses on campus. I think I'll have to at some point, because of cutbacks in funding from the state. If I want to take any courses at all, I'll have to take what I can get! They've cut way back on the creative writing program, our English department adviser said.

lluviation said...

if you are doing creative writing, i would think the critiques at school would be a huge draw...something you can't get being alone on the computer. you should relish your old bring knowledge of the 80s and 90s these kids don't have! i would see how far back you can talk about before they talk about your days in 'nam or how groovy the original woodstock was...see if they notice you aren't that old....

no, really, this is a good opportunity to get face to face feedback on your writing and you should take full advantage of it instead of hiding. and it will be a good experience for them to have someone older who is a peer (well sort of...i mean, you do already have a degree). you could be their first older friend.

Bobby said...

Ha! Woodstock! Nah, our Woodstock was Lollapalooza.

I probably will end up going to some courses online.

One thing about online criticisms though - it's a different dynamic. Sometimes people will cut you to shreds in online workshops because you're not sitting there face to face. Good criticism could come of that. Also malice. But being there on campus - you might have a better chance at explaining yourself realtime/word to word/face to face - or somebody can explain their view better realtime/word to word/face to face.

I just hope there are enough classes available to make it worthwhile. I'm getting pretty psyched up already. Class starts in May.