Monday, January 7, 2008

Gettin' schooled

(Please be advised, the following post contains absolutely no pictures, not even pretty yarn or cute kitties, and may bore you spitless.)

I just find it, well I'm not sure if "ironic" is the right word, okay interesting, that a course titled "Literacy in Elementary Education" which is about teaching kids to read, actually has more freakin' required reading material in it than any other class I've ever taken. Granted, this is a year's worth of credit for one class, so I wouldn't be grousing if it was just double the usual amount, or even a little more than double.  No, this sucker has quadruple the amount of reading. As in 2 chapters in Book A, 3 chapters in Book B, 2 chapters in Book C, and 2 chapters in Book D. Perhaps if I was taking this class with the intent to become a teacher I'd be pleased at the apparent wealth of information on the topic. But for those of us just desperately grabbing every scrap of applicable credit to fast track a degree?  It's definitely overkill. (Damn I hope I can sell all these books when I'm done.)

Just this past weekend I finally finally finally finished the writing assignment for my Psych class and submitted it.  I had actually forgotten that this class had a couple of short essay questions assignments, was just zipping through the lessons, and then I turned the page and saw the first one.  (Please insert sound of screeching brakes here.) And then I flashed back and remembered that the reason I chose this particular Psych class over the other more interesting one that would have fulfilled the same requirement was that this one only had written sections on the assignments.  The other one had them on the exams.  Eeeeep! I mean, I'm no stranger to writing.  In the past few years I've cranked out press releases, advertising blurbs, newsletter articles - you name it.  But whether I've done it at home or at work, one thing remains constant - I talk out loud while I'm doing it.  And I don't think that's going to go over to well with the folks at the testing center, do you?

I still have to get through a midcourse exam for Statistics.  That one makes me incredibly nervous, and actually almost slightly nauseous.  I can't explain why - it just does.  Rationally I understand that as long as I am prepared I should do fine.  But on this subject rational mind appears to have fled the premises.  I am trying to lure it into returning by a commitment of one hour of studying per day, a nice big stack of flash cards, and a sample exam.  I'll have to get back to you on this matter - but please keep your fingers crossed.

Late today, after 3 attempts and 20 minutes on hold I finally got through to the academic advisor team at my school.  (This is actually unusual - most times I get someone right away.)  The two courses I completed still weren't showing on my summary record (those cute little 100% progress bars!) and while one was from an outside institution and could take a few weeks to process what with mailing transcripts and such, the other was directly from my school and since I had a printout record of my score within moments of completing the final exam, it didn't seem too unreasonable to expect them to know about it in at least a day or so!  Not surprisingly, once the advisor and I got to talking she had no problem updating the records for me and said they'd be done by tomorrow.  If I hadn't specifically asked about it I expect I'd still be waitin' and wonderin' a month from now.  Essentially, the squeaky wheel got greased. (I shall resolve to squeak more in the future, at this point in my life I can use all the greasing I can get.)

The other reason I called the academic advisor was to get their official approval for a couple more classes and I'm very happy that they agreed to the ones I requested.  The last advisor I had talked to suggested CLEP or DANTES exams as potential sources of credit, and/or looking at areas where I already had some knowledge or experience.  I took her advice and will be signing up for the DANTES exam in Human Resources Management, 'cause guess what I used to do for a living? Uh-hunh, you got it.  Although I never became "Management" (because I didn't have a f***ing degree) it shouldn't take too much studying to pass the exam and something about getting credit for that amuses me.   I did see a CLEP exam listed for Spanish and my level of fluency is way too low for it.  But it gave me another idea so I went hunting and found an elementary Spanish class in the distance education division at Lousiana State University.  They had a fair selection of classes, a reasonable price and (major kudos) the same cost for in-state and out of state residents.   Based on the course overview it looks like the first semester covers what little Spanish I already have, so I ought to be able to get through it quickly.  The second semester is where I'd start learning something new.  And the really cute thing is that while LSU does have online courses, this particular subject is handled old-school style - we doin' a correspondence course now!

1 comment:

Mia said...

See.. I KNEW there was a reason I never wanted to go back to school :)