Thursday, August 19, 2010

This Old Dog Can't Learn New Tricks-- My One Day Return to College

Okay, I'm an old dog. In order to spend some time wisely, I enrolled in a college course over the summer, and yesterday was the first day of class-- and yesterday was the last day of class.

I tried. I took a regular daytime class in Macro-economics. (All the courses I really wanted were closed.) I have taken evening courses from time to time. It's a different vibe, especially in French and Italian class. I've taken night courses in creative writing. But this return to real college started badly and ended worse.

First parking was a nightmare. Okay, no problem, I got a space in the dirt lot and meandered up the hill. I should have known just from the look of the students I passed on the way to my building of matriculation that there was a problem. Everyone at this community college looked like babies. I am 59. I have a granddaughter of 14.

Well, I find the classroom. There is one other geezer in there. Maybe my age. The rest are these children. The professor comes in. He's okay. Cool enough. The class seems interesting, if not scintillating. Then the rules begin. No more than five unexcused absences. No food in class. Book cost $165. Computer access costs another $80. Not that there weren't ways around the cost. He was cool about that and gave alternatives-- but still. No more than two late arrivals. No audible yawning. Yes, you heard me right. No sleeping. That's a real bummer. It is my hobby these days.

We are going to break into groups. Discuss economics. Well, I immediately flashed back to dissecting an egg at old Hoover High School in San Diego. I remember getting into a group where one of the guys scrambled the egg for fun. What a moron! I tried to imagine hanging with a bunch of kiddies. I have absolutely no interest in 18-year-old girls, so that's no fun.

I have visions of smart-ass kids like I was. Kids who can't stop wisecracking. (God, Jackie L.-- I'm so happy you didn't have any classes with me at Hoover cause you wouldn't be talking to me now.) Since I am not working right now, I have begun to dread actually making new acquaintances. I want to huddle up under the covers and be left alone instead of having to actually work at being remotely charming. I fail miserably at charming in person.

On top of the no audible yawning clause in the class rules, I already have homework due over the weekend. How do these kids do it? It's not like I mind the reading, or the homework. But the homework has to be posted onto this internet site. I can't find it. I mean I can find the site, but not the homework. My computer literacy stops at the end of my nose. If I'm not interested in something, then I am not willing to learn a new computer mindset. I know how to look up Mel Gibson and Sarah Palin for my blogs. I know how to download photos. I can use a spreadsheet a little. Use a word processing program. But I don't want to search for homework online on a site I am eventually going to have to pay $80 to use. Already I see a flunking grade appearing on my transcript. There goes my transfer to Yale!

Well, you can teach some old dogs new tricks. Maybe I learned one just today. I dropped my class online. Welcome back $104 in class fees. Welcome back reading what I want to read. I am audibly yawning right now and eating cereal loudly. I am avoiding any human communication that does not involve a keyboard. My dog would like a walk, but I might just encounter a lizard out there in the real world and the threat of interaction scares me silly. Forget it. I still have the last volume of Churchill's "History of the English Speaking Peoples" awaiting me. The only time crunch I have is in my Grapenuts.

Photo Flickr and ocx2ky.

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