Friday, January 15, 2010

Flying by the Seat of My Pants

I'm enrolled in College Math Problem Solving, College Composition, Psychology, and two introductory courses that new students have to take. Tim keeps telling me that I'll breeze through it. I don't know. It would be nice to think so, but I won't know until it begins. On Wednesday. Five more days. Only. Five. More. Days. ACK! It's kind of nerve wracking, this college stuff, because I'm jumping into it with both feet. It's all moving quickly. For instance, I'm starting school and not sure how the finances will unfold. And books! They are expensive. I saved about half purchasing them online instead of at the campus book store, But still, I spent $108. on books! Last night in bed, a horrifying thought occurred to me. "Tim," I whispered. "What if I buy all these books and then Wednesday I get bad results on my mammogram?" And calmly, Tim whispered back, "The books can be resold." Good answer.

I went to the college today, and I got my college schedule. I also went to my new job, to resolve some scheduling issues, and to give my new boss my school schedule. I ran a bunch of errands, stopped by the library. By the time that I got home, there was a phone call telling me that one of my classes had been canceled. Despite the initial heart failure on my part, they were able to get me into another class that fit into my schedule so that I did not have to go back to my job and give them a change to my schedule.

I guess this is what it called 'flying by the seat of your pants'. I've never done that before. I've always been a thinker and a planner, and a 'dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's' type girl. I think that maybe, when I was younger, I was more inclined to leap off into the unknown, but when life bites you (and bites you hard), you begin to play it safe. You stop taking chances. You find great security in safety. I think that is what happened to me, and I never even realized it. So I'm flying by the seat of my pants, and I'm scared to death.

But also today, while I was in the college bookstore, a nice young man from London helped me with ISBNs. He looked at my schedule and said, "Your Psych teacher is a rotten one." He got a B+, but he was one of the few. "Take lots of notes," he advised. I nodded. I wanted to ask him how someone from London wound up in a little community college on the New York/Pennsylvania border, but I was too shy to. He was being awfully nice to a gray headed old woman, and I didn't want to press my luck. And then at a college office, I explained a difficulty, and a woman there helped me out. When she finished talking with me, I said, "Thank you so much. I was ashamed to ask, I mean the professor doesn't know me from Adam, and I didn't want her to think I was some slouch..." And the woman gave me a long look. "That's right," she said. "The teacher does not know you from Adam now, but she will, and she will be impressed with you." I looked at her, startled, and she steadily looked right back. All I could think of to say was 'thanks', once again, and I was off. When I popped in with my school schedule for work, Helga saw me, stopped what she was doing, screamed, and headed for me with her arms wide open. "I couldn't believe it when Nancy told me that Angie was going to hire you!" And she started introducing me around while I waited for the boss to finish what she was doing.

I drove home after a long and exhausting day of running. The radio was playing, and I sang along with Sheryl Crowe.

Today, I felt something I haven't felt in a long time. It was exhilaration. Man. I almost didn't recognize it.


A Novel Woman said...

You know, you inspire me. Every day. Seriously.

And btw, profs love mature students. They participate, do the work and get it in on time, and are there to learn (unlike a lot of the younguns there on their daddies' dime.)

You'll do fine.

Mrs. Spit said...

Gray haired women are not second class. They get to ask questions.

You will do particularly well in the problem solving parts of the class, it is your forte.

I was extraordinarily priveledged to have some "older" people in my classes. I learned lots from them. A few times, more than I learned from the prof.

If your psych prof sucks, phone the registrar's office, and ask if you can switch to another class in the same section. I bet there will be another prof teaching the class at the same time. Sucky profs you don't need.

BUSH BABE said...

I would agree with Mrs Spit - I hung around the older people in my classes at university. They were always more interesting and had a different spin on things. PLus there was minimal piercing!

BUSH BABE said...

I would agree with Mrs Spit - I hung around the older people in my classes at university. They were always more interesting and had a different spin on things. PLus there was minimal piercing!

Karen said...

Good to hear that you're getting off to such a great start! You'll get the hang of college before too long, and you'll look back and say, "Wow, I'm REALLY doing this!" I wish I could see your smile.

(And I love Tim's response about reselling the books if necessary. So pratical. So comforting. So much like a "man's take" on life. Love it).

MuseSwings said...

You go girl! Always, and in a big way! The one thing I heard over and over when I finished college after age 50 is how much the teachers appreciate teaching adults - as opposed to the younger students - because we so appreciate the opportunity to go to school. It makes a diff when you're not there for the beer. Have one anyway on me.

steviewren said...

Debby, you are so much more than you think you are! Believe me, I've gone back to school as a old lady. You will be surprised to find that your instructors will love having an intelligent adult in their class. Your fellow students will accept you and include you in their conversations when they discover that you are interested in them. It is really going to be fun. I bet you'll be loving the whole experience before long.

Jayne said...

Us grey haired chicky babes are the very epitome of sage're just adding to your store of knowledge at uni ;)

Bob said...

Can't wait to follow you, via your blog, through these new adventures. Knock 'em dead.

Gayla said...

You are going to be great, really you are. Most especially in your composition class because you are a gifted writer, thinker and possess the ability to really prepare in all you do. When I returned to school for the first time in 26 years in 2004 I was terrified! But being older (Ok, I was the oldest) was not so bad and I actually enjoyed it. I also had to take ENG 101, 102 and 2 ENG composition classes--can't remember the exact terms for them. It was difficult but I did well and really learned so much. And I still have ALL of my books and still enjoy them. Speaking of which, if you ever need some good places to buy textbooks just send me an email. I found some amazing deals when I was in college.
Just like you, one day I WILL be able to return to college and get my BA IT Science or IT Forensics. I'll never give up on it.....never. So for now, I'm thrilled with my "technical" training and becoming a medical coder.
Sorry for the babbling on and on, but school and education is truly so exciting!
Good Luck Debby and I'm going to be thinking of you and wishing you well. You're so amazing!

Big Hugs,

Rhubarb Whine said...

Good on you!! Awesome, Debby, just awesome! :)

Daria said...

I can feel your excitement ...