First Week Down – Huzzah!!!

It’s the end of the first week of school for me and the kiddos and I think it’s safe to say that it’s been fairly successful all around. School is going surprisingly well. I don’t know what I expected, maybe that my age would wear like a scarlet letter, so plainly obvious for everyone to see? Apparently that’s not the case. Funny how self-absorbed we humans are isn’t it?

So I have my first project due next week – the dreaded *group* project. Apparently this will be one of many in this class. I actually have a pretty good group of kids to work with. They are EXTREMELY respectful to me. Like so respectful that it’s all “yes ma’am, no ma’am”, which is just so weird to me. They are at that stage having come straight from high school where they look to the teacher (adult) for guidance. In my case, they are just projecting that onto me – in the form of waiting for me to tell them where to go, delegate tasks, even texting me for clarification and reassurance.

In general, my time on campus has been pretty good. I realize I like the challenge that math brings, although I am still not confident in my abilities just yet. I no longer feel like the oldest person in class thanks to the woman who that is older than me sitting next to me! Her sitting beside me automatically makes me look SO much younger! Hurray for me!! I’ve also come to look forward to the 15 minutes I have to wait for math class to start. We have hallway entertainment. I don’t know that these two girls realize they are a source of entertainment but they are so loud and both are a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Yesterday one of them was crying saying “do you think the teacher will notice that I didn’t finish the homework?” Her friend was reassuring, telling her to lie and say she was at the Financial Aid office. Um what?! That doesn’t even make sense! Then the other one started to tell a “really hilarious story” about how she was clubbing last weekend. She got her hand stamped so she could leave and come back and and when she returned they wouldn’t let her in. She couldn’t figure out why till she realized she kept showing them the wrong hand. Ya. Let’s just let that sink in…

I also started with some healthier eating habits this week thanks to the scientific studies from one Tim Ferriss. It’s worked out pretty good. I’ve lost 6.6lbs, can’t complain. I know the coming weeks won’t yield as big of results but we are on the path to living a more healthy lifestyle. Today is cheat day and lets just say I am hopped up on caffeine and sugar and hoping I’m not going to crash soon.

So that pretty much encompasses my first week of school. Interesting work and entertaining kids. I will say this, I feel like having a school schedule has made me more appreciative of my time at home and how I use it. Not only that, I don’t feel compelled to constantly be on the go during the weekend, which I think the husband appreciates.

First Day Blues

I am sitting here this morning, a full 19 hours after my last class ended at college yesterday, sitting here reflecting on the whole experience. Yesterday I was chocked full of worries: would I be the oldest “kid” in class? On campus? Was it going to be like Glee and the jocks in letterman jackets slushee me? Let me say, I do not get the point of a letterman jacket but I am Canadian and we could just buy a high school jacket if we wanted to. Or a most pressing (literally – HA!) concern: what if I needed to fart? Yes, that is a valid concern. You see I have been a stay-at-home-mom for the last 13 years and lets be honest, I could let it go anytime I wanted. Well, now I was going to be trapped in a classroom. I didn’t want to be “that” kid. Clearly my husband and I were really thinking when we decided to change our eating habits and start including beans and legumes THE DAY BEFORE. Great timing. Thank god for Beano right?

So while it was my first day at college, it was also my children’s first day back at school – one heading to 8th grade the other to 6th grade. We were prepared. We made our schedule our bitch, let me tell you that! Lunches made the evening before, kids up on time, dressed and everything – leaving out the door right on time. What I hadn’t anticipated was the sheer number of parents that would be flooding the property of my daughter’s Intermediate school causing a major traffic nightmare. All my preparedness started to go downhill at that point. After almost 30 minutes spent cussing in my mind, swearing I would never buy a home even remotely near a school again I was finally back on track on my commute to college. Except I forgot my lunch! My lovely lunch. My low-carb, healthy, legume-filled (aka fart-inducing), Tim Ferriss inspired lunch. Yep. Too late to turn back now because my community is under siege from a billion-dollar traffic project that has literally jacked up EVERY entrance/exit to my neighborhood. However, much patience, frantic phone calls to my husband and some unshed tears and I finally got to the freaking interstate. Leaving that mess behind I flew up to the college campus, even getting there 35 min early!

College. The place where I am going to educate myself. College. A place of higher learning. College. An institution filled with so many annoying teenagers. Teenagers that sit in their vehicles blaring their music. Really?? I don’t want to listen to whatever crap you are listening to because I am listening to MY crap. Geez. But you want to know what is really wrong? A kid that woke up that morning and knowingly dressed himself in his best ‘wife beater’ tank top and baggy jeans to go to the first day of school. Who does that? I’ll tell you who does that – a person who BEATS their wife (hence the name), and maybe Eminem. I know, I can’t make that assumption. But I ask you, is the what impression you want to leave on people you meet today? I will say, I did not see a single pajama pant but then again it was also 100F outside. I suspect pj pants and Uggs will make their appearance in December/January. For god’s sake, even I put on black eyeliner to go with my black Lululemon yoga jacket and yoga pants. Yeesh.

So my classes were good. I am one of two old ladies and an old guy in my math class. I use the term “old” loosely – it covers a broad range from 25+. Most of the kids I saw yesterday looked younger than my own kids so anyone 25+ will stick out like a sore thumb 😉

My math prof seems nice. She has one of those wandering eyes so even though she’s looking at you she’s not really looking at you. She could be multitasking, talking to you and counting ceiling tiles, chatting with you and looking out the window, keeping an eye on wife-beater-wearer kid. Now my math lab instructor Darius Rucker from Hootie and the Blowfish reincarnated. And he calls me ‘Mama’. I haven’t decided if I am offended or if this is just some sort of hip slang all the cool teachers use these days. Yep. Super nice guy. Gigantic rings on both hands so that tells me he lives in the past like practically every other man from Texas I have ever met. Really people? It’s not cool to wear your high school class ring past, oh, I don’t know, graduation??! College ring? Um, maybe a year? Or lets just say this: if you have won a Superbowl, you reserve the right to wear a freakishly large ring if you are a male. And if your name is Dumbledore. Or you are Merlin the magician and you marry people at the Excalibur Hotel in Las Vegas 🙂 Other than that, don’t do it. Alas, I digress. So Hootie (we’ll just call him that okay? I like assigning nicknames to people in place of their real names – ask my husband, I have been doing it since he’s known me). So Hootie is super nice and super smart and super patient. You have to remember, the last time I did algebra (assuming it was on my high school final exam) would’ve been 1993. I have actively gone out of my way to pursue careers that did NOT require math because I hate it. Now I am doing review to enter into hardcore college math and I am finding I actually like the challenge of it. WHAT?! WHAT.DID.I.JUST.SAY?! Yep. I really like doing algebra so far.

My other class is a mandatory education class that anyone who hasn’t been to college in at least two years (or never) has to take. My instructor, he wears a giant turquoise ring on one hand, cowboy boots, his best Wranglers and a polo shirt. He’s working on his PhD in Clinical Psychology. Which is totally weird because he gives off this engineer vibe about him. Not the nerdy type engineer. The annoying kind. You know the kind I mean. I walk in and he says “we’re going to have an awesome time in this class! You are going to LOVE it! You may even make life-long friends from this class!” Um really? I think the fact that I will be dead at least 20 years before these kids my factor into life-long friendships. Oh, and please, you don’t have to work to convince me of this. Like EVERY other person here, we are in your class because we have to be. HA! The best way to describe this class would be Teen Leadership for adults. My son took an elective last year in junior high called Teen Leadership. They did a lot of the same exercises. LOTS of public speaking, lots of getting out of your comfort zones, group work, forcing you to meet different people in different settings, etc. I think they are trying to show we are a melting pot of backgrounds but look at all the stuff we as individuals have in common. There are some really nice kids in the class. Gotta love a class that gives out points just for remembering to bring your nameplate to school and put it on your desk. Although the young man I was sitting beside chose to write his name on only one side and then face it towards himself. Seems counter-intuitive BUT I didn’t just graduate high school. So maybe that’s what they do nowadays. I mean you’ve seen how they teach math right? Yikes…. But I jest. This class is going to be fun, but will definitely get me out of my comfort zone working with these kids. Already I have a group project due in a week. Six of us on a scavenger hunt and producing a digital slideshow. Then I have a ‘moral dilemma’ assignment as well. Which is ACTUALLY causing a moral dilemma for me. There is no right answer and when you are in a class of youngsters, you don’t want to justify something by dogging on someone they can relate to. Ugh!!

So all-in-all it was a good day. I’m not afraid to go back tomorrow. It would be nice if the young kids at the Events table actually looked me in the eye but maybe they think I am a professor? Or more likely a student’s mother, LOL!! But it’s all good! I think I will learn a lot from the professors and the kids I am surrounded by.

Hello college world!

Welcome to my life. There’s no turning back. Even while you sleep We will find you acting on your best behavior…
Sorry, just had an 80s flashback. My age is plaguing me today.

So… college orientation. Yep, there I said it. Orientation with a bunch of teens and VERY barely 20-somethings. The music is loud, I guess they are trying to simulate a natural environment for the masses with screeching, blaring wailing courtesy of one Miss Ariana Grande. Yay.

I’m clearly the oldest person in attendance by ooooh, 20+ years?

Checking in at the admissions table I was told that I didn’t have to stay because I had already registered for classes and that it was mainly for people who had never been to college. I explain to her that the last time I went to college she likely hadn’t been born. It was then suggested that I might want to sit in on the presentation, so in I went, finding a primo seat to twiddle my thumbs for the next 30 minutes.

It’s really interesting to be this age with some life experience under my belt and paying for my own college education. I don’t wear pj’s to class, my phone has not been bedazzled and I don’t walk around with earbuds permanently embedded in my ear canal.

The presentation was quick and dirty covering a lot of common sense stuff. I found it incredibly entertaining that prizes were given out for “remembering” that failing to show up for classes will result in failing grades that will follow you should you chose to transfer to another school. Really?! I am so happy that was cleared up.

Nonetheless, I am looking forward to an interesting year. A year that will test my patience, test my knowledge and test my commitment. I guess my commitment is moot as I have no choice but to reinvent myself this year. Twelve years as a stay-at-home-mom has severely impaired my ability to get a job back in the real world. So for the next 18mos or so I will be banging out my pre-reqs on the path to reinvention!