Confessions of a Thirty-Year-Old Freshman: Fall 2013 Coda

Confessions of a Thirty-Year-Old Freshman: Fall 2013 Coda

Finals aren’t over yet (I’ve got one Saturday morning… yay?) but I figured this would be a good time to air out some thoughts about school.

  • Even though I promised myself I wouldn’t be that guy, I’ve already made a list of things that I need to work on for spring semester. The big stuff on the list? Procrastination, my old foe. Also, cracking open those $300 books once in a while might be a good idea, too.
  • I like my Chem teacher.  I really do.  He’s a great guy.  He seems genuinely glad that I’m in his class.  He’s just not a natural teacher- at least in English.  He falls into the classic traps of skipping too quickly through the class content and focusing more on having groups of kids work on problems.  I can’t say that I haven’t learned anything in that class (I most certainly have), but it has been a struggle.
  • In both of my classes, I have archnemeses.  In Chem, it’s the know-it-all girl at the front of the class who argues with the teacher and complains “that isn’t how we learned it in India”.  Well, y’know what?  It’s how we’re learning it here. rikerbearddwi
  • Conversely, in Algebra, my nemesis is a girl who is struggling with the class… but rather than asking for help, getting tutoring, et cetera, she spends the entire time complaining about how “this is stupid” and “this is too hard” and “this is bullshit”.  Annoying, yes (she sits right next to me), but the killer was when we were waiting in the hall for a test review, and she said that the professor was the problem- and that she “works just as hard as (I) do”.  I’m sorry.  I’m crap at math, and have had to study my nads off to get the grade that I’m getting.  I’ve had to bug my wife relentlessly for help.  To imply that you work as hard as I do when I see you sitting next to me, texting your friends, taking selfies with your stupid iPhone, and whining… you’re not working as hard as I am.
  • Group projects: they sucked in high school, they REALLY suck in college.  KLynne had not one but two projects that her members bailed on.  I had a science presentation where I did 95% of the work- from creating a lab write-up to making sense of the data we gathered (spectrophotometric analysis of common food dyes in various types of candy) to making the PowerPoint-  that was me.  You added to the lab report a little bit- a bit that I had to edit for clarity, grammar, et cetera.  That 100% is MY 100%.  The worst part— my lab partner wasn’t one of the young college kids that I talked about.  It was a dude in his 40s.
  • Finals are more stressful than I remember from Attempts 1&2 at school.  I only had two.  I’m a wreck.  I can’t even begin to fathom how it’s gonna be once I’m in the higher sciences.
  • I will admit that sometimes I hear about what the younger students are doing and get lost in daydreams— how would it have been to have lived in the dorms, dealing with roommates, getting my eat on in the Student Union Center?  What would life have been like if I would’ve gone with my original plan, enrolled at the U of U, lived in the dorms, and had a more traditional college experience?  Would it have gone better?  Would I have still flamed out?
  • The thought of being in Pre-Calculus terrifies me.  I never got that far in HS (I’m still amazed that I was able to graduate with the classes that I took, underachieving HOOOOOO!) and Algebra has been rough enough… but to have Precalc, Calc, and Statistics staring me in the face… kinda terrifying.
  • Despite all of this, I’m proud as hell of myself.  I haven’t given up.  I haven’t surrendered.  I have A grades in both of my classes (not counting the finals… here’s hoping they remain A’s)… and once my finals are over, I will have finally achieved the rank of… SOPHOMORE!

  • Also… now I know why Spring Break is a thing. I’m putting in for PTO for next year, and I’m counting down the days until Christmas Break. I’ll be able to read recreationally again! I can sit on my butt and play video games once I’m home from work! GET THE HOUSE CLEAN AND DECORATED BEFORE OUR GUESTS SHOW UP!
  • And finally, because it bears repeating: I probably wouldn’t be doing this without KLynne, who lit a big enough fire under my ass to get me up and moving on this.  Thanks, dear.

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