Since I started college for the second go-round, I’ve thought about blogging about it but for various reasons, decided against it. Today, I changed my mind, even though I should be doing my homework.
In 2011, after becoming a budget cut and getting laid-off from my great mom job as a part-time library assistant with the school system, I started classes to get an English degree. I wanted to learn how to write for a living — hopefully another good mom job; we’ll see!
I never saw myself as a SOTA. That’s what they were called.at UGA my first go-round. Students Over Traditional Age = SOTA. I always felt sorry for them because they missed the biggest benefit of being a college student: parties! It is weird being a SOTA, or sota, since I don’t know what the official term is at UWG. It is weird and wonderful and funny and humbling and while I feel old, I also feel more aware of what the “young whippersnappers” are up to.
First of all, let me say that these young people have superb manners. They call me “ma’am” and offer me their seats. While it makes me feel like I have one foot in the grave, I know their mamas and daddies would be proud to see that they have raised their babies right. I have also been surprised at how kind and encouraging they are to the “old lady” in the class. They help me with technology issues, they actually speak to me, and they let me be in their groups during group work. 🙂
These young people are also very smart. Way smarter than I was the first time, and often smarter than I am this time. For the most part, these kids come to class, they participate, they are incredibly articulate and they care about their studies. I was shocked by this observation. I expected to hear “Beuler, Beuler…” a lot and be the only nerd who raised her hand, but no, they hold their own.
A few of them are even Facebook friends with me. Granted, one of them asked to borrow money (of course I lent it and of course never saw it repaid), but by and large, it is nice and necessary to be connected to some of my fellow students, even if for only professional reasons.
On the other hand, I am honestly wide eyed at how some of the young women dress. Okay, could I sound more 95-years-old right now? I hate to go there, but for real, my motherly instinct comes out and I just want to cover up some of these girls and make them take a Women’s Literature class. Some of these girls wear shorts that look like underwear, with their cheeks just a moonin’ the campus. And skirts so short that I am concerned about sitting in a chair after them…yuck. Not sanitary for them or us. And the shoes! These same girls wear stripper heels around campus to class. Maybe they have to go straight to the club after class to work?
When I was in college in the early 90s, we wore t-shirts, cut-off Duck Heads, and Tretorn tennis shoes. Hell, we didn’t even have email or the Internet. I remember in grad school, I worked part-time for the university and the office where I worked got this new-fangled thing called the internet. Our boss called us all over to show it to us, and the first thing I saw on the internet was, you guessed it, porn. Some woman in a Norwegian country intimately involved with livestock of some sort. Twenty years later, and isn’t that still the internet’s most popular function?
Of course, now, everything in college is done online: registering, course materials, communication, etc. The very first class I took, the professor had to stay after with me, just to show me HOW TO LOG IN. I was pretty intimidated, but stuck with it and boy, am I glad I did. I feel like I will have a better idea what my kids will deal with when they go. I have loved using my brain in ways that I haven’t in many years. It saved me from a mid-life crisis and gave me direction.
So, from time to time, I’ll post on this topic. Writing helps me makes some sense of life, so I felt it was time to put down some thoughts on my middle-aged college life. Next time: Middle-Aged Student Goes to a Conference.
Take care of yourselves and each other,