Since I’m heading to spring break this month, just about the midpoint, now is as good a time as any to update on my academic life.
I never really got to write about returning to school since I’ve actually done so; I hit the ground running, and had no time to pause and fill everyone in. I’m up with a wretched case of eczema right now, so I might as well be productive.
Biology is going well; I’m expecting an A there, I think. The information is sinking in. I took an exam today, and knew the answers. Part of it was open book, so of course I checked my answers, but my answers were spot on even before checking. The instructor fills us up with a LOT of information; figuring out which is relevant for tests is an issue. His tests, though, are not too bad. They are very challenging, but the multiple choice parts are not ambiguous. You need to know the work to answer it, but not often do you come across questions where you’re down to two that are nearly exactly alike. There are written questions too, but since it is biology, you can’t really fake them. You have to know the material to answer. The bonus questions give you a bit more of a stretch, though. They’re bioethics questions and you can just take up a point or two and make sense. The labs are fine, and instead of papers, we have two critical reviews of journal articles to do during the year. My first was a review of an article on the Evolutionary Consequences of Sperm Cell Aging.
Psychology is very structured. The PowerPoint slides are well organized, and honestly, if you get the printouts from the instructor, you don’t need much more for notes. They’re a good framework and study guide. Class discussions are great, and the material is clear. Biology, sometimes I have to raise my hand and ask for something to be clarified. Psychology, I get. However, the tests are murder. You have four choices for your multiple choice, and each one is pretty damn close to the right answer. Some of the true/false questions, my first reaction is “sometimes”. I do well, but I walk away feeling overwhelmed. The take home essay questions are fine, though. We get two per exam. They’re written in such a way you have room to speculate, and as long as your reasoning is sound, it appears he’s ok with it. I only have one paper in that class, and I plan on doing it on Asperger’s. I’ve already cleared it with him. I got a B on the last exam, he seems to grade on a curve, but I think I can pull it up to an A, now that I know what his exams are like.
Composition was a class that I could have skipped, but didn’t. I felt that I did not have a good grounding in basic writing. I was right. It was also a hybrid accelerated class. This means just one lecture session a week, the rest online, and tomorrow night is my last class. Every week was a 4+ page essay to write, on top of the homework. To top THAT off, we have to do a portfolio. The portfolio is to include all our essays, rewritten, the drafts we had getting there, something similar to an artist’s statement, an introductory piece to our essays, an index, and a letter of transmittal. That is a LOT of work for a freshman comp class. I’m expecting an A, unless I completely bomb the portfolio AND the final.
Public Speaking is KILLING me. It’s fantastic, but the instructor is hard core. She gives very strict guidelines as to what is expected, and deviate from that and you’re a goner. I talked myself down to a C in one speech. I went over, and that’s very bad. I showed up less than five minutes late, and she would not give me a copy of the quiz to take. I got a zero on that quiz. She gives opportunities for extra credit, and we have a lot of speeches, so I can probably pull a B on that class if I continue to improve. I won’t be able to slack for a minute, though. Wish I could stop saying “um” though!
So that’s all I’m taking. First of all, since this was my first time back to school full time since the early 90s (and that didn’t go over well), I wanted to see what I could handle. Secondly, there is a wait list for admission to the nursing component of my school. So I need classes to take as I’m waiting for a spot to open up. So I took those, and in the summer, I have to get my CNA, and then after A&P, I think that is enough to get on the wait list. Hopefully it isn’t too long, or I will have to consider transferring to a four year nursing program, if that means I get my RN faster. If it is going to take me 4-5 years in CC, I might as well go and get a BSN, instead. Meanwhile, at least, I’m getting my prereqs out of the way at an affordable price. It appears the local colleges take most (if not all) of the credits if you transfer. So I’m always looking towards my goal. An RN. ASN or BSN, it’s all the same to me, the immediate goal is the RN. I’d like the BSN no matter what, but I could take a program after I get my RN. Whichever gets me there the fastest matters. And that includes quality of education, because if a bad school doesn’t help me pass the NCLEX, it doesn’t matter, does it? My CC has an above average passing rate, though, so I’m happy with the quality of education here.