Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Back to School

I tried to get to blogging about the first day back to school, but because I'm back in school I didn't have enough time. I've a bit of free time at the moment so we'll see how far we get.

So far, everything overall has been mostly positive. The negatives are so few and so distinct, I can easily relate them quickly.

Parking is crazy limited in the morning. I have had to park off campus when I arrive after nine, but in the afternoon the situation improves dramatically. So it may end up that I will move after lunch and deal with the walking in the morning. I don't see it being a problem.

Schedule/time management. Not so much a negative as getting into a streamlined routine. Most days, my first class is at 10a and my last class ends at 5p. In the intervals between those classes, are two breaks - first one of 3 hours, second of 1 hour. Then on Tuesday, I add to that a class that starts at 7p and ends at 9:30p. That's a long day.

Hard to say this early, but it's apparent that it is going to be a major challenge to grab any free time, at least during the week. Fortunately, I have the one 10a class on Friday and that's it. I hope to do as much work as I can evenings and Friday so I don't have to spend a major chunk of time "working" on the weekend. I am probably dreaming, I know.

Bottom line on the time thing is that I had become accustomed to having negligible time obligations and have now gone straight to having major commitments. I will have to adapt and I shall.

I'll run through my impressions of the classes I've attended so far. (Still waiting to see what Men's Health is going to be like. That's tonight.)

Music History (Classical/Romantic periods) - What a fabulous way to start the academic day! This class is going to be a joy. The professor obviously loves the material and her opportunity to share her enthusiasm with her students. She told us we should budget 15-17 hours a week to the class. At first that sounds like a lot, but when you consider she is including the 5 hours of class time and 5 hours of listening to music from my favorite periods (oh NO!), then it doesn't seem bad at all.

   Analysis - Easy A for me if I put in the time. No problem. No clock-watching in this class!

English Composition - This looks like it's going to be another almost effortless class. The instructor is great fun - young guy who loves the material and loves being in front of an audience. Smart, funny and very kinetic. I'm wondering if he isn't auditioning for Brad Pitt's part in Twelve Monkeys. Very amusing watching his gesticulations.

   Analysis - This class will probably take more time, but maybe not. The major task is going to be a 1700-1900 word paper. But even that isn't that worrisome. I gotta give this the same "easy A if I put in the time" category.

Intermediate Algebra - Let's start with this is not - I repeat not - going to be an easy A, no matter how much time I put into it. It is going to be an A but I will have to work my ass off. Not only is the material tough, but we are going to be plowing through it very quickly. Little time to absorb things before moving on to the next mountain.

Since I already covered the analysis... The instructor is straightforward and seems like a cool guy. He seems up to the task of getting us through without crushing us. Lot of smart kids in this class.

So there you have it. I am still extremely optimistic, maybe even moreso than I was 3 days ago. Unless this Men's Health this evening is a nightmare, I have no reason to think that this quarter will be OK. I had significant anxiety that 17 credits was going to turn out to be impossible. I no longer think that.

I am feeling grateful that I have this opportunity. Not much more to say beyond that. I am happy.

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