Friday, September 3, 2010

Back to School As a 47 Year Old

At a recent river restoration outing (we were clearing river rocks and silt from below a digger log to form a deeper pool for the fish), I was speaking with a fellow volunteer about going back to school. He was saying that it can be a difficult thing to be in a classroom again after so much time. Not for me, I don't think. My mother took courses all the time I was in school, and when I was 13 she began a degree program. (I used to go with her to classes and labs when I was off from school myself) She finished a 4 year program in 3 years by taking courses during the summer. A little over 20 years ago, my dad took a computer course at the local technical university (I got him a lunch box, crayons, an eraser, and other "supplies" as a joke). Over the years, I have taken the odd course (Russian being one of them) and while some of it was a little tedious, I enjoyed the majority of my time in class.

Several years ago, I became a volunteer tutor with a literacy group, tutoring adults (mostly at the GED level) in a one on one situation. The best part of that was watching the light bulb go on above their heads when they had that "aha!" moment - math was especially fun. I'm looking forward to my own "aha!" moments. And when speaking with my fellow river volunteer, I told him I was looking forward to feeding off the energy of my fellow classmates. Kids in their early 20s have so much energy and excitement, especially in a learning environment, that I suspect it will be a tremendous motivator and aid for me.

I was speaking with the mayor of Halifax a little while ago and telling him about going back to school. He also took some courses recently and said it's a different experience when you're a grown-up. I told him (and my folks) it'll be easier for me in one way, as I don't have two teenagers, and all that angst, as a distraction.

Yesterday, I went to get my school ID and parking pass, and then went to sign all the official papers with the government agency who are aiding my return to school. I have had the example of lifelong learning all of my 47 years. I have the support of the Wookie and my folks and friends. I even have some support from the government. I'm ready for school! Now to survive the arrival of hurricane Earl overnight tonight.



kim said...

Hi Shauna, All the best with your new education experience.Mature students can have a great upper hand. Attitude is everything. I have taken many courses since graduating from "X" and will be starting a new one in Oct.
( too bad we weren't able to reconnect - hope you liked the CD

steve said...

Hi Shauna.

I know what you mean about going back to school. I spend more time in school for various financial industry designations after I finished up at the old alma mater.

Interesting side bar - my mom gave up a nursing career at age 40 to obtain an B.ed. The bro, pops, and I ate out a lot that year - which was great since I was about 11 at the time. That coincides with the time I discovered golden arches and Harvey's!!

All power to you for doing this.

Have Myelin? said...

It's funny to hear you call yourself a "mature student". My son began his junior year and he's 28. He says he's the old man about campus. LOL.