Thursday, August 28, 2008

Why old people should go to college when they're young

As many of you know, I went back to school.  As of this week I'm officially a "College Student".  I even have a piece of plastic to prove it.  I've noticed a few things about going back to school "later in life", and I'm sure I'm not the only student to return to academia after reaching the ripe OLD age of 32 who has noticed these things.  I'll get to those in a moment- here's a quick recap of my week though, so you can all appreciate how much my life can suck in one shining moment.

On Monday night SDD came over to my house.  For those of you who don't know, an SDD is a Sexy Domesticated Dad, and the one I have recently met looks enough like Hugh Jackman that the first time I saw him on my neighbor's porch I thought, "OH MY GOD, HUGH IS AT THE WRONG HOUSE!"  He's on my list (Hugh, not SDD).  After meeting him, going to BG with him, etc, I introduced him to a single friend of mine and they hit it off.  So, on Monday night he brought his daughter "A" over to watch a movie with C & G, and we all sat out on our back deck drinking.  I will admit, I was drunk, but in no way should what have happened next occurred.  At some point in the evening, toward the end of the kids movie, I suddenly felt not so good.  At all.  So, leaving H, V and SDD, I went upstairs, where I was promptly sick.  I ended up sleeping on the bathroom floor all night, vomiting, among other things.  (SDD brings out the worst in me apparently).  At 4 am I woke up with a fever and chills.   Alternating with hot flashes and I realized that this was in fact the worst hang over in my lifetime.  By 7 am I was burning up, probably one of the higher fevers I've had this year (I had the "flu" in Feb, I don't recommend it).  And it occurs to me that A) I need to stop drinking so much.  followed shortly by, B) Hangovers don't usually come with a fever. which preceded C) Oh wait, I'm supposed to babysit in 10 minutes.  So, I called K and cancelled E for the day, and went back to sleep.

(Be patient, because in a minute you're going to see what this has to do with going back to school)

At about 2pm I woke up and managed to have a cup of tea.  And at about 3pm I suddenly looked at my H and said, "Oh wait, I have to be in class in an hour.  Carp.  Mandatory meeting for Lit- must attend."  So, I had H drive me to school so I could meet my professor, buy my books, and get a sharp dose of post 9-11 college life.  After class ended I went down to get my student ID.  Oh my goddess, I am OLD.  OLD is an adjective I never would have used to describe myself as before Tuesday, but oh my...  all I'll say is at least I got my college ID when I'd been very sick for many hours.  I'm pale, dehydrated, and honestly- it's one of the best ID photos I've ever had taken.  Thankfully the camera subtracted 10 years, because I look like a 22 year old with crows feet in the picture, instead of a weathered 32 year old with worry wrinkles and bad skin.   

Then I bought my books.  (Which I only have to buy for one class, so why do I have 5 books?)  At least they were a bargain, coming in at just under $20/book.  And, I have 20 "short" papers due, 2 by next Friday, 4 major papers due over the next few months, and 32 required question/discussion assignments.  And that's for 1 class.  Oh, and I "get" to read Beowulf.  By Wednesday.  I should get the audio book and put it in my i-pod for the 1/2 marathon, ha ha.  I've read Beowulf before, too bad I failed to retain ANYTHING from it.  I am not passionate about Beowulf, no wait, that's wrong, I do have a deep feeling about it, it's just not a positive association...  

About college.  First off, I've forgotten that EVERYONE SMOKES.  I see these 20 year olds with Marlboro's hanging out of their mouths and I think, "stupid" as I pass them.  So, my thoughts going to class are basically this, "Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid... am I the only one here w/o a cigarette?"  Another thing I noticed is that the kids are all bigger than I remember.  Not to harp on weight, but COME ON!  If exercise makes you thin, and you can't smoke and exercise efficiently, then how is it that these kids believe that smoking makes you thin?  Stupid.  And it's gross to sit next to all these people.  They reek.  Oh, I'm back to smoking again, sorry.  Sure, I used to smoke... when I was 20 and in college.  And I bet I looked STUPID.  And another thing- these kids can NOT PARK!  How hard is it to position a car between two white lines???  I drove my 12 year old Saturn and still I practically kissed it goodbye when I left it because I feared it would not be in the same condition when I got out of class.  I think I might be old.

So, the other class is KARATE!  It fulfills a PE requirement which the school of nursing requires.  Sure, OK, I guess I get that...  Anyway, back on track...  Karate has no books, no assignments and 1 final exam that only counts for 15% of the class.  The rest is attendance.  It meets once a week, and by the time I got to class last night, I had not eaten anything more substantial than toast and tea for going on 36 hours.  (i.o.w:  I looked skinny in my yoga pants).  Oh my, I only have one thing to say about my first impression of that class....  OLD- OH MY GODDESS I AM OLD OLD OLD!  And, I'm in better shape than every other woman (girl?) in the class.  All 5 of us.  The other 20 people are boys.  No, there are no men in the class except the teacher and his 3 assistants who are all upwards of 55+ years.  As far as Karate classes go, I have nothing to compare it to...  I've never taken a martial arts class before in my life.  It was wicked fun, and a total body workout.  Core work, balance, coordination (of which, I have NONE), and cardio- all in one.  I felt like I pretty much sucked at class, but I had a great time doing it.  AND here's the BEST part of the class...  At the end of class the 4 teachers converged on me to ask where I had done my Martial Arts training? and What form of training was it?  "Huh?  Never been to a class before, unless you count the cardio kick boxing I did once on a dare".  I have "natural talent" they said.  Have been invited to Monday night class as well as Wednesday night class if I want additional training... they believe they can advance me to Green Belt by the end of the Semester... etc etc.  Well, I politely declined, explaining that KARATE is hard on my foot and I'm recovering from an injury.  I somehow doubt I have natural KARATE ability.  I do, however, believe one thing:  Wearing a tight fitting tapered waist Stroller Strides T-shirt to Karate class will get you an invitation to free Karate lessons from a 70 year old man and his 55+ year old assistants.  How's that for an ego boost?

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