Thursday, January 30, 2014

Semester #2

So, school is starting again.

Last Semester—

Well, I made it through a semester of school with a 5 unit class.  Toward the end, I completely lost concentration.  Talking to some of the other students after the written portion of our final, while waiting for the oral portion, I realized I wasn’t the only one whose focus diminished as the class wound down.  I didn’t get all of the final homework done because I just wasn’t willing to stress myself out.  And I never think I study enough, so I can’t really judge but I do know that the material got a little overwhelming with passe’ compose (past tense) and indirect objects and pronouns.  Might have been a participle in there, too. 

The last few classes before the final were pretty fun.  One night, Abeer played us French music from several websites, both classic and contemporary.  Some were on Youtube, complete with lyrics, and some were from this website:  The next to the last class, we had a potluck with lots of quiche, baguettes, fromages and, yes, snails.  And no, I didn’t try them!  We also watched the film Coco Avant Chanel, a biography of the early years of Coco Chanel.  Thank goodness for the English subtitles!

I didn’t think I’d do well on the final test because a big part of the grade was two written paragraphs (not my strong suite). So, I was on pins and needles to see my final grade. The student portion of the college website was down for maintenance from mid-December to well into the new year, causing me no end of neurotic grief—I’d log in several times a day, because after all, it has to come back up SOMETIME… I was sweating a B, hoping those last few unfocused weeks hadn’t thrown me down to a C. When I was finally able to access my grade, I hesitated clicking on the screen that would tell me what might plunge me into depression. But I did and found an A! That night, I took The Husband out to dinner at Mimi’s CafĂ©, where we indulged in crepes, brioche and baked brie. Tres excellent! 

And, yes, I’ve kept up on my Memorize Words app on my phone, learning more French words. I signed up for, a magazine subscription app that includes a few French titles and bought a copy of Les Trois Mousquetaires for 50 cents, so I have plenty of reading material to practice!

Next Semester—

My parking sticker is firmly affixed in the left hand corner of my windshield. My book is purchased ($41.75 compared to last semesters’ $167!). The Husband came with me to get the semester sticker on my student ID. And when we looked for my new classroom, I realized it was my OLD CLASSROOM! The very same classroom where I took French. So, should I sit at the same desk or a different one?

This semester is College Writing. I’ve skimmed the book a little and it looks far less dry than I thought it would. The last time I took a class that I had to write papers for, the internet was in its infancy and microfiche ruled. I notice that this book has a lot of references to websites and social media. Should be an Erudite adventure (OK, I’m reading Divergent…).

Taking a Saturday morning class means getting up earlier than I do for work :-) I hope it’s interesting enough to keep me awake! Friday nights I’ll have to put together my Survival Kit-diet soda and a mid-morning snack! At least I shouldn’t hit traffic on the way and the parking lot might not be as crowded.

I did my due student diligence and looked up the two teachers with Saturday morning classes on  The woman had such horrible reviews--nasty, boring, liked to hear herself talk…  The man, Brandon Rocke, looks young and has a master’s degree in creative writing. His page in was small but positive. Not only is this class about writing for college assignments, it’s also about researching and critical thinking, so I’m hoping he’s got a lot of interesting things to impart every early Saturday morning for four hours!

I’m really eager to start writing. It’s something I haven’t given much time to lately and it’s one of the things I’ve always loved to do. So I have high hopes for a good grade but more than anything, I’m looking forward to the challenge of writing assignments and the thought processes of putting words together and building a cohesive story. 

The Future 

I really don’t know where I’m going with this whole education thing.  Some days I just want the knowledge and plan to just take the subjects I want to know more about.  Other days, I really do want to walk through a college campus in a choir robe and a mortarboard worn at a jaunty angle. But I have plenty of time to figure all that out...

By the time my French class ended, I was so ready for a break and for the first few weeks, I was glad to be away from the pressure of homework and finals.  But a week or so into January, I started to anticipate Going Back to School.  Gotta get to bed early tomorrow.  It’s a School Night!

Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.

Ray Bradbury