Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly!

I found some reports and writings from my college days and started recalling what my tenure as an Adult Returning Student (ARS) at the University of Montevallo was like.

The Good

It was a wonderful opportunity my hubby made possible! The friends I made at school are priceless. A couple of my professors inspired me to achieve beyond my wildest imaginations. During my Freshman year, an English professor made me angry enough at myself to enter a writing contest. I wrote about the life and culture of truck drivers - I won! I admired Dr. Forbes because she was always very professional and businesslike - she knew her "stuff" and motivated me to excel in Management classes. Being a roving reporter for the school newspaper was extremely challenging, while offering me many happy times. Qualifying for and participating in the Student Exchange program was a highlight I cherish. Serving as the ARS Senator on the Student Government for two years afforded me an insight into the politics of college life. Being inducted into the Golden Key Honor Society, while a high honor, also humbled me. An advisor who, although he continuously messed up my schedule, always listened to my "I just can't do this" and would respond, "Who said?" The many papers I corrected for students from 38 non-English speaking countries while an exchange student (all classes were taught in English, thankfully for me). As a result of charging a guilder for each paper, I was able to lighten my hubby's financial burden for my stay in Amsterdam.

The Bad

The death of my hubby one week before graduation. Algebra! Still don't understand the need for doing math with letters rather than numbers. Instructors (not professors) who were young enough to be my grandkids. The professors who taught theory because they'd never actually worked at what they taught. Having to get to campus VERY early in order to find a parking place. Not being able to use the dining room table for anything except doing homework. My hubby working algebraic formulae in his head and not understanding why it was so difficult for me to factor. Watching another ARS waste away with cancer. Falling down a long flight of stairs leading into the Student Union building and breaking my left wrist. Although, I was fortunate it wasn't any worse than that! The "burn out" which occurred in my Junior year. Working with so-called "teams" and having to do all the work myself.

The Ugly

Rampant age discrimination. Feeling the need to constantly justify why I was attending college at my "advanced age." One professor in particular ridiculed my age and life skills in a class of 82 students. He was gone my next semester! A professor in Amsterdam (while I was an exchange student there) stated it is perfectly alright to lie and cheat while conducting business - which explained why his business failed! The German students at Hoegschool of Economics, during an open forum discussion about the subject matter of the day - announced they didn't want to attend class with an "American grandmother who is only there for a lark!" I guess I showed them, as I came home from the six months of study with the highest grades ever of previous students who had been sent from Montevallo!

All in all, my college experience was all I had hoped it would be, plus much more. One of the reports I recently found was a Business Plan for a pretend business I was going to start. Everything in it was bull poop - but I received a grade of A+ and got an extra ten points above that grade toward my final exam! How much fun was that for me? Still laugh about it today.

Tomorrow, my hubby will have been gone for seven years. Although he wasn't with me in body when I graduated, I know he was with me in spirit (hindsight brought that info into my brain). I probably won't post anything here tomorrow - already dreading the day, to be truthful. However, even with the good, the bad, and the ugly, I wouldn't trade a moment of time I spent the 4 years I attended college. I learned a lot, taught others, and had a ball doing it.


Blogger Mama Mouse said...

You will have my most sincere and loving thoughts and prayers tomorrow ... a day I know you dread. He will be with you ... reach out and feel the love.


9:43 AM PDT  

Post a Comment

<< Home