Wednesday, January 26, 2011

So the new semester has begun.

I started my new semester yesterday,  4 classes in one day.  What a long day!  My schedule is pretty full this semester with 17 credits.  I have HY 135 (American History up to 1877), I did HY 136 Last semester out of sequence.  Visual Basic Programming, Calculus, Small Group Discussion, Micro Economics, and  another Computing History and Ethics.

Right now, I really don't feel too overwhelmed, but that is all subject to change.  I am a week into classes now and other than reading, there hasn't really been much to do.  I was really expecting to feel a bit overwhelmed.  I had expectations that the classes I am taking may not be very interesting.  I have been pleasantly surprised to see  they are all somewhat interesting.  I guess it all lies in your mindset.  I try and stay open and inviting to learning anything new, no matter what value I might initially think it may have to me.

Friday, January 14, 2011

1st semester recap

Well, my first semester back in school full time, what an experience.  I haven't been in a classroom setting in a few years, so it took a little getting used to.  I had a course load of five courses for a total of 15 credits, some of which were back into core curriculum.  Three of the five were in the classroom setting, U.S. History, Pre-Calculus, and English Comp (102).  The other two were online only courses, Management Information Systems, and Health Informatics.

The biggest shock to me was Pre-Calculus.  I haven't really done math like that for many years(about 20 to be exact).  I started a bit confused, but was really surprised how much I actually remembered.  I actually came around quite well in the class and ended with a pretty good understanding of the concepts again.  It was amazing to see how much was actually retained for so long with out actually using it.  Don't get me wrong, it took quite a bit of work to knock all the rust off.  My instructor was very particular with how work was to be set up and completed, but looking back on it, that really helped me remember the structure and organization math requires.

English Comp was pretty easy for me.  I have usually done well with my writing and understanding how to put things in a scholarly way of thinking will be useful over the next couple of years.

My history class was American History after 1877, which I had to take out of sequence due to full classes.  This semester, I will be taking the earlier American History.  The class started out with no extra seats in it, but by the end, over half were empty.  I was at least 15 years older than anyone else in the class, with the exception of the professor.  I really enjoy history and I think it is something you tend to appreciate more as you get older.  In talking with my children who are middle school  and high school age, that history is one of their weakest subjects and probably the least interesting to them.  By the number of empty seats at the end of the semester, it was obvious that many of the traditional students didn't share the same appreciation for history.

My two online classes were in my areas of previous expertise, so they didn't give me any troubles.  I will write more later about my opinions of online classes versus classroom based.

Overall, it was a good start for my return to school.  I ended up making the President's List (4.0 gpa for the semester).  Truly, an excellent start to my next couple of years.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Where my journey begins.

Hi, I would like to introduce myself.  My name is Jeff, and I would like to say I look forward to the next few years as I take my turn walking through the "Halls of Higher Education".  I am actually starting this at 41, not 40, it just sounded better in the title that way.  I am entering my second full-time semester of school.  I recently retired from the U.S. Coast Guard after 20 years of service as a Health Services Technician.  I am beginning a career focus shift from Health Services to Information Systems.  I hope by writing this blog, I can give inspiration to others to pursue what you really want to do in life.