Thursday, September 01, 2005

First Impressions

I’ve just finished my first week back in college, and my first impressions are that it’s going to be a good experience. I had some doubts (still do), but I think I’m going to be okay.

This semester I’m taking a beginning biology class, and a beginning chemistry class, along with the labs. There’s no way I can go full time. I have to work full time. These classes are interesting in that they are specially designed to emphasize how these subjects impact health care. Most of my fellow classmates are enrolled in the nursing program, with a smattering of others (like me). On the one hand that’s nice. I get to hang out with a number of very bright young people, including a lot of young woman that are rather pleasing to the eye (and the spirit of an older fart like me). On the other hand, there are relatively few who are my age, except for the professors.

It’s not completely true that I’m the only “mature” person their. Talk to my wife and you’ll wonder how I can get away with use the word “mature” to describe myself at all, but that’s another story. There are a few others closer to my age, and life experience, and I’ve hit it off with a few people already. My lab partner (Lab-boy, or LB) is at least 15 years younger than me, but he’s a great guy and I think it’s going to be good working with him.

Last Saturday, when I was waiting for my first Chemistry Lab class to start, I met a woman my age who is also returning to school (the Enjoyable Matron, or EM). The EM and I started chatting, and swapping stories. I told her I was worried about coming back after so many years. I had taken some chemistry and biology classes years ago when I first went to school, back when I was still stupid, and didn’t do very well.

“You weren’t stupid,” EM replied. “Just young.”

I said, “I’m not sure there’s much difference at that age.”

Of course this got the attention of a younger man waiting with us. This was my first meeting with LB. Even though we were bashing his age group a bit, we did eventually hook up and become lab partners anyway.

Inevitably the conversation turned to our teacher for the course. “I’ve hear she’s really not very nice,” EM said.

“I don’t know. I’ve found that if you just meet them on their terms, it usually turns out okay.” I replied.

I’m not sure I was right in this case

The teacher (Weird-Woman or WW) seems a little strict, but not too bad while she was introducing the class, but this next bit was a little weird.

She asked, “What other resources do you have when you need help with something?”

EM said, “You are.”

WW’s eyes got wide, and she said very seriously, “Noooooo! I’m not available. I don’t even have office hours. Don’t ask me for help.”

It was then that I knew that, at least for this instructor, I was wrong. The class was in deep, deep trouble.

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