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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

From the Mouths of Babes

It’s been a while since my last post.  I have a good excuse, though.  I’ve been back in class at JSU since the fall semester began a week ago.  I’m sitting for two classes and taking two more classes online.
 It’s been a bit of an adjustment, to say the least.  I’m getting up at 5:30 a.m. in order to get the older kids on the bus by 6:30, the baby to daycare by 7 and myself to class by 7:30 Monday thru Friday.  Then it’s off to work until 4, volleyball, football and/or soccer practice, homework (the chirren’s and mine), dinner and, if we’re lucky, showers all around. 
As if my weekdays weren’t enough to make me drop dead from fatigue, I’ve been spending my weekends at volleyball tournaments and peewee football games around the county.  I’ve not had much time to read or write anything for fun in weeks.
I am enjoying being a student again, however.  I was elated on the first day of my first class, Political Science, to discover that I am neither the oldest nor the fattest in the class.  Hooray!  This made it much easier to focus on the subject matter and not worry about my superior life experience and sheer physical mass intimidating my classmates.
Sadly, I wasn’t as lucky in Oral Communications.  This is my own fault—I put this class off while attending in 1996-1997 and 2002.  I was almost late the first day the class met.  I didn’t know it at the time, but so was the professor.  I walked into a room of shiny newborn babes (by some miracle already possessed with the ability to talk) who began to echo the phrase:  “She’s here.  She’s here!”  as soon as I entered the classroom.  This was followed by a collective and disappointed “Oh!”, when I sat down in a desk just like the rest of them.  They thought I was the dang instructor!
I learned during a subsequent meeting that I am the only person with children in my Oral Communications class.  Well, besides the actual instructor, who has one son, but I’m not really even sure she counts, seeing as she only has a singular offspring to contend with.
My online classes offer the luxury of anonymity.  I know from the message boards of my Art Appreciation class that I am certainly not the only dinosaur returning to finish my degree.  Many of my virtual classmates are parents as well.
I’m trying hard not to be so hung-up on the age thing.  I’m working to put it out of my mind altogether during class.  I was doing a pretty good job of it this morning in Poli Sci until a young guy, clad in black jeans and shiny Doc Martin’s almost pushed me over the edge.  It was my first occasion to sit next to him.  He was late for class, probably due to the abysmal rain we’ve been experiencing for three days straight here in Alabama, and took the available seat across from me, where he proceeded to sigh loudly and grunt every time the instructor gave the name of some contributor to American political culture.  Voltaire…sigh.  John Locke…sigh, sigh.  Thomas Jefferson…sigh, grunt, sigh.  He’s obviously got some strong political views and doesn’t think any of those guys got “It” right.  And why shouldn’t he?  He’s 20 years old and knows it all.  I wanted to knock the placenta off his face and him out of his Doc Martin’s with my 20 pound text book.
I’m hoping my return to the halls of higher learning doesn’t land me in an Anger Management class.