Monday, March 30, 2009

Yes... it has been awhile

Sorry for not posting anything in so long. My excuse? I'm a college student again. Yes, that's right. After MANY years away from the classroom, I have returned. I never completed my Bachelor's degree. I have an Associate's degree... but I always wanted to finish completely.

I must admit that I was rather terrified at the thought of returning to homework assignments, essays and textbooks. So, in order to ease my transition back to that of higher learning - I decided to take only one class and it would be an online class. American History (I have 3 general ed classes to complete).

(Okay, I would have taken more classes, but the tuition costs are outrageous - and I could not afford more than one class)

My initial observations are that college students really don't pay very close attention to their work. Seriously. Because this is an online class, our weekly assignments consist of posting on a discussion board a 250 word "essay" that covers the reading text and answers the teacher's questions for the week. The instructions state that the posts need to be AT LEAST 250 words. This means it CAN be more, but must be at least that many.

For the first half of the semester - not one other student made it to the 250 word count. My first post? 420 words. The word count for some other students has finally inched up to that number, but it has taken quite some time to get there.

Another observation? College students today apparently do not know how to use a spell check function key... and as a result, their spelling is horrendous. Seriously. They also rarely complete a sentence or an actual thought. There are fragments galore throughout their postings.

We have two essay papers that we have to write. I was shaking in my proverbial boots over this aspect of college life. The last time I wrote an essay paper, I typed it on a Brother typewriter with a handy-dandy bottle of White-Out next to it. I drafted it long-hand and used index cards for bibliography notes!! There was no such thing as the internet - and I realized that I was indeed a rather old college student!

So, for the first essay paper I walked over to the library and checked out a couple of books. Yes! Books! Why? Because I feel comfortable in a library. I like books. I wanted my reference page to hold more than just internet website addresses. I wanted my instructor to KNOW I went to the library and READ a book to assist in the writing of my paper.

Our instructions were to have at LEAST (there's that term again) two pages of double-spaced writing that compared and contrasted the works/passions of two 18th century evangelists. You cannot possibly do that in JUST two pages! You have to show some background. My paper ended up at six pages, which included the reference page. I received a perfect score.

Our second paper was on the Emancipation Proclamation. I went back to the library. I checked out four books. I researched and read until my eyes were crossing. Now, I have just submitted my paper (a couple weeks early) and it came in at nine pages total. I am hopeful for another good grade.

I was never a good college student before, but I am digging it now! I will try to post here more often, now that the rest of my class will consist of simple weekly assignments, any extra credit work I want to do (I have already take a trip to the Stones River Battlefield) and the final exam.

Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Mary said...

Going back to college is intimidating. I think about it now and then myself, but this would obviously be a bad time for me.

Do you supposes the advent of texting has hurt our student's grammar? Ya think?