How many of us have thought about returning to school (because of the economy).
I started back to school this week. In my attempt not to be a burden on my twenty – one year old daughter,(we are currently, sharing the same vehicle ); I decided that I would only take on-line classes. So after she and her sister went away for a mini vacation (much anticipated on their part), I decided that I would finish “setting the wheels in motion”.
Until then, the only task I had accomplished was to apply (on-line). Oh yeah, and of course I had sent away for my college transcript, which after “toil and trouble”, I had received earlier. Anyway, now for this time, I would exclusively have access to the car and would not have to worry about putting a strain on my daughter’s schedule. The first task at hand was to take the placement test. Do you remember those dreaded tests? It had been about ten years since I had attended college and so I would have to take a reading, writing, and math test. Last time I took one of those, I am not sure that it was exclusively, an on-line test. There I was in a room full of people, who to my suprise, were much the same age as I was( if not older). Of course, some of them were much younger. I typed in my identification number which for the purpose of this test, was my social security number. To my dismay I was to begin with my much hated college subject – math. I had already spent days trying to review – on-line- for the upcoming math part of this test.
Boys and girls do not try this at home – don’t try to study for the college placement test. However, you can “review” for it because either you know it or you don’t.
My heart was beating so fast that I thought I would pass out,I probably would have, had I not listened to my own advice. I would tell the kids “if you don’t eat how can you think – you better eat something.” I told myself to calm down and I tried to affirm to myself how much better it would be that they had allowed me to use a calculator – however not one of my own. It must have been a scientific calculator. I was not even sure that I had it in the proper mode.
It is okay however, to learn how to use a calculator beforehand.
On my scratch paper, I tried to work out the answers. The answers I was getting were not one of the choices that I saw on the computer screen. So I started guessing or choosing the anwers that were closest to the choices I was given. I was spending so much time on one question. I do not believe that I had answered ten questions before the “program” had ended and the test was over. I figured out later that I had aswered so many questions incorrectly, that I was not allowed to go on to the “higher levels”.
That’s okay, then I would try writing. I really enjoy writing. Surely, I would do better.In my much anticipated haste, I must have clicked on something I should not have because the screen suddenly froze. After a couple of time wasting attempts, I finally gave up on trying to fix the problem myself. Looking around I was able to “track” down someone close enough to me to help me solve the problem. I did not feel so bad when she was unable to fix it either and consequently, I started the test over that I had only just begun. Over all, the test was a little challenging but I was confident that I had done well – I learned later that I had scored a ninety – nine.
These days, it is also a good idea to take a refresher course from your children on the basics of computer navigation before you take any kind of test.
On to the next and what I had hoped, would be the last, the reading section of the test. It was a little more challenging but I spent a little more time making sure that the answers were what I thought to be the right or best answers. Soon it was over and what a relief it was to discover that this was indeed the last part of the placement test. However, I must admit that I did sit there for a good two minutes trying to figure out if I should get out of my seat – I mean didn’t they say not to leave your seat while testing was going on, not even if you finish before everyone else does? Well this is the modern world now, so I “braved it” and went to tell the test administrators that I think I had finished the test.
You may find that technology has changed the way tests are administered.
I held my breath as she printed out the results – ninety-nine for the writing part and eighty-eight for the reading part. The math must have been “off the charts” because no results showed up on the print out for that part of the test. Now I was told to stand on that long line so that I could be advised on what subjects I should take – maybe the line wasn’t that long. The advisor complimented me on my high scores and when I inquired about my math score, we both just laughed – I told you – off the charts ( bad ). The advisor scribbled four course suggestions down on the bottom of my print out and then I was off….back to the window to get a registration ticket – I am too old for all of this.
Patience is key to returning to school – just ask the kids.
Once at the window, I obtained a blue ticket ( that I learned was for orientation, to my surprise later). I found a section in the registration appointment book to put my name. I anxiously inquired to the person at the desk, “Am I finished for today?” Really I was thinking, “Is my torture over for today?”. My orientation date would be two days from that date and I found myself thinking whether I would return, once I had returned safely to the car. I had to remind my body and especially my heart that the test was over. Speedily I dialed my daughter to tell her the news; okay I did text my other daughter because sometimes that is the only way she and her sister will answer my “calls”. I felt like I was the child rushing home to tell my mom that I had gotten a good grade on my test. I worried about sharing the math grade but I did manage to slip that in somewhere. After all, I somehow had always assured them that grades did not matter to me, only that they did their best.
Appreciate your children’s efforts because you probably have forgotten how stressful the going to school process can be.
I was happy. This was phase one.I promised myself that I would not make any decisions right now. It would be one tiny step at a time. Don’t worry you will get through the “process” too, one step at a time. “Now if only I can find my way back home”,I said to myself as I set the location on the GPS. Online tests, texting, GPS’s – technology has really taken over. I hope I am really ready to go back to school.
Life is all about learning. If you feel open to building on new possibilities then make the decision to further your education. Turn things around by going back to school.