Past two months have been super busy and super hard. My son said, "Mom, you should go to college. You don't even have a life and don't do anything". Huh? I'm a mom. I clean house. I keep track of kids. I feed you. I am doing something..mom stuff you that don't get.
But he got me thinking so I checked it out. We have a local college, Peru State 12 miles up the road. My son has taken online classes to keep up and I figured why not? So I enrolled. Ever try enrolling in college after 20 years? It's a PITA. They want transcripts from the colleges I was at. They want FASFA crap. They want tax forms. Then it turned out I applied at a college while living in Illinois when Peru ran a check. Ever try getting two colleges to communicate that I never went, but applied? It's horrible. Finally I told Peru to call up the other college and work it out since you have connections I don't.
Once that all worked out I qualified for a grant. What they don't tell you is that grants are prorated for the credits you take. I decided to go part-time and my grant money was prorated for that. Why can't you just pay for two classes, books and a lab and then take the rest back? Doesn't work that way.
So I decided to take an Art History class and Biology 101. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up and figured gen-eds would work. My college transcripts covered Eng 101 and a language. Another thing I learned the hard way. Summer classes are 16 week courses down to 8 weeks. Ouch. Got the books and purchased the online Biology Lab. Yup. You can do lab work online. Don't. Just. Don't. I spent HOURS doing labs that were only worth 10 points each. You could have 6 labs in one "class" and only get 10 points. Learnsmart Labs. May you die a slow and painful death.
I like the idea of online labs. However; Learnsmart did a horrible job at user interface, following directions, not letting you know what you are doing wrong, and throwing fits over everything. "You have 4 numbers that aren't correct" which translates to start the lab over and over until those 4 numbers are correct. The last lab took 5 hours for 3 labs for a total of 10 points because I had no clue how to do a Hardy-Weinberg equation. Lab assumed you knew and gave no help whatsoever. 5 hours later and I'm a pro.
Despite the labs, taking timed tests twice a week, 3 papers, online art field trips, Blackboard discussions (another PITA) and a TON of reading I have a B+ in Biology and an A- in Art Appreciation. Not bad for not having been to college in 20 years.
I can't wait to get back into quilting and mini album making. Will I go to Fall Semester? Given the prorated grant money issue, I'm not sure. I refuse to take out student loans so I'll save up for Spring. Student loans are nothing by indentured servitude for the rest of your life. It's disgusting how that works. I think most of us have no problem paying a loan back, but being set up to fail is wrong. All I see is predator lending.
BTW, Amazon.com lets you rent books for 3/4 cheaper than you local college. 25 vs. 80? Amazon.com wins.