Saturday, August 01, 2015

Two Months Later..

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 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, lets you rent books for 3/4 cheaper than you local college.  25 vs. 80? wins.