So far so good. School is a week into the semester and I haven’t punted anyone into the hallway for being childish. Go me. I’m taking 2 “hard courses” and 2 “soft courses”. By hard I mean the ones where Things Are Done rather than Things Are Talked About (the soft courses) (these are my own definitions and I think they make sense.)
The Hard Courses are both office things. One is a spreadsheets/Excel and already it’s taking all my concentration because it’s so procedural and you have to remember what order and which button does what and in the end you get something so beautifully orderly (if you do it right), it’s glorious to behold. I can’t wait to be using this thing for real! The other course is Office Procedure and it’s basically How To Work Good. Fairly straightforward and sensible stuff like courtesy and and all, but later on it gets into how to work those phones with all the buttons and not accidentally hanging up on the district manager. I think there’s also a How To Work A Copy Machine which to be honest should be an entire course all by itself. Have you seen them? They’re like something out of a 1980 Sci-Fi movie and I hear they can occasionally rupture and blow toner everywhere. I suppose that’s to make sure you keep up to date with the latest incarnation.
The Office Procedure course is strictly on-line, but several of the people taking it are also in the spreadsheets class, so I know the face along with the names.
The cool thing about such a small school is the overlapping of people, and seeing them in different classes, developing relationships. Of course, everyone takes the classes in their own order, so some of them are finishing up this semester, and others are just starting out. Some are midway through, like me.
I am, finally and with great reluctance, taking The Dreaded Math. Now, this time around it’s Remedial Math, meaning every single person in there is as bad at it as I am, which is comforting. The instructor is chirpy and enthusiastic, and we do get to use a calculator. however, it’s not the simple version I grew up with, but apparently does all sorts of calculations of the sort I don’t even understand. hopefully at the end of the semester I will have a stronger grasp of The Dreaded Math, and may even have developed less of an adversarial relationship, and something more along the lines of “ok, I can see why you’re useful” sort of one. At least we get to use a calculator and aren’t expected to find square roots by hand or memory. I also think The Dreaded Math is somewhat procedural, with earlier lessons building on the later ones.
There’s a whole lot of homework, but that’s ok. I know people at The Big University generally take 15-18 hours a semester, and ones at the little community tech school (where I’m at) think the 13 hours I’m taking is a MASSIVE LOAD, and so it would be, if I were working full time like many of my classmates. The school is designed to educate people who are grownups with regular jobs. I am continually thankful that I am able to do school instead of work right now.
I am, howsomever (that’s a family word for “however-sometimes”) going to look for Resume’ Fodder. Upon the advice of a very sensible friend, I’ll look for a very part time job (possibly work-study), and/or volunteer opportunities that will include a bit of office work. Soon. It’s scary. But not that scary. I can do this. If I can step out and do school after 30 years, I can find some work after 28. By golly, if I can raise 4 children and not accidentally kill or maim any of them, I should be able to find some work alphabetizing invoices.