Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Brave new world

Going to college now is a lot different than it was 21 years ago when I first went to college. For a start, there was no need last time for professors to lay down the law on cellphones and other communicators in class. Or to state that no texting was allowed. We didn't have such gadgets available to us - cellphones were still yuppie toys the size of a small brick that were carried by the rich. It was a rare person that had a PC in their room - most of us were either too poor or too worried about them getting stolen to have them. There was no information available on the internet about the professors, what the syllabus was, what the textbooks are. I think my college may have had a webpage. A single page. Which gave the address and contact details and a bit of blurb. I certainly didn't research anything online. There was nothing specifying what font your assignments had to be in - the professors were lucky to get them typed. All mine were handwritten. Hehehe, at least I'm not 80, or you'd be subjected to tales of me having to walk barefoot in the snow uphill there and back to get to college.

When it came time to get textbooks, you got your list in the first week and all trooped off to the campus bookstore and were duly price gouged. Now I have found out the textbooks in advance for most of the classes, and have been busy googling. I found one, new, for $26.39 instead of the list price of $106, so I have already snapped it up. I haven't been so lucky with the others, but I am finding them for an average of $75-$80 when most of them are listed at $120 or so. It's also so much easier to buy books second hand, as you're not confined to a noticeboard on campus, hoping that nobody else beat you to that one posted copy of one of your books.

Much of the difference, I am sure, is due to the fact that I will be attending a community college for a semester, rather than the giant university I was used to. The classes are limited to either 28 or 37 people, depending on the subject. There are strict attendence rules. It's like going to a high school in many respects, rather than what I would classify as the university experience. Certainly there will be no getting away with sleeping at the back of a giant auditorium packed with 200 or so fellow classmates.

Of course, I am a lot different too. I will be the nerdy mature student sitting in the front row. At least, while I'm at the community college - I expect everyone will be the same when I get to acu school and we'll all be interested and excited about learning. The community college work load doesn't scare me (although the acu school one does). However, it is nice to start a semester actually intending to do all the work rather than try to skate through doing the absolute minimum possible so as not to cut into my drinking and partying time.

But all of this brave new world is not helping me to feel less cut off from my old world. I am not doing much infertility blogging these days - either reading or writing. I do have a post brewing about my next step, but it will percolate for a while longer. But essentially I often feel like the failure that dropped out off the end of the world. There's no happy baby story at the end of the day for people to relate to - although I know that my story isn't entirely over yet. I am not even doing much with my other little "hobbies" like researching my perfume addiction or hanging out on immigration boards. People accuse me of being addicted to the immigration boards if I go to post to try to help out someone who is still waiting for that elusive green card. I haven't even been to the diet board in a while as I've been doing the "stuffing my face" thing followed by the detox thing. Ahh well, I guess I'll figure all this out as I go along. Any suggestions for new interests, though? It's got to be something cheap. But it'd be nice if it had a community I could chat with.


bleu said...

I never ever feel you dropped out. I think of you just as often, truly.

As for a hobby, well you ARE in Fl. you could always get involved in politics. lol

Change the laws, protest etc.

hedgetoad said...

knitting has quite a community... it's not that expensive if you don't get into the really fancy yarns. Or some sort of recyclable art? Lots of frugal crafters do that kind of stuff. Gardening? Bird watching? walking?

Maybe you could find a group of massage therapists?