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Tired of academia, eager to begin a life without algebra, and distracted by the unrelenting Santa Barbara sunshine, I decided to take a gap year.
What if I Still Don't Know What to Do?
Who knew it would turn out to be 40? My short-lived college experience pretty much resembled that nightmare you still have.
You know, the one where you walk into a large hall, are handed a blue book and then realize you forgot to study or attend class? So, inafter completing one sutdent of college, I moved on to a satisfying life of writing jobs and political campaigns, marriage, raising children.
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Not having a college degree was by no means a serious issue, especially in Los Angeles where folks just want to know how many miles you ran that morning or if you have any good screenplay ideas. But it continued to gnaw at me and I began to crave closure. My answer was threefold: My husband and I would soon be entering empty nestdom, so it seemed a good time to fill it; I had always done everything late in life marriage at 34, first child 39, braces in my 40s ; I regretted not having had a real campus experience.
Books grow cllege us. I am clearly not alone in my quest for academic validation: Well over half a million of the students enrolled in degree-granting institutions are over the age of Gatz points out potential barriers, including competing demands. Oh, that.
Another hurdle might be physical stamina. Fortunately, there is increasing evidence that older students can succeed and that it will even keep our minds sharper. The report shows that middle-aged adults performed better on four out of six tests than they did as young adults. In fact, there are some reasons to expect that the role of cognitive ability in late adulthoods is even more important now because individuals of all ages are being asked to take more responsibility for financial and medical decisions.
Gatz offers us older students some key tips: Attend lectures; study actively keep testing yourself along the way ; focus on one thing at a time; look for opportunities to discuss the material.
Nearly 40% of undergraduate students are older than 25
I got through Music and Art Appreciation classes by attaching every composer or artist to a letter in the alphabet, or connecting them to some personal memory. I devise a way of organizing my notes and memorizing what the s look like, so when handed the dreaded blue exam books, I immediately draw pictures of my studied s.
How much do I retain? Probably about 10 percent. But hey, how much Judaism did you retain after your bar aby The knowledge I do retain has served me well, and in unexpected ways. There I was in the Pitti Palace Museum in Florence last summer, explaining the genesis of some obscure paintings I recognized from a class. Even though I only got a C plus believe me, I was grateful in my Science of Psychology class, much of the information has informed my non-academic writing ever since.
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Remember that other nightmare you have: the one where you are the last picked for every team? Welcome to my life. My three partners rolled studemt eyes when I was ased to their group for an excursion to Coney Island and subsequent report. But they quickly warmed to the idea when they learned I had a car and was adept at editing. MMC has had many such students, some of whom have gone on to serve as Trustees.
As for the professors, they tend to have mixed feelings and strict agendas and are sometimes just not that into you. There is much more decorum now in classrooms. It can also be a problem when they think they know more than the teacher.
I am trying my best. I have learned to raise my hand again.
I have learned to hold my tongue, even if it means not saying I found a mistake in the syllabus, that my father funded the release of the My Lai massacre report being discussed, or that I dated one of the authors of the Port Huron Statement. Bottom line? That student I. I can opt out of really boring social events because I have to study for my midterms.
I am getting the chance to do something over when I am at the right time and place to savor it. Popular Latest. The Atlantic Crossword.