Monday, December 10, 2007

What to Choose?



My stepson will be in high school next year. Gulp. That is a bit scary considering I became his stepmom when he was only six years old. We've come a long way since then and he's grown into a handsome young man who is always on the phone with his friends and actually puts his clothes on the night before school to see "how they look" for school the next day.

Now it's time to choose his courses for high school. And I gotta admit, I'm a little jealous. My tiny high school (I had 32 kids in my graduating class) didn't offer such cool classes as "Literature of the Holocaust" or "Study of Music Lyrics" or "U.S. Military History." Nope. I had the plain ol' English 9, 10, 11, and English College Prep, and we covered it all - Shakespeare, American and World Lit, etc. My history classes were pretty generic, too - world history, American history, and world geography.

Since he wants to go to an NCAA university and play football, we've already got to prepare for the courses he'll need to get in to one of those schools. I think the poor kid is a bit overwhelmed. "High school is going to be hard, Mom," he said. And I agreed. But man, it sure didn't look this hard when I was in high school.

When I went back to graduate school five years ago, I had the time of my life - for the first semester. I loved going to class and soaking in the lectures, reading all the assignments, and yes, even taking the tests. It was a challenge to me. But by the second semester, I was already tired of it simply because I'm such an independent gal - I want to read books that I want to read, not because they're assigned. And tests? Blech. Hate them.

If I could just go and sit in on a few lectures, didn't have to pay for them, and didn't get any college credit (read: just go sit and listen and that's IT) I would leap at the chance. Maybe I could do this, but I'm sure it would cost me a bit. My mind gets stagnant after awhile, which is why that first semester of grad school was such an awesome experience. I was like the proverbial sponge, soaking everything up. And there's just something about going and sitting to listen to someone lecture that is different than reading it in a book.

So tell me. If you had a chance to go sit in on a class and not worry about tests or taking notes or anything, but were just there to listen and learn, what class would you take?

10 comments:

  1. you can audit a class and do just that - not get credit for it and not have to do any of the work. I remember having people auditing my Greek history class and being insanely jealous. ;)

    I'm an academic nerd, though, I'd be sad not to do the work...except for the having three kids part! I suppose at this particular time in my life that's all I could handle!

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  2. Devon Ellington8:19 AM

    A lot of colleges around here let you audit courses, which is what you're talking about. You should look into that.

    I don't like structure, so sitting in a class doesn't usually work for me. I love research, I love learning, I love one-on-one with good teachers. But going back to class again? No way.

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  3. Hi Melissa, I am back, glad to be reading your blog again, I missed it.

    I went back to school and wouldn't do it again thats for sure. I would go to listen to lectures on some fascinating subject, That would be only once in a while though.
    Highschool is scary, but your son will do fine. I promise

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  4. I would study criminology. Or psychology or anthropolgy. I wouldn't even care if I got an A. I would just want to listen to people talking about crazy people.

    Also, I'm pretty sure you can only audit classes if you are a currently enrolled student. I didn that in college. It was awesome.

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  5. I took a course in WWII history that I'd like to take again. Just like with a movie/book, sometimes you notice different things the second time around.

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  6. If I could audit classes, my list would be like my TBR stack! I'd be all over philosophy, post-modern literature, experimental fiction, economics, middle eastern studies, poetry, Bergman films, environmental studies -- it would be like what I watch on cable, only better :)

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  7. Awesome post, Melissa! You've given me much food for thought. You've inspired me to crash in on one day of a large auditorium-sized class, both at home and when I travel. As for topics, I'd pick Shakespeare (which I realize isn't likely going to be large enough of a class for me to crash without permission), something in Information Technology, particularly concerning artificial intelligence, film study and something dealing with crime scene investigation. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  8. Awesome post, Melissa! You've given me much food for thought. You've inspired me to crash in on one day of a large auditorium-sized class, both at home and when I travel. As for topics, I'd pick Shakespeare (which I realize isn't likely going to be large enough of a class for me to crash without permission), something in Information Technology, particularly concerning artificial intelligence, film study and something dealing with crime scene investigation. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  9. I'd always sooner be learning from a book than sat in a classroom, but I do prefer to be in a classroom than in a lecture theatre. Mine would be history. Every time, tests or not.

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