Monday, March 21, 2011

College Wars, Episode III: Deja Vu, or How Not To Get Restarted

So, here's what you missed on the last episode. (Isn't it handy that I don't need to assemble a clever plot summary montage like you do on TV?)

Anyway, I needed a degree, which I was fairly confident would work wonders for my career after completion. After all, the combination of professional experience and a degree should be hard to resist, right?


Ahem. RIGHT?

So, with my newfound determination to Go Back To School, I made a beeline for the Internet, where I found the catalog for my local community college, rifled things, and picked a degree that looked like it was related to my job, because work said they'd help pay for it (awesome) if my classes were all related to my current career path. Which made picking one a lot easier, since I really didn't have much choice.

So, decision made, I boldly went where I had already gone before. To college, men! To college!

I arrived in good spirits at the campus to take my placement tests. Now, it had been some years since I'd done this, but I had a general idea. Oh, sit at this computer? Oh, the whole thing is on a computer? Well, that's handy!

I plopped down in the testing room and began breezing through familiar multiple-choice test questions. Read paragraph, answer question about paragraph's main point, this word means this, yawn, click click click. Oh, great, math. Hey, this is easy! Click click click.

Wait. What am I supposed to do on this one?

Now, humans, theoretically, are supposed to learn from their mistakes. I, of course, did not:


I proceeded to handily come up with plausibly correct answers for questions which I was totally unsure how to answer properly.

I placed in -- and tell me if this sounds familiar to you at all -- math 95. This sounded familiar to me, too, but I wasn't totally sure if it was what I tried last time, so I figured hey, it's just going to take longer if I chicken out and go back a class. And besides, this is where they placed me. Surely the placement test is better now that it's been ten years. Right?

[more crickets] 



As it turns out, it was exactly what I tried last time. I read the first week's material and thought, "Oh. I can do this." A week into it, I realized that no, I STILL cannot do this. I dropped the class. Again.

This time, I was older and wiser and possibly more humble, and enrolled in math 65 instead. I breezed through it, and then took 95 and it was tough, but I did that too, and managed to barely squeeze an A out of it, to boot! Yay!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find some bug spray or a box of lizards. I grow weary of these crickets. ...They mock me.


Up next: How to win at science!

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