as a Non-Traditional Student.
as a Non-Traditional Student.
I'm a random queer human living in the flatlands.
I spent the last decade working as a 911 dispatcher.
I currently volunteer as a crisis counselor.
Now, in my 30's, I've headed back to school to study SCIENCE!
Upon entering my 1pm class, I tucked my lunchbox under my seat, and then forgot about it.
I left it behind when I moved on to my next class, remembering it only after the next class session had started.
That class got out early, so I went and sat myself in the hallway until I could retrieve my forgotten lunchbox.
I put my coffee down on the floor next to me, and promptly forgot about it too.
Until I knocked it over.
I didn’t realize I’d knocked it over until the majority of the coffee had demanded attention via soaking into the seat of my pants.
Coffee is so emotionally needy.
I have now managed to get my lunchbox back, despite my soggy trousers - which I guess means technically I got the coffee back too, although I doubt its effectiveness when applied transdermally.
Let’s see if I can remember to do laundry tonight…
"Look at all the pictures in your text book and google any words you don’t understand."
On this grey day, when the weather has turned the corner from late fall to early winter, my brain feels soggy and sluggish. I can’t decide if the above advice is brilliant or ridiculous.
Irritation that I couldn’t find my stylus (for note taking in PreCalc) turned into irritation that my new smart stylus has yet to ship/arrive turned into chagrin at my pseudo-reliance on technology to get through my school day.
Somehow I survived both irritation, chagrin, and the boiling hot temperatures in the library. With that in mind, I’m sure I will make it through the droning lecture on relational databases (that I’m currently cheerfully ignoring) and find a cooler place to eat my delicious lunch of leftovers.
2 weeks to go for the semester. Keeping on.
I went to a pizza party the other day. More and more, college has overtones of middle school, and this was one such.
I got an email that undergrads with the department were invited to an informal pizza lunch with faculty members to talk about, you know…stuff.
So, I went. I was one of 3 students to show up. All of us non-trads. All of us saying “it’s difficult to know what we’re supposed to be doing, what classes we need to take. We could use some advice.”
I also walked away with a decisive feeling of Awkwardness (capital A, capital Ness).
Awkward is a slippery thing, hard to get ahold of and understand. I know that I walked away feeling LESS like I was going to get some insight from a professor - not more. But also, I realized it’s not their fault. This is The System, and The System is not here to hold my hand.
I also realized that there is a fine line between pushy and persistent, between assertively advocating and being annoying. The thing is, that line is all about perception. Do I care if I’m percieved as being pushy when I’m doggedly trying to get the information I need? Maybe.
After classes I went to a colloqium talk, which was like After School Club for Nerds. It was mostly over my head, but gave me more ideas about things I want to learn and do and know, and so that’s good. The best take away was the idea of a Programming Cartographer, doing “imaginative cartography”.
I don’t know what that means either, but I love the idea of the points and planes where art and science coincide, and so I think I will keep going to the talks and continue trying to decipher things over my head and see where that takes me - even if I continue to feel like the Awkward little mouse of an undergrad in the corner. It’s good for me.