Or is it, I have gone back to school?
I am once again going to school?
Point is, post-secondary education is not how I remembered it and here's why:
1. Everything is different.
The chairs have gotten smaller. Truly, they have. Or my ass has gotten bigger, which can't be so.
Either that, or students have gotten smaller. They've definitely gotten younger.
At Loyalist College, they're like, 12. I kid you not. In fact, on Day One a pretty little blond in my class mentioned her hometown, which is next to mine. Jokingly, I said that I probably went to high school with her parents, as I'm old enough to be her mother.
Turns out the joke's on me because after quizzing her, I'm pretty sure I knew her dad, many, many years ago. Meep!
2. Technology RULES!
And I don't mean that in a good way. Well, not entirely, anyway.
The cool bit:
Most of my professors upload their lecture notes to something called "LMS" which is essentially a giant, electronic cheat sheet. Connected to the college's website, LMS contains my schedule, my grades, keeps track of assignments handed in, handed back and those pending. It features lecture notes, study guides, fun little "discussions" on a class-specific message board AND there's even a live-chat option.
It's a lot like Facebook, if Facebook were a message board and we got marked for logging on.
So, if I doze off during class (due to my advanced age) I can easily find out what I missed by logging on to LMS later. Later meaning after 8pm, when the kids are sleeping, lunches are made and laundry has at least been hurled into the basement. (Not the "after-the-pub-and-hookup" later enjoyed by some of my classmates. No, no...I'm not jealous. I'm not. I'm just saying...)
The not-so-cool bit:
Phones. Oh. my. GAWD.
Everyone - and I mean, everyone, has a cell phone. And not an ancient, flip-top-gizmo like the one I last week was forced to retrieve from the depths of the junk drawer, in case the Reds' school calls.
I mean, mini-computer phones, with keyboards and cameras and coffee machines and something called "Angry Birds" built right in.
Amazing little gadgets.
Now, I'll admit that I'm a Luddite and that a classmate had to show me how to turn the phone's ringer to "vibrate", but THIS kind of slavish devotion to tote-able technology is beyond me.
To steal a phrase? It's poppycock.
There is no way that anything of dire importance has occured during the two hours that we were in Psych. Memories of 9/11 aside, there is nothing that should compel any student to be available to the outside world at. all. times.
So, turn the damned phone OFF!
And stop texting because even though you've turned off the sound, I can still hear the tapping of your fingernails on the keys and it's driving me craaazzzzyyy!!
Example: Right, smack in the middle of one professor's request that we turn phones off for her class, a cell-phone rang. That old-fashioned party-line ring, too. Loud. Obnoxious. Jarring.
(A sound that the phone's owner has likely never heard in its original form, unless visiting a museum. I wish I was kidding.)
Well, that student didn't even bat an eyelash. She merely reached into her purse without apology and - I assumed - turned off her phone. The professor continued, only to be interrupted a second time by the same phone, ringing! Again, the (12-year-old) student simply reached into her purse, utterly non-plussed.
Ask me if it happened a third time. Go on. Ask me.
YES! YES IT DID!!!
Can you freakin' believe it? THREE times that stupid cell-phone rang. DURING ONE CLASS!
And when the phones aren't stirring up lecture halls, they're being tap-tap-tapped upon as students snake their way through crowded hallways in between classes.
In the Tim Horton's line-up, no one (except me, as I always forget that I even OWN a phone until someone asks about the Reds and then I guiltily fire it up to see if there's a message) is without their phone. Side-by-side, but utterly disengaged from one another, students text rapidly, without looking up, without pausing. One-handed even.
It baffles me, this constant need to remain in contact, technologically. Even as I recognize how easy it is to become addicted to social media (Hello??? I started dreaming in 140 characters about a week after joining Twitter), this twitchy NEED is...sad. And sort of creepy.
Seriously. When you're 12, what could you POSSIBLY have to text/tweet to your roommate that cannot wait three hours? Your BFF will likely not, like, die if you don't answer her right. this. second.
Do I sound like my mother? Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I'm
In any case, I feel a little better now, getting that off my chest. Thanks for that, dear readers. I really want you to know that despite my little rant, I'm positively delighted to be learning again, wandering the hallowed halls of knowledge, making friends and fitting in...
Now, if you'll excuse me, I really should study and to do so, I'll need to make some room for the LMS site. (It's so weird, but once I've opened up Twitter, FB, my email addresses and this blog tab, there's not enough space left for the important sites - like the college "Blackboard Learning System" one.)
Oh, and I need to charge my phone for class tomorrow...
And you? Are you addicted to technology? Social media? This blog?
Share your secrets - and your best study tips - here!