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Gemsong's Back to School Adventures 1

Updated on November 4, 2011

What was I thinking?

I spent about a third of 2009 and the bulk of 2010 looking for work after I lost my job in the remodeling industry. After I was let go (a pretty way to say fired) I began slogging through the want ads, updating my resume and watching the industry I’ve spent the last 17 years with get flushed as the avatar of the depression (I’m not calling it a recession).

The truth is it’s not what I wanted. I’m not that interested in construction, remodeling or interior decorating. All my leisure time is spent on my computer on with my laptop. I spent hours writing and designing and redesigning my webpages. I started looking at online colleges and realized what I love doing is designing webpages. So I signed up online, went in for admissions, signed up financial aid and I was off to the races.

On the first day of school I got this idea to start keeping a journal of my impressions, frustrations and triumphs. The things I’ve learned. Well, you’ll see.

August 2010

Here I am on the first day of my return to college. My first class is College Orientation which will go on for 5 weeks. The point of this class is to teach you how to get around on campus, your courses and the like. The person or persons who decided to come up with this class (it’s worth 3 credits) was a genius. They also start you on the road to create your career portfolio.

Am I nervous? Yes. Do I feel surrounded by kids sold enough to be my own children? Yes. Does that intimidate me? Hell yeah! Being surrounded by a bunch of “grade school” kids who have barely come out of high school and are used to atmosphere of education scared the crap out of me.

You would think with my years of experience in the ‘real’ world, such as being married, raising a child, being in the military, working full time, that all this would be easy. Nope. Not easy at all.


How did I start my first day of school? I woke up at 2:30am in a sweat and twisted in damp sheets. I couldn’t get back to sleep. Several hours later I was dressing for my first day I slammed my little toe on the heavy wood dresser in our bedroom. Needless to say the pain was so excruciating I thought I broke it. I hobbled around with throbbing pain in my left foot and managed to finish getting dressed. My ’92 Honda is standard so my painful foot and the clutch added even more joy to my morning. Then there was the walk across the parking lot and the hope of finding my classroom. Fortunately the head of admissions was there and helped me to the room. (A very sweet man with a lovely Manchester accent. Yum.)


As I sat in my seat (yes, I took a seat in the front) I listened to the people around me. The young are always bucking the rules. No matter how simple, easy or logical they are, somebody feels it’s his/her duty to ignore it. The one rule seems to make sense since they made such a point of it during the introduction meeting. This is a technological school so there are lots of computers.

The rule: No food or drinks in any classroom, particularly around the computers. Simple, right? Apparently it is not. The complaints were already starting and the teacher hadn’t come into the room yet.

“Five hours?! You’ve got to be kidding?”

“This is going to be so boring.”

“I already know this stuff.”

And etcetera. The first day of class and they are already complaining about a class they know nothing about.

At the end of the day I found it was longest five hours I have ever spent in a row. I left the building today not feeling very bright any more.

To be continued…


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    • Gemsong profile imageAUTHOR

      Madalain Ackley 

      8 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      Gee... you're making me blush. Shucks.

    • profile image

      Cathleen Maye 

      8 years ago are you amazing. I always knew you could write but you have the unique ability to hook in the reader and keep them interested. I can't wait to read more of your adventures and good luck with the rest of your classes. Your excitement is contagious!


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