Monday, October 22, 2007

College After 50

After being laid-off because my job was relocated to Honduras, I decided to take advantage of the government program allowing me to go back to college and get a degree. At the age of 50+, it’s going to be hard enough to get a job that pays well, especially without a degree.

I have to admit it’s not as hard as I thought it was going to be. Let’s face it, my memory isn’t what it used to be and so I thought there was a good possibility it would be too hard. But so far, so good. I’m taking five courses, finished one (keyboarding) early, about 3 weeks ago and the semester ends December 17, 2007. But I’ve been typing for about 30 years off and on, and the last 20 years pretty steadily. I’m also taking Introduction to Computers, Text Editing and Formatting (another typing class), Expository Writing and Professional Development.

And what is really a shock for me is that my least favorite class is Expository Writing, and I love to write. But I love to write what’s in my head, two to three genres mixed together and this is all about writing essays and sticking to one point. But the writing isn’t what I dislike the most about the class; it’s the feeling of not being organized. To start off, the books weren’t in until about two weeks after class started. I take it online and there’ve been a few communication problems.

Not such a shock is that one of my favorite classes is Introduction to Computers. I love anything to do with computers and I’ve fallen in love Microsoft 2007. I’m about a month ahead in this class and I take it online. My other favorite is Professional Development which I wasn’t sure if I’d like or not since I didn’t really know what it entailed. It’s all about reaching your full potential; intellectually, physically, etc. I’ve found it very interesting and pretty much common sense type studies. I’ve even learned stuff about myself, but the physical stuff has been right up my alley since I’ve been on a diet/exercise program since July. Lost about 30 pounds.

I think I’ve covered all my classes except Text Editing and Formatting. It’s an okay class, pretty easy and I’m almost 2 weeks ahead in this one. I could be further ahead if I did some of the keying at home, but I’m trying to focus on the stuff I have to do at home right now and maybe once I finish the Intro to Computers class, I may try to finish this one up early as well.

Right now, I have an A average in everything except Expository Writing, but I’ve only had one paper and I’m hoping to do better on the second. I made a mid B on it. I’m still fearful though because I had two typing classes and one computer class this time, plus the writing class which I was already somewhat familiar, but next time I will be taking a full load of classes with which I’m not so familiar.

What makes it a bit easier or harder—it’s according to how you look at it—I transferred 42 credit hours into the Office Systems Technology curriculum. The only class transfer credit I’m concerned about is Principles of Accounting. I took it in the 1980s. So I may need to borrow the Principles of Accounting book to refresh my memory before I have to take the Accounting class I need next. Looks like that will be in the third semester.

My goals are to get an Associates degree in Office Systems Technology, a diploma in Medical Office Administration, and a Level I certificate in Accounting, and finish college in the summer semester of 2009—2 full years from the start. After that, I’d like to get a position in the Business Office at the Veterans Administration Hospital near my home, preferrably in medical billing, medical insurance, payroll or some other type of accounting.

Wish me luck. I’m already feeling the anxiety for next semester even though I have a little less than two months before I finish this one. Pushing onward.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Kim, I enjoyed reading about your experiances with returning to school after 50. I'm in the same boat, I've lost my job and cannot find another one that pays me well with out a degree. I was just searching the internet for other 50 year olds in the same situation in hopes of erasing some of the fear that I have about returning to school. Reading your blog has made me feel a little better and to go for it!!! Nila

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!