Thursday, August 27, 2009

Freshman redux.

I'm not posting about vacation because it was...overwhelming. It served its purpose, but there was one day where we slept 13 hours straight because we were so worn out, days that are a total blur for one reason or another, and stories that still need to be confirmed by actual eye witnesses. Then we came home, and it was as if I was dumped into someone else's life. I had so much to take care of and so much bad crap poured on me that I spent the next two weeks afraid to leave the house for fear of just One More Bad Thing occurring

I seem to have left most of the bad stuff behind (even if the aftershocks will be felt for a couple more months/years) and I started school on Wednesday. College is college, there's much that hasn't changed. I'm still wondering which syllabus I'll lose first. Books are still more expensive than most surgeries. But when I was in school the first time cell phones were rare. Now everyone has them, and the minutes before class are spent furiously texting. CD players have been replaced with iPods. Mercifully, all my syllabi are online, so I don't have to make copies at the library like I used to. I didn't realize the leaps technology has made until yesterday.

My homework is all online, which isn't entirely new to me. But my B.A. is Sociology. Lots of lectures, discussions, and papers. Now I'm in the hard sciences, which I take with a little more pride and a lot more electronic obligation. My professors will post homework on the website in advance, but all this does is make me feel like I'm going to miss something, like I should be refreshing the school website with the same frantic regularity as my Facebook page. At my first college my huge lecture classes came with three or four TAs and very little homework. Now there are fewer TAs and buckets of work along with the courses. Or so it seems. How would I even know? I can't remember the type of work my Engineer major friends were doing, or how often they actually had to turn in homework assignments. I can't even remember the sort of work required for my first math class in college, which was more about solving puzzles than actual applications of algebra.

Underneath the feelings of dread over my classes, I'm also really excited. The other day someone told me that with my major I will have no trouble finding a job. They said this without sarcasm, without precluding their statement with "What are you going to do with that, teach?" I still have to explain what my major is about, but my explanations are met with appreciative nods rather than snarky chuckles. My history teacher today actually said, "Where are my poor people, my liberal arts majors?" and I nearly died from relief over not having raise my hand to put myself in that category.