back home

March 30, 2005

That Piece of Paper Feels Great!!

Well, today is my last day of school!! Well, the last day until I start to work on my next degree.

As of today, I have my Associates of Arts in General Studies with University of Phoenix - Online. I have loved everything about University of Phoenix...except for the price. We are talking about $1380 a class. I only get $5000 a year from work for school. That's only 4 classes a year with me putting about $500 out of pocket, not including books. But UoP fits me very well.

First of all, I have a very short attention span. Each UoP class is only 5 weeks long! That fits me perfectly. It's fast paced and I'm getting that instant result - the grade in 5 weeks. And I can sign on and work on school work whenever I want - there's no set time or schedule that I have to be in class. It's also very discussion based, which is the best way for me to learn. I like to talk about things and relate it to stuff I already know. Everything we do we can relate and apply it to our work environment. I really feel like I've learned a lot.

UoP doesn't really do tests. We have several papers due throughout the 5 weeks and then usually 1-2 Power Point Presentations. The rest is all discussion based, answering specific discussion questions, reading the text, and then sometimes there may be a couple of "regular" assignments. I definitely learn a lot more by writing a paper about something then by taking a test. If I take a test, I know I will just cram the night before, memorize anything I need, and then if there is no way for me to apply it....I'll forget it and never use it again.

With this being said, I have Momma Bou and her real sister Morrigan pushing me to choose a different path. A path more like a local college or university. They both think I need the "in the classroom experience". Morrigan thinks it'll help me meet people, be more social, and meet cute college boys. She says I need to live my "wild college years" now.

I did live one semi-wild mild college year. Let's go back in history here a little bit.

Throughout high school, I was a great student and very involved in extra curricular activities. I made great grades without having to study. It didn't take a lot of effort for me to make good grades.

I then received multiple local and university scholarships to attend the University of Missouri - Columbia as a Music Education major - 2000 miles away from my family. My school counselor signed me up for 18 units! I have no idea what she was thinking. My first semester schedule consisted of English, Psychology, Music Theory, Sight Singing, Clarinet Instruction, Piano, Marching Band, Intro to Education, and Performance Evaluations.

Guess What??? In might need to study and/or attend classes to maintain good grades. My first semester was really hard on me. I was a big shot before - top musician, top student, etc. In college, I wasn't anything! I had a terrible roommate in the dorm and had to wait several months until I could talk my CA into moving me into a different room with a new roommate. I would find any excuse not to attend classes and I would never study.

After my first semester, I was put on academic probation. When I returned, I had only 16 units but was still overwhelmed. Who was the one that thought of 8am classes?

This is making a very long year of college with tons of stories, very short. I'm sure I have many more posts in the future of my college escapades that year. Although, believe it or not, I was not a huge partier....I just couldn't get into the college routine.

Well, when I returned home to California for the summer, I got a letter in the mail, basically kicking me out of school. Um, imagine living with a Marine 1st Sgt father when that letter came in the mail. Let's just say they weren't good times!

I got two jobs and started going to community college when I could. Although I didn't do as bad in community college, I still had the attendance/studying issues.

So, as you can see, I am very happy that I finally have my Associates - even though it has taken me 6 years.

Now, what to do next?? Do I stay with UoP where I know I am successful and get great grades? Or do I take a chance and go to a ground campus at a university. Next question, what do I major in? (I still have no clue)

I have a little bit of time to decide this. I'd like to start back again this fall, but with me moving and if I get this other position, I'll need to concentrate on those things for a little bit. So I believe, whatever school I choose, I will start in January. Plus, if I decide to go to a local school (if I could even get in), I'd have to wait until January anyway so I could have in-state tuition.

So, Bou and Morrigan have me doing some serious thinking. But until I make a decision, it's time to CELEBRATE! :-) Hopefully it won't be another 6 years for me to get my Bachelors in who knows what.

Posted by Sissy at March 30, 2005 04:46 PM