Saturday, January 8, 2022

Personal: College again!

St Pete College
Spring Session 2022

I have enrolled in college - again! 

Why go back to college?

I am doing this for several reasons! 

First, it keeps my mind active. Learning is always a Good Thing(tm). 😁 Enrolling in a formal class allows me to follow knowledge priorities set by someone else.

St. Petersburg College (SPC) caters to a non-traditional student body. In one classroom I found the following age range:

  • In the row in front of me was a 30-year entrepreneur who was sharpening his creative writing skills.
  • Two seats to my left was a high-school student who was in some sort of advanced placement program.
  • On the back row sat a couple who were even older than me! (I was in my 60s.)
  • The rest of the class seemed to be in the 18-22 age range.

Auditing Classes

I am auditing classes. That means I can focus on the course content and not worry about grades. I could pursue a 4-year degree at SPC, but I don't need another diploma for my next job. 

Skills are important! YouTube videos give me just-in-time tutorials when I have to learn a specific task. I find this particularly helpful when I need WordPress or website information. This gives me a narration and I can look over someone's shoulder as they share their screen, mouse, and keyboard.

My Story 

The Classroom is Fun

In the spring of 2020, I was in a video class. It was a great experience. I enjoyed the projects and the peer review of my work. Then, COVID shut down classrooms.

By that fall (2020), SPC was struggling to offer classes. I signed up for an online class - and stopped trying after only a few sessions. My tuition had been waived, and SPC was not going to refund the $50 premium I paid for their "online" classroom. This experience was a really big disappointment.

There were no hybrid classes the following fall (2021) that interested me, so I skipped that session.

Spring, 2022!

SPC is finally getting it right. They offer online only, in-person only, and hybrid/blended classes that are a combination of online and in-person.

I was looking for at least one classroom experience per week. Found it!

Freshman English - "Comp II"

I took an English Literature class a few years ago, and I struggled with an essay assignment. The first challenge was me trying to write what was called a "Thesis Statement." That is something taught in freshman English.

Five decades ago, I had taken freshman English. Back then, I was more interested in arguing with the professor instead of trying to learn the subject matter. (Uh... "Why is this important?")

"Comp I" was available, but the SPC advisor said that was probably too basic for me. I enrolled in 2nd-semester freshman English as a Septuagenarian!

The class meets once a week, late on Friday mornings. There is also an online component that I don't yet understand.

Here is a link to my classwork: 

UPDATE: This 8-minute Jordan Peterson video helped me put this course in context: 

SPC is (mostly) free to me

Finally, my total out-of-pocket cost to register for this class is $9, and there is no textbook that I absolutely need.

Students over 60 years old can have their tuition waived at public colleges and universities in Florida. They still have to pay lab fees, buy their books, and cover any nuisance fees. 

I wrote about this in 2017: FYI: Free College!

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