It’s over! And it’s about to begin again…

"Blind" contour drawing of my hand from day one...

“Blind” contour drawing of my hand from day one…

Drawing of my hand on the final day of class...improvement?

Drawing of my hand on the final day of class…improvement?

Finished with my first semester, and got my grades. But then life got busy, and I haven’t had a chance to update.

First, off, I got As in both my classes. Go me! Of course, I can’t help but think that one of the classes was simply graded by “feelings” as opposed to any sort of rubric. The teacher seemed to think that we had bonded (she told me all sorts of private things about her life and then tried to hug me), and I know someone else who is a magnificent artist who only got a B in her class.

My first semester of art classes are done. Sort of. So if I got an A, it was definitely for effort. In the other class, I do think I earned it, especially since I was one of the only students who actually fulfilled the requirement for all the assignments. That’s an A I think I deserved, even if my work wasn’t the best in the class. Of course, that was also the class that actually had a rubric and critiques and feedback. Mostly.

Now, Christmas break is almost over. The college re-opens on the 5th. Classes begin on the 20th.

My new schedule is only two days a week this time, but they are full day. I’ll be in class from 9:30 to 12:20 and then from 1 to 3:50. My mornings will be full of Design II (3-D Design), and my afternoons will be metal-working and jewelry. Should be fun. Should be challenging. Should let me learn a lot of great new things to work on.

Neither of the courses actually count towards my degree, other than giving me credit hours. But I think that they will help me have a more well-rounded art degree. Especially because I do have to take sculpture and ceramics as part of the degree, so it makes sense (to me) to take a 3D design class if I’ll be making 3D designs. And the jewelry and metal-working? Who wouldn’t take that?

Why should you bother reading yet another blog on higher education?

Kate at Grad
I will explain. No, wait, that will take too long. Let me sum up.

First – I loved my first high school. Private. Catholic. All girls. You’d think I’d probably have hated it, especially since I hated the Catholic school I went to from fourth to eighth grade, but this school was different. Hard classes. Hours and hours of homework. I even swapped out my study hall period for Latin, so I was taking both Spanish and Latin. And almost all of our teachers were nuns. (Yes, I was learning Latin from a nun.)

But then it happened. My parents ran out of money. I went back to public school. And it sucked. It was boring. It was easy. No one cared what I did there, and I slowly slipped out of caring myself.

Then more stuff happened. In my sophomore year, I had the nerve to get tonsillitis repeated. Even though I had received excellent grades, and even though I had plenty of notes from my doctors, the school determined that my absences were “chargeable,” and they failed me for missing too much school. Whoops. I caught up. But then, in my junior year, I foolishly let myself get strep throat repeatedly. Again, my school decided that I should be punished for getting sick. Again, I failed classes that I had been receiving A’s in because I spent too much time with a high fever and being contagious.

I rallied, though! I would pass! I would get through it!

Senior year. Weird stomach issues (that have repeated throughout my life and still never been figured out). By the time it hit Thanksgiving, I had missed too many days again. And I was going to fail. Again. I did the only thing I could think of; I dropped out.

I got my GED before the rest of my class graduated. I had no urge to go back to school after that. Completely unattractive to me.

Somehow, though, I got convinced to try again. I went to a local community college in my home state. Took two classes. Failed one, passed the other. The one I failed? It was because I had gotten sick, and I didn’t know to talk to my teacher. Although I couldn’t help but feel that if I had been older, I might have gotten by. Why? On the first night of class, the teacher got up and announced, loudly, how much she preferred night classes to day classes because the students at night were older and wiser. She spent a good ten minutes making fun of how her younger students were stupid and ignorant. Oh, yeah. That felt good.

So how did I wind up where I am today? And where am I today?

That’s right – today I have an AA in General Studies. A BS in Information Technology. An MA in Liberal Arts. An MA in English Lit. A Post-Master’s Certificate in College Teaching. Forty-eight hours at the doctoral level in Post-Secondary and Adult Education. And, as of the end of this month, I’ll have an MFA in Creative Writing.

Crazy. Absolutely crazy. And also some good reasons as to why you should come on back and check me out next week.