In case I haven’t mentioned it, I have a previous education at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, a bachelor’s degree in journalism/PR. (Go Indians, er, Red Wolves!)
While I was there in the mid 90s, the whole “non-traditional student” thing was starting to be a big deal.
The phrase brings a single memory – Biology class.
There, one of these “non-trads,” a forty-something mom type, completely monopolized the class. She sat in the front row of the gargantuan lecture hall, the largest of any class I had before or since, and asked question after question after question. This wouldn’t have bothered me so much if 1) the questions were relevant, and 2) this wasn’t a lecture-only class, with no use of the $150 book we all purchased. I broke my toe with that one, too, but that’s another story.
The professor, a smart but blunt woman, finally asked her politely to can it and make an appointment if she wanted to chat.
Now, I’m the non-traditional student. I told myself up front, no matter how much I wanted to learn, I wasn’t going to be that lady. I do like to sit up front, though. I always have, so I guess it doesn’t count any more against me now.
Non-traditional students are no strangers to Pulaski Tech, which has an average student age of 28. I’ve found this to be very true in the classes of the Arkansas Culinary School, and in a good way. Each class has several not-fresh-out-of-high-school types, each with his or her own life experiences to bring to the cutting board. While some took up culinary for charitable work, others with not-so-small dreams of opening their own restaurants and such. That reminds me, the college has strong ties to charity, so if you’re seeking to raise money for your sorority (for more info, check https://community.chipotle.com/resources/raise-more-funds/how-to-raise-money-for-your-fraternity-or-sorority/), now is the time.
One big difference in college life I’ve noticed already, in only my second week, is the weight of responsibility outside the classroom. The first time around, I only had to worry about myself. Sleep a couple of hours, drag myself out of the dorm and attend class. Now, I have to get kids to school, take care of the house, help the hubs with whatever, feed everyone, and then worry about college.
And somehow, I think in some ways it’s going to be easier. This time, I know better how to manage my time. And it doesn’t hurt that I’m studying food, which is such a passion that it doesn’t even feel like studying. Even foodservice sanitation.
The current struggle this week is deciding what to do when a member of the family is sick. My kids are recovering from a stomach bug, and the hubs thinks he’s coming down with it, too.
I remember calling one of my professors in college way back, telling him I had a stomach bug (I really did, and a doozy). I don’t think he believed me, but I missed one lecture and caught up fairly quickly. This time, missing one session means missing lecture and several hours in the kitchen. What to do? I guess we’ll see how tomorrow morning goes.
No matter what, I’m excited to be a (gulp) non-traditional student. Just drop a Biology book on my foot if I ask too many questions.
College can be so exciting, but there is always that thing of your head… student loans! I know I’m older but I still needed to go for a student loan, can’t run a family and study without some help along the way, however, I did hear about SoFi and how you can refinance student loans with them when you are finished, so you can save thousands of pounds on them! I know it’s early days, but I’m always planning.