Because I work at a community college, I have the opportunity to take any of the offered courses on a seat-available basis. This was one of the first things that I was told when I was going over my compensation with HR, and I brushed off the thought. I had just graduated college less than a month before I started working, and was not looking to be back in a classroom anytime soon.
A few weeks into the job I was thinking about that little perk and decided to investigate. I knew I could use some more HTML and CSS knowledge, mostly because I had been trying to teach myself the language in my spare time at work, which I was (thankfully!) running out of each day, but also because I knew that a solid foundation in HTML and CSS would help me in my current job, and jobs in the future. I decided to look through the Fall ’13 course catalog to see what was offered, and saw Web Publishing – R 6pm-9pm. I skimmed the course description and thought about my daily schedule (wake up, work, exercise (or pretend to), shower, TV, sleep) and realized that I could use a bit more structure. And with 12 available seats in the class, I decided to jump in.
Classes started this week and I was surprised at how quickly I forgot the little things about college classes. I didn’t even think to look if there was any required reading for the first lecture, nor did I bother to check the room number, or textbook prices. I could tell I would be off to a great start. I also had to figure out what I would do with the awkward hour and a half between the end of work and the start of class, which lead me to do a little wandering around the campus and eating dinner. I know that with time I will establish a routine – perhaps even go to the gym!
I also forgot about that awkward first-day-of-class dance that we all do: picking the seat. It’s a big deal. You don’t want to be too far forward to seem too eager, or too far back to look lazy, and you risk most of your grade by sitting alone or next to someone that can be your study buddy down the road. Because I was there earlier than about half the class, I ended up alone. Maybe I sent out “she doesn’t even go here” vibes as a non-student.
What was especially nice about the class was that when the professor began to discuss his grading policy, I got to ignore it (and not in the way that I used to ignore it in undergrad!). I was taking this class strictly to learn, and not to be graded. It was a pretty neat feeling, and something I had never experienced before. Even my “easy” classes in undergrad had an element of pressure from the grading scale, but this class is completely worry-free.
I won’t bore you with the details of my three hour long class, but I will say that it’s nice to be back in a classroom. It moved a little slow, but it was only the first day, and so I expect the pace to pick up a bit as the year goes on. It will be nice to have some formal teaching in HTML and CSS that I can reference down the road as I (most likely…) continue to work online.
CIS 113 —- You should never stop learning!