Education

As BG's graduation looms, I keep promising her that I'll post and I keep wanting to post about my education. For those of you unaware, I have been to just about every single college in America. I finished high school in 1995 and I haven't been able to find a college that works for me since then. Sometimes I gave up trying but I always come back to thinking it's important to finish my degree. Why haven't I done it then?

I'm so glad you asked.

It's because I get bored. I don't do well with standard semesters. They are long, drudging, boring, slow, horrible weeks and by week 5 I'm boredboredbored. It's not that I don't learn things when I'm in class. It's just that I can learn them faster at home with the book. I always thought it would be great if they would just give me the book, a person to ask questions and let me take the tests. After all, if I could prove that I had the knowledge--why did I need to be in class? Clearly that's not a typical arrangement.

So, there I was. College after college of trying and trying. It was a bit insane, actually, trying the same thing and expecting different results. I kept thinking that if I was medicated (for ADD) or if I just had professors I liked or if I just didn't have to work--then! then, I'd finish. I'd be able to do a full semester.

I'm here to tell you, traditional education is not for everyone. And I am a "not everyone."

I went on this way for years wasting money and time until someone said to me, "Maybe college isn't for you." and I thought to myself, "No! No! I have to finish!" It was such a strong reaction that I surprised even myself. After all, it was the source of horrible frustration and embarrassment that I wasn't able to finish. I was educationally impotent and it was just as embarrassing.

Then I moved to Montana. When I got here, I decided that I was going to try again. One day I was talking to Sandra about my options and she said, "I found a great place to do my Masters. I'm so excited." She asked me to look at it to make sure that she wasn't missing an angle. She knew that I'd tried every type and flavor of university (including online, for-profit) and she knew I could spot something fishy.

As it turns out, Saundra is just as smart and careful as we all give her credit for. The school she was considering was Western governors University. It's a not-for-profit, accredited, totally online university that allows you to work towards your degree based on a series of objective exams. Which you can take in ANY order on ANY timeframe you choose. When you're ready, you test. And you can do as many classes (tests) in a 6-month period as you'd like. For one, flat-rate tuition fee.

Do you hear the angels singing? Because I did.

So, on March 1st I started classes with WGU. And I've finished 3 classes so far. A nd I have another test to pass on Monday. I'm flying through undergrad credits based on information I already have. Not sissy information. Not crappy tests that are made to be easy. Kick-butt tests that require me to study, remember and stretch to pass. But I pass them.

I get to study anytime I choose, test anytime the testing center is open and get all the help I need with the coursework. The program is scheduled to take me about 3.5 years. But, based on my progress so far, I'm going to be done in about 2-2.5! I'm doing it!

I know that most of you are traditional university students and I so respect you for being able to do that. But it's not for me. But that doesn't rule out education in general and that makes me thrilled that Al Gore invented the Internet.

All Hail Al.

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1 comments:

Boo said...

I am so proud of you. I had no idea you had already finished THREE classes! That is amazing. Finishing a degree in 2-2.5 years is terrific, the perfect length of time.:)Hang in there. Time passes so quickly and before you know it--you're done and throwing yourself on the mercy of prospective employers but you already know about that except you're the employer. You're so ahead of your time.
I love your comment about Al Gore. After inventing the inernet let's see if he can reverse the effects of global warming.

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