College - My First Day

Aug 20, 2019
By: Jerry A. Goodson
In: College

This is a new category on my blog... should be good for the next couple of years, at least.

I started my first day as a college freshman, today.  My oldest son and I are going together... same major, same classes, same professors.  I was an adjunct instructor for a police academy for a few years, but it was for the certificate program and not the academic program.  I had a lot of preconceived notions about how today was going to happen, and they were pretty much right in line with how I thought it was going to be.


I attended the required orientation (part 1 of 2) this past Friday, but I didn't really count that.  It was more of a motivational session for a captive audience than anything... complete with a hired motivational speaker who was probably paid way too much.  Trevor with Train Ugly ( gave an "okay" presentation, but I'm really not a fan of motivational speakers.  I paid attention to what he was saying about "growth mindset" and "zoo tiger vs. jungle tiger," but I was also sitting there thinking about the "fear vs. love" presentation of Jim Cunningham (fictional character played by Patrick Swayze) in Donnie Darko... and about how his house burned down and all the child pornography was discovered in his basement... and the theoretical parallels between this guy before me and the guy I saw in the movie.

Does it seem like I was just rambling?  Yes, I did that on purpose.  That's how and where my mind was going.  Having all of us sit through all the speakers and presentations for a little over three hours with no breaks certainly didn't help.  I got up and went outside to smoke two or three times.  I need to mention that in my evaluation... which I still need to do.  Anyhow, the orientation wasn't even on campus.  The college rents a large church to accommodate the large crowd of us college newbies.  The venue was quite nice!

First Day Picture

Every single year, my wife has insisted on taking pictures of all of our boys on their first day of school.  Of course, she's driven the boys to school on their first day except for one year when she was in Dallas taking care of her father.  I filled in for her that year.  Well, she insisted Boogie and I get our picture taken on our first day...


...and there it is.  I'm going to insist this should be good for each year, and not each semester.  Boogie and I are college freshmen, and another picture shouldn't be warranted until we are college sophomores!


Only one of our professors went into any lecture/course material, today.  I was glad she did, because I'm ready to get started.  For all the other classes, I'm hoping today was the final "get ready."  We've been spending the past couple of months getting ready to get ready.  I swear, there should be a degree in nothing more than preparing to go to college!

We're only taking twelve hours this semester ("only"), and that's four classes.  We started three classes today, but our fourth class doesn't start for two more weeks.  We're majoring in "Social Science Studies," which we picked because of all the Associate's in Arts degree programs we reviewed, that one required the least amount of math, yet remained versatile for pursuing further education.  

My first impression for each class is as follows:

Composition I - I love writing, and I look forward to learning new ways to write.  Our class is quite full, and seems a little crowded, but the professor is articulate and I can hear her without straining.  We spent today's session going over the syllabus, expectations, and the normal "orientation" type stuff, but the professor gave a good introduction to how the course was going to flow.  I believe I'm going to enjoy this course.

Federal Government - This session closely mirrored our first session, but the professor gave us a reading assignment.  Actually, the professor gave us standing assignments from our syllabus and indicated she expected us to have our reading assignments read before we attended class.  In other words, Chapter 1 in our book is assigned on Thursday, meaning when we show up for class, we should have already read the assignment, because that's what we're going to discuss.  I had a little difficulty hearing the professor over the aged air conditioner unit, but I do believe this will be my favorite class!  

The guy sitting behind me claims to be on a "terrorist watch list" because he participated as a protester in the "Occupy" movement in 2011.  The guy sitting behind him is an Army veteran who was deployed to Afghanistan.  Just from reading Chapter 1 in our textbook, this should be... interesting!  I have a sneaky suspicion this class will be the topic of most of my posts in this category of my blog this semester!

Other than the air conditioner, I didn't care that we were sitting in individual desks instead of table and chairs like the other classes.  

United States History I - This class offered a rocky start for me.  The professor briefly went over her syllabus, expectations, etc., then went right into lecturing.  That was fine with me, except I'm not too crazy about U.S. history prior to the penning of the Declaration of Independence.  When discussing the Native American tribes, I prefer to discuss one tribe at a time.  I am fascinated by the history and culture of each tribe, but it's real easy to get lost in the uniqueness of each tribe when discussing multiple tribes at once.  The professor did point out there were degrees in just studying Native American tribes.  I'm sure Chapter 1 is just getting us through a massive amount of time leading up to the good stuff.  Let's hope!

The professor didn't seem to take any interest in who we were.  She had us come to the front of the class and "sign in."  The other professors called out our names, at the very least, when taking attendance.  I, also, had to strain to hear her over the antiquated air conditioner unit.

Learning Frameworks - We don't start this course for another couple of weeks, so I can't give any impression of this course based on anything beyond the cover of the books we purchased for the course.  I'm going into that course with the preconceived notion that it's like our orientation... only required because someone at the college figured we needed to take this course to be "better students."  If I didn't have to take this course, I wouldn't.  Of course, I'm metaphorically judging the book by its cover.


Boogie and I were a little slow on starting our homework when we got home.  It took a bit to get an area set up for doing homework.  Boogie thought we'd just wait and start on it until tomorrow.  The assignments didn't look like much until we got into them.  We're mostly through, but we still have a few hours to work through before we show back up for class on Thursday.  

I don't believe homework will be as much of a chore once we get settled into a good work routine.


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