College after college

January 19, 2012

Day 18

I’m back in college. No I’m not going for my master’s or anything useful. Since I graduated with my degree 4 years ago I’ve taken at least one college class almost every semester. I just love learning. That doesn’t make me a nerd. I’m just trying to avoid getting a real job.

The semester after graduation I enrolled in a Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Spanish 1 class at my local community college. I took Photoshop and Dreamweaver with my dad and Spanish 1 with my sister. Only one of us finished all the classes. Like you need to guess who. The Photoshop class was a mistake because I already had a lot of experience editing my photography with this program. I thought the class would have progressed into something more advanced. Nope. Waste of time. The web-programming class was with a first year professor and he was all over the place. I didn’t make a website or retain anything useful. You think after that experience I would have given up on continuing my learning. However, my Spanish class was amazing. It was immersed learning style, which I’ve come to believe is the best way to learn a language. Basically the professor talks in Spanish as much as possible and you kind of feel like you are flailing to keep your head above water, but there is no way better way to learn to swim than jumping in the deep end… at least that is what my parents thought.

The following semester I moved towns and went to another community college. This time I took German and a Best Film Directors class. I enjoyed both classes. German felt slow compared to the sink or swim Spanish class I just took. There wasn’t enough German talk. It was like German culture class. I even had to do a German presentation in English. What’s the point in that?

The best directors class was fascinating. Only problem was that it was a night class that was 4 hours long. After a 2 hour lecture the lights were turned off and the feature film was played. While Maltese Falcon is a critically acclaimed film it was slow, old, and in black and white so I might have had a few drool spots on my notebook on a couple occasions. This class did spark an interests in exploring the classics. For example, yesterday I just finished 12 Angry Men. I did fall asleep the first night, but made it through the second. I’ve realized that movies without explosions or car chases need be to watched before 9pm and sitting in a theater not laying down in bed. Next on my list is Casablanca. If you have any recommendations let me know.

Semester 3. German again. You must be thinking why German? Well during this time I was living in Germany. The worst thing about this class was the German teacher. He was brutal. He assigned us to memorize a Bible verse or worship song. I asked if I could do a non-worship song. At first he said no, but then I reminded him that he let someone else in class recite Shakespeare. Nothing like pressuring your teacher. What a mistake. So I memorized Komm Gib Mir Deine Hande (I want to hold your hand) by The Beatles. I hate speaking in front of people, but I had spent a lot of time memorizing this song. When my turn finally came I walked to the front of the class and started reciting the lyrics. The teacher made me stop and told me he expected me to sing it. What?!!! No way. The student who read Shakespeare didn’t use an old english accent (or whatever accent was used back then, Shakespearean?). He was adamant. I’m a terrible singer. I mouth the lyrics at church kind of terrible singer. I quickly made the excuse that I couldn’t sing without music. Then some sadistic bastard in the class pulled up the song on his computer so I could sing for everyone. I should have picked a bible verse. This was by far the most awkward embarrassing moment ever. I talked/sang my way through the song while stopping short of the long notes… Komm gib mir deine haand (my version) komm gib mir deine haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand (Beatles’ version). Damn Beatles. After I sat down cheeks blazing my teacher said “so you aren’t much of a singer are you?”. Oh you couldn’t tell by my desperate plea to not sing?

Years afterwards people would still remind me of that memorable class. My teacher even told me before I left Germany that my voice wasn’t bad, but more my tone. I’m so thankful no one had an iPhone to record with that day.

Semester 4. I was so traumatized that I didn’t take any classes.

Semester 5. A new German teacher was hired. Too many crying students with the last guy. She was super sweet. Too sweet. I didn’t learn much, but she did showed me how to make a Christmas wreath and linzer cookies.

Semester 6. I move back home and fooled myself into thinking I was moving to S.F. in a few months so I shouldn’t take any classes.

Semester 7. I was done fooling myself and enrolled in 3 classes; jazz and ballet dance classes, and web programming. All the classes were a challenge. Ballet isn’t for just twinkle toes. It’s a lot of work to get your legs to stay up high and look graceful. The teacher would have fit in better in Russia. I was actually scared in that class. She had no problem using beginners as an example of what not to do. Jazz class was a blast. I did run into one big dilemma halfway through the semester. Dance recital?! What?! How did I miss this? As if singing in German wasn’t bad enough. Why do I torture myself? Am I subconscious masochist? Nothing like practicing your entrechats during your work break.

My web programming class was nearly as awful. Nothing like being in class with a bunch of computer geeks who already have created 10 websites as shrines for whatever gaming chick they are currently fantasizing about. Are Laura croft and Zelda still hot items? I felt like I was taking a foreign language class where everyone was already fluent. By far this was the most challenging class I’ve ever taken. The class was 4 hours and I made sure to do as much homework as I could during the 2 hour lab time. So after everyone skipped out I’d be the last one asking question after question. It just wasn’t clicking. At first the teacher appreciated my persistence till halfway through the semester when I was the only one preventing him from going home early. I hate HTML codes!!! Damn you nerds. I was successful in Flash but of course he hardly knew anything about the program so therefore only gave it 2 weeks of lectures. Ugh.

Semester 8. Wow this is getting to be a long blog. Next up. French 2, History of rock and jazz, and guitar. Even though I’ve completed French 4 that was 8 years ago and they’ve canceled French 3 & 4. Sad. French was a fun class. Great teacher. This class was so goofy that it made it easy to speak in French without reserve.

History of rock and jazz is an amazing class. I learned so much about the birth and evolution of the music we now enjoy. I didn’t know I could love jazz.

Guitar. I took this class with my sister and we were both glad when it was over since we just wanted to be able to strum along to some of our favorite songs not listen to music theory and sheet reading. Also, we had to perform at the end of the class. Again? By now you think I’d be a pro at performing. Wrong. I picked a Dylan song which I refused to sing along with. My sis picked Justin Bieber and got the crowd to sing along. Ham!

Semester 9. I decided to explore the art realm that semester. I took ceramics and print making. These were my favorite classes. I did get a little hung up trying to throw on the wheel. Who wants to make pots anyways? Printmaking is my new calling. If you are unsure what this is imagine an old clothes ringer except you pull inked plates with paper through it. That gave you a clear picture, right? This class made me think that I might be an artist. I’m obviously not a numbers person.

Semester 10. This semester I decide to stick with something I’m good at, printmaking. I love it. I also want to get into the glass blowing class. I’m at the only community college that provides this glass blowing. I really hope that some people bail so I can get it. I mean it is super dangerous and you can’t make pipes so half these people taking my slot should just drop now.

I understand that if I would have just invested the same amount of time to one subject I could have achieved a masters already and maybe be on my way to a doctorate. Where’s the fun in that? Who wants to get a real job and not have time for taking elective classes? Next semester wine making?

This is how the songs is supposed to song.

machine monster at work

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