Remaining positive for the
new draft of my college memoir
All I needed was time. But that’s what I lacked. Or so it seemed. Many times, the older students have fulltime jobs and/or a family to care for.
I fell under the “family” category—all five of them. As I’ve said before, my oldest daughter is special needs. She required more of my time for her education to be a success. My children were my life. Their future was in my hands. I couldn’t mess it up.
But so was mine. I couldn’t mess up my future, my education either.
So I started studying the college’s idea of basic math that summer before I began college. I bought a used math textbook at the college’s book store and tried to figure out percentages and fractions and basic algebra. I even took the text and a notebook on our family’s camping trip.
Somehow, the math didn’t seem so basic to me.
I drove my poor husband nuts each night for two weeks. After days of hiking the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia with young children, after trying to feed seven people with one old two-burner Coleman stove, after campfires, telling stories and putting them all to bed, he was not in the mood for math. [Imagine that!]
I needed to wait for the basic skills math classes to begin at college.
Luckily, some of that basic math helped out in a funny little requirement called college-level science because there wasn't a basic skills class for science. The only drawback with my college science course was that Chemistry was all new to me. It’s true, ladies and gentlemen; I didn’t know what a periodic table was. And don’t even ask me what all the little numbers meant!
Then there was the literature. No basic skills classes here either. I mean I heard of Shakespeare. Not Homer. Never read either's work. I hadn't even read Hemingway. I didn’t have literature in high school. I didn’t know people wrote books about journeying through Hell. I read mysteries and adventure stories. I needed to start collecting literature and begin reading before classes.
The traditional college students, the ones entering college directly from high school, possessed all this foundation. I couldn’t cope in college without it. I needed to make the time to obtain it.
Did you find your college preparatory classes in high school truly prepared you for college?