Over the past couple of days, my family has helped me realize that I’m looking at this whole going back to school thing the wrong way–rather than focusing on how much I don’t fit in, I need to be extremely grateful for this opportunity I have to be going back.
This last year or so…well, I’ve been living in a way that wouldn’t be good for anybody. I’ve been sitting home alone, only leaving the house enough to for the dogs to take care of their needs, and to buy groceries. Rather than fight my agoraphobia, I’ve been feeding it. So, it’s no wonder that all of a sudden I’m stressed and disoriented being around hundreds of other people.
So, from here on out, I’m going to try to minimize my discomfiture, and focus, at least when talking about school, the more positive aspects.
I had my first class from UVU today (the classes that will get me on campus the other four days of the week are being taught by LDS Institute) –I was so late in registering, that the only way I could get into my classes was to take them on the weekend.
This was the class I was most worried about, English 1010. It’s a course that is required of everyone, and when I took (and failed) it at USU, it was full of jocks and people (like me) who were just out of high school.
Fortunately for me, most little 18 year olds aren’t going to be taking a class, even a required class that is only once a week, and ends at 6:30 on a Friday. There were a few, but for everyone fresh out of high school, there was somebody over the age of 25–including a woman who was brave enough to admit that her children were teenagers.
I left that class today feeling much more confident both in my abilities as a writer, and about going back to school in general.
And it didn’t hurt that I finally managed to locate the Jamba Juice that I spotted on the campus tour, and promptly forgot where it was. Finding the Jamba Juice may or may not have been my unofficial goal for the week…
Don’t worry, Mom, I know that I can’t afford either the money or the calories that come with having a smoothie even once a week. And while the Jamba Juice is located in the same building as my two on-campus classes, it was closed by the time I got out of class, and I don’t know if it’ll be open for my class tomorrow.
Speaking of my class tomorrow–who in their right mind takes an Art History class at 8am on a Saturday?
Oh, that’s right, someone who didn’t get registered soon enough to take it at a more decent hour. I seriously hope I’ll be able to stay awake.
Apparently, I suck at reading official documents.
I knew that when I applied to SLCC that I’d have to take a test. I apparently overlooked the part of the admissions application for UVU that said I had to take a test there, too.
So, a month of (not) preparing for school later, I re-read the acceptance email I got, and found out that yes, in fact, I do have to take a test. Crap.
The test was to make sure I didn’t need remedial math or english classes, which, I’m happy to report, I do not.
I’m not thrilled with how I did, but mostly that’s because I’m a good test taker. I’m especially confused at my dissapointment in my english scores, because they were quite literally off the charts.
Of course, I’m the girl who was disappointed when she took standardized tests in elementary and high school, and got lower than a 90th percentile.
The math section was first–I would have done much better if the english section was first, but, what can you do? The proctor told us that there were up to four increasingly difficult sections, and, your score would determine if you moved on to the next section. I did three, although, I was just guessing on most questions towards the end.
Part of it was knowing how to take a test. For instance, one of the questions was something along the lines of “Charlie has 60 minutes to complete a test that has 75 questions. How many questions should he plan on answering in each 10 minute interval to complete the test?”
The meta nature of story problem about a test aside, I could look at the multiple choice answers and see that there was only one that was above 10, and therefor was the one that was correct. There were other questions where I guessed which of the multiple choice answers was most likely to be correct, then plugged them into the equation to figure out if they indeed worked.
A few other questions I found interesting, if for all the wrong reasons. One was something along the lines of “Catherine is making a 9 square lap quilt. She needs 1 1/8 yards of dark fabric, 1 3/4 yards of light fabric, and 1 3/4 yards of backing. How many total yards of fabric does Catherine need?”
And of course there isn’t any place to answer that what Catherine really needs is a new pattern, because the one she has either produces a lot of waste, or she won’t have enough fabric for the back of the quilt.
Near the end of the math section, right before my brain shut down completely (actually, this might just have been the moment it shut down completely) the question was regarding finding the area of a circle. The question explained that A=πr² and, reading that in my head as “area equals pi r squared” I had that stereotypical breakdown of “pie sounds good right now. I want pie.”
The english section was much easier, and thankfully free of questions regarding the elements of grammar. Because, frankly, I don’t know the difference between a participle and a gerund, but I know how to use them. Heck, there are days when I struggle to remember which words are the verbs and which are the adjectives.
I don’t really know what my scores mean, I’ll have to talk to an admissions advisor for that. After, you know, first figuring out who my admissions advisor is and where to find his or her office.
Honestly, just going out and taking this test was huge for me. I don’t like people, and I don’t like being put on the spot. Today I faced both.
I had the thought the other day that I’m tired of being afraid all the time. I’m tired of not being able to go anywhere or do anything because there might be other people there. I was thinking about this, and the scripture popped into my head “perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4:18). So my scripture study for the past few days has been about courage, and overcoming fear. Which has been interesting, because I spent a lot of time studying those exact topics on my mission, so I have insights noted in the margins of my scripture that I forgot I had.
I know that I’m not going to overcome my fears without facing them head on, but often times, it’s that first step that’s the hardest. I’m grateful for family members who will encourage, support, and kick me when needed to take that first step. I really am blessed.
And I’m still craving pie.
I made it to church today, at least to Sacrament Meeting.
I have a hard time with church during the summer, well, a harder time. The schedule flips around, so rather than having sacrament first, Relief Society is first, and sacrament is last.
It’s a lot easier for me to go if I know I can slip out after Sacrament and not attend the other meetings, than just coming at the proper time for sacrament.
Our meetings are combined with two other wards, also, so there were a LOT of people there. I don’t do well with a lot of people. I kept reminding myself that I was in the very best place, doing the very best thing to combat my agoraphobia.
At least, I think I survived it. It was only at my folk’s house for a little bit, then we moved it down to the park. I left about the time the Easter egg hunt started. The party hasn’t moved back here, and I don’t know if it will.
But, I’ve survived. More importantly, Max survived without snapping at anybody (he really doesn’t like little hands, and some of those little hands haven’t been around dogs enough to realize that growling means “back off”.) And Megan, my aunt’s–gah, I don’t know how old she is, probably 16 or more, chow mixed survived–though she had a look of confusion on her face as to what this little black and white thing was, and why it kept barking at her.
I’m grateful for a good family that will let me go off and hide when things get too overwhelming. I’m a little upset with myself that I need too–I found myself wondering if I can’t handle my own extended family, how in the world can I handle in-laws. This could very well be an issue–I want a Mormon guy, and the stereotypes about Mormon’s having bigger families than the Catholics are true. (Again, part of the problem. I love my family, but–small doses. Please.)
No, I’m glad I got to see everyone, and I’m glad I was able to help out. I had more interaction this year than I did last year, so I guess I could consider it a personal success.