Back to School

I apologize for the recent lack of posts. It’s been a busy couple of weeks. In addition to working to meet some pretty important deadlines at work, working on a contract programming job after work, providing some support for the recent release of my open source project, xajax, and fulfilling family responsibilities, I started school again last week.

I dropped out of college after 1999 with only three classes remaining to complete my bachelors degree in English Literature. Life had become much more complicated than it had been before and budgets significantly more involved.

Three years ago I completed one of the classes I need to finish as an online, independent study course offered by the university. Another course can also be completed online, budgets permitting, but the third is not offered by the independent study program. It is available, however, as an open enrollment night class.

So last Tuesday I left work a little early to drive over to the university, as I will continue to do every Tuesday and Thursday until the middle of April, to attend my first college class in five years: Spanish 315 . The university requires a certain degree of study in a foreign language to graduate in English, and despite the fact that I lived in Santiago Chile speaking Spanish for nearly two years, and despite having followed those two years with another two years in the university’s foreign language housing program, speaking both Spanish and Portuguese on a daily basis, and despite having taken Old English, which compared to modern English is practically a foreign language, I have to take Spanish 315 to graduate.

It is an odd feeling attending a class where the majority of my classmates were likely in the first grade when I first started at BYU in 1993.

Night courses for non students like me will cost you your liver and a lung compared to the per-credit price of being an accepted full-time student. They are even more expensive than the online, independent study courses.

Once I complete this semester, however, I only have to finish the one remaining English class via online course, and I will finally graduate. It has been a long 12 years since that first semester in 1993, but I appreciate school more now. If I graduate in August or December of 2006 it will have been 13 years.

This is also a great opportunity to make some observations about the current use of educational technology and educational methodologies at the university in preparation for the extra exciting, super-secret project I have in the works. I’ll tell you more about it when it is closer to ready.

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