When I graduated from High School, I had been told my entire life that a diploma was what separated me from the jobless and being a bum.  Then my senior year they came up with the Good Enough Diploma, err, I mean the General Equivalency Diploma which allowed dropouts to take an exam and bypass the four years of work and time necessary to get a diploma.  In other words, we lowered the bar.  I thought about college but when I asked my mother at one point about going to the local community college and she laughed.   So I never asked or thought about it again.  This was the last time I thought about it.

Until I moved to California and met Jeanne A.  who was the mother of my then girlfriend who was in her late 30’s and I was like 24.  Jeanne was going back to school at American River College in 1993 and I went with her one day and registered because she kept pestering me and finally said she would pay tuition and buy my book.  Not knowing what to take, I took English 1a thinking I would get the classes I didn’t think I would like out of the way.  It was also a way to tank the class, thinking that I couldn’t handle college level writing.  I didn’t.  The teacher liked my writing even if she disagreed with almost every idea.  My classmates loved my writing style and I helped half of them learn to use Word Perfect for DOS to write their papers.  And I Aced the class.  I was stunned because I did all of the writing and the homework while working full time and spending hours commuting on foot.  It felt awesome so I took English 1b.

But the other students were just astoundingly poor readers and writers which frustrated and angered me because they said I was arrogant because I used big words and wrote in such a precise and wordy style.  When pressed they meant being descriptive, using the English language to its fullest. Using the term that best fit the idea I was trying to convey and writing how I think, feel and ultimately speak.  People who know me through Facebook will realize this immediately when we meet in person.  What you see is what you get, maybe a little toned down.  I am sure if Randy R. reads this, he will remember a time at some fast food place where I almost gave a woman PTSD because of the topic of conversation.  I tend to do that sometimes, it really is a side effect of Asperger’s and I am sure is why my childhood was so unpleasant because I also had very little impulse control.  But I digress.  So I used an excuse and dropped the class, with a W on the transcript.  That was like 1993, right after Bill Clinton took office.

For most of my life, I worked a dead end minimum wage or slightly higher job.  Always doing something that would cause me to either quit or be asked to not come back.  Often it came because I would irritate coworkers or do something that they misread or misunderstood.  It was not an easy time in my life.  If it were not for a local BBS, called Afterlife and a couple of friends, Mykl and Mark B., I am not sure how I would have survived most of that time.  There was also Rob, Jennifer and Xavier who were my neighbors and people for a incredible period of my life, where I managed to survive on my own, just barely.  I finally began to connect with more people in real life.  I started meeting people from Afterlife and at bars and found friends.  And I drank like a college kid and lived life in the moment, spending incredible time with my friends.  And I had so many different circles and groups of friends, often with very few circles knowing each other.

In 2009, I decided to take the Cisco classes at American River and took full time units in IT stuff.  I was not prepared for the Cisco Class and fulltime college.  The first semester kicked my ass and it was all I could do to maintain a C average in the easier classes to maintain an A in the cisco classes.  And I crammed.  All the time.  I sat around doing and thinking Cisco.  The tests hurt.  I mean they really left me feeling stupid.  All four semesters.  Ouch.  Yeah.  But I got in to a rhythm with the other classes and got all A’s and B’s.  I had to because I was paying for it on my dime.  But I disliked most of the other students because they just were not nerdy enough and the one nerdy kid, who turned me on to Chrome, was too introverted.  Then I couldn’t get any of the classes I wanted and I gave up because I started getting interviews.

Now, I have decided to go back with a clear goal in mind.  I want to get a management degree and become a certified project manager.  In the process, I want to experience what it is like to be a full-time college student.  So I am going to treat it like a full-time job and pour myself in to it.  Totally immerse myself in the Community College experience as an Old Guy,  as a Student, as a Nerd, as a Social Networker.  Through my blogs, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram I will tell this story to you through my eyes, in my voice.  This blog is dedicated to my family, my friends, both real life and cyber because I don’t really make a distinction, and my followers.  Yeah, like I have followers.   As always, I love and appreciate you taking the time to read this, like this, subscribe to this blog and leave comments and feedback.  Oh and this is a shout out to Mykl.  How’s this for you? (Edited for grammar and spelling. Thanks Ralph!)


About Old Guy Student

I am a 43 year old IT Consultant who has decided to go back to school and get a degree.

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