Mission accomplished, knowledge gained!

After two and a half very long years, all course requirements for my AABA are just about complete. Although I’ve been in the corporate world for the better part of 25-years and initially suspected I would learn a thing or two in college, I am surprised by exactly “what” it was that I have learned while in college.

I have learned…

Mathematical formulas (Are "Armed" :P)

Mathematical formulas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

♦ I really disliked both of the prerequisite math classes.  I am not sure what has happened since high school; when I enjoyed math and would have considered myself a wiz with the numbers.  I do not know if it was the mathematical formulas or this old brain of mine, but in the end the two refused to make nice and work together; which made the courses challenging.

♦ No matter how knowledgeable a student may be prior to entering college, chances are there will be at least one professor who is a jerk and for some reason feels compelled to continually find (or create) opportunities to interject their degree in order to convenience themselves they know (or should know) more about the subject they are teaching than their students do.  Luckily, I have only encountered this scenario on two occasions in as many years.

♦ As a full-time working adult student, there will never be enough hours in the day!  No, NEVER…EVER!!!  Therefore, we are forced to find ways to cope with “real” life while college demands a huge amount of our waking hours.

♦ Writing 4 term papers in a quarter is a bit excessive; however, my writing has improved considerably over the last two years.

English: Monument to Dante Alighieri at the Pu...

English: Monument to Dante Alighieri at the Puerta de Dante (“Dante’s Entrance”) of the Retiro Park (Jardines del Buen Retiro) in Madrid (Spain). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

♦ More than I cared to know about modern reliefs from my first humanities class.

♦ Some people are lifelong college students and I will NOT be one of them.

♦ Through classmates that statistics is either a “love it” or “hate it” course!  My classmates and I were briefly introduced to statistics in our finance class and I found it interesting how numbers work together to provide accurate information.  Statistics will be one of those classes that I will either tremendously enjoy or loathe every minute of it.

♦ Professors do not like it when a student is proven correct and they were “mistaken” or “misinformed”.

Since entering college in January 2010 I can attest “mission accomplished, knowledge gained”; in addition I have been pleasantly surprised by how quickly said knowledge has been useful in my current position.

It is a little weird to think that upon earning my BBA in International Studies, the year of my fiftieth birthday will be right around the corner.  Although I’ve not a clue of how the “International..yadda yadda” degree will benefit my future, I selected the course of study because it seemed to offer a more intriguing aspect of the business world.  Knowing this for sure however, will definitively be a case of “time shall tell.”

Its been almost five weeks!

Yep, almost five weeks ago I sat for a college challenge exam and yesterday I got the news.  But before I fill ya in on the yea or nay, let me take you on a little journey.  Picture it….Sicily 2012, oh wait….that would be Sophia from the Golden Girls.

Ahh….Exams!

I felt confident it was going to be an easy test as it was based on the Microsoft Suite of products that I have used for the last two decades.  Two hours to complete 100 multiple-choice questions (1.2 minutes per question), simple huh?  Yeah! Not quite.  (Side note: I do not mind taking exams, it is when there is a time limit attached to it that makes my palms sweat.  Oh well, on with the story.)

So…knowing I had a very short 120-minutes to complete the test, I made sure everyone in the house was well aware that “I WAS TAKING A TEST” and was not to be interrupted.  Dogs fed…check.  People fed…check.  TV off and no distractions…check and check!  Time to get serious.  I settled into my chair with the three study guides that I reviewed for months.  They were cracked open and poised to yield information in case I needed to quickly verify anything that I thought I knew.  I started the exam and everything was progressing nicely, and with a quick glance at the clock I had enough time to continue on the relaxed pace I was strangely enjoying.  I read a question and clicked the answer…read a question and clicked the answer (you get the picture.)

60 Down, 60 To Go

Hitting the half-way mark, I read a question, read it again, and again. I thought about the question, looked in the book to see what I could find on the subject, nothing. Thinking I was stressed knowing time was ticking, perhaps I read the question wrong.  Nope, I was reading it correctly; the problem was, the question was incomplete and I NEEDED more information in order to answer the dang question!  I probably would not have been so wigged out if it was a yes or no question and I had at least a 50% chance of picking the correct answer.  Nooo…this particular question had four choices.  WONDERFUL!!!  NOT!  As frustration crept over my body, I frantically flipped though the guides again for some morsel of information and hoping something would jump out at me.  It was not to be; I accepted defeat and checked a box.  Some guess is better than no guess, or so I figured.

I am steadily moving along reading questions and checking boxes, I made up some time from the snafu question and was certain all was good. I’m in the home stretch with roughly 40 minutes on the clock and then WHAM…I read a question and read it again, and once more. NOT AGAIN!!!! An ambiguous questions on the exam. This question was yes or no, but that was of not help. Why? Well in short, the question went something like this.  Can a Windows’ window (software manufacturer/component of the software, respectively) be repositioned on  the screen?  Well, yes and no! “Yes” if the window is in “restore down” mode and “No” if it is in maximized mode!  HOWEVER, the dang question did not give the state of the window.  I checked yes and proceeded on.

Looked at the clock, 8-minutes and 7 questions back to work. HOLY CRAP!!!  NOT AGAIN!!!  REALLY???, another incomplete question.  I did not have time to consider this question or even try to look for an answer that I would never find so I marked a box and put it behind me.

When the test was completed, I sent an email to the online exam portal department as well as my dean, informing them of the questionable “questions”.  No response from them for four days so another email was sent, addressing the same problems, and inquiring about my grade.  The next day I logged on to the student portal and saw I failed the exam, missed passing by one freaking question.

WELL…that just got my blood boiling.  I started shooting off emails, trying to get someone to review my exam to see if any of the “incomplete” questions were answered incorrectly.  Emails continued back and forth, nothing informative or new was coming from the college.  Last Friday (4/27/12), at 4:30 I received an email that basically said that all of the exams are carefully reviewed for accuracy and that it is not their policy to review student exams for correctness of answers after it was graded and I could not retake the exam without paying another $100 fee. To say the least, this last correspondence from the ACP (Academic Credit Portal) department, which was the 16th email between us really P*SS*D ME OFF!!!

I promptly composed email #17 to the ACP department and my opening sentence was “Unfortunately your response to my correspondence is unsatisfactory and unacceptable.”  I went on to say NOW this correspondence, along with the prior 16 emails would be forwarded to the Academic President’s office and someone with authority had fifteen calendar days to contact me personally to discuss this matter.  Blah, blah, blah…“…in addition, if no contact was made within 15-days, I would have no other option than to inform the organizations that the college receives their accreditation; informing them of the matter, that it takes 30-days to receive a response and when received, it pretty much stated we could really care less about your issue and we’re not putting forth any additional effort in this matter.

Wadda ya know…less than one full business day later I received an email from the ACP department stating an Advisor reviewed my exam and confirmed that at least one of the “confusing” (nice choice of words on their part) questions was answered incorrectly.  So in the end, they gave me additional credits, and I passed the exam!  YAY!

Boy what a crazy ride; one that I am happy to be off.

College Breaks & Reading

I ask, why is it when you have time to read for college, we don’t have the syllabus in hand to know what to read? Surely there is a way to be  able to get a jump start on the requirements.

So, once again find myself with three weeks off between  quarters and am at a loss of what to do. My schedule is usually packed to the  brim with very little breathing room and now…here I sit, waiting for the next  quarter of chaos to begin.

All of the crammed hours of homework, reading and studying will pay off soon if all continues to go well. I will graduate in the spring  with my AABA. Then it will be on to the next chapter, the  good ole Bachelors with two minors. WHAT? Am I crazy? I am starting to believe  that I just may be a little off-center. Perhaps the whole magnitude of the  chosen course has not fully sunk in. Could that be the reason I am so gung-ho about this education stuff? Or, could it be that I am really am smart and  realize that my student loans will not start coming payable while I am in college?

I think it is a win-win scenario for me. I win in the fact  that I don’t have to start repaying student loans right now and during the deferment of said loans, I can continue my education, an education that will hopefully  lead me to greater things and perhaps some world traveling.

Perhaps it is the light at the end of the tunnel is why I  find myself anxious to start the next quarter. One that cannot be experienced  until the path through the dark has been traveled and the light has been  touched with the tip of my finger.  Let’s just hope I don’t burn myself.