The 40-year-old Freshman – Amory Goes Back to School
If anybody would have stopped and asked, I would have swore up and down that I was just waiting for my class to start.
The honest truth is, however, that I was sitting out in the hallway doing everything I could to resist the urge to run out of the college in a panic.
My name is Amory Gritta and it's been almost 20 years since the last time I was in a classroom.
Well, that isn't 100% accurate. I've been in a ton of classrooms since I left school back in '91. Thing is, I've been the one giving the lectures and training people. The whole reason I left school before I was done was so I could get "real world" experience because I thought I knew it all already. You know, the typical 20-year-old's attitude.
To be fair, I was taking Computer Science courses and I did know most of what they were teaching and in many cases, I was already putting into practice most of what was being taught.
So, I decided to forego the degree and just jump into the workforce with both feet.
I don't regret the decision but I've always felt like I left something unfinished and after twenty years, I finally felt like it was time to do something about it.
So there I am in the hallway outside of my class, stomach acid churning, palms sweating, and my fight or flight reflex solidly in flight mode.
I eventually got a grip and went into the classroom. I wasn't the first to arrive but I was definitely early. I avoided the first row like the plague and walked to the back of the room and planted my no degree having butt squarely in the rear corner.
As more people filtered in, a distinct buffer of empty desks formed around me. One in every direction to be precise. My first thought was that no one wanted to sit next to the old guy. Of course, in my mind, it had nothing to do with the fact that in my panic I most likely looked like this:
Yeah, that's me and I'm pretty sure that was the look on my face.
Class began and I started to relax. Right up until the teacher stopped reading the names and looked a little confused. I gave it a three count and finally spoke up, "It's pronounced A-more-ee." The look on her face confirmed that it was indeed my name that she was looking at. I'm not psychic, I just recognize that look from years of South Texas teachers looking exactly the same way when they come across my name.
Some of the other students turned around to confirm my identity as well. Most likely trying to determine if the name belonged to a rather deep-voiced woman. The beard shattered that idea. Or maybe it was the face. I may never know.
The remainder of the roll was called without incident and we moved into what the class involved and what was expected of us.
Make fun if you like but I'm taking Art Appreciation. I need two Fine Art credits and frankly, I suck at painting, drawing, molding clay, or anything else that other people might consider to be art. I do have a way with words, however, and this class is supposedly an effort to teach students how to write about art. As long as it doesn't involve working with the youngin's in this class, I should be okay.
I'd started "taking notes" as the teacher began to speak about how she'd gotten into teaching and into art. As you can see below, my notes aren't going to be much help if we have a quiz over what she talked about:
I think I have a vague recollection of why my teachers inevitably thought I wasn't paying attention...
We move on to discuss the syllabus, go to break, come back and discuss the syllabus some more, we're given a reading assignment and told what supplies we need and class is dismissed. Honestly, I don't know why I was freaking out about coming back to school.
Then again, we'll have to see how I hold up when we're actually doing something in class.
More to come.