Colleges and Universities, Creative writing, Go 60 Program, humor, postaday, Professor, red tailed hawk
… surely you jest.
When I left my undergraduate studies lo those many years ago, I vowed to never darken the doors of higher education again.
Flash forward several years where Holly has taught post-secondary education, adult education and given lectures on areas of expertise adjunct-style at colleges and universities.
But not as a student.
So it has been a long decision-making process to arrive at the choice to take a course. Not even a graduate course.
A Creative Writing course.
At the local branch of the local University.
In this Commonwealth there is something called a Go 60 Program … in which
old farts distinguished older residents can avail themselves of any undergraduate courses for free.
At least that is how it is sold.
You know where this is going, don’t you?
My friend Linda got two degrees using this program … to start. And my friend Pat … aged 80-plus … is currently finishing her degree.
So when someone mentioned that a Creative Writing course was going to be taught by an excellent professor that I had actually met … live and in person … I decided that more knowledge might be a very good thing.
Especially if I wanted to do this writing some justice here.
Now reality is I know several college professors. It’s the inner geek in me I suppose. And the fact that I know tons of people … who know tons of people.
Flash forward to today … and the birthday of one of the professors I know … here at the local campus. And what better opportunity to go over … wish her a Happy Birthday … and check out the Go 60 Program.
And while I was at it, I could ask which professor it was who saw the elusive Red-Tailed Hawk I’ve been hearing … and took a photograph out of their office of said Hawk.
I really wanted that photo.
My friend Linda and I arrived at the appointed time at the office of the Birthday Girl. Is it appropriate to call an Anthropologist a Birthday Girl?
At any rate, she was busy consulting with a foreign student … doing her job. Imagine that. So we sat patiently as they discussed various other-country-based opportunities.
Plenty of time before I had to go check on the Go 60 Program … and drive to the radio station.
We then presented her with some gifts and spent a good while talking … about education … about women’s rights … about politics … about aging.
Plenty of time before I had to be at the radio station for my shift. Did we want to go visit her husband … also a professor … before he began his afternoon class?
So off we went … across the campus to another building. And a quick visit with her husband. Still plenty of time.
Back to the office of the Birthday Girl … by way of a Coffee Bar. More conversation.
Plenty of …
OK … I mentioned the program … and was shown the door.
That is, I was pointed to the building and the door which would lead to the office of the promised program. And I excused myself to go in search of the information.
Inside the door was a large Office of Admissions department. Go in. Go in.
I went in. And asked.
“You will want to go down the hall, through the courtyard, past the two sets of doors, make a left, then go into the first office on the left. That’s where it is.”
Making my way there I passed many young students and wondered about the state of my sanity … taking an undergraduate course.
Outside the door. No sign saying anything about any program, least of all a Go 60 Program.
“May I help you?” asked a nice lady. I ignored the fact that I was by far the oldest person around.
“I am looking for information on the Go 60 Program.”
“Well, you will want to go to the Admissions Office … it’s back the way you came … through the …”
No. I didn’t.
“That’s where I just came from” I interrupted. “And they told me to come here.”
She opened the door and smugly asked the women behind the desk if there was any Go 60 information to be had there.
“Yes, this is the right place” the woman said wearily.
Oh. Great. Another person thrilled to be doing their job.
“Kathy Somoneoranother is in charge of the program” she said.
“Great!” I responded. “I know Kathy. It will be good to …”
“She’s not here today.”
Take a deep breath. Lots of miserable sour people in the world. Does not have to dissuade me from my goal here.
“Do you have any information about the program?”
Maybe if I let her know I have already looked on the website and the only courses listed there are for last semester. Maybe if I say that it will make a difference.
“You know it’s not really a free program, don’t you?”
I did not point out the word “free” in the online description. “Okay … what does it cost?”
“You have to pay for your books.”
Well, that is reasonable.
“And you have to pay the somethingoranother fee and the someotherthing fee.”
Long explanation about prices depending on credit hours, etc, etc, etc.
Yeah, I’ll be going to lots of student pep rallies and student mixers. I can see paying for that.
“And you have to pay the parking fee.”
I live four houses from the campus.
“All right then” I said after hearing all this. “Do you have a list of the classes being taught this summer? They were not out on the web site.”
She pulled up a list.
“Is there a Creative Writing class taught by Dr. Everyonerecommendedhim?”
“Oh, he is really good.” she said. “No.”
“No, he isn’t teaching that in the summer.”
“OK. Is anyone else teaching it this summer?”
“Okay then … when will he be teaching the class again?”
“Not until this Fall Semester.”
So I mulled around the fact that I would have to wait until almost September to do this wonderful educational thing.
That’s for free.
But isn’t really.
“Okay then,” I said “When do I come back to register for the class?”
“Oh you don’t register for the class … not really.” she replied.
“No, you don’t. You wait until everybody else who might want to take the class has signed up to take the class. Then, the day before class starts, you can check and see if the class is full. And then if there is any space left, then you can try to get here to be in the class.”
Yeah. That’s going to happen. With a wildly popular professor.
I can see me arm-wrestling some 70-year-old to get the last seat.
“So I can wait until this coming Fall, only to find out I have to wait until next year at this time … to maybe get into the class, but maybe not then either?” I asked.
“Yes. That’s about it.” she answered.
No wonder she hates her job.
And I forgot to get the photograph of the Red-Tailed Hawk.
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