Friday, September 3, 2010

Back to School Shopping

So it's the first week of school for me. Classes started this week at GVSU. I got ready as most people do. As an instructor I got my copies ordered, my PowerPoint presentations ready and my class lists compiled for attendance. As a student, I got my bag filled with notepaper, and pencils, and I checked the class website for the required textbooks. Unfortunately, both bookstores are out of one book, and the other one hasn't been published yet! So I wait. I’m in third year Japanese this year, and I’m excited to see if my three weeks in Japan will help give me an edge. Probably not.

As an "unconventional student" (read: older) I have a few other items on my back-to-school shopping list that my younger classmates don't have:

- a seat cushion. Sitting for fifty minutes on a hard plastic molded chair is murder on my back. I always carry a special seat cushion that has a cutout for my tailbone. It makes life much easier. Of course, getting up out of the chair after fifty minutes is still a challenge ...

- orthodics. These aging feet have walked a lot more miles than those of my cohorts, and they're carrying around a bit more weight. They need help. I’m not quite at the walker stage yet, thank you very much, but the muscles occasionally complain.

- a recorder. I found out there’s one on my laptop! Technology is wonderful. My memory isn't what it used to be, and I can't write or type fast enough to detail EVERYTHING the prof says. Besides, he talks really fast.

So I have a few extra things in my bag. That’s okay. I’ve got a few extra years of life experience on my classmates. And I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

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