Once I decided I was going to college to work at becoming a nurse, I had to apply. I applied. I interviewed. I took a class in College Algebra (because my algebra grade from high school 14 years before was not good enough). I secured the financing. I was accepted!! YAY! The next 3 years I would be working, a student, and a single mother.
Now about that first class. College Algebra. I had done miserably in high school algebra. I hated math. I still do if it is much more than adding and subtracting. And I have never understood the need for Algebra. But I had to have a good grade. I took it in the summer. It was hard. Fewer classes. More tests. Lots of homework. But with the help of the best tutor (thank you Richard) I passed. With an A!! Anything is possible.
The fall of 1980 found me starting the first semester of college. I was 29 1/2 years old. I was the mother of two boys. Danny was 9 and Justin was 5. Justin was in preschool and would be going to kindergarten in the afternoons, at the grade school closest to his preschool. We would make it work. I had obtained some scholarships and had a student loan as well. The first semester I wouldn't have to work. I worked all the remaining semesters at an inventory job. Kept life interesting. Saw little of my kids. And very little sleep. But in the end, it was worth it all.
The first day of school I walked into a Chemistry class filled with new Freshmen. And not only were they new, they were young. Every single one of them has been in high school the previous spring. I felt old! Really, really old. I opened my book and clicked the pin. The first day the Professor had us introduce ourselves and say what our major was. Oh my goodness! I felt even older by the time I walked out of that class.
Chemistry was hard. I had not taken Chemistry in high school. And, now, they don't even require it for the nursing program. What the heck???
After a few weeks of struggling with the concepts in Chemistry, I set up a meeting to talk with the Professor. We met after school in his office. I explained to him how I was struggling. He did not make me feel like an idiot. He was very helpful. He told me that he had a book he knew would really help me. But, he didn't want to offend me. I promised not to be offended. The Book: Chemistry for 6th Graders. Best book of my college years. No offense taken, Prof!
The remainder of my classes that first semester were: Human Growth and Development, English I, and Psychology. I took a full load. It was required for the scholarship money.
In Human Growth and Development class we learned what it was like to be responsible for a baby! What the heck? I had two kids at home. The project involved carrying around an uncooked egg, in the shell, for one week. I did all that I could to get out of this project. No, go! I carried an egg in a little pink basket. Everywhere I went. For a week. Kept that little sucker alive, too. Most of the freshmen did more complaining about this than me. And I complained plenty.
I loved English I. I loved my Professor. He was a "book nerd". Most of this class was reading and writing. I loved getting my paper back, covered in red ink, with suggestions and comments on how to improve my writing. IT was a rush! I credit that man for my love of writing today.
Psychology was mostly reading and showing up for the class to discuss what we had read.
Chemistry class also had an accompanying laboratory which was required. The class was worth 6 credits. We attended an hour of lecture three days a week. And an hour of lab three days a week. The lab was fun. We created chemicals, fires, and made friends! I won't recall the order of the periodic table but I will always remember my Freshman (18-year-old lab partner, Ryan). I wonder what happened to Ryan.
The first semester ended with my name on the "all A Honor Roll". I don't mean to brag, but I was very proud of myself!! Now on to summer school. I wanted to get all of the pre-requisites out of the way so I could concentrate on just the nursing requirements during my final two years.