I started college today….

I just got home from my first night at Houston Community College. As you may have read previously, I went to college and dropped out in my first semester in 1995, and have no transferable credits. I am starting from scratch.

I am taking Psychology 101. It was the only night class that was a “general education” class available in HCC’s “second start” term (since I did not begin in August).

So here are some highlights:

  • The class is at the downtown campus, which I had never been to. I immediately fell in love with the campus. Very hip, urban, and alive. I felt like I belonged there.
  • My teacher goes to my church, and was in the same “Homosexuality and Christian Ethics” class Nathan and I took this summer.
  • I learned a lot about Psychology. Landmark always says “this is not psychology”- but I have had very little distinction in Psychology. From what we reviewed tonight, Landmark was not lying.
  • The other students were so great! We had to do a team assignment. My team killed it on our short statements on the different schools of Psychology. I was able to help them distinguish between the different approaches. I have to say it really felt great to help them. Each person came up with a statement in their own words and then we handed in the assignment with some pretty awesome answers. I can see I will be able to contribute to the other students and be able to help them learn without being a know-it-all. That’s a skill that is has taken 35 years to learn.
  • I now can see the personal value in taking my “general education” requirements. I am committed to taking subjects, like Psychology, that I know little about it. I am going to venture in unfamiliar territory. For example, I can see value in taking Biology or Chemistry vs. taking some science class just to get through it.

The journey has now officially begun. This chapter is all about educating myself and discovering what really matters to me, what I am interested in, and what I want to pursue.

I am thrilled and thankful for the love, support, and encouragement from Nathan, my family, and you- my friends who are reading. Thanks!







I quit the University of Phoenix today

So a few weeks back, in this very blog, I announced I would be attending the University of Phoenix this fall.

My first class was an Orientation classroom.  The intention is for people to know what they are getting into and be clear on how the school works. You can withdraw if it is not for you. I am glad they had this option.

The level of conversation in the classroom was so low that it just didn’t feel right. The people in my class were very well-meaning, good people and yet I felt like I just did not belong there. I realized for the $12,000 a year price tag – it was just not worth it. You can go to community college for 15 credits for the same price as one 3-credit class at the University of Phoenix, and I deduced it was the same quality (in fact the instructor said he teaches the exact same classes at the community college).

I also learned that the University of Phoenix- which has 3 billion is revenues annually- 90% of which is from federal loans and grants- is one of the largest contributors to Mitt Romney and the Republican party. They want President Obama out. He questions their enormous student loan default rate (21% of annual enrollment of 375,000 students) and their 12% graduate rate. Although I try not to be political, I will not participate in this. Our president is publicly standing for the end of legal discrimination of gay people and I will not go to a school that is aggressively lobbying for his defeat. Won’t do it.

After considering all of that I changed my mind and I am making a different choice.

Next week I start at the community college and I am thrilled, a bit humbled, and glad that I am fulfilling on this dream of mine to obtain a college degree (even if the community college did not give me a gorgeous folder!).