If We Were Having Coffee – I Would Tell You – About My Current Events

Image courtesy of Creative Commons By: Cheryl FoongCC BY 2.0via flicker.com

This appears to be an active year for me. I’ve been so busy while this year is flying by. Where did summer go? I can’t believe that fall has already fallen upon us. I love the fall foliage, but I hate seeing bare trees later in the season. I’m not a fan of winter either. Spring and summer are my favorite seasons.

First Off – 2nd Time Grandma

I’m a grandma again!

My daughter gave birth a week ago to a bouncing baby girl. Ava is healthy and happy. She was 6lbs 5 oz. and 18 ½ inches long. I hear she is already lifting her head on her own. Her big sister, Jasmine, is so proud to be a big sister. She helps her mommy feed Ava. I’m not sure if she is changing her diapers yet, I will find out next weekend when we go visit her.

Jasmine is also learning to do cartwheels. For a six-year-old she almost did a perfect cartwheel in a video my daughter posted. I couldn’t help but smile when she did a headstand against the wall for her last part of her performance.

Great Job Jasmine!

My Classes Continue

I’m still enrolled at Franklin Pierce University

My third term began two weeks ago. This term I have Principles of Accounting I and Composition I. I like them both. When I first signed up for these classes, I wasn’t sure how I was going to like accounting since it deals with working with numbers.  I hadn’t been a fan of Principles of Finance and struggled through that class. It wasn’t my cup of tea, but I did pass the course with flying colors after working hard at learning the curriculum.        

Accounting is sort of fun. It is task oriented, which I don’t mind, but I like seeing how different accounts affect each other to make the final balance. I could be possible pick this as a major when I sign up for continuing on with a Bachelor Degree.


The composition course is fun too. I knew this course would be to my liking. I love writing, but all my experience has been with fiction and blogging. This course makes me think about issues and how to develop an argument for an essay or a report on the subject matter. It is technical writing. I can make this class work, but I prefer fiction writing overall.

My Goal: to make the Dean’s List once again.

For the past two terms, I have made the Dean’s List. I did this even though I wasn’t crazy about the course matter I was learning. The class on careers was interesting, and I aced that class easily, Finance, on the other hand, was to me, boring. I had to fight to stay away while reading the textbook. There was a lot of reading too.

Online College Classes are equal to homeschooling.

The last term I had Principles of Management and Business Law. Business Law was parched reading. I think I did fall asleep several times while reading the textbook. Management was a bit easier to comprehend, but that too was a struggle to stay awake with the amount of reading I had to do.

I did ace both classes regardless with a higher score than the previous term.

So far this term, the grades are up there. Hopefully, I can keep them there.

Work in Progress

I have begun working on a new story. You can watch my progress in the sidebar on the right. Lemons, Dilemmas, and Oh Baby is a contemporary romance. It is a slow go this is naturally due to my limited time I can work on the manuscript.

Thanks for stopping by for Coffee. Come back again soon.

 

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My Take with Online Courses #Undergraduateadult


Now that I’m at the beginning of my second term of online courses I must say that I have mixed feelings about the process.

I like them!

You do have to be self-sufficient when it comes to learning. Discipline is a must. The deadlines must be met.  You are given the essential tools for survival. That would be the textbooks.

One doesn’t need to be at a complete loss. Make sure you know how to use the internet to research what you need to know, and read the textbook.

I know, you don’t like to read the book. Well, read it anyways. You won’t be sitting in class listening to your professor go on and on with a lecture. Your lecture, if you are lucky will be a PowerPoint of about ten slides. That’s it.

You will have to go online and research if you need to know more to understand your assignments or discussions.

The tests are open book. They are still hard regardless.

I also like the time I’ve saved in not having to travel across the state to sit in a classroom. It would be an hour drive one way for me. That would be two hours spent on the road when I could be reading that textbook instead.

What I don’t like…

There isn’t much I don’t like about the type of course study. I have the discipline for doing what I need to do when I need to do it. Especially, when I set my mind to doing something that I want to do passionately.

I did teach myself to self-publish, didn’t I?

When I’m done with school, there will be loads of stories to come. Which leads me to the other thing I don’t like. That would be not having enough time to write stories. I have all these new ideas popping into my head that I keep jotting down in a journal I keep at my desk. I read something in one of my textbooks, and a light comes on, jot that one down.

Seriously, if you want to return to school, then do it!

Online courses need discipline and self-sufficiency.

There are hybrid courses too. You do some of the work online and the rest in the classroom.

Or, there is old school, 100% classroom.

It’s your choice. I know I’m glad to have jumped at the opportunity when I did.

 

How Does One Pay for College? – #Undergraduateadult

Image courtesy of creative commons license By: Tax CreditsCC BY 2.0 via flickr.com

Are you thinking of going back to school?

For years I kept thinking about my missed opportunity to go to college after graduation. My friends went, their friends went, and all found professional careers.

But I never went. Instead, I settled for being a low skilled worker. I never viewed myself as a low-skilled worker until recently. All those different jobs I did over the years never added much to my skill sets. They were fundamental skills that could be applied to most anything, except to a profession.

I was happy with my basic skill set. What mattered to me was making a living. When I say making a living, I’m talking about a surviving living when one can afford to live off of the weekly pay they make. There was a time when companies would make certain that their workers could afford to live in their communities by keeping up with the cost of living increases. This isn’t happening so much anymore.

More and more businesses are balking at giving employees cost of living raises or any raises for that matter. It takes money away from their bottom line. If they dish out raises than they won’t be able to keep people on for resources.

Well for the past couple of years, it has become more and more difficult for me to continue living within my community. The cost of heating fuel has increased, the cost of health care has grown, and the cost of food has increased. But, my wages have not.

Something needs to change, I guess it has to be me. If I want to earn a better salary, then I need to have a better job. To do that, I need to improve my skills by going back to school and earning that degree.

How will you pay for your education?

When I first started looking at colleges, I didn’t know anything about financial aid. I thought one had to pay out of their own pocket for schooling since it had been years since I had applied to go to school. Financial aid packages were only for the students that were heading to college right after high school. At least that was what I thought. Had I only known…

Have you ever wondered if you could afford it?

I thought, I could take out a loan, or put my education on a credit card. But that sort of financing would only cover the cost of one or two terms. I lacked the cash or monetary funds to pay for the courses from my own pocket. Scholarships would work, but how does one get them? Especially when they have been out of school for so long?

More than likely you can afford the cost of college if you have never enrolled.

I hemmed and hawed about going back to school until my student advisor told me that it wasn’t as expensive as I thought.

How could $380 a credit not be considered expensive?

She had me apply for financial aid, otherwise known as a Pell Grant.

Pell Grants are money from the Federal Government that is used to pay for a higher education. This money is not paid back. The loans that follow that is what is paid back over time.

This money is based on your income. You submit a copy of your tax return and then the government decides how much money and what kind of money you qualify for based on your income. Then you don’t need to repay the loans until you are done with school or drop your course load below full-time status.

Had I known about this money and how easy it was to file for, I would have gone back to school sooner.

Are you still wondering if you can afford to go back to school?

 

Visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa to learn how you could afford your higher education.

Can One Pick a Degree at 50+ – #UndergraduateAdult

Did you go off to college after graduating from high school?

Most times, if you are going to continue with your education, you enter college right away. What about those who had to put off their higher education for various reasons? Do they stand a chance at their degree years later? Or, is it a lost cause?

Image courtesy of creative commons by: Vernon Chan via flickr.com

Maturity Happens

High school graduates think mostly about finding a mate to pass their time away. They have their lives ahead of them, and they’re in no rush to get on with living a professional life. Once they enter college, it marks their freedom from the parental rule. It is party time, with boys and girls, social life is more important to them at this stage in life vs. that educational path to Professionalism.

Their studies suffer if they can’t give their full attention to the class work, causing many to drop out of school after their first year.

At 50+ years, life has already happened for us. Most of us now have grandchildren, while our own children should be graduating from college. We are more focused on what we want in life as we come closer to our retirement age. And yes, we have bucket lists.

What is on your bucket list?

College is one of the top items on my list. It has been for many years. I feel focused on where I want to go with my life. What I want to do and how I want to do it.

I was going to stop at an Associate degree when I first decided to go back to school last month. Now I think I want that bachelor degree after all. So what if I have 15 more years until I am at retirement age. For all I know, the government may raise the retirement age before I reach 65. I’d have to work longer in life after all, why not make a career change that would see me through the rest of my life.

I believe I will pick Bachelor of Science – Integrated Studies. Then I will be able to pick and choose what I want to learn. Whether it be Human Resources, management, accounting. Maybe a little of everything.

My Answer

Yes, you can pick a degree at 50+. You have your whole life ahead of you. One never knows when they are going to die, just make the best of things while you can. Take care of yourself, you’ve made it this far. Maybe you will be around for another 50 years anyway.

College Classroom style: Traditional, hybrid, or 100% online courses #UndergraduateAdult

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Do you know how much college has changed over the years?

I didn’t. I found out when I decided to enroll this past term. The last time I looked into taking classes was way back in the ‘90s. Back then there were Traditional classes during the day, classes at night for those who had a job during the day, and classes on the weekend. I hardly ever saw any mention of long distance learning.

When I began looking at returning to school this past March, I was surprised to see that there were more choices to obtaining a college degree from a reputable school. They still had the traditional classes and the night time classes, but now there were a couple of other options offered. Hybrid and 100% online courses.

What are Hybrid classes?

These classes are attended as either in a classroom setting or online. Some people need to be in a real room with others to learn. This gives the choice to take part in the classes online at the same time of seeing the teacher and other classmates. It all depends on your style of learning and whether you have the computer skill sets to learn online. It the online experience is not working out; you have the option to appear in class instead.

I picked the 100% online classes. I have no fear of computers or the internet. In fact, I prefer the online classes over the traditional setting. I can do all my school work from the comfort of my home. These classes allow you to work at your own reasonable pace. Yes, there are still deadlines for when your school work must be turned in and for when a test must be submitted.

One drawback, though – Students must learn to ask questions if they don’t understand the work. You can’t assume that the teacher will know if you don’t understand something. They can’t see that puzzled expression on your face. You’ll have to do more than raise your hand. It’s called email your teacher with your question. Don’t be afraid to ask either. Your grade counts on it.

The online courses are a bit harder. You will need to know how to use a word processor like Microsoft Office or Open Office. All your Assignments and Tests need to be submitted in doc. files. The discussion questions are online only. It is sort of like a chat/group activity. You post your answer to the topic forum by the specified day your instructor has given and then respond a reply to two other classmates before the week is up. My weeks run from Monday to Sunday.

Maybe it is because I am older than most college students, but I find the 100% online classes appeal to me.

College Choices – How Difficult Can They Be? #UndergraduateAdult

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I was the one who didn’t go to college right out of high school. I did my college searches while in my junior and senior year, but I couldn’t decide where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do. Picking the college was complicated. My parents didn’t want to spend oodles of money on my education, they wanted me to go to a state school. I wanted to follow the pack. I think our disagreement over which school I wanted to go to caused me to decline my continued education. My indecision scared me. It was easier to go out and find a job.
30+ years later, I find it is easier to pick a college than to find a job. How ironic, the way life has a turnabout when you least expect it.

How I picked my college after all these years

First, I needed to know what I wanted to learn. I’ve had a career for all these years. I’ve even changed careers several times. It wasn’t a matter of what I wanted to do with my life. Things change when you get older. A bucket list appears sometime around your 40th year. There are experiences you want before you won’t have a chance to do them. Maybe travel and see the world. Meet some Hollywood stars. Sail a boat in a harbor. Fly a plane just once. So, when I began to think about going back to school, I didn’t ask myself what I wanted to be when I grow up. I’m already a grown-up. What do I want to learn was the question I asked instead?
I began watching the college catalogs that came in the mail. I would look at the courses offered each time, in search of classes of interest to me. These catalogs were mostly of community colleges. I would see a few courses, but nothing that really excited me.
I looked at other colleges as well. Thinking maybe I needed a school that had more to offer, say Southern NH University. They had their courses that interested me, but the school was too far away. I didn’t want to travel. Then I came across the website for my final choice.
I don’t know if I fell in love with their website? Or, maybe it was the fact that they had degree programs aimed at Undergraduate Adults. I had to check it out. These courses were all online. Huh… Before I knew it I was clicking the link to find out more. By the next day, a student advisor was emailing me back and forth and explaining how easy it would be for me to go back to school after all these years. I had thought that when I couldn’t make my decision after high school, it was a missed opportunity.
My advisor is great! She talked me through the process of getting my high school transcript, applying for financial aid, and registering for classes. I was so excited when my first day came.
It’s been a lot of work; I have a minimum of two years to go. I think maybe four if I go on to a bachelor program afterward. Though at two classes a term it might be a six-year plan. But think of all the subjects I will be learning in the coming years.
This is something a teenager wouldn’t understand until they hit their 50th year.

Can You Return to School 30+ Years Later? – #UndergraduateAdults

Graduation is this month. Doesn’t this remind you of some of your goals you had made when you graduated all those years ago? What was that, 30+ years ago?

Why didn’t you return to school as you had planned?

I can think of at least 10 reasons why you didn’t go to college after graduating from high school.

1. You couldn’t afford it

Since I took the plunge back into school and being a responsible adult, I learned that it isn’t as unaffordable as you would think. Yes, a higher education can put you deep in debt. You can still do it, though, as long as you are smart about it.

File for the Pell Grant and any financial assistance you can qualify for. This is where learning to be disciplined with your budget comes in handy. Pay those car loans and credit card payments down and try not to take on any more debt other than the student loans. You are investing in you and your education. Treat yourself as though your life is your business. Of course, this is all a risk, life is about risks.

We take a risk when we have a relationship. There are risks when we change jobs. There are risks when we have children.

2. You wanted to take a break from school

Okay, you took your break from school. That was how many years ago? Don’t you think it is time to get serious about your life and career?

I was once told that if one didn’t return to school within two years after graduating from high school, one would never go back to school. The odds were against a higher education for every year you didn’t return.

That doesn’t have to be true. I think this statement, in general, is a cop-out, and after a while, you begin to believe those who said this to you were right. This is where we start not to believing in ourselves.

3. Your family didn’t encourage your higher education. It wasn’t important to them so you felt it wasn’t important to you.

I get it. This happened to me. One year in high school, I decided to see what would happen if I didn’t pass a class, just for the sake of seeing what my parents would say. Talk about reverse psychology. I can quote them to this day – “It’s Alright, girls aren’t supposed to do well in school anyways.”

My reaction was disbelief. WTF! How could they believe that gender made all the difference when it came to an education? When it came time for me to seek a college degree, they kept saying things like, “we can’t afford that.” They tried to encourage me to go to a state college, but couldn’t sell me on the idea, because they felt that girls weren’t supposed to do well in school.

My mother still thought this way. When I recently announced that 30+ years later I was getting my college degree, she was more concerned as to whether the program I was enrolling in at a local college was legitimate. She was still questioning my intelligence after all these years.

4. No motivation

I can see this happening too. You found a job you liked right out of high school. All your motivation for continuing your education has been dashed aside because you don’t need a higher education to perform your job. This goes on for years until a time comes when you wonder why you aren’t being given any more raises. You also aren’t climbing the corporate ladder.

Your motivation returns when you go to work one day and learn that you have been removed from your position overnight. Layoffs are hard to take, especially when you have gone out of your way to be the best worker you could be. 30+ years later, almost all the jobs posted are looking for those who all have a higher education. Middle-class factory workers are a thing of the past.

5. You thought you didn’t need a higher education

This can be seen as equal to lack of motivation. Your job doesn’t require a higher education to perform the task correctly. Then the job market changes and you wish you had taken the steps all those years ago.

6. There was no time – life happens.

You get married and create a family. While working a forty hour a week job and add the family life to the pile and your time has become limited. Drive the kids to school, go to work, pick kids up from soccer practice, cook dinner, and help the kids with their homework. This leaves no time for you and your education.

If you have a supportive partner, then they will see that a higher education not only benefits you, it benefits the entire family with the increased chance of securing a higher paying job.

7. You became a single parent.

Yes, this can be a hard time to go back to school. There is help and support for returning to school. State grants most times are available to help pay for the cost to return to school. Your education doesn’t just benefit you and your children; it benefits your state government programs. With a higher education, you can acquire a higher paying wage, this can lower the burden on the state funds for low-income families.

8. You were a caregiver for a sibling or an ailing parent.

I can see a problem here. But your life won’t remain this way forever. If you can’t find the time to return to school, consider taking online classes. You would then be able to stay at home as a caregiver. I’m sure you aren’t needed to sit by their side 24/7. Online courses allow you to do the school work at your own pace and to keep your own hours.

9. Didn’t know what you wanted for a career.

This happens to everyone. First, you need to know what you want in life and how you want to live. Read some books on careers and discovering what is best for you. I recommend a few good books to read to learn more about yourself and matching a career to your personality and lifestyle.

10.You didn’t finish high school.

This doesn’t mean you have to give up. I know it is hard to get that GED. Then take the online high school courses. This is probably a much easier way to get your diploma. Some states will even cover the cost of the online classes. They want to see everyone with a high school diploma. Don’t give up on yourself, there is still a great chance you can succeed in life.