Friday, June 03, 2005

Going back to school was a surprisingly surreal experience. Everything about sitting in a classroom and taking notes while listening to a lecture was vaguely familiar yet completely foriegn at the same time.

One of the strangest things about it was the fact that I was a little bit older than just about everyone in the class. It's an undergraduate class, so most of the students are sophmores and juniors who are pursuing accounting degrees. It isn't a required course for their curriculum, which means that they are all there for the same reason I am: for qualifying credits to sit for the CPA exam.

The worst part of the entire ordeal is that I've turned into one of those people whom I hated when I was a full-time student: the older person in class. You usually only run across these people in night classes.

The older person in the class always takes really good notes, asks a lot of questions, and just generally seems to actually be interested in trying to do well and learning the material. Whereas most students view it as just another class that has to be taken with all of the rest, the older person in class is probably only taking this one course (true) and is really trying to pull an "A" for the semester. I was always thoroughly annoyed with this type of person when I was in school, though I don't know why. Why should I care if someone actually takes class seriously and wants to do well? The only real reason I can think of is that by asking a lot of questions, the older perosn in class makes the lecture take a lot longer than it otherwise would. The professor goes into great detail answering all of these seemingly inane questions, turning a two hour lecture into a three hour one.

So far I've fought the urge to ask any questions. Hopefully I can still pull off being your typical nonchalant, uninterested student. I think my biggest saving grace is the fact that while I am a little bit older than the most of the class, I'm not your typical older person in class. These are usually students who are much older, say somewhere around 40 compared to the median age of 20 in an average class.