Planning the return to college, I spent hours poring over the Undergraduate Catalog, looking at courses, majors, minors, and all the minutiae that comprises the academic handbook. I read the Honor Code, and the rules on under-age drinking, and generally tried to commit every fact, no matter how unimportant, to memory. I have my courses lined up the next 3 semesters. I know which classes are offered only in the Fall Semester, the Spring Semester, and in summer. I have a pretty good idea of the professors that teach the classes; I know where the classes will likely be held, if recent history is any indicator. I have downloaded the syllabus from professors’ websites, in anticipation of taking their class. You might say that I have been a little anal about this entire process (but I try very hard not to behave in an anal fashion when in public, so that’s our little secret).
As I might have said in my former career, “develop a good plan and stick to it”. Know what you want to achieve and execute. But be flexible, and be prepared to make adjustments as you proceed through the plan.
And so it is is the world of Academe. I have been registered for our “interim” term for several months, having carefully investigated the course offerings, the professors, and so forth, ad nauseam. And all of a sudden, I’m gonna throw that plan in the ditch. A current professor, whose class has been extremely stimulating, but far off my chosen career path (a general education requirement), informed us today that she would be teaching a “writing class”, and would any of us like to join her for what should be a very informative, if demanding, exploration of new material and the further development of our writing skills.
Well, of course, I threw caution to the wind, and changed my schedule. I can’t wait for this class. I am certain it will be demanding, and I’m not sure that it will help me in my chosen field, but, dammit all, I like her and I like the intention of the class. And it will expose me to things that have not been, in my previous life, a part of my world view. Uncharted waters, you might say. A detour on the road map of my trip through Academe. And, as careful as I have been, I do love turning down that small lane that doesn’t appear on my map, and driving into the unknown. Always have, and always will.
Ain’t college grand?