The Professor Gets an A…For the Class!

Today I finished my first undergraduate class in twenty years, and I got an A. For the nursing prerequisites, that’s one down, six to go!

I also started doing HESI practice tests this week. (The HESI is a standardized test I will have to take to prove that I can do well on standardized tests.) Thus far, my difficulty on the HESI was not with math and not even with anatomy–turns out, I know more than I thought. Being a middle-aged hypochondriac pays off!

The problem I had with the HESI was the reading comprehension. DOH!

Just a reminder, I am a tenured associate professor at a large public university teaching in the humanities. It is literally my job to read books and interpret them for other people. But, according to the HESI folks, I have trouble understanding a 300-word essay about Cesar Chavez. It seems that my challenge will be learning “HESI-speak,” because I found both the essays and the questions pretty poorly written.

Whatever. I got an A!

After the final, I went to breakfast with some of my classmates. Turns out, undergraduates are nice people that I like hanging out with–if they’re not my students!

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Community College

In a week where noted sack of diarrhea Donald Trump has suggested that the United States ban all Muslims from entering our borders, and in which many of my fellow citizens apparently see no problem with that, I find myself appreciating the diversity of my community all the more.

In my undergraduate class–the one I am taking secretly at my local community college–my classmates come from all over the world. Here is a list of their first names:

Alexis, Ansomah, Darlin, Dayany, Evelyn, Fatima, Floriin, Fredericia, Juliana, Kargbo, Katrina, Khadija, Lucius, Matthew, Mauricio, Mayra, Nirmeen, Pratichhya, Raymond, Rodrigo, Sarah, Susan, Suvd, Thomas, Victor, Waleed, Zainab

Some are native born, but most are immigrants. They hail from every continent except Australia and Antarctica.

I love their accents. I love their perspectives, often so different from my own. I love the women’s hair (but this white lady knows you don’t touch), which in some cases is outrageously and awesomely huge. I love the variations in their bodies and faces. I love the way they seek to reconcile their family’s culture with “American culture,” whatever that is. I love the way they make me appreciate my privilege. I love the way they are overcoming adversity. I love that every day I walk to class, I pass taxicabs and a plumber’s van in the parking area. The average student is so obviously a working-class person who is going to school to have a better life.

I love that my classmates inspire me to try to have a better life too.