I’m College Edumacated

I’m not so great at handling anger. Typically I internalize it. My work place has, once again, made me very angry and I’m attempting to channel my anger into something productive, like job searching.

In order to gain independence, and to move my career in the direction I’d like it go, I need to obtain a job that actually pays a living wage. Honestly, everyone experiences work shit to some degree but the expression “I don’t get paid for this shit” really applies here.

My best chance at success it seems is to find a job that requires a bachelor’s degree. Yes, my degree in Sociology doesn’t help me much salary-wise (my granddad liked to remind me while in college that I picked the lowest-paying major), however it still helps a little. So, I decided to obtain my college transcripts.

This was no small feat. I had requested them many years ago and it was a piece of cake. I mailed in my request, wrote a check, and I received my transcripts a week later. Unfortunately, I lost my copy in all the subsequent moves. This go around I tried requesting my transcripts again, but I was required to request it through an online portal using my student ID and email address on file. As this had not been used in over a decade I wasn’t quite sure how to go about it.

It was the same process for changing my mailing address for receiving the alumni publication. Because I had moved a dozen times (or more?) since college I never received any publications from the school previously, but somehow a few years ago my in-laws started receiving them at their address (even without the name match). I’ve uncomfortable laughed every time they told me they had received another newsletter. Laughed uncomfortably because this was procrastination to the extreme.

Well, apparently now I’m motivated enough. Honestly, it wasn’t that hard. Well, it took a lot of finagling with my smart phone and 10 emails to accomplish but it only took a couple hours. I got my transcripts AND I changed my mailing address on the student account. Oh, and I got to see a picture of myself from freshman year.

I look exactly the same! Well, not exactly. But close enough, considering it’s been 20 years. My son disagrees. He recognized the picture as me but said I barely look like my picture. I was afraid to ask him why.  Fortunately, I look way less doofus-y now. Waaay less. I look fatter and older, but more cool. Or maybe I’m just telling myself and am in denial. Sometimes I’ll look at myself and be like “that isn’t me.” Though, I’ve always felt that way.

My brain got distracted with positive self-image of myself from my halloween party last week. I looked amazing. I really rocked the glittery false lashes and dark look. I actually thought to myself in that moment that I have an attractive face. I suppose with enough makeup anything is possible (oh no, negative self-image is back).

So, back to the transcripts. It was quite striking to see how many courses I actually completed and passed. My head tilted to the side, wondering “How did I do that?” With how I was feeling, how the hell did I do that? I know how badly and how often I was depressed. There was one semester I barely passed and another I had to totally withdraw (my last semester) because I was suicidal. I only graduated a semester later than anticipated and I did so even though I was still recovering. How the hell did I do that?

So,yes, there were 11 courses I took where I got a C or lower. But there were more courses where I got an A or a B. So I’m going to list them here as a pat on my back. You done good, Quix. You did this despite how awful you were feeling.

English Composition I
Western Civilization I
Elementary Spanish II
Aerobic Dancing (I mean, yeah…)
Critical Thinking
Social Psychology (Psychology focused)
General Sociology
Social Stratification (class where I received the highest score)
Sociology of Social Psychology (Yes, this is somehow different from ‘Social Psychology’)
Minority Aging

Intro to Computer Science
English Composition II
Western Civilization II
Medical Terminology
Human Nutrition (it’s people! he he)
College Algebra
American National Government (maybe our President should take this one)
Personality Theory (Yeah, I can get obsessive about this one sometimes. MBTI?)
General Psychology
World Religions (Maybe if I would have gotten a ‘A’ things would be different)
Modern Sociological Thought
Data Analysis
Sex Roles in Modern Society
Social Problems
Family Trends
Juvenile Delinquency (Probably the most interesting class out of all of these)
Sociology of Drug Abuse (second most interesting)

(Notice there are no ‘hard’ science courses on my A or B list. Yes, I suck at science. But at least I got an ‘A’ in Critical Thinking!)

::Pat, pat::

Now, it’s time for me to get the best-paying job that a Sociology degree can get me (Good luck with that, Quix)

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7 thoughts on “I’m College Edumacated

  1. You took Intro to Comp Sci! Cool. What did you think of it? (I’m a C.S. grad myself.)

    I took all my major-related and “fun” classes early, and by senior year all I had left were my General Ed. requirements. Let’s just say my motivation plunged, my procrastination habits were abundant, and I’m not proud of what happened to my final GPA. (There was at least one class I nearly failed just because I couldn’t force myself to stay motivated.) I was so relieved to be done, and all these years later, I’ll suddenly think: “Well, yeah, I have to rake leaves and get the oil changed in the van… but I don’t have to read 200 pages and write a paper tonight.” And that is always a warm and cheerful thought.

    So yes, pat on the back well earned, Quixie. It’s no small accomplishment esp. given what you were dealing with. And honestly, I’m not sure your particular major is necessarily a drawback. I’ve been on a lot of hiring teams, and we’ve hired software developers with every major in the rainbow. College shapes your thinking and character no matter what major you had.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brent, I missed your comment. Sorry! How have you been doing this week?

      I honestly don’t know how I got an ‘A’ in Comp Sci. I’m not very tech-saavy. Ugh. I hate it when people that – because 9 times out of 10 they are using it as an excuse. I hear that every day during my phone calls and these are people are are going to be medical professionals. I’m not naturally good at tech stuff but I have taken the time to learn basics because…well, that’s the world we live in.

      For the college course I had to build a “website’ using very basic html. I use website in quotes because in included very little text, one image, and a link. Ha.

      What kinds of things did you learn in your Computer Science courses? I had a brief thought that I might invest in some tech related education and focus on a non human-related field (to do that kind of work in my free time volunteering).

      Yes, I suppose it’s good we no longer have to read hundreds of pages and write papers. Though, that kind of stuff doesn’t bother me. I’m pretty quick at reading and writing comes easily. It’s the trying to juggle that in addition to other things that would be hard. I honestly don’t know how people can juggle a full-time job, kids AND go to school. I enjoy what minuscule amount of free time I have too much.

      Well, I’m desperate to find other work because my job has been a nightmare for about 7 or 8 months and I’m barely hanging in there. I started seriously looking for other work 2 months ago. I should have started several months before that, but I wanted to try to build some longevity. Last time it took me a year to find a job when I quit! I’m hoping having some recent experience under my belt, as well as currently having a job will help. Plus, it’s good to know that perhaps I have a chance regardless of my major.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “What kinds of things did you learn in your Computer Science courses?”

        I love answering that question, because a C.S. curriculum is not what most people think it is.

        Part of C.S. is the “techy” part: Learning how the machine works (0s and 1s, CPUs, memory, machine code, compilers, operating systems, etc.) and the low-level building blocks of any computing application (things like how databases work to store and index your data, how to sort things efficiently in different cases, how to use the network to communicate, basic data structures like lists/queues/dictionaries, etc.).
        Part of C.S. is the “sciencey” part: Things like computational mathematics (numerical analysis & methods, probability & statistics, etc.), artificial intelligence, operations research (incl. game theory), etc.
        And along the way in C.S., you’ll be exposed to a lot of specific technologies — hopefully current ones (if it’s a good school) — languages like Java or Python, operating systems like Windows and Linux, specific databases, etc.

        The thing is, few software developers are going to write anything in #1 themselves; they’re just going to use what other people have created. And very few software developers are even going to use anything in #2 — I’ve been at this over 30 years and I never have; those folks are the really smart Ph.D.s that Google and Amazon hire to figure out really deep problems. And the stuff in #3 will give you a little résumé fodder and might fit with your first job, but it’s going to be obsolete quickly. You mentioned creating a web page in your C.S. class — there was no World Wide Web when I went to college, and 20 years from now, who knows, maybe it’ll be as obsolete as the telegraph?

        The important thing is how understanding it all shapes your thinking. The basic principles will stay with you even though the specific technologies change rapidly. You develop a “sixth sense” for which approaches will work and which won’t. It’s certainly possible to become a software developer without ever going to college, just by learning a few technologies and languages. But having that deeper understanding of the systems you’re working within really helps you write good software. Without it, you tend to produce code that works in small scale, but won’t work under heavy load in the real world, or won’t be secure, etc.

        C.S. is like many majors this way — the answer to “why do we have to learn this stuff; we’ll never use it in the real world” — is, “maybe not directly, but you’re being shaped into a professional that will do things well”.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah… there’s reason in picking more than one field to study in schooling and degrees. Because if one falls through, you’ll have an alternative. Hope is great in general, but it shouldn’t be the sole driving force to put all of one’s eggs in one basket… Gee, I make anything sound depressing.

    Well, you do have an attractive face. Looks aren’t everything, but in my opinion you do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry I missed your comment, adam!

      First of all, thank you for the compliment about my face. Though I’ve rarely posted it and it was under lots of filters I’m sure. My age is starting to show around my eyes – I’ve got bags and dark circles. I suppose nothing lots of water and sleep can’t reduce. Speaking of which, have you been able to sleep recently? You had mentioned previously that you were having trouble.

      You are right – putting all your eggs in one basket is a recipe for complete heartache and hopelessness.

      As an example, I was engaged in college and expecting to get married at 21. I graduated late because I had a depressive episode, my fiance lost interest, and I had 2 1/2 years of manic-depressive episodes. Then I got married, which I had no business doing, but at the time I was so ill that I took my chance on what I thought would make me happy. It didn’t – I needed to be treated for my mental illness, not get married and have kids. All that to say that I am quite familiar with putting all my eggs in one basket and the basket cracking. Now, who sounds depressing? It’s a sad story, but in some sick way I’m amused.

      Liked by 1 person

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About Quixie

Hi! I go by "Quixie." Quixie is a shortened version of "quixotic," which means: "exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical." It's how I described my evangelical Christian faith when I started blogging 5 years ago. Now I'm an agnostic atheist who is trying to find a balance between idealism and reality. I write primarily about my mental health journey (I have bipolar disorder), and I also discuss my deconversion, mindfulness, exercise, music, reading, and other cultural topics.