Grad School 101

Grad School 101 – how to go back to school after having been away from school for 17 years… One of the first things I discovered was that I had/have no idea how to do an interview. I went to my interview wearing beige pants and an orange blouse, my hair was down and curled, and I had heels on. I looked really good, BUT, I was not professional looking… not interview style anyway. I should have worn a black ladies suit with my hair back in a braid. I honestly think that would be exactly what I needed to get into the professional program I was interested in. That and the fact that my interviewers were all peers to me and so I felt WAY too relaxed and treated them as equals instead of people who could keep me from achieving my dreams. Lesson learned, now I’m in a masters program and not a professional program. I will be reapplying for next fall’s program after having a year of masters work under my belt.

I did, thankfully, get into school though. It’s been about a month since I started and I am still the oldest student that I have met. Everyone of my classmates is about half my age. They are smart, hard-working young men and women. I really enjoy working with them. I’m not the smartest in my classes, and I often speak up when I don’t understand something. In one class I frequently suggest the “wrong” answers in discussions; but, because I am willing to stick my neck out, I am learning. I can actually feel myself learning. It’s only been a month and I have noticed a significant difference in my ability to understand scientific papers, of which I have to read a lot. My vocabulary has expanded to include words I’ve never used before but that are extremely important to the field I am exploring.

I’ve always imagined a brain as a sort of sponge, especially in little kids who seem to remember every detail of everything that interests them. The key is that it interests them. My classes are interesting to me. Most of them. The one that is the least interesting is the one in which I have the least retention. I’m trying to trick myself into being interested in it so that I remember more of it. My memory does seem to be improving. It’s like I can feel the neurons growing and reaching and making my brain more dense with information….(or is that the feeling of having had my head in a book too long?) Good night folks!

And as always,
Thanks for reading!