School’s [Not] Out for Summer

I had decided late last year that I wanted to go to college for a variety of reasons. Primarily, it would be to supplement my relatively extensive experience in web development with some education that could help me move up in the work force. Another reason tho, is that I’ve been interested in some study abroad opportunities and or perhaps even teaching.

Enhancing my Business and Management Skills

I’ve been fairly successful wherever I’ve worked as far as job performance and income are concerned. Self taught, a quick learner and an ability to sell my skills to potential employers; even tho my resume isn’t too extraordinary, I do have 7+ years of professional experience. (geez, narcissistic much…). Anyway, with that experience, although I feel that I could move up into more supervisory roles without a formal education or degree, I have concluded that education should be the next step for me.

Ultimately I’d like to become more of a people manager and application / software architect. While my skills as a web developer have and would help me better communicate and understand the inner workings of the development process, I believe that an education in business would allow me to branch off into the higher level areas of development. What I mean by higher level is things like specification and programming guideline development. That’s in contrast to what I’m doing now (programming from start to finish, application maintenance, bug fixes, &c). I’d like to develop these documents per se, and then let a group of professionals have at the actual implementation, with me mentoring and supporting the team where necessary.

Learning and Sharing the Japanese Language and Culture

On to my second main point on getting an education, studying / teaching abroad. It’s not specifically studying abroad as much as it is learning [and teaching?] in and about topics that interest me. I’ve always been interested in a wide variety of social studies (history, culture and other social sciences), and study abroad programs offer a great deal of immersion and otherwise great hands on learning that you probably wouldn’t get just by going to college here in the States. A particular area of interest is Japanese culture and entertainment.

I was once asked something along the lines of, “Why Japanese”. My confused response boiled down to how I seem to relate more to [my perception of] their reserved culture when compared to the outspoken American culture. Learning about that relationship and finding more commonalities was a motivation. Really, I hadn’t thought about it too much before; and with that said, I still don’t know what it is exactly, but I am engrossed.

So the study abroad aspirations come from a desire for immersion, the teaching comes from my wanting to help people. I enjoy being a mentor of sorts, helping people solve problems and such. I’ve joined a few online communities in the past in which I use my knowledge and work experience to help others or point them in the right direction. I think that being able to share my knowledge as a teacher would be a very gratifying experience. As a fairly introverted person, communication isn’t my strong suit, bit I think it’s something I would like to give a try. Going to school to learn new things and share what I’ve learned with others would be nice.

Class is in Session

College placement tests were taken about three weeks ago. I did surprisingly well on the Reading and Writing portions of the test (97/100 and 100/100). This was a surprise as I had never done well in English classes in middle / high school. I got a 56/100 on my Algebra placement test; apparently tho, all that was needed to take college level math tests was a 48 or higher. Wit the tests out of the way I’m all set up for Summer and Fall semesters.

College Algebra class started last week. It’s been so long that I’ve forgot a lot of the things that were reviewed the first few days, but overall I think I can hang. I’ll probably take Calculus the next half of the Summer just to get them out of the way. I’ve always been fairly adept with math but never really enjoyed it. As I said tho, it’s been so long (8+ years), I hope I’m not too rusty.

The Fall semester is one I’m deficiently looking forward to, outside of English 101 that is. Earths Physical Environment is a general Science class, but a topic I’ve always been interested in. Sociology should be good, I like learning about these types of things. Last up is Japanese 101, this is what I’m looking forward to the most. JPN 101 will be followed up by JPN 102 in the Spring and then hopefully study abroad next summer.

Here’s hoping it all pans out.