Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Back to School

Short version: Me + College = Yay!

Long version: I've been taking the occasional odd class at the University of Utah on and off for something like 9 years now. A few years ago, I worked as an Americorps literacy aide, and one of the ways they "pay" you for that job is with a grant for college, but with a few strict rules. The grant is only a couple thousand dollars; you have to use it within 7 years of ending your Americorps service; you can't gift it to your child unless you're over 50 (I think) and you have to jump through a couple of hoops to get it.

So this summer, I thought I would take a couple of classes at the U and see how the funding of the Americorps grant worked. I ended up only taking 1 class, because I had a pretty busy summer and didn't want to crack like a dropped plate. The U is expensive, and I qualify for a Pell grant, so I figured they would fund my Americorps $ and then the Pell grant and I would get any excess cash for "living expenses". The U didn't do it this way. They instead paid the tuition with my Pell grant first, then the balance (There was a balance because they charge a lot, even for just 3 credit hours) with some of the Americorps $, leaving the rest unused, but not refunded, either. This is fine. I was a little disappointed, having hoped that I would get some cash in the deal, but it's okay. I took a class and didn't have to pay for it.

However... at the U, I was majoring in English. In order to get the BA degree, I would be required to complete a 4th year-level foreign language class. I got my AAS from Ricks College in 1992, and I took French all 4 semesters, but the last semester I chose to take a conversation class instead of the 4th level class. This has come back to kick me in the butt, all these years later. That class does not count toward my degree at the U. Instead, I would be required to either take the 4th level class or "test out" of a foreign language. Ha! 20-something years later, how much French do you think I remember? Not enough for either option, unfortunately. And I don't want to start over and spend 4 semesters taking French, which I will not be using in my future career hopes/dreams/plans.

Then one day, a friend posted on Facebook about BYU-Idaho's online degrees, and I checked it out. I can finish my BA online from the same school I went to all those years ago? Huzzah! The only problem is that the online degree program doesn't offer an English major. Instead, I will be getting a "University Studies" major, with a minor in English and two concentrations: Family History and either some form of editing or writing (still undecided on that). I am SO EXCITED. 

Right now, I'm taking Intro to Family History and a Humanities course. The best thing about LDS church schools is wonderful way they integrate the gospel into everything. I love my church, and I love the atmosphere of a school that is focused on learning, bettering ourselves, and our relationship with Jesus Christ. I feel strongly that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing right now.

That being said, I'm also feeling a little nervous about keeping up with everything. I'm pretty busy already, but I love learning so much, and hopefully the Lord will bless me and I'll be able to stay on top of everything. Luckily, I have kids who can drive and cook and help out with the house!

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