Our last class during the summer session was Tuesday! Tina now has the 18 hours she needs of graduate English classes to teach the dual enrollment course at the high school where she teaches, which means I have audited those graduate classes as well. I'd wanted to do that since state universities and colleges allow people 60+ to audit classes free. Since she was required to take them and the district paid for them (which means she owes them so many years of teaching here because of it), it seemed like a good time to do it. She has epilepsy and has seizures when she hasn't had enough sleep and is really tired and when she gets overheated. After teaching all day and being tired, she didn't need to drive almost an hour both ways since the classes were from 4:30 - 7:30 twice a week since we took two classes a semester. I was her designated driver/rider. Sometimes we went out to eat in Clarksville before we drove back to Dickson.
This summer class was from 9:40 - 11:30 EVERY DAY. That was a big change from my retirement schedule the last six years. First of all, I've been staying up late until 1:00 or 2:00 or later and getting up around 9:00 or 10:00. I also got out of the habit of having to be somewhere every day and definitely not every morning. I took a nap almost every afternoon.
Since these were graduate English classes, there was a lot of reading. During the last year, I've bought and read about fifteen novels, three books of essays, and assignments from an anthology of American Literature. In the creative nonfiction writing class, we wrote many essays and learned a lot about each other when we workshopped them. There were fourteen in the class, so we made copies for all the students and the instructor the week before we discussed them. We read those papers and wrote comments on them. Then they were discussed in class. Now you know why you haven't heard from me as often!
It's all been a lot of work, but I've enjoyed it. Two of the professors I loved and would like to audit again sometime. One not so much. It was fun being around students of all ages (some young enough to be my grandchildren) and learning for the pleasure of it instead of having the pressure of tests, papers, and tests. I'm thankful for the ones teaching the classes who allowed me to audit. It's their decision. The head of the department gave me permission as long as it was OK with them. It was for all of them but one. I still went there with Tina and sat out in the art gallery in the building where the English classes are taught and read, played with my phone, and knitted.
I met some neat people I'm in touch with on Facebook now, including the professor from this summer. She and I agree politically and about all kinds of things. So now it's over. I'm relieved even though I might do it again eventually since there are some more classes I would like to take - Faulkner, Southern writers, technical writing, African American Lit, postmodern lit, and some history, sociology, and cultural anthropology courses. There are some courses in the Criminal Justice Department such as Constitutional Law, International Law, and some courses on terrorism and gangs that sound interesting, too. We'll see.