Alma Matters (aka college 2.0)

I sit writing this in Coffman union at the University of Minnesota To my right are two (I assume) freshman girls asking each other if they are in the same classes and wondering where their buildings are. To my left is a woman who is studiously highlighting something in a three ring binder. All over a 20 something men and women buying books. I have about and hour and twenty minutes till my first class in almost thirteen years.

Having a computer I can put in my lap with a wireless internet connection makes this a ery different experience from college 1.0. I’m seconds away from Google, which means I’m really seconds away from the answer to pretty much anything that might come up in class. (well, almost. Probably can’t solve math problems) I purchased a flow pad and some pens because I rarely use paper anymore and I don’t think i can type notes in a class on series and sequences (I might be wrong). My math class didn’t have a text book for sale that I could see. My astronomy textbook is by far the coolest textbook I’ve ever had, complete with 2 CD-ROM’s and a companion website. Its chock full of graphics, but not in a high school dumbed down sort of way.

Somethings never change. Some lefty group has a table up in the union (animal rights I think). I’m sure there will be another there tomorrow, and probably once every two weeks a christian group will make a cameo appearance. College 1.0 had no real involvement in campus life, and college 2.0 wont either.

I’d lie if I said I wasn’t a bit nervous about my math class. Its been a while since I took one and I haven’t really been doing problems in my spare time since then. On the other hand, I can focus more time on one class than I could in 1.0. My astronomy course looks to be a total breeze. I read most of the textbook and knew most of it already. (famous last words)

If anyone else is reading this who is taking classes here, my class times are 12:20 – 1:10 and 2:30 – 3:20. My classes are not far from the union.

I’m going to have to get into the habit of recharging my laptop nightly. I’m going to have to use a few hours of battery every day now.

By Gary

3 dimples. 7 continents. 130 countries.

4 replies on “Alma Matters (aka college 2.0)”

I took Astronomy at Mac – one of best classes I took there, even if the lab was at 8:00 a.m. and conducted in a darkened planetarium. I suspect the U of M version will be a little more advanced.

I suspect you’ll be surprised at how easy going back to school is. It took about 20 minutes of grad school for me to realize that having some experience in the real world is a very useful thing, as is the focus that comes with (a) choosing to be there and (b) paying for it yourself.


you are so cool. I mean, you are the coolest guy ever. I’m a total knob compared to you.

Took the day off and was just reading up some blogs and thought I would post here

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