Thursday, June 11, 2015


1/2 of the Minerals Tray 

I started summer school on Monday at American River.  The campus is relatively sparse, in comparison to the spring semester. 

As a kid, I loved summer school and used to beg my parents to go.  I attended Catholic school from autumn to spring, but summer school was my opportunity to go and rub elbows with the wild hooligans that populated the public schools in Tracy.  This is where I met a lot of my childhood friends.  They didn’t know me as a girl who struggled with academics, sports, or social status.  These fresh new public-school faces met me and instantly proclaimed me as pretty and funny.  You have to understand that I have never placed first in any contest, but the anonymity of summer school brought out the best in me.

Here I am – 52 and returning to summer school – and this time it’s all business.  I am attending  for the same reason everyone else is: to pick up extra credits that I need for a degree.  Normally, the Los Rios Community College district allows summer school students to take 8 credits for an eight-week semester.  Classes move at a faster pace, so 8 credits is a full plate. Before I left the spring semester I petitioned the school to take an extra class –I am taking 10 credits.

Geology 300 – Physical Geology – 3 credits
Geology 301 – Geology Lab – 1 Credit
Business Tech 350 – Virtual Workplaces – 3 Credits
Health Education  300 – 3 Credits

After carrying a full load in the spring, which included two honors courses, I thought I’d be ready for the heavy load at triple pace.  I think I was wrong…

Dr. Teerlink lectures about the Rock Cycle

Geology  is technical stuff and I thought I'd enjoy this branch of science.  To fulfill a science requirement (and all students do to earn any degree) I must take a lecture with a lab companion.   
I used to love Geology as a kid, so I decided on placing this as my first choice for science - and I got in.  The truth is, most students in class (and our class is FULL!!) have taken biology and chemistry and knew how many tectonic plates were crashing into each other or moving apart from each other...before they walked in.  I didn't.  I was the girl in the back of the class with tears welling up in her eyes as she shook her head.  I guess I didn't have a “working knowledge” by any means.  

"Yeah," Mario sympathized when I got home.  "You'll have to study like crazy." So I have been.  My text (which is massive) is already getting a workout.  I will not get left behind.

On Monday we were given a tray of rocks and told that we would be identifying each one (and their chemical makeup) in three days for a test.  There was no time to say “WTF?” or cry.  We all sat down and started identifying.  My lab partners were so helpful to me…  The test was today and I think I did pretty well.  Geology Lecture/Lab  is from 4:30 – 10:30 Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Health Ed is from 11:00- 2:50 Tuesday and Thursday.  On Tuesdays I stay in school twelve hours.


That’s how summer school students describe the pace for summer school.  It's almost two in the morning and I have Health Ed in a few hours.  I almost didn’t blog, but I have to - this is important stuff to chronicle.  I remember what my nineteen-year-old classmate told me on the second day of school:

“They have that 8 unit rule in summer school for a reason.”

Out of the mouth of babes....

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