By Joe Darby
My wife is in love with a college student and has been for several weeks. She cooks for him, does his laundry, likes to go out with him and seems to enjoy kissing and hugging him.
But, hold it!
If you are expecting this to lead to details of a spicy bit of gossip, or perhaps you wish to commiserate with poor Joe for what his wife is up to, you’ll be disappointed.
For you see, gentle reader, the college student who is the object of Mary’s affections is alas, me. When, some time back, we told a woman friend of ours that Mary was having a relationship with a college student, the lady grinned archly and said, “Well, congratulations.” But even with her sophisticated reaction, we think that she knew all along where the conversation was going.
So, yes, I’m a college student again, after 52 years. I’ve enrolled in NSU’s History of Louisiana course, taught by Dr. Susan Dollar, another friend of ours.
I’m doing this for several reasons. First, I truly love history and thought it would be more fun listening to a professor in person rather than watching some history lectures on C-Span. So what better course could I find for my reintroduction to the world of academia than one taught by Susan?
Mary and I have seen Susan deliver many lectures on local history and know her to be a knowledgeable teacher, with a droll sense of humor who intersperses laugh lines along with the facts that she makes so interesting.
In fact, although my journalism career was very enjoyable for the most part, if I had it to do all over again, I just may have gotten a Ph.D. in history and taught on the college level.
Another reason for my recent enrollment is the fact that the state picks up the tuition when a senior citizen takes a college course. I had assumed I could take two or more courses under this program, but my advisor informed me that it would only pay for one. I wanted to take Modern Europe from 1945 to Present, so I asked my advisor, “Well, okay, how much will it cost for me to take that second course.”
Her answer: $1,075. This inspired me to quickly drop Modern Europe.
I was also fortunate to discover that I could register online, with the help of a couple phone calls to NSU admissions staffers, who were extremely cooperative and patient with yours truly. Their efforts on my behalf speak well for NSU.
I remember when I registered at LSU, many decades ago, I and countless other students were ushered into a giant room (I forget which building registration was in). We had to go to different tables to register for each individual course that we wanted to take. It was a slow and often confusing process. For example, if I’d signed up for World History and later discovered that the time and day of the course conflicted with, say Basic Economics, I had to start all over again.
So thank goodness for computers, right?
In other ways, college seems strangely familiar. Students didn’t carry around electronic devices when I was at LSU, though the overall campus feeling is pretty similar.
Taking just one course, I don’t spend a lot of time on campus, and probably wouldn’t spend a lot of time hanging out there even if I was taking multiple courses. But the way students busily walk from one building to the next to get to class on time is just the way it was in the old days.
Bottom line, I’m having a lot of fun, getting the old brain stimulated, and the odds are I’ll take another course in the spring. All will be fine, just as long as Mary continues to love just one college student.