April 29, 2021

College & The Older Gal

As another semester closes in my old-lady-online-journey towards my bachelor’s degree, I have to laugh. Being an online student in a recently remote world, I’ve had the advantage of not exactly feeling my age. I can correspond with my classmates, and they presume that I am just like them...taking an extra class here or there online to get across the finish line.

That is until this semester when I embarked on my Small Group Theory voyage, where we naturally had (thankfully only) one group project. I was one of six undergrads and the only adult of the group. I initiated the first contact with my group members as soon as I found out who we all were.


A few days went by and I sent another group message, thinking maybe my first message didn’t go through. Our project was to choose one of a handful of movies to review, each movie could only be selected by one group- meaning if we didn’t act fast, we would be wasting an awful lot of time in the selection process. (I quickly realized this is an old-lady thought...college kids have nothing but time. Waste it away! Not on my watch, hoss.)

Still nothing.

Finally, roughly 36 hours before our movie selection was due and almost a full week after my first message, I had received responses from 3/6. Well, shit. I thought. A mere few hours before our selection was due, one straggling response came in.

“Yes, let's review Mean Girls!” the classmate said. 

So fetch.

I’m not sure what happened to her after that post. Perhaps she was abducted by aliens or the flying murder hornets from last year found her, but it was the last we heard from her. Then there is the other classmate who never felt the need to respond at all. (How do people do that?! I cannot not respond or complete tasks. #oldladystatement)

As predicted, our movie was already selected so we went back to the drawing board. I encouraged my groupmates to check their email daily and please, for the love of worms and dirt, respond to your peers. They basically stuck their tongues out at me and made a farting noise. 

“Honey, they are in college...all they care about is hooking up and partying and...”

“Not doing what I freaking ask of them?!”
“You are the mom in the group, aren’t you? You’re mothering all these poor college kids that just want to go out and drink, barely get-by in this class...and..”

“AND I AM NOT HAVING THAT!! NOT ON MY WATCH!!” I said again, “We are not...and their parents are not paying GOOD money for them to go to school and have them fail. And I’m not failing this project just because I’m in a group with a bunch of half wits.”

“Poor kids,” my husband whispered.

I’ve never sounded more like a 36 year old mother in my life. I didn’t care. 

I sent messages out daily and finally, my group mates got tired of hearing the morris code of dings on their phones as messages came through, and 3/6 helped to choose a movie to review, selected topics, chose which portions of the paper they were going to work on, and had their portions of the paper back to me by the date I instructed. Praise the Lord.

After submitting our paper, I sent one final message to my group. I thanked them for their patience and let them know I was the oldest in the group and without some schedule, it was difficult to juggle two full time jobs, mom life, farm life, wife life, and college life. I received two responses.

“You kept us really organized. I figured you were older,” from one group mate. (Thanks...older. Ouch.)

“When is this due?” from the group member we never heard from during the entire.freaking.process. 

Small Group Theory - one thing is for sure, I learned the difference in myself on the first college go-round and now, during our time together. I am very thankful to be the somewhat obsessive, schedule oriented, straight A student that I am today. 

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