This summer at the university, I decided to audit a 1000 level college algebra class. Why you ask???? Well, I would like to take the GRE exam for graduate school sometime in the fall of this year and my university offers a GRE Workshop in Sept. That being said, the last college Algebra class I took was in 1973 [(That’s 1973!!!!) that’s only forty years – but, whose counting.] … and to tell the truth, I didn’t want to appear totally ignorant – a little maybe, just not a lot!!

BUT, THAT’S NOT REALLY WHAT THIS STORY IS ABOUT.  The young people I sit in class with are anywhere from in-coming freshman to sophomores. All, but a few, are having a nightmare of a Term: B in this  CORE class.

The instructor, a middle-aged woman from China with a doctorate in Math appears to be very astute  and concerned that the large number of students are having such trouble getting through this basic calculus. (It’s important to remember here that this is a summer-class and all the material is compacted from a 3-month semester time period, into a one month “crash” course; so, the heat is on and the amount of information to be covered is considerable.) The professor takes the time everyday to totally go over the material which is then backed up by the appropriate homework. As a side note; in the Math bldg, there are tutors for math and science available from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. everyday. The text-book, covers in detail explanations in theory and the problems to be addressed. (Due to the time of a summer class – five weeks total many of the students don’t bother to purchase/rent the text due to the price).

My question: At what price is knowledge worth??? Students and parents alike think nothing of paying for apartments, cellphones, great clothes, a very useable vehicle and membership for cultural Orgs on campus; all these things are for an entertaining university experience. So, at what price is education worth? The price of a “keg-o-beer” will rent a student a calculus textbook for summer semester B. Also, basic college algebra is a “core” course – YOU HAVE TO HAVE IT TO GRADUATE. 

Everyday I hear people complain that the instructor is doing a bad job at explaining the problems. Everyday, I hear the same students talk about their nightlife, etc.. I realize I’m considerably older than my student peers ….well, a lot older actually.

And then I wonder….. was I like this in 1973 – my freshman year at GSU???

Evidently so ….. I FLUNKED OUT MY SECOND QUARTER!!!!!!

I would like that to be food for thought. I’ve chewed that “cud’ for 40 years. The taste of crow leaves a lasting taste!!!

Well, once again I’ve had my sae. Thanks so much for visiting me and if you get a chance …check out my other website in the Blogroll section under comments.

Till next week. All be blessed and help someone to understand better the world in which they live.

Best!

G.

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I’ve decided on this subject, the day after the Fourth of July – our Independence Day, in my home country of the United States of America where we CAN go to school: at any age, being of any race, and any gender or religion – to say – Jezzzzz: “HOW FORTUNATE WE ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

This is probably “ol’ hat” to some folks and I’m sure at lot of the people who live in this land take this simple act of becoming educated as a given right, but we should all remember – it hasn’t always been this way. The lives that have been given in battle both on foreign soil and here at home to allow us this “gift.” During the decades of racial inequality of all colors not only black; this dicriminatory issue of our ongoing quest of who as a nation we are. Look back on the days of women’s suffrage (I can’t imagine my mother not being able to read or write – her cursive penmanship: an art she was so proud of), child labor, and other things that should have never been in our history. How far we’ve come and how far we have to go!!

If you want an experience in moving forward, the reality is only a “click” away. Sense the  people all over the world through the simple act of “blogging” being able to tell of their hopes , dreams, and imaginations to anyone who cares to look. Jezzzzzzzzzzz “HOW FORTUNATE WE ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Everyone should celebrate their good fortune of being literate at any level. Dream to learn more, imagine more, and share more! I’ve the good fortune of being a student at university and taking my own small opportunity to endow scholarships for my peers I attend class with. But, one of my biggest quests is being involved with my local city library where the people there provide such great services to my surrounding community with: reading programs, visiting authors, teaching programs for the illiterate in english (U. S. citizens and non-citizens alike), book giveaways, and so much more. YES, HOW FORTUNATE WE ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How VERY fortunate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gooddae 2ya!

G.

That may not be a big deal to some folks, but, 2 me, I believe it’s a rare and opportune moment in my life.  This marvel of my ability started in 1973; I was a freshman at GSU. Just back from the wars and ready to party. College, that’s what Georgia Southern University was at that time, a small home-town college. But, the beer was cold, weed was flowing and the women were well “playful.”

I flunked out in my second quarter. That didn’t take long ….. did it?

 So that was the start of a life long search, …. kind of “quest in search of the golden goose.” Little did I know then, this search would take me full circle right back to GSU – forty years later. Now, I’ve finally made it to within 20 semester hrs of gaining that piece of paper that tells “me … I am officially EDUCATED.” 

For what that’s worth?

Well, for me, it’s a goal long sought after. Fortunately, I didn’t need that “parchment” to make a relatively good living in this country I call home. Would I have been better off having gained a degree in my 20’s and then taken on the world …. that, nobody will ever know. The one really great thing about this country we live in: Everyone has the potential to become financially prosperous or “homeless.”

I was having a conversation with a young lady at the university – her being in the student advisement dept and all – about this exact subject: If I should have turned “right” instead of “left” way back then. All I know is if I had maybe I wouldn’t be here today, going to university and having the ability to form and project my own scholarships to help financially the students I go to class with everyday.

Odd – how things work out!!

That’s about it! If you have time,  please visit my website “linked” to this webpage there at the top. It’s called “George K. Brannen English Scholars Fund. org,” and you can get to it via this page or the web. If you would care to help me with it … me and all the students it represents would appreciate you. If you feel that’s not right for you, then maybe it will inspire you to do something on your own. It really doesn’t take a great deal of $ (just a commitment on your part) to create a scholarship, and most colleges and universities are more that happy help with matching funds or whatever and for you join them in their mission. Especially now, with the financial situational cut-backs from Congress; those folks have really put our educational system in a bind.

Bye for now!     

G.

And, what a great break it has been. Even for me, one who’s whole life is about being on break. Well, … maybe not! Everyone needs a positive direction; mine happens to be continuing learning about stuff.

I’ll be a senior this year, of course, I was a senior last year; and, if all goes as planned, I’ll be able to define myself as “educated.” A title that has alluded me for a life-time.  I would say it’s my own fault; I would prefer to use the term, … “choice.” In the middle of my freshman year, 1973, I decided my mental direction lay elsewhere; to voyage with the less academic level, and focus on the “layman’s” technical side. That decision, for me, proved the right choice!  The road I chose confirmed my suspicions … you can survive in this country and make a pretty decent living. It just takes a lot more perseverance.

Something else I found out along the way.  Any person could walk the same road I did; it’s just a bit easier if you have that piece of paper. It may not make you more intelligent; but, it sure helps.

Now I have the opportunity to reevaluate my journey, and hopefully help others figure out their side by looking at my side. One things for sure: “Everyone has a unique side to the story!”

Thank you for stopping by, and if you get a minute: pls check out the link to my “Scholar’s Fund.”  (It’s not complete, … but, I’m working on it.)

Bye for now!

G.

I am concerned by this word that entails so much meaning. Merriam-Webster defines this ideal as: ” an act or gift done or made for humanitarian purposes.” To be candid about it, I’m not even sure how I got to this point in my life. I would like to think: “It had to be some preordained path or fate to allow me the discipline of wanting to help others; because, my life or notions never gave me reason to set such a path.”

I, like so many others, came up through the ranks of life in “survival” mode. As some of my former blogs will attest, I’ve survived sixty-five years of: twists, turns, bumps, bruises, bouts of ignorance that were just unbelievable, and now – I’m here.  A university student doing the “paper-chase;” looking for that golden apple I missed so long ago.  Amazing, to say the least!

Actually, I’m about to graduate; a year or so, if I continue on my 9 hour per semester schedule. (I’ll explain that: “I’m retired.” I like to fish, take it easy, … not work so hard.) About mid-July of 2012, I was sitting around mentally rewarding myself for my goal setting prowess and accomplishments therein. Then, out came this question: “What the hell have I actually accomplished in my life – besides making it here in almost one-piece?” I realized I had done some good things, bad things, and sadly, some “ugly” things; but – NO GREAT THINGS for others; no items to really “extend ” myself in a more sense of humanism.

To the point: “If I were going to write my legacy on my tomb-stone … what would it say?” Here lies George, and he should be remembered because of ………………………….. WHAT????????????

(*This blog, I started writing it several days ago only to: think and trash, think and trash, etc.)

It’s a new year, and with it,  I’ve decided to start my own foundation. There, I’ve said it!

I’ve chosen to do this fund through my “University Advancement and Gift Foundation” at GSU. My fund is listed as the : George K. Brannen English Scholarship Fund. and the acct # 3703. It’s not very big now, but I have aspirations. It’s mostly directed toward English scholars that want to go on to graduate school and teach. Lord knows we need good teachers in Georgia, U.S.A.; I think we rank something like the 20’s nation wide. (That’s a B average after everything is considered.  The classroom here has improved; but I would like to think it can be better.)  Many of the upper-class students that are serious Graduate school candidates need to travel to different seminars/workshops which can only enhance their abilities as future instructors. This takes money that many of them don’t have. So, I decided to try and do a little something to help.  In Georgia, if a person is 62 years or older, state University is FREE . Books are the only charge, and I buy those used, … cheep! cheep! I thought that is a good reason for me to try to return the favor and in turn … help my state gain a bit of educational respect. If my SGA (Student Government Association) can pony-up some money to help all students that go to school here; surely I could shoulder the cost of a few.

I’d really like to think: “It’s the right thing for me to do!”

Since I’m a bit of novice  at things like this, I’m not really sure where and what actions I will work at from here. I am sure, some direction will show-up if I pay attention. *Constructive ideas are most welcome! 

OK! That’s about it. Thanks for stopping by.

Good Year to everyone!!!

G.