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Marge - Going back to school can be enjoyable By LEEANN...
Going back to school can be enjoyable By LEEANN LAMBERT The Daily Journal D oes the thought of taking an algebra test completely stress you out? • Do you have a hard time figuring out what questions will be on a test? • Would you like to go back to college but are afraid you won't be able to keep up with the other students? By taking college student success classes, says Mendocino College counselor and instructor Candie Dickinson, you can conquer your fears and make your college learning experience enjoyable and productive. This past fall semester' Ukiah resident Marge Thatcher - she operated Thatcher's florist shop in town for 22 years before retiring - decided to go back to college and took three short-term college guidance classes. The classes - orientation to college, effective study skills, and test anxiety/testing taking techniques - are taught one after another during one semester, and Thatcher said they were "terrific." "I really feel strongly that these classes should also be taught in high school," said Thatcher, "especially to students who are thinking of going to college." The orientation to college class, she said, "focused on setting short- Barbara Vasconcellos/The Dally Journal Marge Thatcher, a student at Mendocino College, has found student success classes helpful to her. term and long-term goals for yourself and looking at what career you might want to pursue. "I learned that you always have to set goals in life," Thatcher said, "It's easier then because you have a direction to go in, and I learned it's O.K. to change that direction, too." For example, Thatcher said she thought she signed up to take a beginning computer class. "I'm computer illiterate," she said, and that's why she took the class. But she soon she discovered she was in over her head. However, because she was taking Dickinson's college guidance class and had been told if you get in trouble while taking a class you should talk to a counselor, Thatcher followed that advice and was able to switch to a class that better suited her. "I don't know if I would have done that," - asked for help, she said - "if I hadn't been taking her class. "Don't let yourself get overwhelmed," she warned, "talk to peo- UlC. Another tppic of the class was researching different careers you may be interested in, and Thatcher wrote her paper on becoming an in-home health worker. "At this time in my life, I want to do something humanitarian," she said. Thatcher has been taking Spanish classes off and on at the college over the years and thought that would also be helpful for that kind of career. Then while taking her study skills class, Thatcher said she learned how to effectively read and study from a textbook, how to use different note-taking techniques, and how to anticipate what will be on a test. "Be sure the teacher knows who you are," she said, was one of the things she learned that makes a difference when taking a course. "And learn how your teacher teaches." Just as there are different ways teachers teach, there are different way students learn, she said. "One of the things we found out in-' the class was how we learned," Thatcher continued. "I'm best at kinetic and audio learning. Or in other words, I learn best by doing and hearing. "I found out I have to take notes if I'm listening to a lecture," she said, to make learning effective for her. In the test-taking class, Thatcher said she learned how to make notes in the margins of her textbooks and write down possible test questions after reading the each assignment. The class also concentrates on how to reduce test anxiety and personal stress. "They teach you how to deal with any kind of anxiety," she said. Starting Jan. 20, Spring Semester at Mendocino College, Thatcher said she is signed up for three classes: A combined keyboarding and data processing class, a fitness class, and she is retaking a Spanish conversation class she took over eight years ago. , ,_ , , • . "I stilt get my verb tenses mixed up," she said, "but I speak well enough to make myself understood." Thatcher and her husband, Jack, lived in Spain while he was in the military. She said they learned a lot from their Spanish-speaking friends, but sadly they were too nice to correct their grammar. Thatcher's husband owned Jack Thatcher Electric, she said, but died after a heart attack last April, the day before they were to head off in their motor home for trip to Arizona. "That changed what I was doing with my life," she said. But now Thatcher has taken the leap See COLLEGE, Page 6

Clipped from
  1. Ukiah Daily Journal,
  2. 15 Jan 1998, Thu,
  3. Page 3

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  • jackjo410
    Marge, Thought you'd enjoy this. I was browsing Uhiah newspapers and found it. Jack

    jackjo41011 Apr 2013

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