The Shyness Project

Deja vu- The first day all over again

Usually, there is only one first day of school.

For me, however, there were two.

I am taking classes at two different community colleges. I’m doing this so I can get all the classes I want my first semester instead of only having a few options as a new student.

My first day at one of my colleges was great, but how was the first day at my other college going to go?  The butterflies returned at the prospect of having to go through the first day of school all over again.

Soon enough, the time came and I set foot in my first class of my first day at this college, my Career and Life Planning. I was looking forward to it because I think the subject of career choice is fascinating and I’m hoping this class will help me figure out what I want to do. I’ve already done so much research on my own, but I hope I’ll get something helpful out of this class.

I talked to the girl sitting next to me right away, and she was really friendly. In class, an activity started where we had to go around the room and find someone who fits one category on a space, like someone who loves music, or who had a leadership position in school, or who volunteers. It seemed a little silly to me at the time but I know the teacher was just trying to get us all acquainted with each other. I briefly met a majority of my classmates, and even won a candy bar for being one of the first people to turn in my sheet with all the squares filled out with signatures from each person in the class.  Woot!

Next, I headed for my Intro to Sociology class. When I entered through the doors, I saw that every seat in the class was taken. Every seat. I had no choice but to sit on the floor, so I did. Soon others came in and had to stand or find somewhere to sit on the ground as well. The room was packed with people hoping to add her class. The teacher is supposedly one of the best Sociology teachers this college has ever had, and she’s won teacher of the year awards. I was excited at the prospect of getting to learn from her, and was hoping I’d be able to add.

We all waited a little while, but there was no sign of her. But then, the door crashed open and a tall white haired woman charged forcefully down the aisle to the front of the room, yelling for everyone to put away their cell phones, and ranting that if she ever saw one out again she’d kick the person out of the class. Several people looked offended and astounded, or slightly spooked, and I could tell that some people would drop. She continued to say that she would not tolerate any talking once class begun, and anyone who talked while she was talking would be asked to leave. There are no excuses in her class, nothing can be late, and there are no make ups. Her tests consist only of essay questions, because she doesn’t believe in multiple choice tests. There would only be three tests all year, and 3 research papers.

I had read that she tries to scare people away the first day and comes off as really strict and tough, but that she is actually one of the most caring teachers on campus. Her attempt to scare us didn’t work on me, and I happily added my name to the add list when she said anyone who showed up today and wanted to learn she would teach.  I had emailed her before asking to add, and she had first sent back an automatic message that said she had over 100 people requesting to add and that she wasn’t giving out add codes before class.  I wrote back saying that was a ton of people and clearly shows what a sought out teacher she is, and that I was hoping to add but I’d probably have to try again another semester.  I said I was hoping to take her class because I’d heard she was an excellent teacher and I wanted to learn what Sociology was about.  To my surprise, she wrote back saying it was her last semester, and she said to come to the first class and introduce myself and she was sure that I had a pretty good chance of getting in.

I was a little nervous to approach her after the big scary image she had presented of herself, but felt like since I had said I would introduce myself, that I should. After adding my name to the add list, I said, “Hi my name is Brittany, I emailed you over the summer about adding your class, and I said I would introduce myself, so I wanted to be sure and do that.” I held my hand out and we shook hands and she smiled and touched my arm and said she was really glad I made it to her class and was going to add. She asked if I’d gotten the books already and I said that I had, and I was looking forward to her class. It was a nice friendly exchange and probably made a good first impression on her.

Next I had speech class. I started talking to the lady next to me, Heather. On the first day we were given an assignment to interview the person next to us in class, so we ended up interviewing each other and another woman joined our group too since there was an odd number. Heather’s a mom of three teenagers and I learned some miscellaneous facts about her. The following class we would have to introduce our partner to the class, so I tried to find out some things that I thought would be interesting to share.

All in all the first day of this college went well too, though my previous first day was even better in my opinion. It was a good day though and I was glad to be done with both of my first days!

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16 thoughts on “Deja vu- The first day all over again

  1. Yay for good days! 🙂

  2. I’m full of admiration. Approaching that teacher must have been quite a step, even after all those e mails. Your assertiveness does you such credit 🙂

    • Thanks Kate, I figured she really was a caring person underneath the intimidating image she presented in class, so I wanted to approach her. And I’m really glad I did! She definitely showed a different side one-on-one. 🙂

  3. kindamixedup on said:

    Now, that is interesting that you decided to take classes in two different colleges. I hope it is not too much going back in forth from one place to the other. I remember it used to take me an hour and and half to go to college. If ever you have to spend a lot of time on the road, I would suggest to do your homework and reading and studying while you are traveling from one place to the other if you are not driving. For me college was all about time management. That way, mid-semester and end-of-semester rush was a little bit less stressful and crazy. Let me know how it goes for you, brittany!

    Oh, and I hope you will like your sociology class. I absolutely loooved my intro to sociology class in college. It was fun and interesting!

    • Surprisingly it has been pretty easy, I go to one Mondays and Wednesdays, and the other Tuesdays and Thursdays. Next semester I am just going to one college though since I’ll have returning status and should be able to get the classes I want. The drive to each place is only about a half hour, so it isn’t bad, though I am driving by myself so I can’t do school work then. I’ve had time to do it after school though and so far it hasn’t been too stressful. Thanks!

      And Vee, I absolutely love my sociology class. It is one of the best, if not the best, classes I’ve ever taken. The teacher is amazing. Every day I’m seriously excited and enthused as she shares with us all these different interesting studies that have been done and stories from her experiences. She has led an interesting life, from teaching prisoners in jail, to teaching elderly people hooked up to tubes so they can breathe. It makes me want to take more sociology classes, though I don’t know if any others will ever be as exciting and interesting as her class! But if they are all similar to it then I wouldn’t even mind majoring in it or getting at least a minor. Thanks for writing, good to hear from you! 🙂

  4. Well done.It’s great that writing down your thought and sharing other people.
    That’s why you remember these efforts someday and will be encouraged. 🙂

  5. Sounds great! Just don’t overdo it, young lady. Remember to have some fun when you’re not burning the candle at both ends.

  6. Sounds great! I look forward to hearing about the sociology class – the teacher sounds like she may have some worthwhile stuff to share.

    • Thanks Patti! She’s got a ton of interesting and informative info to share. I’ve never been able to retain so much of what I’ve learned before and been so enthusiastic about sharing what I learned with friends and family. I think it really helps that she gives several examples and stories with every single concept or point she teaches. It really makes the material come alive and increases the retention of it because you think of that story or study when you think of it. 🙂

  7. Hi! I stumbled across your blog from your comment on a toastmasters ice-breaker speech somewhere on WordPress.

    I’m 18 too, in Australia, college freshman and I’m just starting Toastmasters as well (though you’re ahead of me by 1 speech)! I used to have social anxiety disorder and I was very, very shy. Somehow, it just went away. Social anxiety disorder and shyness are so very debilitating sometimes. I wish you all the best. I’m very sure that you’ll be able to overcome it.

    I wanted to comment on your ‘about’ page but it seems like the comments are closed. I’ll be following your blog 🙂 Have fun in college.

    • Cool, thanks for sharing how you found me! I’m always interested in hearing about how people stumble across this page. 🙂

      Awesome Justine! Australia, that’s a place I want to visit someday! I hope your Toastmasters journey is going well! That’s great that your social anxiety went away with time, it can certainly make things a lot more difficult.

      I know, I had to close the comments on that page because I was getting 1000s of spam comments only on that page for some reason. So I just closed the comments, and now I can actually sort through my spam folder and catch things that are marked incorrectly! Before it was impossible. Thank you very much, I’ll be reading yours too! Stop by again anytime! 🙂

  8. loved your account of your new teacher. She sounds like an awesome teacher. I liked reading your thoughts on how to “read” her first impressions. her style probably comes from years of teaching experience, knowing how to set the tone and make sure everyone knows who’s in charge. I would enjoy sitting under her myself. Bet she has a lot to share,…and I’m sure you did make a good first impression. life and work has been very busy on my end..haven’t had a chance to do much blogging lately. dm

    • Thanks Doug, she is awesome! You’re exactly right, I think she was trying to set the tone for the class and make it known that nonsense wouldn’t be tolerated in her classroom. She certainly has a wealth of information to share from her knowledge and life experiences. I’m sure you’ll get around to posting soon, though I know what you mean, I have a lot of posts in my head that I have yet to publish here. Thanks again Doug! 🙂

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