School alert


School alert

By Joanie Buettgen

Copyright 2010

As baby boomers we shouldn’t have to worry about school. The house is empty, the hubby is at work, and my dog isn’t needy-yet.  

All this “quiet” changed when I started checking out college.

Remember when we registered our children in the fall?

What a mess.

With that youth nightmare in my mind, I drove slowly to the instructional site. I should have turned around but it was too late. Then, I pulled into the empty visitor’s parking lot.

At the registration desk, I noticed kids in torn jeans, new laptops, and many were doing the IPod shuffle. None were carrying books.

My first appointment was at 9 a.m. with a guidance counselor, Tim.

I was early and Tim already looked worried.

Tim ushered me through and around a maze of cubicles. I sat down in front of his desk. The only thing on his desktop was his computer. We chatted about my career possibilities and I left with a single piece of paper for my life changing career.

This document was my new profession packet, at the top of the page it read, “Academic Planning Guide.”

My hands started to sweat.

Scanning the text I noticed: First Semester: MS Office, Skill Building & Document Processing, Business English, Medical Technology, and Pre-algebra.

Pre-algebra? I thought to myself, “When was the last time I took this course?”

Then, I remembered how I hated math.

The process of deciding which course I would take only worsened with numerous calls to many counselors…daily.

Back home, I started to assemble what I would need for registration day, which was a week away. My desk started to look like phyllo pastry, which consisted of many, thin layers, and lots of yellow sticky notes.

I then started my own, “Honey do list.”

Published: Minnesota Moments Magazine, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, and the National Barn Alliance.

Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop attendee.

Social Networking: Blog:,, www.linkedin/com/in/joaniebuettgen.


4 responses »

  1. I remember going back to school in my middle 30’s and I felt old. Ha ha! Of course in those days the dinosaurs still roamed and people marveled at the invention of fire… No books just mechanical instruments?
    Tough but you will definitely make it through. At some point you crossover from golden oldie of the past to classmate.
    Enjoyed the piece.

  2. School is not for the timid. Let us know how it turns out. You’ll be a great student because you can remember history the other students have only read about.

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