Monday, May 03, 2010

Camilla Kimball, Lucky Dog

Sometime during the 20-or-so years that I have been in Relief Society, I have heard several times the anecdote about Camilla Kimball being such a believer in continuing education that “she continued to take college courses up into her 80’s.”

Have you heard that one?

It sticks in my head because I have always been a lover of school, and when I heard this anecdote, what I was really hearing was not an admonition but permission. I mean, it felt the same to me when I heard that as it would if someone were to say that she also ate chocolate right up into her 80’s.

What I’ve been thinking about lately is how dang lucky she was. Because she had something going for her that I don’t: much more money, special privileges, or both. I am having a dang hard time trying to figure out how to keep taking college classes. Because here’s what I’ve found: to take a class from the school of my choice, BYU, is nearly impossible. Not unfairly, seats in classes are reserved for legitimate students, not continuing ed-ers like myself. I require special permission to be allowed to even take a class. (So far, my one request has been denied because, they said, it didn’t appear that I NEEDED the class.) Oh, and assuming I could get the permission? I get to pay post-baccalaureate tuition to the tune of around $1000 per class.


Thank goodness there is the independent study program, which requires no special permission and is about half as much money. Still, $500 a pop is a killer. And I really, really prefer live instruction (and the deadlines that come with it).

I’ve priced other schools around here, including community colleges, and in every case I am looking at at least $500 for independent study and closer to $1000 for a live class.

How in the world could I justify such a thing, just for my own amusement? I find myself looking for excuses (“I need credit in order to renew my teacher’s license”—which is true, or “This will help me in my future career”—which limits me to writing and teaching classes but what if I want to take logic or physical science or American Heritage again?).

The answer, of course, is to craft my own instruction using books from the library, etc. I have even been known to go down to BYU and buy syllabi from classes I wish I could take and follow them. But it’s JUST NOT THE SAME.

So, anyway, I’m happy for Sister Camilla and her special permission to take classes at BYU, but don’t hold her up as an example to me because that’s candy I can’t have!


Anonymous said...

Wow, I had no idea .

I've been known to use "It's cheaper than therapy" as a justification for buying an expensive serger and sewing machine, but I'm not sure those prices for classes really are cheaper than therapy.

Anonymous said...

I think something available to you that even Camilla didn't have is access to House Bill 60. Of course you'll have to wait, but I don't think Camilla was able to take classes at a university when her children were young.

Praying for you,

Darlene Young said...

Woah, Kathryn, you have given me hope! Thank you! And thanks for the prayers. I need them.

mary ann said...

Darlene, any lover of What's Up Doc is always welcome to audit Rob's classes. You would probably already have had something like his cultural theory, but he would love to have you as a firestarter for discussions. In winters he and a colleague teach film theory courses (either German/Scandanavian or German/French). They're taught in English. Call him up if you want to attend!

Darlene Young said...

Hey, is that allowed? Would I have to get some sort of special BYU clearance, or just show up? Sounds fantastic.

mary ann said...

you talk to the professor and they ok it. then you just show up. [and it's a darn sight easier than doing it the other way, as I've learned from experience!]