Well the Christmas holiday has come and past. It was a very pleasant and much needed break. I had almost 4 weeks to recoup and get ready for Spring Semester. Three semesters down and five to go!
While I was off, I had time to work on this Blog and study for my certification in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program that is held at the Harrisburg campus every year. Volunteers provide free income tax preparation assistance to low-income, elderly, and disabled taxpayers as well as to taxpayers for whom English is a second language. VITA assistance covers federal, state and local tax returns. This is a great program that provides a needed service in the community and gives the volunteer valuable experience working with clients. For more information on becoming a volunteer for VITA please follow the link.
Grades have been released for last semester and I did better than expected. Grades normally come out the first few weeks of the next semester. This is primarily because Ninety-five percent of the final exams are in essay form and consists of two or more essay questions. Multiple that by twenty to thirty students per class and then consider each professor on average has two to three classes and the sum is that each Professor has many pages to read and evaluate in a very short time. I have heard from many professors that they would be happy to teach for free, but they would require considerable pay to actually grade exams. So as you are waiting for grades to come out, the next semester is already in full swing. Try not to worry about it and just concentrate on the present.
For Extended Division Students, the second semester of your second year is the first chance you get to choose an elective and decide your own schedule. This semester I am taking Torts II, Civ Pro II, Professional Responsibility, and a seminar on Climate Change Law. This means that I have class on Mondays from 4:00 pm to 10:05 pm, a two hour class on Wednesday and another four hours on Thursday. So far it seems manageable. My only concern is commuting to Harrisburg on Mondays. I have exactly one hour to get from work to the campus via Interstate 78 to 81. It is normally a 40 minute drive so any delays could be a problem. If you will be commuting to the campus, it is always a good idea to talk to your professor at the beginning of the semester to let them know your situation and then they normally will be more understanding if you are actually tardy. However, try not to be a habitual offender. If you find that you are consistently late, then consider taking classes that start a little later or see if you can work out some arrangement with your employer on those days.