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I, Artichoke

School starts on Monday, August 24 - one year to the day since I started this pre-med adventure - and sadly, I will NOT be going back to ASU...


(And yes, I could hear you through the computer saying, "Finally, she's come to her senses!")

OK, seriously, I'll be taking physics this fall at SCC instead of at the second-largest public university in the country. Why, you ask? Well, I know I'm not very good at math (and was almost rejected by SCC because I didn't quite meet the criteria for Physics 101 as I had not taken Math 096. Granted, I took Calculus for Math Majors and made a C... but we eventually got it figured out. Magna Comes Loudly also comes in handy sometimes.

That said, let's do a little math:

Tuition at ASU for one semester of General Physics for me (and 200 of my closest friends): $2,290
Tuition at SCC for one semester of General Physics for me: $314

Um, yeah - the entire semester at SCC is exactly 13.7% of the costs of an entire semester at ASU. Taking that one step further, the entire semester at SCC costs $195 LESS than one credit hour (for me) at ASU. You will recall that I have the distinct pleasure of paying GRADUATE STUDENT RATES for lowly undergraduate weed-out classes. My tax (and tuition) dollars at work. Suffice it to say, this semester we decided to put my salary dollars at work as well, serving as a bigger hedge against economic uncertainty.

In July, Pat dodged the THIRD round of layoffs at the paper, and frankly the axe swung a little to close to the throat. We both felt it'd be better to save those two house payments, parlay the difference into my poker career and invest a smaller, more manageable amount in a quality community college education; therefore, I am an Artichoke this year.

Yes, the Scottsdale Community College mascot is the noble Artichoke - I cannot WAIT to get to the bookstore and buy my T-shirt! Let me know if you want me to score one for you as well!

Several people have asked me if I'm disappointed not to be going back to ASU this fall - especially since I was scheduled to take ... wait for it ... ORGANIC CHEMISTRY!!! But my initial disappointment was much offset by the price tag - organic chemistry will always be there, and my adventures at SCC will enable me to touch all the bases of academic achievement during this, my second lap around the educational track. Plus, I'm certain it will provide me with LOTS more material - as if I didn't have enough to complain about at ASU.

This way, I get some breathing room financially. After all, if I make it to med school, we'll be taking on enough debt to finance... wait for it... THE FEDERAL DEBT!!! Why go into the hole before I get there? And besides, if I phail physics at SCC, you should be THRILLED that they won't let the likes of me into medical school, ergo my becoming an Artichoke might just be the best thing that ever happened to your appendix.