Back to school, back to school, to prove to dad that I’m not a fool…
Despite watching Billy Madison multiple times throughout my life I will always end up crying from laughing at certain scenes. From the drunk penguin to peeing his pants, that movie is hilarious. My favorite scene is when he is in the bathtub making the shampoo and conditioner argue and ends with “Stop looking at me swan!”
Like Billy I am officially “back to school” starting this Tuesday. I had contacted NASM about their personal training certification prior to the start of track season. I asked some questions and told the gentleman I would follow up once the season ended. Waiting turned out to be a blessing in disguise. When I contacted the gentleman again about registering for their personal trainer course and adding on the group trainer certification, it was actually during their biggest sale of the year which meant I could add on the group trainer certification for free! I originally thought my entire coaching paycheck would be going to paying for the courses, but because of this discount I was able to only use part of it and use the other part to help payoff our scheduled trip to New Orleans this fall.
I chose their guided study package which provided a physical textbook in addition to the online version (I much prefer physical books to online ones) as well as access to a mentor and online discussion groups among other features. I felt having access to someone to ask questions throughout the course would be very beneficial and worth the additional cost. That package also includes one free retest in the event I wouldn’t pass the certification exam the first time.
I’ve already read through all the initial information and began the first module. I want to try to get ahead as it appears two chapters are part of each module, and one module a week is covered for 10 weeks. Week 5 contains an exam and week 10 has a practice certification exam.
I have taken a few Coursera classes for fun over the years, but this will be first legit studying and learning I have done since graduating college in 2009. I have always been a good student (graduated as salutatorian of my high school class) and a great test taker, but I really want to focus on understanding the concepts rather than just memorizing definitions. That will be a bit of a challenge as I’m naturally inclined to memorize things as my style of learning. It is why I struggled with classes like physics where I could complete problems by memorizing formulas, but did awful at word problems that required fully understanding the concept. I’m hoping I can train my brain to learn this a bit differently than how I’ve learned things in the past.
I’m excited to be studying something that I am passionate about in anticipation of where it may guide me in the future. I have no intentions of leaving my current job anytime soon (working from home is hard to pass up, plus I like what I do), but I want to expand my options even if it is just some part time work on the side for fun and extra money. I think it will also benefit me as an athlete and a coach. Here’s to a new educational adventure!
Have you ever taken online courses for fun or for career change/advancement? Do you have any tips for learning concepts vs just memorizing information?