Last night was the last of the four class sessions for this one-credit inquiry class for Prior Learning Assessment. We had guest speakers - heads of departments and representatives from the various departments, speaking to how PLA fits in with their various degree programs. We talked about how standardized testing fits into degree programs. We got just a little bit better at laying our own hands on our own futures - no kidding.
It's been an amazing process, mostly because the instructor has the students not only complete assignments and provide information, but also evaluate their own work, discuss options for using it, and find new ways to see it in the first place. Marylhurst is a place where the students own their own learning. Sounds corny, maybe, but it's true. I've seen it now.
So ... it wasn't conventional classroom pedagogy. It was a combination of hands-on, personalized, lecture, group work, and written work. The format of the thing was nothing I have ever seen. (But I'd also say that it's exactly what the best of home schooling would grow up to be.) So it wasn't familiarity that made me so quietly, contentedly happy for the past month of "school." It's not college like I've ever seen before. There was something else there for me. Something deeper. I have to draw the conclusion that it's the learning itself. It's "school" in that sense. That's what I love. That's where I'm headed.