"Song of the Open Road," was a movie of the 1940's which tried to get people to go to California to pick the summer fruit harvest. It portrayed farming as a happy time set to music with beautiful young people dancing through the fields, baskets of fruit on their arm. Of course we know what happened to those people: they landed in the Central Valley without work and John Steinbeck wrote books about them.
The apples are still ripening on the trees; the blackberries have finally reached their peak; the tomatoes are still small and green, but Contra Costa College (CCC) is already receiving its fall semester students. The phrase "fall semester" seems to have no meaning when it starts in mid August. Yet, it definitely started last Friday. (And public school also starts before Labor Day)
However, you can still sign up for a class all the way until August 25, for $36 a unit, a incredible bargain. (Non-US students pay $231 per unit.) How you do it is this: you look it up online at www.contracosta.edu and then you go to the class and get an add number from the instructor. If he or she has any seats left in the classroom you will almost certainly get in.
The inside scoop is that many students who registered for classes last April have dropped or changed their schedule, leaving vacant seats in many classes. CCC is down about 1,000 students from what they expected. This is a suburban city college with many part time students who are looking for work, and taking classes while they continue their job search. Hopefully some of those 1,000 no-shows got jobs, which would explain why they did not show up for class on Friday, August 12.
CCC does have an employment office to help students who need jobs, but you need to be registered half time to use it. Half time means at least six units, or usually, two courses. Working part time while going to college is a good way to get your foot in the door with a company that has a solid reputation. For example, Chevron hires many of its workers right out of CCC. You could add another letter of reference to your portfolio if you do well. And it's easier to get a job when you already have a job. After the public school ROP program, my second best bet would be to take courses at CCC for a job with Chevron. I got hired there in 1988 following training in the information systems department at CCC, but I only lasted six months, probably because I had not yet quit smoking at that point in time. So getting hired does not mean you have a job for life: you still have to fit in. Now I am 68 years old and not sufficiently meek, quiet, and obedient, and I still argue occasionally, although I am still working on my attitude at CCC. I guess I am just not their type. If you want a job on a ship, you should inquire about what it takes to get into the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, which is part of the California State University system, believe it or not. Maybe you could transfer in there from CCC. When it comes time to getting a job as a merchant seaman, it might help to have two years in the Navy under your belt, just like a job as a journalist might be more in your reach after spending a couple of years in the US Army. If on the other hand, like John McCain, your parents and grandparents were all military officers, well, you didn't have much choice, did you? You are probably very good at what you do, whatever that is, and I would not presume to ask questions like that. At one time I thought I might have had a relative in the Navy because I got a summer job working for the National Maritime Union in New York City, but my dream of being a merchant seaman died when I got my eating disorder that I got for being a civil rights protestor in a Woolworths in Greensboro, NC, in the 1960's. My dad wrongfully thought I was his enemy, so I guess that's what they did to their enemies: they gave them a record of civil disobedience, since my dad thought he was the government and I would not obey the government 100 percent of the time. He thought women didn't count for much. He thought the Navy was just a branch of the US Army. The Navy side of the government in my family was either my mom or my aunt, or both.
Here are some transfer facts from Cal Maritime (from their web site):
- Cal Maritime accepts both lower and upper division transfer students
- 44% of the entering class are transfer students
- An Associate’s Degree is not required for transferring.
- Several majors require a four-year commitment of study even if you have completed a Bachelor’s Degree and/or have many transfer units. This is due to the specialized nature of coursework at Cal Maritime.#