Reaching out. Reaching up.


Crazy Cat Lady
I finally got on facebook. I'm using my given full name. My uncle and his son, my cousin are both Ph.Ds. Uncle in mathematics and cousin in a newer field called bioinformatics. He's teaching the use of technology to explore genetics.

I've had a fascination with cellular biology and molecular biology, but hit a wall due to weak math skills. Plus, I've basically been stagnating up North for ten years. I got up the nerve to engage in conversations with these two and their FB friends on the sciences.

U've bee asking a lot of dumb questions. Or at least they seem dumb to me. If I don't understand eh answers, I either ask more questions, or do more research on my own. I am having a BLAST!

My cousin just messaged me to ask me if I wanted some of his old biology and chemistry textbooks and my uncle is sending me some textbooks and teaching materials for some college algebra courses he taught.

I've been taken under the wings of a couple of freaking geniuses! I still feel dumb. I am well educated for a high school dropout. I only have a sophomore year education with some art history courses taken after I got my GED.

To my surprise all their genius friends are pitching in to bring me up to speed! I cannot tell you how much courage it took to "open my mouth" after reading these pages. They seem to be enjoying me curiousity and interest.

I got a textbook on biogenetics on my porch yesterday AM. My cousin got my address from my sister and sent me a textbook meant for Biology 201/Chemistry 101 students as an introduction to bioinformatics. I am reading where my cousin blogs about his field of study and it is just fascinating.

So, I'm "going back to school" to learn more about a subject that has always fascinated me and I've got a bunch of Ph.Ds to help teach me.

Daniel, my cousin, sort of interviewed me via PM to assess my background and feels I can handle this textbook. I'm to shout out if I get confused. I am really looking forward to this, but it's kind of scary.

The thirst for knowledge is still there; it's an integral part of who I am, but it's been so long! What if I make a fool out of myself?
I found there are a whole lot of people out there with similar world-views to mine and I'm having fun talking.

When I'm not playing with the geeks, I'm talking cats and pets and old friends. It's really a lot of fun.

My aunt, my uncle's wife, was an English professor until she retired. She teaches English, Spanish, and German now, and edits books on the side. It makes me re-read my posts several times before posting, which is not a bad thing. I don't do too badly with grammar and usage, and I have a large vocabulary, but I have no formal education in much of anything other than hardware engineering and telecommunications.

Wish me luck. I have the textbook, but haven't gotten up the nerve to read more than the introduction and leaf through it. So far, I can see that I'm horribly outdated and will have to re-do a lot of my cellular biology stuff from years ago to catch up. With the change in mindset, I'm looking forward to that.

Don't be afraid to stretch your wings. If I'm not too old, too bipolar, or too aspie to do so, you aren't either.



Well-Known Member
Wow! I'm glad you finally found your way to Facebook with the rest of us! If you PM me, we can trade info and I'll "Friend" you. :beautiful-female:


Crazy Cat Lady
I sent you a message with my info. I look forward to making contact with folks on facebook. We've lost a LOT of the old timers as the board has changed over the past year or so.


Quid me anxia?
Hey GoingNorth! I am a product of the 1970's. My university got rid of all requirements when SDS members took over the cafeteria and made their demands. I was elated to be able to get a degree while taking only languages and literature classes for three years. Now I can't even figure out the tip at a restaurant. There are great sites on facebook concerning science subjects. I will never live long enough to learn all that I missed when I was in college. If you want to connect send me a private message. I often worry about you in the cold weather.


Roll With It
You ROCK!! I am super sure that your genius relatives and their friends will have just as much fun helping you learn as you will have learning. I have seen this from their end and a student who truly wants to learn and is genuinely curious is a special gift to many teachers. It is even more special in this 'will that be on the test' era where students were quite literally taught with a serious goal of passing a standardized tests. They won't care that you are not paying, and will likely have fits of glee as they work with you. I saw this in my husband, both my parents, my adopted gpa, and other professors I have known.

A student like you, who is very well read, has an active and curious mind and a unique perspective on the world often leads a teacher down the less traveled road - and it is often quite a fun journey for the student and the teacher alike. Esp as they both realize that the roles are not always so clear as they move down that path.

For what is likely a more simplified resource that is available 24/7, you might explore khan academy on youtube. It is free video classes on all sorts of topics that are supposed to be free high school/college classes on many topics. I have no clue how good or bad the videos are, but the idea was to make a truly free education on any topic. So it might help when you are trying to figure something out.

One thing to remember - there ARE dumb questions. Dumb questions are the ones we don't ask!


(the future) MRS. GERE
GN, I've always thought that you were one of the smartest women I know. I am so happy to hear that you are spreading your wings!



Crazy Cat Lady
Thanks, Suz! I got through the introductory chapter of my textbook and that made sense. I even was able to answer the questions at the end of the chapter correctly, so I did understand what I was reading. Before bed I will read the next chapter.

I can say that it's just fascinating. This book is aimed at college students who have four years of AP biology in High school. I had that, but so much of what I taught myself has either been proven incorrect, or is just lacking details that research has added. There are parts to cells that play important roles in their function, that I didn't even know existed!


Well-Known Member
make a fool out of myself

I think your news is awesome. There are a lot of us "odd ducks" out there. One of the great things about the internet is that it helps us connect with each other. Enjoy all you are learning and don't be afraid to do what you want to do and pursue what you want to know. What anybody else thinks is only their problem; not yours.


Active Member
Well good for you GoingNorth :) Your desire to learn will make you a success at whatever you try. I'm so glad you are going for it and with all that wonderful support. Wow. :) by the way m. I'm not on Facebook. Can't seem to find the time.


Active Member
Khan Academy (I forget the URL) has a huuuuge collection of self-ed and homeschool "classes." It's secular, and ranges in age from Kindergarten level way up to PhD

Also, if you get the "new language" bug, my housemates and I (kids too!) are working on German via

The Web has a lot of dreck - but a lot of amazing things to learn and read and do. Your relatives and friends, you're finding out, know the difference between "uneducated" and "ignorant." The former can be fixed, the latter - that takes a desire to Know.

Good luck and Enjoy!