I had to leave college initially due to an illness in the family. I returned (and finished) several years later. So by the time I HAD to take speech — which I am puzzled as to the purpose, as most people dread public speaking — I was about 5–7 years older than everyone else in the class. And it was my first class of the day at 8am (blah — some overlord hated me apparently). I was also working a full-time job. But I lucked out. Between my “don’t care” attitude about my fellow students who, for the most part were living off mommy and daddy and didn’t have the same life struggles of paying a mortgage and taking care of family members while working full time + having a very understanding instructor, I managed to survive the class. I would work until 11 the night before so getting to class on time was difficult (by the time I’d get home from work, go to bed, and actually fall asleep). Pardon me, I love sleep. It’s the only true pleasure in life I don’t pay for figuratively or literally. Anyway, we came to an accord. My instructor allowed me to breeze in at the end of class, give my speech and go. This was the benefit of being a confident older woman — compared to the dizzy, um, like, whatever children I was stuck in class with — but I had to perform. No reading solely from my script, eyes downcast. No shy stammers. And my speeches had to have form and substance. No Clueless cute debates. I had to come to class ready to play. Sidebar — I had a history class the following semester, also at the crack of dawn. The professor would bring me a cup of coffee in the morning when he got his. Nothing inapproporiate there. He and I were simply closer in age and I was the only one who ever risked blurting out an answer to his class-made queries during lecture. I found teachers love it when you respond in lieu of deer in the headlights looks and or tinkering with your phone. Ultimately, I was better off returning to college a few years later. I had gained the benefit of “not giving a f*” when it came to embarrassing myself in hopes of getting the attention of a teacher or voicing my point during debates.