“Family Ties” star Justine Bateman, 48, returns to college for computer science degree



Wow, that’s great. I’m 44, and I have a high school diploma and maybe three years of Theatre Arts classes at a community college under my belt. Maybe one of these days I’ll go back to school too.


Can’t for the life of me figure if CS111 is some technology/language I’m unaware of or just a course number in which case the sentence makes no sense.

Betting on the latter.

Yeah, I have no doubt it’s Computer Science 111. In one of the blog entries we see in the picture, Bateman mentions trying “to understand some CS111 material,” and in that context it makes sense.

This is very pleasing to me, I can’t put my finger on exactly why.

But going back to college as a grown-up is pretty great. It’s amazing how much more you get out of it when you think of it as, like, a spa treatment you’re paying a shitload for, instead of a place you’re showing up because your parents made you.


From the UCLA course catalog for the computer science department:

111. Operating Systems Principles. (5)
Lecture, four hours; laboratory, two hours; outside study, nine hours. Enforced requisites: courses 32, 33, 35L. Introduction to operating systems design and evaluation. Computer software systems performance, robustness, and functionality. Kernel structure, bootstrapping, input/output (I/O) devices and interrupts. Processes and threads; address spaces, memory management, and virtual memory. Scheduling, synchronization. File systems: layout, performance, robustness. Distributed systems: networking, remote procedure call (RPC), asynchronous RPC, distributed file systems, transactions. Protection and security. Exercises involving applications using, and internals of, real-world operating systems. Letter grading

Five units! Sounds like a challenging class, all right.

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Isn’t she setting herself up for some serious age discrimination?

I’m sure it’ll be much less than she would encounter in hollywood.


Funny, I thought she was still acting in Orange is the New Black. Turns out that’s someone else completely.

Kudos to her though, for slogging through. A few years ago when I was getting the entrepreneurial bug, I had several people say “go learn to code” and I always dismissed them because I didn’t think I had time. Turns out I should have followed their advice…

Hey Justine - come work for me!

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I did the whole learning to code thing before college, got paid for it, got sick of it because I was working for the family business, went to junior college, studied theatre, got paid for it, finally returned to college to major in International Studies.

Hmmm…don’t think I had a point with all that.


Maybe. Or maybe she’s setting herself up to combat age discrimination.


Are you getting paid? :wink:


LOL. I didn’t notice I’d typed that bit twice. Wasn’t trying to boast, it’s really more like, yeah I made a little money, but not enough to readily live on, so I’m switching focus once again.

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I got a lot more out of college when I went back to school in my early 30s to study physics.


Fear not; you didn’t come across as boastful. I was curious how the track-switching was working out for you, and I might as well have asked “are you more fulfilled now?”


Speaking of age discrimination:

Mostly, I’d say I’m more busy. The major is a hodgepodge which throws a lot of stuff at you without doing as much reinforcing as might be useful to help you retain a lot of the info. The two disciplines which seemed the most potentially interesting to me (anthropology and history) were poorly taught, so I didn’t get all I could from them. The part of the major which I was most concerned about (Chinese language) was ironically the one I actually found most interesting. Should be headed to China next year and then who knows…

I was curious too. Her imdb page says she spent four years on ‘Desperate Housewives’ (2008-2012).

This interests me because I’m pretty close to her age and after a completely different career I’ve thought about getting back into computers, which I was very interested in as a kid in the 70s and 80s. So I did Basic and assembler programming back in the day but OOP is new to me (note to teen self: learn Pascal!). But I’ve been wondering if it’s worth it to go to back to college or am I better off self-teaching with tutorials and such? And am I completely kidding myself about employment potential, not being 20-something?

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I’m a bit amused because I’m on the same path as Justine, although I certainly don’t have the fame behind my name that she does. I’m 44 and on my last few semesters of my CS Degree. I spent most of the last 20+ years teaching myself what I needed to know to get various computer related jobs. The self-teaching is very useful, and having done that and now the more traditional model, I do see a lot of value in both. Self-taught is great for learning exactly what you need to know and moving on to the next thing. Degree-based education (at least what I’m getting here at UWP) has a broader, more interconnected base.

I don’t know if you’d be better off with one or the other. I know that my background makes me appreciate the classes more and I feel like I’m getting more out of them because I already have a lot of understanding of the material. I also know that this is something I’m doing for myself.