Has any of you audited or sat in on graduate courses in schools where you were not a registered student?
Here's my situation:
BS in Math from a satellite campus of the University of Washington 3 years ago. Since then I've been teaching and independently studying topology and complex analysis (courses I never took as an undergrad, I did take both R analysis and Algebra series'). I won't be satisfied teaching high school math forever though so I'm going to apply to PhD programs this December (PhD primarily because I need the funding). I'm planning on taking the next semester off of work and sit in on 3 graduate courses at University of Wash Seattle. On the UW website, it seems like they have auditing/sit in policies in place that charge the full tuition to do so but there's no way I could/want to do that. I'm debating whether to contact the profs ahead of time over email or just show up on day one and ask them right before class if they would be cool with my sitting in, taking notes, etc. The purpose of all of this would be to see if I enjoy the material, the life, and being a student again, and to possibly make some connections at UW (on paper I'm not the most qualified applicant, but very capable).
Any thoughts/suggestions/anecdotes would be appreciated. Thanks.