By using a dSLR you'll be able to shoot in RAW.
Then using the camera software to process the images. The data saved in the RAW files can help you figure out what settings you were using at the time. Valuable information to learn from. As well as save images that may have been a bit off in exposure or white balance.
I'd recommend a short seminar or something on the SLR camera so you can wrap your head around the mechanics of the thing.
(I know you're just excited about another class (IMG:style_emoticons/default/tongue.gif
Cameras are alot like riding bikes. Anyone can do it. But it takes time and practice to become really good at it.
If you approach this like you do the bike. You'll have a blast.
Take most of the comments here and digest them. You'll find what you like to do! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif
I'll try to hit the brakes so everyone stacks up in the turn for ya! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/tongue.gif