Don't use the pen tool -- that's just for masking or making shape layers. Most of the time you want the regular Selection Tool -- invoke it by the v keyboard shortcut.
To open the comp settings once you've made the comp, use Ctl/Cmd - k.
I found the solution... you have to select more than one object and drag it to the Create New Composition Button at the bottom of the Project Panel. I sent a survey to Adobe Press that their Classroom in a Book series isn't descriptive enough. the Chris and Trish Meyers is much more comprehensive, however their Motion Graphics for AE is for CS5 and their 4th edition for AE Apprentice is at AE version 2015.
Thank you for your response. The most rewarding part of all of this is being able to find your own solutions by struggling with the material. I have a number of Power Point presentations I created about 18 months ago when first starting out and I try to clean up the .pptx file as much as possible and save to MP4 and then import it into AE for special effects. Power Point has some handy preset animations I haven't been able to fully emulate in After Effects so for a temporary workaround I've saved the object/animation combo as a green screen video in PP 2013, imported it into AE and used Keylight to key out the green and save as a Quicktime file with RGB/alpha to import into my composition. I do the same with text as well as I am much more versed with creative text and animations at this time with PP 2013 than with After Effects. Eventually I will be able to do all of this in AE directly and will not need to use PP anymore.