Wednesday, May 9, 2012

School Dazed

now remember why it was that I stopped keeping a diary in my younger years….

(For you youngsters out there, a “diary” was a basically a blog in book form that you kept under the mattress in your bedroom...........and for you REALLY young people out there…a “book” was a……..y’know what….never mind)

Where was I…?  Oh yeah…I stopped writing in a diary when I was younger because I finally figured out that I was not very good at keeping up with the daily, weekly, monthly tracking of what was going on in my life.  So as I look and see that I haven’t written since….(GACK!)….January….it occurs to me that this time (unlike my diary experience), I haven't written lately not because of laziness or procrastination- turns out I really was busy.  And productive.  I decided to go back to school.  

I, like many people I know, swore they’d never set foot in another classroom ever again after high school or college.  I mean, after 12+ years of butt-numbing lectures, bad lunches and homework, the last thing you want to consider is doing it all over again.  But after 20+ years of NOT being in a classroom, suddenly it didn’t seem like such a bad idea any longer.  Turns out there really are worse things out there than a butt-numbing lecture.  Like 60 hours of work for 40 hours of pay.  Or a mortgage.  Or choosing between buying groceries for the week or that “must have” new handbag....

Making the decision to go back to school not only brought about a multitude of decisions, it also brought with it a multitude of bills.  I was quickly reminded of the saying that goes something like "the only thing free at a college/university is the air".  You have to pay for tuition…gotta pay for the books…gotta pay for parking…gotta pay for pre-requisites.  I’m amazed I don’t have to pay the traffic signals on campus to change from red to green on my way to class.

(So a hint for those of you with grade-school kids out there…NOW would be a good time to go ahead and open up that “college tuition fund” for Junior you put off month after month)

A couple of observations from my first week of class:  

One - the desire for knowledge knows no age limit.  I was  pleasantly surprised to find that although I wasn’t the youngest person in class, I also wasn’t the oldest.  

Two -  I know I've been using my brain on a daily basis...I mean, I know how to match my socks and I can find my way home from work each night.....but I was ill prepared for how rusty my "learning brain" parts were!!  But after knocking out the cobwebs in the skull (and re-reading the same chapters a few times over), there was this strange “CLICK” inside my head (kid you not….felt just like unlocking a door), and then all of a sudden…SHAZAM!  It was like this vast storage container opened up inside the skull and everything I was studying and learning started fitting in there nice, neat and Tetris-like.  But I worry that by making room for new stuff in my brain, other things are going to start to disappear. 

I’m very thankful that my friends and family have been extremely supportive in this whole venture.  My friend Dee gave me all kinds of advice for surviving the "mid-term slump"...y'know - "Just push through, it'll be all right, drink lots of Red Bull and/or beer" - all very helpful.  And everyone has been pitching in at home.  The cats have left fewer hairballs around the house for me to clean up, and Nick has been awesome at fending for himself at dinnertime (meanwhile, 2nd quarter revenue numbers are on the rise at McDonald's, Panda Express and Cheesecake Factory). 

So it's "so far, so good" thus far.  I still have a few weeks to go before this particular class wraps up; tests, homework, more tests, even MORE homework - I'm sure I'll have plenty to keep me busy for a little while longer.   I'll try to write about a few more of my adventures as they come up.  But no guarantees.

And by the way...can anyone remind me how it is I get home?