Saturday, February 22, 2014

Why I May or May Not Finish College

At almost 60 years of age, I decided to go back to school. It's been really fun...and, of course, hard work, as well. I've gained an even greater appreciation of the efforts of our young students, as well as of the nearly superhuman efforts of some of the non-traditional students, who go to school while working or raising a family (or both!). I've gained this appreciation, not only from my own experiences, but, more so, from rubbing shoulders (so to speak) with a wide variety of students.

But why did I go back to school? 

1) Because I always wanted to. 

2) Because my son Paul, who passed away a few years ago, had urged me - way back when he was in college - to go to college once my children were grown; and then, my youngest son Peter persuaded me to go, after he had gone for his first year.

3) Because I want to be "able" to go back to work, and I like retail - working with the public - but I do not like retail hours (neither the fact that they are "all over the yard", nor the fact that at times the hours become virtually non-existent). 

4) Because many of the job postings I had been reading about, through various ads - jobs I had done at one time or another in the past - were now requesting at least an associate's degree.

5) Because I had reached a point in my life where I needed to get out with other people and do something new. 

So, why do I say I may not finish college?

1) Because I had my fun! I've really, truly enjoyed "belonging" to a campus; interacting with the professors and students; and learning new information and ideas. But I also enjoy reading what I want to read; writing blog posts and books; and formatting my books for publication. 

2) Because I found out that I'm not "a mother who has lots of time, because her children have grown." I remain the busy wife and mother of a large family. 

3) Because I've gone to school for two years, and yet, I'm still very far from achieving an associate's degree.

4) Because my journey of exploration paid off. I came to realize that I would rather work with children than work in an office, even if I can't "be the teacher". (As a matter of fact, at my age, I might rather not take on the responsibility of being the teacher.). I learned that there are other avenues to jobs working with children than even an associate's degree. I learned that I can take the ParaPro exam; I can take two Early Childhood Education classes; and there should be jobs that I should be "qualified" for. I will finish both of those this spring.

5) Because I think it might be time for me to earn money, either working with children or writing, or both, rather than spend it, continuing to pursue a formal education. (And yes, free tuition for seniors is a huge blessing in Baltimore County, which enabled me to go; but there are still fees, and have you ever looked at the cost of textbooks? Our poor kids. And I'm not referring specifically to my own kids but to all kids, or rather all students.)

Now why I said I "may or may not" finish. You see, I'm not locking the door; I'm just walking through it. 

1) I might still like to conquer a college math class (what I conquered so far were the math classes that would enable me to take a college math class). And I'll bet some of you would not expect math to be my #1 reason not to shut the door on future college classes. 

2) Some jobs for working with children do require an associate's degree, and jobs in education tend more and more in the direction of requiring more education. (Did that sentence make sense?). 

3) I still think it would be neat to get a Degree. Maybe I'll be 80 or 90 years old, who knows. But that won't matter. 

Thank you for all your support along the way. Now I better get back to studying, so I can get through this spring semester. Speaking of spring, oh my, warm air and sunshine. Talk about blessings!  And may you all be blessed this day. 

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