I’d rather be blogging


Excited malamute

I received paperwork from my university yesterday.  The package  includes forms for a class ring order, and should you want one, a frame for your diploma, and a few other things I don’t need.

I am trying to get excited about graduation which is scheduled for May 19, but it is difficult. 

What will I do when I finish classes?  David says, “You can always take more classes.” This from the 82-year old man who, for the past few months, has driven me to class and hung around for three hours waiting for the class to end. (He drives me because of various medical issues.) Somehow, that does not seem right, but he says he loves it.  So what if it takes both of us two days to recover from staying up past our bedtime.

When I began, I had thought to go on for the PhD, but decided the MA was good enough. I really didn’t care about the degree, with over 200 hours of coursework, I already have a few degrees, but I wanted to study history.  I love history, always have.  I won a scholarship to study history when I was in high school, but stupidly dropped out of school and married. In those days it was forbidden that married women attend college, or at least I thought so. When I did go back I felt out-of-place.  There was a small group of us “older” married women taking classes. We formed an “Odd” hoc support group. While the other kids were out protesting something or other, we spent hours sitting around each other’s kitchen tables talking about divorce lawyers, children, honor societies, sex with strangers, the Catholic Church, and other important matters.

Nevertheless, I felt like an outsider when I returned to school, and I probably was one to some extent. It was me, mostly.  I have run into a couple of the “girls” I went to school with and they remembered me, although I don’t always remember them.  I liked one young woman in particular.  She said if I didn’t stay in touch with her and she saw me in a parking lot, she would run over me with her car.  I think she had a drug problem, but I liked her a lot.

I could read.  I have 49 books backed up on my Kindle or archived, and many more in my library, so I can keep reading history like a historian as long as I can see. (Peer reviewed history books are not “talking” books, they are more obscure, more difficult to read, and suffer low book sales.)

I will miss the interaction with the professor and other students. Although they talk about baseball a lot, they are cool.

I can always find things to do. I have physical therapy and surgeries backed up til summer or later. 

Yesterday, I was speaking with Genesis, the girl who cleans my house.  She is a freshman at a local college and works with her mother.  She told me she is a national licensed pet sitter. (hint, I could travel!!)  I didn’t know there were nationally licensed pet sitters. She also told me she had taken courses  at the career center and met several older adults while doing so. The career center is across the street. We also have a senior center up the street. 

Genesis is one of these really neat kids working their way through college. God bless the community colleges. Congress created them in the 1960s just before I went back to school as a 26-year old. Plenty of kids are graduating from the community colleges, and they don’t walk away from them with mega-debt.  Most attendees of community colleges receive training that enables them to find work immediately, even in a depressed economy. A number of them transfer to four-year schools where they extend their education.  I know this because one of the reports I wrote when I worked in the Education Research Branch at the Census Bureau was about this topic.  The Community Colleges are a huge success.



The second item that came in the mail yesterday was the renewal package for my driver’s license.  A simple form, but it contains two tiny lines for me to use writing in my meds and disabilities, should I have any. Ridiculous. 




13 thoughts on “I’d rather be blogging

  1. I remember going to college as a single parent with three kids also, when asked if I wanted to go hang out out, I always had to decline because I needed to pick up kids or take them somewhere. couldn’t pull that off now. In fact I can’t pull off much of anything anymore It takes concerted effort to think .


  2. Al has an interesting idea. You have so many options, chosing will be the chore. Just don’t get so busy that you don’t have time to blog. You are needed here.


  3. Have you thought about teaching at a community college? I taught an online course at one for 4 semesters. It was 100% electronic. I had chat rooms and email exchanges with students, but never met a single one. I did all assignments and testing online.

    I agree, CCs are a tremendous success and like you say, put people in the workplace at an astounding rate. These are the people who would rather “do it on their own” and value self-worth far more than government handouts.


  4. Oh my, you have stimulated my over-active instinct for problem-solving though yours is not exactly problematic. You probably have heard of Osher lifelong learning programs. There is one at American U. Great if you taught a women’s history course!

    Revved up for this, I think about the community college down the street. What about mentoring a small group of older students there? When I went to social work school at 40 (oh so long ago), several of us who’d been out of college for ten years or more gathered to be a support group. Different as we were from one another, we had the struggle in common: it worked well.


  5. Well, experience tells me that you should just go and enjoy the moments. Put the diploma in a flat file, and tell those of us out here in the blog world about history. There’s a pile of blogs I read that focus on history. White house history. Or how about the history Chef. Now that you know all this stuff, tell us about it. Please. 🙂


  6. No matter our years, as we near the completion of one journey, the question of “What next?” is always with us. I am confident that you will create particularly blog-worthy answers!

    Yesterday was likely our final journey to Prairieville, LA. Our son and family will move next Saturday to a new home about 15 minutes from their present abode. The new home boasts a Baton Rouge address. I always thought about your Prairieville connection on our rare post-stroke trips there.


  7. Yes, I would rather be blogging than going to school again. Amen to community colleges. My younger daughter graduated from one, and now, at age 30 will be getting her BS degree. Then in July she will enroll in a graduate school to get her doctorate in physical therapy!


  8. I hope you get busy right away and complete the form to order your class ring and the picture frame for your diploma. They’re obvious necessities any time you graduate. I was deeply disappointed when I graduated from elementary school that no ring was offered, nor one from Jr. High.

    Sounds like you have quite a few opportunities nearby to seek some new or different activities if they appeal to you.

    Yes, Community Colleges can be a great way to earn the first two years of general education courses and less expensive than a 4-year school. Just make sure the student gets in writing from the intended 4-yr school for transfer the specific courses they’ll accept, or that there’s some sort of documented agreement between the two schools. Otherwise, a student may end up losing credits. I don’t know what’s happening elsewhere, but here in Calif. budgetary issues continue to affect higher education with cutbacks and decreasing student acceptance limits in both schools.

    If nothing else comes to mind, start another blog to which you just write all your history thoughts, etc. that you don’t want to post here.


    • I already have a few class rings. Don’t wear any jewelry these days, so don’t need more jewels for the jewelry box.

      In VA the four-year schools work with the Community Colleges to ensure the kids take the right courses.


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