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.