I took this photo in the parking lot of school today...to commemorate that I was leaving.
On August 28, 2001 I took my first class at the community college. I had flunked out of the University of Redlands two years before. I had also just started working as an instructional aide at the local high school a few months before. I had originally gone to a meeting at the college with my mom and my brother since my brother was going to enroll in school. When I spoke with the counselor I thought that maybe I could try a class or two...just see what happens.
I signed up for a Personal Fiance class and a Marriage & Family Sociology class on Wednesday and Thursday nights. I went to every class...I discovered for the first time in my life I liked learning...and I did well earning two "A"s.
Then I decided to try to tackle my demons one at a time...Math...I had two remedial classes to take and then Statistics...I got an "A" in my first class...me...an "A" in Math. I got "B"s in the other two...but that was still a decent accomplishment for me. :)
I just took one class at a time...I figured it'd take me 20+ years to earn a degree, but at least I was slowly working away at it.
I took Women's Studies which I loved. I crossed off my English requirement a couple of years ago. Then I took a year off between the Darby debacle and artificial insemination attempts. I went back last Spring to tackle one of the final demons...Science...with a lab...and again I learned that when I do the work I can do pretty well. I lesson I should have learned way back when.
Here we are this past semester...my first time being a full time student...four classes and I'm so proud to tell you today four "A"s. I did it...earned a 4.0...me.
So I walked off campus today after six years...I left the school where I learned the most important lesson of my life...I learned that I CAN learn...I can succeed...all I have to do is show up and try. Thirty-one years old and I can finally say I have a love of learning...which I'm going to really need in the coming years.
Today I also walked onto a new campus...carrying the grade card they required to complete my application. I walked to the admissions office and back to my car all the while wondering what it'll be like...what will I learn there...and how amazing will it feel to walk off that campus in several years knowing my goals are complete.
So I don't remember exactly how it started, but since that first math class in the Fall of 2002 I have had an anthem....a song I listen to on my drive up to school every time I have a test to take...it's my little ritual to play it over and over and over...I'm usually there after it's played three times...it's Closer to Fine by the Indigo Girls...my favorite part is...
And I went to see the doctor of philosophy
With a poster of Rasputin and a beard down to his knee
He never did marry or see a b-grade movie
He graded my performance, he said he could see through me
I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind
Got my paper and I was free
I listened to it today three times...and, emotional sap that I am, cried a little. Granted I'm spending a LOT more than "fours years prostate to the higher mind"...but I am one step closer to free.