May 08, 2012

Pomp and Circumstance

On Friday, I will graduate from college. This represents to me both the culmination of two years of hard work and determination, and the fulfillment of a life-long dream.

In high school, my plan was to graduate and go directly on to college. It took a year after graduation before I was finally able to get to college. Three semesters later I was out of money, nowhere near graduation, and had a large student loan. I had to quit school and go to work.

I worked at many jobs, got married and divorced, and have the single most wonderful child in the world to show for it. Through it all, the goal of someday going back to school and graduating was always in the back of my mind and near the center of my heart. I resolved to never stop learning.

I moved in with my parents when arthritis forced me to stop working. At about the same time, my daughter’s school situation threw me into homeschooling. Once my daughter completed all the requirements of high school and eyed the local community college, it occurred to me that I had the time to go back to school, if I could get the money.

I enrolled in the community college and applied for a grant. The grant came through and I threw myself into my classes. Of the classes I’ve completed, I have only one B in a long string of A’s. I have a reasonable expectation of getting an A in all four of the classes I’m completing this week. I’ve been on the President’s Honor List every semester. I was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa last October. College has been a strain on my health. I started school walking across campus and carrying my books in a backpack. I now use a walker to move both me and my books. I shuffle across campus, and I have to nap between classes. Some of my classes were to improve my writing, some were to help with the business side of writing, and the rest were simply requirements for the degree.

On Friday, I will graduate from college. I will be the proud owner of a freshly-inked Associate of General Studies degree. I will hobble across the platform with my walker. Over my black cap and gown, I will be wearing my gold Phi Theta Kappa stole, and the blue cord indicating I’m graduating with highest honors. As I write this post, I still have three finals to take and the grades have yet to be awarded, but I’m doing well enough in the classes that they’ll let me graduate before the finals have been scored and the grades awarded.

I know this long post isn’t the usual thing you see on this blog, but I wanted to share a little about where I came from so you can understand why I’m so enthused and how proud and excited I am of my accomplishment.

A lot of people have asked me what I’ll be doing after I graduate. They expect me to say I am going to go on to a University to pursue a bachelor’s degree. I always surprise them by saying I will be working very hard on my books. I hope to have The Mom’s Place out by the end of June, and with any luck, the long-awaited The Siege of Kwennjurat will be finished by the end of October.

~Marie