Thursday, November 15, 2007

School's Just About Out

Today is my last day of school.  Today.  Is. My. Last. Day. Of. School.  Yay!  I have looked forward to this day for months…heck, I’ve looked forward to this day for years and years.  I graduated from high school 21 ½ years ago.  I may be slow but I believe in completion.  Have I told you my post high school education issues?  If not I will share now.  If so, skip ahead or move on to the next blog on your reader.

When I graduated from high school I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.  What I did know is that I did not want to stay in my dinky home town and be a “townie”.  I didn’t even want to stay in the same state.  I wasn’t getting along with my parents and I had just broken up with my on-again off-again high school boyfriend.  It seemed that out of state college was the best course of action.  I didn’t know where to go but I did know I wanted to go to a private college that taught conservative Christian values.  I visited a couple of schools before settling on applying to the school my parents went to.  All my life I’d heard stories about their college and it always sounded lame.  I never intended to visit that school let alone entertain thoughts about attending.  All that changed in one night.  A small variety show of students from that college came through town and my parents took me to the show.  I was immediately smitten.  (Not so much with the school as with one of the performers.)  I visited the school over a cold February weekend, one of the admissions counselors visited me and my parents, I applied and was accepted. 

I was not a stellar student.  I was the student teachers always said was smart but could do better if I just applied myself.  I graduated smack dab in the middle of my high school class.  I got a perfectly acceptable ACT score but it wasn’t great…it was just average.  Looking back I probably should have gotten a job, moved out of my folks’ house, rented a small house with 40 other girls and gone to community college until I “found myself”.  As it was I found myself at a small Christian school in South Dakota.  I made friends.  I went to class.  I did OK.  I attended this school for 3 years.  I had 3 different majors in 3 years.  I was on an amazing assortment of committees.  I worked at the campus library.  I stayed up late and…skipped class.  By the third year I was struggling.  I was on academic probation and I was majoring in something I wasn’t positive was right for me.  By midterm, I’d been warned that I was flunking out and if I didn’t pull up my grades I’d be asked to take a semester off and would have to reapply for admission after that.  I worked my butt off and I did the miraculous…I pulled my grades up.  The final grades for that semester were great but my GPA was such that even those grades couldn’t help me.  I appealed to the board to let me back the next year but they said no.  So I officially flunked out of college.  It was humiliating.  My dad told me that college to me at that time was an expensive social club and nothing could be truer than that.  (A club I’m still paying for, by the way.)

I spent the next 6 years bouncing around from the Midwest to the East Coast and from job to job.  I finally ended up at a community college near my old home town. (I’d become a townie by then.)  I was focused and determined and in the 4 semesters it took me to earn my Associate’s Degree, I made the Dean’s List every time.  No one was more shocked that I.  I didn’t know I had it in me.  What I did know was that I had a plan and a focus.

I moved to MN intended to finish my schooling.  I’d been accepted to a 4 year school and took a job in the Cities but the job turned out to not be as flexible as previously thought.  So, school was put on hold again.   I did some more job bouncing, got married, and was trying to get pregnant.  While trying to get pregnant, my husband and I thought it would be nice to live back near my parents so they could enjoy their grandchildren.  However, I remembered that I moved here in the first place in order to finish my degree and hadn’t done that.  So we agreed that we would still try to get pregnant but in the mean time, I would go back to school and finish what I’d moved here to start.  And finish I did.  Tonight is the culmination of 21 years of bouncing, fretting, failing, trying, and succeeding.  And on December 21st, I will take the stage with the graduating class of 2007 and happily accept my Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies.

The school I go to now does not send out a report card, mention a Dean’s List, or do anything other than send a final grade report.  I have no idea what my cumulative GPA is now but I know I’ve never earned lower that a B-.  I called the school to see if they have an updated report on my GPA but apparently they are all in meetings until 4.  Oh well.  I’ve not been bothered by this before and can wait and see what my final grade after tonight will be.

School’s out for the summer!  School’s out for…EVER! 

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