Skipping classes

Back in 1994, I could have been considered a professional “class skipper”.  I did it all the time.  It was something I did without a lot of thought.

I went to a Catholic high school where being in the hallway without a hall pass could yield me some sort of punishment, so being able to go to college where many professors didn’t take attendance was a whole new world for me.  I wasn’t going to get detention?  (I never did, by the way–I was a good girl!) OK, I’ll skip class….to go to the mall, or play cards with my friends in the commuter cafe or go to Friendly’s for lunch.

And then my grades started to bomb.

Really bomb.

Yet, I still skipped classes, until I was academically dismissed in 1996.  Ouch.  (That just pains me to type now.)

I wasn’t a student who drank and went to parties.  I was a student who didn’t know how to handle some freedom.  I grew up very sheltered and couldn’t handle figuring some things out for myself.  I commuted to school so my “unstructured” days in college gave me a new sense of freedom that I only really had there.  I still had to answer to my mom at night and on weekends and I guess skipping classes was my way of rebelling against authority and feeling free.

It’s amazing how differently I look at missing classes now.  I would only miss a class if it was completely unavoidable and if it had to do with the kids or if I was puking.  Too many of my professors count attendance and I have regular quizzes that can’t be made up if you miss class.  I would also miss too much if I missed a lecture–too much that I couldn’t necessarily get back by getting notes from a classmate.  I need to be there, so I get my butt to class every day.

I know the time will come when I have to miss a class, but for now, my goal is to not miss school right now.  I like it too much and really can’t afford to miss.  Too much is riding on this experience– namely grades and student loans!

**I know I said I probably wouldn’t post again until my mid-term and paper were over, but I had the mid-term today and survived and I’m taking a much-needed break from writing the paper. I had started this post a bit ago and figured I’d finish it!  The paper should be done tomorrow and it’s going well!**

Finding my place in this world

The last six months have been very introspective for me.  Once I decided that it was time to go back to school, I had to think about my new role as a student and my future role as a professional.

What do I want to do?

What type of job would I ideally like to have?

What kind of student am I going to be so that I can have the most successful future, yet not completely forget that I have a husband with a busy job and two children, one with some special needs?

I am realizing that I enjoy writing.  I did when I was younger and it’s nice to be doing it more frequently academically, as well as here on this blog.

When it comes to a potential job, who knows?  Who knows what the job market will look like in a few years for a woman who will be closer to 40 than 30 who has been out of the workforce for 13 years (at that point)?  I do hope to get some internships under my belt before then and will have to do at least one for credit, so hopefully I will have some more direction  Is it bad that I’m looking forward to shopping for a more professional wardrobe some day?  I would love to be able to buy some of the cute pieces I see in the Ann Taylor window!

On the current school front, the next week and a half are going to be hell.  I have a mid-term on Friday and a 7-15 page paper due on November 2nd.  They are both for the same class and they are unrelated in content so it’s not like writing my paper will help me study for the exam.  I hope to be done with the paper before Halloween so I can enjoy Trick or Treating with the kids, so I’ll be busting my butt this week.  We had a busy day today and tomorrow will be all about schoolwork.  Well, there will be some schoolwork tonight too because I just have to get stuff done.  It’s not the end of the world, but I’m looking forward to this stuff being done.  My house looks like a bomb went off and it will continue to look that way until the paper is turned in.  The bare minimum is getting done until then (like laundry).  I will only have three grades for this class (the paper and two exams) so I need to do well.

On that note, I really am enjoying school.  It’s a lot of work, but not everything in life is easy and in the long run, it will be worth it.  And because I have three baskets of laundry to fold sitting in front of me, I’m off and I will probably update again after the paper is done!

Short but busy week!!

It’s been a busy week, despite the Monday holiday that gave me an extra day off from school!  I didn’t feel like I had a shortened week.  However, as I reflect on it now on Friday, it was a very productive week that included my first mid-term yesterday! Fun fun!

The literature mid-term was originally supposed to be given on Tuesday, but last week we had a “rain day”– a severe rain storm caused crazy flooding and the parking lots at school turned into a lake.  There was flooding everywhere and the school closed for the day.  So that caused some adjustments to be made to syllabi and everything was moved up.  Instead of having a long weekend to study for the exam, I really only had two days, because the professor didn’t give us the format of the exam until the last class prior.  We have had quizzes every class on the short stories we’ve been reading, so I wasn’t that nervous and it really wasn’t bad. I left the classroom feeling good about the exam–I hope my grade reflects that!

I also have a history paper due at the beginning of November and I am moving along nicely with my research. I hope to start writing it early next week.  My goal is to have it done by October 30th–I want to enjoy Halloween evening with my boys and not stress about a big school project.  That reminds me, I need to get moving on their costumes.  Crap.

All in all, I’ve had a decent week.  I was stressed at the start of it, but it’s improved.  Life is always busy, but it’s becoming our new normal.  Once I get this paper done, I feel like I’ll be able to breath a bit…for a few weeks anyway, until finals in December.

"Life is too short to be anything but happy!"

This was the status update of one of my Facebook friends this morning.  This update made my brain explode with so many thoughts and I am so grateful to her.  This particular friend is someone I met when I was on my own with the boys.  I was dealing with single parenthood and I was dating my current husband.  This friend has also had her share of tragedy since those days, yet I feel like she and I are both very much alike, and we treasure the good that we have been given, despite the tragedies we’ve endured.

How is it that two women who’ve experienced great loss have been able to learn from it and stay positive?

Is it because we want to move forward?

Is it because our children motivated us to forge ahead?

It’s amazing how a positive attitude can make a difference in life.  My life isn’t perfect, but you know what?  It’s pretty damn good.  Is it always easy?  Nope, not at all.  I do have “off ” days where something silly sets me off and all seems wrong with the world.  I do have days where life is legitimately stressful and I wonder how I’m going to get everything done or I’m stressed because money is tighter than I’d like it to be.

I try not to make the negative in life the focus.  I try to be positive and thank my lucky stars for what good I’ve been fortunate enough to have.  We all have choices in life and I choose to be positive and make changes to improve my life.  I can’t stand when someone complains about all that has gone wrong in life, but yet that person continues to make lousy choices or doesn’t buck up and take responsibility for what was done in the past.  Continuing to complain about “being wronged” doesn’t get you anywhere.

That’s what I feel like I’m doing now–taking responsibility for the lousy choices I made when I was 18.  Not finishing school when I was younger was a lousy choice, an irresponsible choice for me.  I have to work hard at it and get my degree so I can have a better job to help my family financially.  I need to make the best of it and be grateful I can do it.  I need to soak in all the new knowledge I’m getting.   And I’m not going to complain about the fact that I am doing this (well, I might complain a bit about the day-to-day stuff) because life really is too short to be anything but happy. It’s my choice to be happy and it’s my choice to go to school to better myself.