The assignment was to do an archival report to find out what was happening in the news on local, national, and international levels on our date of birth. I had a blast going through old newspapers and magazines, and came up with some interesting stuff.
Now in this particular class, we are required to bring in a draft version before the final product is due. We meet individually with the professor as he reads it, then gives us input.
First, let me back up.
I am what is referred to as a “nontraditional” student, meaning that I am married, have kids, and am older than dirt. Okay—maybe not that last part, but some days it feels like it.
I graduated from high school in the late ’80’s (that’s the 20th century, lest my children become confused) and immediately signed up for college. I also got married, started a family, and divorced by 22—not exactly your “best practice” for completing college. Life took over, and that dream of earning a degree got shoved into a corner somewhere, buried under a ton of laundry with a smattering of broken Hot Wheels cars to go with it. I later remarried with the whole “his,” “hers,” and finally an “ours” to tie us all together, and started working for the university where I’ve been for many years now.
That college dream, long smothered, thrust it’s tired head out of the laundry heap and whispered to me again. I started taking a class here and there, working towards my degree. I am now, finally, halfway through my junior year and excited to see an end in sight.
Because of my nontraditional route, I often feel a little out of place. It’s hard to join conversations where everyone is talking about the latest video games, or parties, and actors and actresses I’ve never heard of. I’m constantly asking my daughter to tell me, again, who are the Kardashian’s? or Snooki? And why do we care?
This semester I gave myself a pep talk:
“Who cares how much older you are? You have that much more experience, and know what you want! Besides, you’re really not THAT old.” So far, it had been going well.
Waiting for my turn, I listened to the conversations of those around me.
“I can’t believe how hard it was to find sources for my birthday,” one girl complained. “There was, like, nothing happening in 1992!”
Nothing except for the birth of my first child, anyway. Ackkk!
Relieved to leave that conversation behind me, I handed over my paper. Reading through my introduction, the professor, no spring chicken himself, stopped and looked up.
“This was a long time ago…” he said, inflection heavy on the “long,” then continued his reading.
A few minutes later he looked up again, then stared off into the far reaches of the room.
“This was really, really A LONG TIME AGO,” he muttered, shaking his head, before snapping out of it and handing me back my paper.
Picking up what was left of my ego, I walked back to my office, alternately annoyed and amused.
“Man!” I thought. “I really, really could use a nap.”
I’m back over at Yeah Write today. Click the link above to see what other people have on their minds this week!