Monday, August 25, 2008

This year I've...

Today I saw a young woman and her mother on the bus on their way to the university orientation. Although I wasn't a freshman (I went back to school as a senior credit-wise) I was new to the institution and attended orientation last year anyway. I remember feeling really old. There I was 30 years old (yes I know that's still young) in a room full of 18 year-old's who were so excited to be 'in college'. I found someone with a kid and a stroller and sat with him. We were both going back to school after long hiatuses. Together we weathered a rousing round of shouting the school initials and other activities targeted to the students over a decade younger than I am. I wasn't sitting there thinking, "this is so stupid.", but try I as I might I just couldn't get excited. I sat there wondering what in the world had I gotten myself into, but I was determined to do well. I felt like, and I still do, that this is my last real chance to finish my degree and have it really help my career. That was a year ago, give or take a day or two.

Since then I've....

Completed 19 credits of coursework. Engineering Analysis (basically Linear Algebra and Differential Equations), Embedded Systems (i.e. how to design a computer system for a car, cell phone or alarm system etc), Computer Organization and Architecture, Digital Design II, Ethics and Values, and Statistics.

I've been undertaking 6 credits a semester, but I took 7 over the summer.

So far I've maintained straight A's.

This February I worked myself into the ground. I was really sick for two weeks and my work was kind enough to let me go into negative vacation and sick time. I'm still not out of the hole 6 months later.

I gave up caffeine for two months after I got sick. It seemed to help. Now I'm as addicted as ever. I think its time to give it up for a while again, if not for good.

I dropped from 40 hours a week to anywhere from 40 to 32 hours a week at work. Usually closer to 32 hours. I miss the money, but it is a lot better on my health and nerves and everything else. At 32 at least I get to keep us insured. Paying for gas about bankrupts us, and we only have one vehicle to fill. I ride the bus, if I didn't I don't think we would be able to afford the cut in paychecks.

I've found out that I am still a competitive student. I thought I might have a hard time competing with the younger, single, unemployed, childless students with more free time to study and all of that youthful energy. If anything I'm a better student now than I ever was before. I think it is because I am more motivated, I see my wife and kids and I can't help but be motivated to do well.

I needed 55 credits to graduate, depressing, considering I had around 100 transfer credits and a lot of other stuff didn't transfer. Now I'm down to 36 credits and have two full years left. I'm not quite halfway, but I'm pleased with how much I got done this year, if you can spare some prayers, I could use them on my behalf for the coming two years.

Last night I was up till 4 in the morning just wasting time (playing Klondike solitaire on my iPod of all things). I didn't want to go to bed, it felt like if I stayed awake my vacation would last longer. It seems like the two week vacation that I have had from school has gone by in a blink. I don't want it to end. But it will end, and soon. Come to think of it this entire year has gone by quite quickly, I've been so busy that it wasn't until this morning, when I saw that young lady excitedly anticipating the opening of this chapter of her life, that I really realized how much has happened in the last year, and how much time has passed.


Superwoman said...

we're proud of you and you're doing great!

Tug said...

YOU CAN DO IT - I got tired just reading about it all, but you? You'll be JUST.FINE.

Nobody™ said...

Oh, thanks a lot.. After all you've done I feel like a loser. I did Nothing the past year.

Keep at it! I know you'll do great.

G'ma Nasus said...

Looking ahead 2 years seems like a long uphill battle, when in the long-term it is only a blip on the screen. I know you can do it and you will do it well. You had the best training and the greatest example set by your parents. They are still rooting for you; your guardian angels. My prayers are with you. Love from your aunt.

Just Dave said...

You are more than welcome to our prayers. Education is a never-ending process for those who want to improve themselves. At 61, I am still learning. You are a lucky man to have such a great family and an understanding employer. I hope the next two years fly by and you graduate cum laude. Then you can watch the rewards roll in.

Midleah said...

Sending positive energy your way!

Mel said...

wow, its awesome all that you do...NO way would I be able to do all that. I did college right after high school. It wa sone thing my parents insisted in and worked overtime to pay for. I am so grateful for that, i know I couldnt do school now. I cant even sit through a work meeting without falling asleep! Keep up the good work :)

Also thanks for all the kind words. I feel bad bitching about my life when i read all you are going though :)

trkndude299 said...

Wow Sushi,
This is quite the post. You rock man!
Burning both ends of the candle? It's what you do. And no-one does it like you man.
Just keep on keeping on and it all falls into place.

lacatcuracha said...

I am a house wife with no job and struggle with my schoolwork! I am amazed how well you do it. I am two finals away from halfway..

We should offer each other prayers!

Sushiboy said...

Superwoman - :) I love you. Thanks for all you do that makes it possible for me to do what I do.

Tug - Thanks being tired comes along with what I'm doing, but the hardest part is not being home much during the week to enjoy the kids.

Nobody - Nonsense, you made a sweet antenna just last week. One that I'm a little jealous of. I need to get my general.

Sushiboy said...

g'ma nasus - Yah, Whenever I try to find more time to squeeze something in, I look back to how mom did it.

Dave - Lucky Indeed. I know it and I'm grateful to have such a great family and an employer that lets me work weird hours etc..

Midleah - Positive energy, yes lots of that thank you!

Sushiboy said...

Mel - I think this is quite possibly the hardest thing I've done. But I think it will be worth it. As far as what your going through right now with everything I don't think I would trade places. I've been in similar spots and it was NOT FUN. Its OK to vent. Please please don't feel bad if you do. So mentally this is the hardest thing I've done some of the hardest emotional times were in a spot pretty similar to yours.

TrknDude - Thanks, as usual your too kind. One of the kindest people I've met in fact.

LaC - Its a deal we'll trade prayers/karma/positive energy. And as for being "just a housewife" I don't know if there is such a thing. The hardest place for me to study is home, I want to spend time with the kids and Superwoman and I rarely get anything done unless I stay up pretty late to do it. I totally respect what your are doing. So it sounds like you are almost done with Geometry? Good luck on your final!

And to all of you - Thank you for the Prayer/thoughts/positive energy/karma/mojo or anything I left out. I'll do my best to return the same to you, after all you deserve it!