Thursday, May 03, 2012

(Almost) A College Graduate

I started college the fall semester of 1997. Fresh from high school I hit the ground running. My first act of business was taking a CLEP test to advance out of 10 hours of Spanish. That was fun. For three semesters I took a full load of classes and had 50 credit hours under my belt. 

Then I got bored. Truthfully, I just met Nickel and chose to spend my time with him instead of studying. So I sat out a semester (or three). I moved to the next town, got a full time job and fell madly in love. In the summer of 1999 I married that man and we moved halfway across the state. Being newlyweds I needed to work full time to help pay the bills. Peanut was born in 2000 and still I worked. But in the spring of 2001 I decided it was time to head back to school. I transferred all my credits to the local college and for three semesters I took classes that I needed, and some I didn't really need. I only took 3-6 hours each semester so that I could continue to work full time and take care of my family.  At the end of the fall semester of 2002 I lacked one Biology class to graduate. 

Five years later I finally took that class as well as a Creative Writing class.

There, I was done. All I lacked was the degree audit and the diploma. But funny thing happened. Well, not really. Maybe a better term would be a Lazy Thing happened. That semester we got pregnant with Baby Butter. By the spring I was waddling around, working part time and napping as much as possible. Then he was born and I became a creature of habit in my stay-at-home mom routine. Friends often encouraged me to just go do the final step and get my degree but that takes time. That takes gas to drive across town (this isn't a big town). And the truth of the matter is, it just wasn't that important to me. A degree, even a simple Associates Degree, didn't come into play with any job I had ever applied for. But it was always there in the back of my mind. Something left undone.

So today I dropped the kids off at school and empowered with a Carmel Machiatto I drove straight to Northern Oklahoma College, walked into the office and made my requests. After a little bit of paperwork I was sent to see my advisor. As luck would have it, he was in his office and was willing to take the time to do my Graduation Check. I only needed 64 hours to graduate and I have 79, well only 76 NOC would accept because I took a 3000 level Public Speaking course my freshman year, still I had enough hours to graduate. I just needed the right combination of hours.

My advisor jotted everything down. The only possible holdup will be the 2 hours of Physical Education. I never took bowling, square dancing or any sport. Years ago when I spoke with my advisor he said I was exempt and I of course never questioned that statement. However, I did take a 3 hour Personal Health class that he thinks should count. At first he had written down "waive" but decided to count this class instead.

I'm going to be honest, if the only thing keeping me from graduating is a 2 hour Square Dancing class I probably will not finish. I have no desire to take Square Dancing at this point in my live. I am 33 years old. I know the importance of physical activity in my life.

So now I wait. Two more people have to sign off on my degree check and once they do I will be issued a diploma. An Associates Degree in General Studies. A two-year degree that has taken me 15 years to accomplish. Better than some people I suppose. 

I'm a little nervous, but I'll keep you posted.


Sassy Michelle said...

I'm proud of you, Lola, whether you get it or not. I have seriously considered going back to school and earning a degree in something - anything - at this point. I just don't know if it's something I "really" want to put time and energy to at this point in my life. Not to mention, money.

Leslee said...

Thanks Michelle! I love going to college. I enjoy learning new things. True, I'm going to be paying for my college education for some time, but it was worth it. I don'th have any immediate plans to go on to the next degree. Working full time and taking care of two kids doesn't leave much time for homework. But who knows, maybe as Butter gets older I can go back. I might even have an idea of what I want to be when I grow up by then.