Over the years when anyone asked if there was anything in my life that I regretted, my answer was always the same, “that I never went to college.”
Now, twenty-six years after high school, I decided to correct that regret and enrolled at the Nashville State Community College. The goal is an Associate, then a B.A. in English, which was my original plan when I was eighteen years old.
Why a community college over the grand architecture and shady benches of a more prestigious school? Finances, mainly. Considering that my first two years will mainly be classes to remind me of everything I have forgotton in the past quarter-century, I would much rather pay $130 per credit hour than $500. After the two years are completed, I can decide whether I would like to move on to TSU or MTSU, or, be content was an A.A. degree.
So, here I am – a forty-four year old man prepared to sit among students less than half my age, ready to learn English, History, Math and (for the first time in my life) a foreign language. (I decided on French).
Preparations are a little more difficult at this age. For one thing – the immunization records. When it comes to those school-aged records of having your Measles-Mumps-Rubella shots, how strange that doctor’s offices don’t have your file from forty years ago! Thankfully, a simple blood test confirmed that the shots and boosters were still floating around my body after all this time.
The COMPASS exam (placement test to determine your level of learning and comprehension) confirmed what I already knew - college level English and a much needed (RE)Introductory course in Math. It was only last week that I finally understood fractions after watching several Youtube videos on the subject. Even then, I wondered why my own teachers in high school hadn’t explained the process as clearly as Youtube. They probably did. The only difference is, back that I just didn’t care.
And perhaps that is the key. Whether you are eighteen and eighty-one, the desire to learn or improve has a lot more staying power when it is your own decision.
So, I’m registered and ready to begin the Fall term as the Forty-four-year-old-Freshman. Now the only thing standing in my way is picking out just the right backpack.
This week while on vacation, Roy and I decided to redecorate our home offices. The main thing I noticed when looking around my office was that there was too much furniture in the room! Before, I had tried every configuration possible when it came to my desk – against the left wall, against the right, butted up to the window, facing outward – but none of them worked. I see now that an overabundance of unnecessary furniture was choking the air out of my desk.
Our entire second floor is one long room that stretches the entire length of the house. My office is the first as you walk up the stairs, Roy’s is on the other end right above his bedroom. Luckily, both ends have windows, a major plus for writers.
So, the first thing was to turn the blah-beige walls a sunny, goldenrod yellow. All of the decorations came from the office or other parts of the house (some from the storage building like that great sun medallion on the wall).
Yes. I have a television in my office. I know, I know – all the writing books tell you not to do this. But there are times when I am not working that I still like to occupy my own space. There’s a recliner out of picture-view (right corner of pic) where I can sit and read or channel surf. But, before the redecoration, the television sat in the corner on a bulking tv stand that housed a DVD player, a VCR, the cable box and DVDS. Taking it OUT of the room and just putting the television on the shelf made a huge difference in the feel of the room. Before, it looked like a living room where someone occasionally went to the desk to write. Now, it looks like and office where someone occasionally watches television.
Either way, I’m pleased with the results. And now I have a fresh, new place to write and study with college coming up in a few months.