Well, I did it. I finished another semester of college. I wish it was my last. It could have been my last, but I knew my limitations. Thankfully I listened to them because there was no way in this world I could have taken three courses with everything that goes on at my house during the Spring. Then with everything that came up, like my health and Brian’s additional coaching responsibilities, it is safe to say NO ONE would have been standing at the end of the semester if I had not cut back to one class. It was the perfect amount of work. School did not consume me like it has in the past and I really loved the class and my professor. However, today as I walked out of my class for the final time I felt a sting of regret that I had not been able to pull off taking my other two required courses. Regret might not be the right word because regret suggests I would go back and change things if I could, but truthfully, I wouldn’t change it and in most cases I can’t change anything about it. I love my two little boys who have made the last year of college turn into 4 semesters. I would not trade them for anything in the world. Even if that meant I could never finish college. I also love my older children who have to be picked up from school and who play way too many sports for the time they have! I am also extremely thankful for my mother-in-law who watches my two littles so I can go to class and for my mom who picks up my son from school and who can fill in as a driver for other activities when necessary. I wish I could do this all on my own. I hate having to rely on other people to take care of my responsibilities.
When I went back to school my goal was that my education never interfered with the desires and needs of my children. I am a mom first, always. Sadly, over the years I have had to miss things due to work and studying. I have also shown my stress to them far too often. In fact before the babies were born, stress was just a way of life during the school year. I always had too much work to do and not enough time to do it. Hopefully my children will appreciate this as they get older and realize how much was at stake in all of this craziness.
I am looking forward to this summer where I can put all things school aside and focus on my family. In the fall I will finish my courses. Sadly, I will have to attend classes four days a week to do so. The two remaining courses I have to take have always been offered back to back two days a week, but OF COURSE they aren’t this year. Four days a week wouldn’t be so bad if school was right down the road and if the times were late morning/early afternoon. Instead, school is a 50 minute drive, plus I have to add additional time to park and walk to and from class. There is NO close parking, whatsoever. I have vented about this before so I will spare you another episode now, but I will say I did sign a petition for added close parking for students so this proves I am not the only one who feels this way! All in all I will need to block out four hours of time four days a week in the afternoons/evenings (the busiest time of day for my family) just to attend class, but we are doing it. We have to do it. Every one is on board with this decision. I am finishing this fall. Stay tuned….
My research paper – the one my entire class is about – is just flat out doomed. I never have time to work on it! Today, my wonderful husband offered to take our two little boys to our daughters 1, maybe 2 – depending on if they win the first one, basketball game(s) this morning so I could work on it. When he got to the first game, our 15 month old threw up in the car. He changed the little guy, but then he threw up again ALL over my husband. So, he opted to bring the little puker home fearing the potential of additional episodes. Plus, he needed a change of clothes for himself. Now I am sitting at my desk, trying to get focused to tackle my research paper, all the while listening for any sound erupting from the room of doom. The stomach virus ruined our Christmas because ALL 7 of us had it. THIS CANNOT HAPPEN NOW! I have to get my paper written….but I guess if it does I’ll probably reach my weightloss goals once and for all. There’s always a bright side to everything, I suppose.
Well, this was supposed to be my last semester of college. I was going to take my three remaining classes and graduate in May. However, a week before the semester started my husband and I sat down to discuss the logistics of me being gone 4 afternoons/evenings a week in order to achieve this goal. We resolved that it was going to be impossible. Going to classes alone would be stressful, but then on top of that I would have to find the time to do the work required for these classes during the busiest season for our family. Our 15 year old plays baseball. This is an every day thing and our 13 year old plays Club Soccer and AAU Basketball. Between the two of them in just this past week they’ve had 10 scheduled practices, games, and events Monday-Thursday & they have 8 events scheduled for the upcoming weekend (Friday-Sunday). Add in our 2.5 year old and 15 month old to this equation and you get the picture. (We have an 18 year old too, but she is pretty self-sufficient.) The bottom line is – I don’t have time to be a student.
If the kids weren’t enough, on top of this busy schedule, I have been dealing with health issues for the past week and a half. I discovered I was anemic on Thursday, March 23rd and when I say ANEMIC, I mean critically ANEMIC. My hemoglobin was 5. I had been feeling it and I even had bought iron and started taking it. When I heard just how anemic I was though, it was concerning. I ended up in the ER on Sunday, March 26th and received an iron infusion. Then I had surgery on March 29th to hopefully fix the source of my anemia (a uterine ablation to eliminate or reduce my periods). Recovery from the surgery wasn’t too bad, I was just very, very tired from being put to sleep (It takes me forever to recover from that for some reason) and I am still anemic and symptomatic from that.
Because of all of this, I am very thankful that I dropped down to 1 class this semester. Yes, I am disappointed because I just want to be finished taking classes. I want to be finished driving nearly an hour to school and an hour home from school two days a week. I want to be finished walking a mile each day going to and from class, sometimes in not so kind weather elements. I want to be finished wasting time. I feel like all I do is waste time. I try to see the positive in all things. For example, it is nice driving to class in a completely silent car or with the windows down and with the music playing too loud. And it is also great to have a built in exercise program as I walk to and from class each day. But, even when I look at these positives, I am still wasting time. I think I would enjoy the time I waste more if my class was in the morning when it did not interfere with the most critical part of the day. Everyone comes home and needs to get somewhere else while I am at school. It takes 3+ people to be my when I am gone! It’s ridiculous! Oh well, this time will pass. Five more weeks!
This is the parking lot I planned to park in 2 days a week while I attend my 1 hour & 20 minute class. It is located across from the building where my class is located. It used to have parking meters. Now the parking is reserved for visitors. It has looked like this everyday since class has begun. I will continue to walk a 1/2 mile to class & 1/2 mile back to my car everyday, but when I see this empty parking lot & I think about the time I’m wasting each day I get so mad. I have to block out 4 hours of my time 2 days a week just to attend 1 class. I haven’t followed the traditional route, so I guess it’s my fault, but I can’t help but wonder how many more people would further their education if schools were designed for adults who don’t have time to waste.
I took the Spring semester off after giving birth to our 5th child on January 1st. When registration for Fall 2016 opened up, I was thrilled to find 2 of the 5 remaining courses I needed were being offered at one of the regional branches. As an added bonus, both of these classes only met one time a week. I registered for them and tried to prepare myself to head back.
As the start of the semester drew near, I dreaded the thought of returning to school. I was so over “the first day of school”, the teeny boppers, & sitting in class “discovering who I am.” One class fit this mold completely, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that the other, although very challenging, was filled full of students who took college seriously. I even met another mom who ended up being a GREAT friend. I only wish I had met her when I first went back to school.
I neglected to blog about my journey this past semester. I thought I was busy before, but I really had no idea what that meant. I spent these last 16 weeks in survival mode. I considered changing my major to English studies so I could finish my degree at a regional campus, meaning it would not cost as much and I thought I could finish sooner (or so I thought). I also wondered if, with the addition of 2 small children, I would actually want to be a teacher. I knew I would not be able to complete my student teaching until both were in school and that is 5 years away. I JUST WANT TO BE FINISHED. To my surprise I found out that I can graduate without student teaching. This means I only have to take 3 more classes and I can graduate. I can petition to come back to do my student teaching when I am able and then I can get my teaching license. Learning this was so encouraging. The end is in sight! And my choice was a no brainer. Six years ago I decided to return to school to be a teacher. I am stressed and overwhelmed now and this caused me to lose sight of my initial goal. I will continue my journey to be a teacher because in 5 years from now I would have regretted taking the easy way out.
As an added bonus I also learned that I earned an Associates Degree. I should receive it in the mail sometime in January.
I have said it all along my journey, but it bares repeating given the sheer amount of stress anxiety they cause, GROUP PROJECTS are the WORST thing ever! If I ever thought I had it bad before, well, those experiences were just breaking me in for what was to come this semester. Today I will turn in the worst, most awful group project of all times. It is worth 35% of my grade. Usually, I just give in and do the whole thing, but this time I couldn’t. I just couldn’t do it. I have too much on my plate and frankly the whole thing was a disaster. So, for the first time EVER in my life I am turning something in with my name on it that I do not feel meets the standards I set for myself. I feel heartbroken about it, but I am human and I can only do so much.
After our presentation today, at a CONFERENCE, I might add, not just our CLASSROOM, I have to write a reflection about my experience completing this project. I am going to have to really pray about how I approach this reflection. I don’t want to come off as a whiny complainer, and I do not like to throw people under the bus, but I also have to be honest. I trust God will give me the words. Maybe our presentation will go so well and those who chose not to contribute will shine like the stars in the universe? It is possible and this although annoying would be the only redemption for them at this point. On the bright side, I did have one active member who regularly communicated with me, at least this week. She filled in the gaps and then downloaded and edited the final draft and sent it to me to print. She showed she cared and was invested in the project and really that is all is required from me, at least.
We will see what happens…
I cannot wait for a day when I do not have to think about homework! Seriously! This is horrible. Kiley was supposed to have a soccer tournament in North Carolina this past weekend, but it was canceled before we left because of the expected weather. All I can say is “THANK GOD.” I wasn’t planning on going, only Brian and Kiley. This meant I would have had another weekend without reinforcements to complete all of my homework & studying. Since school started, Brian has not been home for a single weekend to help. I mean, he has been home for a few hours here and there, but nothing that has been helpful to the cause whatsoever. It has been a nightmare! With the tournament canceled, I sat in my office for 14 hours on Saturday and most of the day on Sunday. I left Brian in charge. He did a great job, but I still had way too many interruptions. I am still the “go to” person for all inquiries, like, “Can you and dad give me the money to buy the new game?”,”Can I go my friends house and play?”, Where are Landen’s clean clothes?”, “What’s for lunch?” and so on. Even when everyone is gone, they still text me and then the stupid dogs bark or need to be fed. I cannot wait to be “mom” again.
Today, I still have to write 1 more paper I didn’t get to this weekend, do research for a presentation, and attempt to go over an entire module
(there’s that stupid word again!) all before 1PM. Plus, I have to put dinner in the crockpot, type up the weekly schedule, and take a shower. Oh, and take care of Landen who is currently clinging to my legs with his cold hands. It is 9:50AM. Fun times ahead.