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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Back to School - Again

Traditionally, September is "back to school"time. In the northeast, the air would be getting crisper, we would shop for new clothes in shades of nature. I remember brown, rust, red and yellow print dresses, corduroy jumpers and shirts. It was a time filled with anticipation after the long, hot, and by then, boring summer.

Later, I became a non-traditional student, attending college in the fourth and fifth decades of my life. With 2 young children, a job and a husband on the road all week, it was a challenge and I worked hard. My husband took care of our sons all weekend when papers were due, through not only the completion of my bachelor's degree, but through my graduate work as well. There was no campus activity, no partying, no dormitories; just work. I understood the value of this education as it came with great sacrifice of time and money.

Ten years later, I am once again returning to school, to start a new career. Knowing that healthcare is the only field certain to grow jobs, I am going to study dietetic technology. My interest in healthful eating is long-standing and I am ever moving toward a healthier lifestyle to ensure the best outcome for my later years.

This time, unlike the last time, I am nervous. With a brain ten years older than the last time I was in a classroom, I worry about whether I will be able to retain all the information I need to. Staring at 7 textbooks, 4 of which are over an inch thick and heavy enough to require a wheeled backpack, I wonder if I have to memorize its contents. I try to reassure myself that I was once good at science - but acknowledge that it was long ago.

Well, the commitment is made. I know it won't be easy, but this has never stopped me before. I will test the limits of my brain, since I know deep down somewhere, I can do it. Maybe I won't require myself to pull all A's this time. I have 2 degrees on the wall with summa cum laude's on them, but it hasn't helped my earning potential or my career. It just made me feel good to know I could do it. So now that I know this, I ask myself whether it is necessary, and conclude that it is not. I will do my best, but I will accept grades high enough to show that I know the material.

And that will be good enough . . . . .

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