Friday, November 16, 2012

It's Time

As well as you know for the past couple of months I have been mainly posting about projects and chili. I wanted to do an off topic post this time to show some of the newer readers I also have a life outside of working and competitive cooking.

It's Time

Let me explain, my personality will not let me leave something unfinished. If it's a project, a goal or a promise. No matter what it is, I have to be able to close the book on whatever it is I started. If not, it will haunt me until it is done.

Twenty one years ago I was standing in city hall of the town I was working at. I had just completed a repair of a water leak and was a little dirty, but I was summon to meet my supervisor and had to go. I was standing along the wall outside his office waiting for my turn when the City's engineer walked out. He paused, looked me up and down, then asked my boss why they let the dirt people in here. He then turned and as he walked away he looked back over his shoulder and told me to get an education.
That next semester I enrolled in College just out of spite for his kind.

Being a husband, having two jobs and going to school was tough. For over two years I slept less then two hours a night. My primary job was from 7 AM to 5 PM, school was from 6 PM to 1 PM and my second job was from 1 AM to 6 AM seven days a week. Some say you can go insane if you don't get at least four hours of sleep for any length of time. Maybe that is what's wrong me? I remember the wife nudging me to wake me up when I would fall asleep at red lights when it turned green. I looked for every possible second to get some shut eye. 

The wife and I started having babies soon after and all that I had going plus being a young father was too much. My priorities were drawn in the sand so I quit college and my second job to do what I needed to do and be there for them. No regrets, it was all my choice.

I have pushed and guided my three girls from the time they came home with us from the hospital to be something I chose not be. I would sit and talk to them while they slept in their crib and tell them they will be somebody some day and that they would make a difference. I would talk about higher education while driving them to kindergarten class and even after all these years, the talks still continue. My friends would ask me what I would do if they chose not to go and I would always respond with "That is not an option" and it is still not.
 All these years I have preached the importance of a getting a degree of some sorts to my children and here I sat a college drop out. How hypocritical is that? It's not that I made a mistake and it's not that I would change anything, it's about trying to get your kids to do better then you, go further in life and not have to struggle as much. I think that is same with almost every parent. Yes, it is their decision once they are of age, but how in the world can I look at myself in the mirror every morning knowing I did not try.                   
I was 18 years old sitting on the couch with my soon to be wife when I told my parents we were getting married. The only thing my dad said was that he had higher hopes for me. I never really got that until later on in life. Now I fully understand.

Going back to the beginning of this post, after 21 years, January 14th I will be starting college again. It is not in the same degree I was in, but it's still a degree. I am not doing it for any reason other than for me. I made a promise to myself twenty one years ago that I was going to be a college graduate. That promise has haunted me for way too long and it is time to dust off that old book, add another chapter and then finally close it.
It may take me five years to complete it, but in the end I will be able to hold to that stupid little piece of paper and say I did it.

41 comments:

  1. Good for you!!!!!!
    YeOldFurt

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    1. I second what Yeoldfurt said, MDR ...good for you!

      ~HB

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  2. I admire you. I wish I was more like you.

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  3. I went back to college at 50 and got two associate degrees. They aren't worth a d_mn for anything in this job market, but I did it! You can do it, too!

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    1. Gorges, mine will not be worth anything either but to me it's completing something.
      Thank you

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  4. The joy of learning for it's own sake is enough reason. I just hope you got plenty of bubble wrap and duct tape to keep your head from exploding liberal/progressive Ideolgy that is taught now a days.

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    1. Thanks myadventures, I think being at this age I am ready for that Ideology. When I was younger I could not debate it very well.

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  5. I stopped going to votech as it was too hard to work full time, work full time and study. I blew it. Now at 53 it will be too hard to go back to school for aircraft maintenance.

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    1. Good to hear from you Rob.
      I won't be going full time because I work so much I will not have time to focus. That is why it will take me a little longer than most.

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  6. Good luck... Although there are a lot of people with degrees (some big and some small) that can't get a job. I don't see any reason to go back at 65.

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    1. tffnguy, I am not doing it for a career change, just continued education for myself.

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  7. Do it. I'm 43 and back in school. You'll love it, but it'll be hard work. With your kids being older, they will be able to see the difference that it makes in your life. Congratulations

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    1. Thanks K, I am hoping my older kids will be able to help me with my homework, lol

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  8. Yea!! How great is that!? I know you can do it!

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  9. Good on you.

    You're quite right - you gave of yourself, now you're more than entitled to take for yourself too :)

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  10. You got this! Can't wait to see the blogs that come from this new goal!
    Shar
    P.S. Making chili today, and it's all your fault!

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    1. Thanks Shar, I hope not to bore y'all with it too much.
      I hope your chili turned out better than mine did.

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  11. I was wondering when you were going to make this post. I'M SO PROUD OF YOU! I know that's not exactly what you want to hear from your 20 year old daughter, but I'm so excited that after all these years you've decided to do something that's been in the back of your mind since. I can't wait to see where this experience takes you, and maybe one day, when the girls are out of the house in their own schools, you'll come down here with me and get a masters or something :)

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    1. Thank you BEB, you never know what will happen. I am just leaving the doors open.

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  12. Good for you. I had a 50 year old tell me they ere too old to go get a 4 year degree. I asked how old will you be in 4 years if you get that degree, he said 54. I said how old if you don't get that degree. He grinned and said 54 and with the ability to get a better one. He is now on year 3 of his degree.
    Go for it!

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  13. Hi MDR
    like you, I married in my teens. When my kids wereolderI went backto doa degree. It is hard work and believe me, grown or not, kids will always need your help just as you need every available minuite for assignments or exams - it's Murphy's Law ! It's worth it. I know all the younger students will seem to 'catch on' to things quicker than you but trust me the depth of life experience that you bring to studying any subject will more than make up for that. Perhaps it won't help you get a job at the moment but it will honestly do so much more than that for you. But hey, enough waffle from me because you know all this already. I wish you all the luck in the world and am rooting for you.
    Very Best Wishes
    Toni

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    1. Thanks Toni,
      I am not doing this for a career change or anything like that. I have a great job even though it is too far of a drive for me. All I want from this is a sense of accomplishment.
      Thank you for rooting for me.

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  14. My daddy didn't finish school and was married w/kids (me & my brother) when he went back for his GED. I remember it was hard: I was in the 4th grade, and he would work 3rd shift, come home & sleep, then go to school..only to "wash, rinse, repeat." There were times where I cried at school b/c I missed him. It's gonna be hard, but I know you can do it!!

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    1. Thanks Ginny,
      That was the reason I quit in the first place, I didn't want my little girls missing me.

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  15. I wish you the best, but the problem I have with this is:

    Quote You "I was standing along the wall outside his office waiting for my turn when the City's engineer walked out. He paused, looked me up and down, then asked my boss why they let the dirt people in here."

    I personally think that guy should have been taken outside and had his A__ kicked. Some people have to work for a living. I quit collage because I was climbing telephone poles all day every day and didn't have time to drive across town, take a shower, change clothes and make it back to collage for my courses.

    I know that isn't supposed to be the attitude of the highly learned, but that's the way I see it.

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    1. Thanks for the comment tffnguy, I didn't tell the whole story on exactly what happen after the guy said what he said. I did follow him out to the parking lot, nuff said.
      It sounds like both you and I quit school for different but also the same reasons. I don't begrudge any man for being there and providing for his family first. That is why I stopped going.
      If a man chooses to put his God and Family first his whole life and never made it back to school or accomplishes anything other than that, then when his time comes and he lays down the working tools of life and enters the gates, I bet you anything he will hear the words we are all wanting to hear ourselves.
      I have always had the belief that not everyone can be the boss. There has to be people working in the field. I think that is one thing that is wrong with America, everyone thanks they are entitled to a great career with great pay and a corner office.
      I dug ditches and swam in sewer for twenty years. I have earned the right to be higher educated if I so choose at any age.
      I still work for a living and provide for my family. If at anytime this school interferes with that main priority then I will make the necessary changes again.

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  16. MDR,

    Now that we all know you're headed back to college, good thing by the way, we expect a copy of your report card! Someone (all of us) will want to keep up with how you are doing! No better motivation right there than having to own up to how you are doing. Best wishes

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    1. Thanks Izzy, Very true. That sounds like a deal.

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  17. When I moved away to finish college a friend gave me some good advice; advice you seem to have already taken. "Don't let the books get in the way of your education."

    After many years of teaching, the best students and people are the honest and true. Enjoy school, learn, but don't forget that an education doesn't define you. It's another tool to use.

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    1. Well said Steve. Once a Redneck always a Redneck.

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