Back in the ancient days of yore (circa 1989) I did my level best to fuck up my future.
Ok, that’s not completely accurate. I didn’t start smoking crack or committing felonies or anything, but as far as my academic career went, I was a fucking dumbass and a half.
I completely failed to prepare myself for college. Notice I did not say “The public school system” failed. For the most part, I had pretty decent teachers (and a few VERY good ones). I made the choices to skate through and take the easy path.
When I hit college it nailed me like a hammer. Because of this and things at home, I damn near had a nervous breakdown (the dynamic I had at home at that time is something I may blog about some day, but not yet). I flunked quite a few classes I could have just dropped. Then after the next semester I just quit.
Fast forward six years, married, working 50 hours a week. On nights.
Tried going back. Only had time to take one class, but aced it. Then money issues hit and I didn’t go back again until a few years later when I took some classes for an apprenticeship at the shop where I worked.
Then we had kids and it was pretty much a no go.
I haven’t taken a credit class since 1999.
This week I signed up for a class (spring 2013), to start inching my way towards a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering (my original goal) that I’ll probably be 50 years old before I get.
I don’t care. This is something that has bothered me for decades. It’s way past time. Besides, at this rate the average retirement age is going to be 75 or dead anyway by the time I get there.
This first semester back, I’m only taking one class to get used to integrating it with my work schedule again. I was signed up for English 103, but decided to switch to Biology 103 (because Rave is taking the same class so we can carpool, AND because the particular English class I signed up for is using “Perspectives on Contemporary Issues” as a textbook. Good grief.) And yes, I need a certain amount of Life Science credits for my degree, so Biology moves the line of scrimmage towards the end zone.
The good thing about the slow approach is that I can pay as I go instead of racking up student loans, and I get to enjoy taking classes with kids just out of high school!! (The blog posts damn near write themselves). Also it gives me time to home school myself back into being good at math since I haven’t done much algebra since… shit, high school. (Geometry and trig, yes. Algebra, not so much….)
Given my outlook on the future of the nation, taking this step was a deliberate and conscious leap of faith that things will not collapse entirely, and if they do a guy with an engineering degree with 20 years of supplier side manufacturing experience (programming and setup CNC and manual machines of some very odd pedigrees, and shop floor supervision) will be a hell of a lot more in demand than any liberal arts major. And if I get bored, I’ll take some electronics classes and build Cylons in my basement (I always thought “Supervillain” was my true calling).
This is going to be fun