so.. i bet you’ve been wondering “what’s goin on in school?”, “how did you do?”, “what have you been writing about?” well…
here’s your answer.
i am currently on hiatus from school. shocked? i know, me too. i was doing well for the first two classes (a B- in the first and an A- in the second) and then the third one hit: Mythology in Literature. hundreds upon hundreds of pages about the origin of the word, it’s first use, it’s first reference and the mysteries contained therein. it was exhausting. and that was just the first week. there were four more to go. needless to say, it was like trekking uphill in a torrential downpour. i found myself exhausted, tired, pooped and plain ole bored to death. i was unable to keep up. to top it off, my son got sick, i got sick and my mojo sprouted wings and took off. quickly. i failed.
then, the next class started. i was still stuck on stupid with mythology (which i thought i would absolutely love) so i was already behind. i felt like i was looking at myself through the rear view mirror… i was in the car, traveling forward, but leaving myself behind at the same time. i bowed out gracefully and quit while i was ahead (technically).
so, i’ve taken a six week leave of absence. i have about four weeks to go. i’m taking the time to dote on my son, to clean, to spring clean and overhaul the closets, drawers and office space. i’m hoping that if i declutter my world, it might extend into my mind. hoping, i say.
i’m not telling you this because i’m proud. i’m sharing with you because i was devastated. when i received the email from my counselors, suggesting that i take some time off i almost burst into tears. but why? it was obvious to me and everyone around me that i was struggling and floundering… neither of which is complimentary. still, i didn’t want to hear someone tell me “you seem overwhelmed”. i was. i am. i will be again. but at least i can see it, i know it, and that gives me the opportunity to try and deal with it.
now, don’t get me wrong. i’m not changing my mind or getting cold feet. “going back to school” is a great thing to do. it’s an awesome suggestion and a noble quest for anyone who wants to do better, be better, get better or live better. that’s all of us, right? so, going to back to school is not the problem. it’s time and time management. well, that’s the problem for me.
i’ve always known this and i’ve actually taken two classes regarding being a better student including specifics regarding time management, priorities and being successful at school and home. but as you all know, all the planning in the world is useless if it’s not put into place. good intentions are rhetoric without action.
there are only so many hours in the day. some of those are spent sleeping, eating, traveling and working. the rest of the time is mine.. well, my son’s. i have duties and responsibilities to him and to our household. that leaves me with nil. and in that nil amount of time, i’m supposed to be a student. a good one.
let me tell you, it’s no easy feat – this online school jazz. you have to be present in your classroom forums at least four or five days out of the week. you have to answer the questions appropriately (with classroom related reading quotes and citations), respond to your classmates, participate in your learning teams and write papers that are supposed to be critiqued and corrected through the online research paper
destroyer grader. it’s got a four day turnaround. your instructor, classmates and team mates are in different states, countries and time zones. they are of different cultures, languages, religions and mindsets. add to that the household and everything contained with it and you can see why i needed a breather after only ten weeks. and i have a whole year to go! yes, a whole year. i’ll be in school until november of 2013. shoot me now.
why did i do this? why did i do this to myself? i think that’s my reason for writing. i wanted to see it all in black and white for myself. i want to read my own reasons for pursuing a high education:
you are going back to school because what you have now can’t be it. there’s got to be more. there’s bigger, better, stronger, faster, and lots more –ers out there for you and your son and you want them. you need them. you deserve them. that’s why you did it. you want your son to have what he needs, most of what he wants and the wherewithal to go get what he doesn’t have. you want him to see you working, schooling, and mom-ing and know that this is what it takes. you want him to know it takes hard work, sacrifice, saving, arguing, budgeting and all that grown-up stuff to have a real life. to have a life made of dreams. to have a life worthy of writing and reading about. you want him to see that life is what you make it and you’re making his great. now, get off your @$$ and get back to the grind. stay on top of the reading and do your work. this is real life. this is your one chance. the days are going to be long, hard and sleepless. they are going to be rough. there will be good ones and bad ones, but when you’re done — there’ll be great ones. give up a little so you can get a lot. you have it in you. you do.
so i’ve taken a moment to assess my situation and tackle my most visible obstacles.
- time management: i’m a perfectionist and a procrastinator. that’s all B-A-D (thanks, Gene). it doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does have to be done. get it done… just get it done. sooner, rather than later.
- household chores on hold: i hate a messy house. even though i have one and sometimes it gets out of control, it drives me nuts. when the house is cluttered, i can’t think. so i need to declutter, clean and downsize so that i don’t have to work at it everyday. i’ll be able to leave the house for a day or two in hopes of getting some reading or writing done. it’s a must.
- read: there’s hundreds of pages to read. they don’t get any shorter as time wears on. read. sit down and read. there’s no getting around it. read.
- phone restriction: i recently became the proud owner or an iPhone. i know, i sound like “one of them”, right? it’s because i am. i am one of them. in awe with and chained to my phone. but where school is concerned, if i’m not tuned into the merriam-webster app, then the phone must be down and away. not sure how i can enforce this upon myself, but i’ve got to try.
- reward good behavior: hours of reading, posts of participation and completion of an essay are all deeds that deserve rewards, but i musn’t over-indulge. i can reward my good behavior with something — small. i can’t jump off the deep end every time i turn the page.
- should i stay or should i go, now?: if i am debating on whether or not to stay home or go visit friends, the answer is stay home. no matter what. true story. just stay home.
i won’t know until school comes back around and i’m knee deep in it, whether or not my list of self-awareness will be of any benefit. i can say that going back to school was a kick in the pants. i thought i knew what it would take to be successful, but the last time i was in school i was single and childless.
there are not enough hours in the day to be working-student-SuperMom. but i’m going to make it work. i want SuperBoy to have opportunities and experiences and not all of them will be free. i want him to know the value of hard work and sacrifice… because i want him to take advantage of everything life has to offer. i want the world for him, and i’m going to get it… as soon as i get it together.