Thursday, March 01, 2007

Some weather we're having - and other small talk

One of my journalism professors from last semester made a comment when our paths crossed on campus yesterday that has had me thinking ever since. It wasn’t anything derogatory or complimentary; it wasn’t accusatory or conciliatory; it was more along the lines of, “Some weather we’re having lately?” Except it wasn’t that. She said, “Only ten weeks until graduation.” Mine obviously, not hers.

It’s nice to know that I have made a sufficient impression on her that she not only remembers my name, but also that I am graduating this spring. That she remembers me doesn’t surprise me, most of my professors do - I participate in my education. That she remembers when I am graduating is a bonus, but again it’s not what has caused this flood of self-analysis. It has everything to do with the text of her statement. It had a more profound effect than she could ever know.

Ten weeks. This, my last undergraduate semester is already one third gone. And I’m still here. No crises, no self-destruction and I am certainly not resting on my laurels. If anything, I have stepped it up a notch or two, taking two classes (six units) beyond what is “good enough” to graduate. And that, I think, is key - good enough isn’t good enough. As a matter of fact, there is precious little that can stop me now. May 26 at 2 p.m., I march.

And then a whole new adventure begins. Some trepidation? Sure, it’s part of the deal. But I can wait because before that journey begins, I have to finish this one. I’m in no hurry. The best part lies just ahead. Hell, I’ve dragged it out more than 25 years; I can wait ten more weeks. There are many, many lessons I’ve learned the hard way, through trial and error. One is that if I take my eye off the ball, I’ll surely miss. If I rush to fast toward that light at the end of the tunnel, it will blind me.

19 comments:

Lynn Green said...

Good luck. I was 42 when I found my career as a high school English teacher.

Snaggle Tooth said...

March forward into the unknown...

At points like this I have a tendency to keep looking behind me instead of ahead, for it is so difficult to see. Being out of the school environment is much lonelier. Luckily you're becoming very good at being self-driven. That prof (n many others I suspect) will really miss you!
(I miss mine)

kenju said...

One of the traits we are supposed to develop as we get older is patience. It seems as though you are ahead of the game there, Mike. Putting off current pleasures in order to get future rewards is the hallmark of it!

Sarch said...

Mike I get the feeling that once you have taken the march and moved into your career, the learning process is far from over for you.

You are an observer and a thinker. It is part of who you are. That part will never change....thank goodness.

BarBarA said...

Mike,
Its been very inspirational, interesting and informative tagging along with you on this journey! And the journey never ends...just changes.

I am not at all surprised your prof remembered your name and grad date - you make an impression on most people (plus, she's a chick - she probably digs you)

PI said...

I have only known you a few weeks but I remember you well. This is an exciting time for you and may good fortune be with you.
Michele sent me.

michelle said...

i'm so excited for you and your upcoming graduation. I wish i had the focus to have completed college. keep up the great work

btw michele sent me

Leesa said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! It must be so exciting to be 2/3rds of a semester from completing your degree! Awesome!

Evil Twin's Wife said...

Congrats! It is nice to see that light at the end of the tunnel. Now, you will embark on a whole new journey. I graduated with a BA in Journalism in 1991.

leslie said...

You have a really good grasp of the situation. When I graduated, I was so intent on "getting the hell out of there", but never bothered with what I was going to do afterwards.
Congratulations, I am sure wonderful things await you!
Michele sent me

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

hey mike

love reading your journey, your hope dreams etc - your blog and honesty has been truly inspiring - as woodie guthrie once said, 'take it easy, but take it' - here's to the future..... however it looks

Gopher said...

Hi Michelle sent me :).
Having participated briefly in the whole "university thing", I call it that because it was 2 years of my life that well I don't wanna repeat again - okay some great friends I gained but hell it took me 6 years to get over it well it and a few other things.
All I can say is good luck, 10 weeks to go and it's all done over, the hell the it can be is over, your walking tall through it, your professors know you and Im sure they'll miss having you around as if they every had to pull someone up about something they won't be able to say why can't you be more like "John"
G

PI said...

Just checking up on you. Night night - I think!
Michele says it too.

Carolyn said...

I hope your new adventure will prove to be as enjoyable for you as the preparation for it has been :)

Here from Michele's today.

kenju said...

Michele sent me back, Mike. It is interesting to see what all the others said.

Wordnerd said...

Enjoy the last ten weeks, knowing that yes, you will be embarking upon a whole new set of experiences afterwards. I'm thinking you did it the right way -- I don't think I was ready for college at 18. I'd do so many things differently now.

Here from Michele's -- this time, anyway!

Badoozie said...

i remember when i had 10 weeks to go, the shit hit the fan. someone found a one credit error, i was short....then i had a horrible show down with a prof, and ended up NOT graduating, or even walking with my class. one of the all time biggest disappointments of my life, so you just be glad you've got it in the bag, and go forth!!

Surcie said...

Only ten more weeks? Fantastic! Congratulations, Michael.

carli said...

It must feel awesome to feel so close to your graduation. When I was 10 weeks away from graduating, I A) Didn't know what the heck I wanted to do with my life, B) knew I had to stay 3 weeks after walking to take 1 more class-Plant Taxonomy, and C) had wasted 4 years in pursuit of a piece of paper. I wonder if I'd waited till I was footing the bill and had some life experience underfoot, I would have taken it more seriously. I have to admit that when I was in college, I turned up my nose at some of the "non-traditional" students. Now I have so much respect for anyone who would decide to make such a radical life change--to give up salary, become a student again, and embark on an entirely new career at a time when many people their age are firmly settled into their roles.