Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Here's a Thought: Mom and Her Four Kids All Attend College Together!

Kat invited me to go with her this afternoon to the local community college where she'll be taking pre-nursing classes in the Fall. Yeah, I know that the invitation might have had something to do with me being the keeper of the money, but since she now has independent access to funds for one year of school, I'm choosing to believe that she wanted me there for more than writing a check.

The English and math assessment tests (which she aced, by the way!) took about an hour and a half, during which time I walked around campus and read just about every catalog and pamphlet on every wall and in every corridor. At one point I decided to sit down with the catalog of classes and explore the courses being offered. I was completely drawn in and couldn't help but ponder the possibilities.

Elementary education. I have a masters degree in education now, but I can't teach in a public school without a credential, so maybe I could get a credential! I would love, love, love to teach first or second grade. Or, hell, even 10th grade English. Anything but 8th grade math! I come from a families of teachers and I did teach for a while, but then I veered into educational media production -- which I've loved, but it does lack direct interaction with kids.

Pre-nursing. I have always wanted to be a nurse mid-wife and can't let go of that dream. It just always seems to be with me. Becoming a certified childbirth instructor and doula ten years ago was a small step toward my dream, but the timing was wrong then, since I had four young children at home. Now, with no more kids at home, I could have the flexibility to follow this passion... couldn't I?

Movie making. I loved being the Executive Producer of FUEL and CHILL, but I managed the process instead of getting onto the thick of things. I would LOVE to be able to produce, direct, and edit films and videos -- especially videos that can inspire teens and youth change the world!

Diagnostic Ultrasound. Preferably in an obstetrics clinic! Can you imagine sharing in the joy of introducing parents to their babies? OK, maybe this would get boring after a while (and there'd be occasional heartbreak in it too), and it likely doesn't pay all that well -- but for some reason it still inspires me.

Leadership. There's a bona fide leadership program! This is more a general knack than a passion, but how cool would those classes be?

And of course, Project Management -- which is what I do now and what I've done for 25 years. I don't have all kinds of certificates in Project Management (PIM, CAPM), but I have all kinds of experience. Hell, maybe I can teach those classes!

I was so taken by all the possibilities that I even looked into evening and online classes (because I know one thing for sure -- I can't quit my job!) and asked the guy at the assessment office whether college classes I took 30 years ago can be considered in lieu of testing (because, as I told Kat, the last math class I took was... geology!) -- and in many cases they can!

As crazy as the whole idea seems, there's some sanity and peace to it all. It would take me at least four or five years (or more, since it'd have to be done on a very part-time schedule) and by that time we won't have the financial responsibilities that we have now so I could conceivably finally pursue a new passion and go down a new road.

Can you imagine becoming a midwife at 56 or 60? Yeah, I'd be old, but I'll be that old in that many years even if I do nothing at all, so why not spend some time doing something for myself and my own intellectual and professional (and emotional), now that I finally can?

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Anonymous said...

I admire your ambition (and/or dreams)...about all I think about right now at close to the same age as you are (I'm newly 52) is RETIREMENT. As in, EARLY retirement. That's my dream! Because then I'd have the time and energy to do what I really love (write, stained glass...)

Goofball said...

I don't think I could combine studying with a full time job. But it does sound so uplifting to dream about learning new things. i surely would like to learn a lot of things stil (but preferably without exam stress :p)

G in Berlin said...

If you can, if you have the energy, go for it. I took another advanced degree while running a small business, changed careers after my (late) marriage, stopped working after two kids and expect/know that when I start working again, after going back to the US, it will be in a totally different career than I was in before we left (more flexible, probably real estate where I still carry a license.
Just, don't overextend and burn yourself out! School uses time. But yes, how cool to have another path waiting when you choose. And school is fun.

jennifer said...

I'm a huge believer in lifelong-learning. It keeps our minds from turning to mush, plus it's something we can do, selfishly, all for ourselves. I got my MBA 10 years ago by taking evening classes while also working fulltime. You're such a go-getter, working toward something is totally do-able for you. I'll always take classes, I'll always live in a college town. I decided to take Latin 101 this fall at WWU - learn about origins of language, as well as develop skill to come up with erudite quotations in general party conversation.

Anonymous said...

I think go for it if it's something you're really serious about and you think it's possible. Keep dreaming and then when the time is right....jump!

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