With two and half weeks of microbiology under my belt I can speak in some detail about the features of prokaryotic cells as compared to eukaryotic cells and what factors contribute to the pathogenicity of bacteria. But you probably don’t read this blog to hear about them. (Although does anyone want to hear about endospores? They really are fascinating.)
I am having an unexpected amount of fun with school. It feels so refreshing to turn my mind to something completely new and unrelated to either my current work or my family. I appreciate the opportunity to go to school so much more than I did as an undergraduate or in graduate school. I am truly fortunate to have a very affordable, top-rated community college within two miles of my house.
Despite my enjoyment of class I had been feeling a lot of doubts over my age and the idea of how many pre-requisites and how many years of school I might have ahead of me. I am clearly one of the oldest people in the class and it is not up for argument that I would have had more time for school before children. Jeff said something yesterday though that I think just might carry me through. He told me that it was my turn. He pointed out that my job had enabled us to buy a house and have children while he was in graduate school and early in his career. Now that Jeff has a stable job that he enjoys, it is my turn to pursue my dreams. In truth, I wasn’t convinced of what my professional dreams were when I was 22. My dreams in my twenties all centered around having children. Now that those dreams have been realized (and, of course, I will get to enjoy those children for many years to come) I can take on school with a focus that I could not have mustered five or ten years ago.
As over the moon as I am for my children, I am ready for something beyond them. For many people that is their work, but I do not and never will feel that way about my current career. This week I realized that for the low, low price of $200 for the class, $150 for books, and $64 for a semester parking permit I am getting 16 weeks, 8 hours a week of work-free, child-free time. It’s been over six years since I have had that kind of time to myself and it is a nice respite. It is probably slightly insane to consider going back to school a respite, but as I told a friend recently I am happiest when my life is FULL. The idea of having nothing to do doesn’t seem relaxing, it seems boring and depressing.
I certainly don’t have that problem right now: parenting three children, working 20 hours a week, commuting another 9 hours a week, running Jam and Bread, school 8 hours a week, and studying my life is full to the brim. And oddly enough I am actually sleeping a bit more, not because Anna is sleeping any better (if anything, she has reached a new level of challenge) but because I am prioritizing sleeping knowing that I cannot sit in lecture and study effectively if I am falling asleep. And with that I shall close the computer and put myself to bed.