On getting from there to here….

My educational pursuits have been many. I just completed a pseudo-documentary on my college experience for one of my classes so it’s something that’s been on my mind for a while. And, not long ago, my husband posted his own blog about his life as a student. He dared the rest of us to bare it all as well.

I went to the same school from the time I was 4 years old until I graduated high school at age 18. I remember almost all of my teacher’s names (there is one I wish I could forget because she was so horrible, but alas). I was wildly involved with my school for as long as I can think. I was one of only two junior cheerleaders the school ever really had and I was hooked from then on.

I started cheering for those Crusaders when I was 7 years old and kept on going right through grade 11. I was a decent student, but probably could have applied myself better, especially in high school. In grade 4, in the horrible teacher’s class, I was seated in the very back of the classroom and had a terribly difficult time doing math problems. My teacher told my mother I was probably developmentally behind the rest of the students and I was promptly sent to Ms. Prichard, the school’s remedial teacher.

She was amazing. “Yes, your daughter has trouble with math,” she told my mom. “But she’s not stupid. She just can’t SEE the blackboard!” So I got glasses and, on recommendation of Ms. Prichard, I wound up in piano lessons with Mrs. Moore. Apparently being able to read music while playing the keys was going to help my math skills (teaching me to multi-task, essentially). I fell more and more in love with music and continued to harbor a hatred for my grade 4 teacher and math.

Junior high was an horrific existence, as I believe it is for about 90% of humanity. Mean girls, Queen Bees, bitches, and all that. It was stupendous. I made the cheerleading squad the summer before grade 7 and didn’t look back. I showed those horrible girls who never thought I’d make it…and I have Danielle, Casi, and Jodi to thank for that.

This is when music really started to take hold of me. I went to school and tolerated the studying so that I could cheer and sing. Some of the best memories of my childhood involve music. I refer back to Jodi, whom I practically idolized as a kid. She was practically perfect in every way. She sang, she cheered, everyone loved her, she was smart as hell. I still want to be her. The first time I heard her sing, I knew I wanted to be a part of that. So I fought tooth and nail to make into the show choir by grade 9…not something that was terribly common back then. And damn if I didn’t make that choir for grade 9 and every year thereafter.

High school itself is a bit of a blur. I excelled in history, languages, and English. I barely made it through any of the left-brained classes. Honestly, it was torture for me, some of the classes. I can fully admit now that I cheated my way through one of my classes (which will remain unnamed) and I don’t really feel bad about it. The teacher didn’t give a lot of us a fighting chance.

But I made it through high school and made my way (very unwillingly) to Strathmore, Alberta, Canada where I spent a year in a discipleship program (read: Bible school). I met some really great people and amazing friends and learned a lot about myself, but not much about what I wanted to do with my professional life.

So after a summer in Mahtowa, Minnesota, I went to a small (Bible) college in Bemidji, Minnesota. Probably my worst imaginable decision to date. I hated nearly everything about being there. I hated school. I hated how mean some of the people were. The one really great thing about that year is that I met my best friend a few weeks after school started. She was and continues to be a constant source of support and reality checks.

But I couldn’t fathom going back to that school. It’s the place where I first learned what crying and heartache really looked and felt like.

So I came home to Colorado.

And took a LOT of time off.

Then I decided to (sort of) declare a major in Music Production and started my core requirements at Red Rocks Community College. I did several semesters at RRCC and at some point changed my major to Social Work.

Then I quit. Mostly, just gave up. I wasn’t finding myself, I was involved in some crappy things, and generally had no direction.

So I got some random office jobs here and there. During one of those jobs, I met the girl I refer to as my “Colorado best friend” and she told me, in no uncertain terms, to “get off [my] ass and do something with [my] life.” So I enrolled in a “real” college: Metropolitan State College of Denver, as a Sociology major. I worked really hard at that school and somewhere in the meantime managed to get my bridal consulting license. I changed majors AGAIN, this time to Hospitality and Event Planning (yes, it’s a real degree and it’s incredibly hard). I did that for a few semesters before taking on a course that was so far outside my skill set, I actually cried in my professor’s office.

So I changed majors again, this time to English with a Spanish minor.

I did several semesters at MSCD as an English major and absolutely loved my Spanish classes. But one class in particular, Intro to Journalism, turned me off to the school for reasons that are inexplicable to me.

I just wasn’t being challenged at that school. It’s not a bad school, certainly don’t take that away from my experience. I has some of the best programs out there. But their English program just wasn’t my style or speed.

So I changed schools yet again and dropped the minor.

My major changed slightly from Metro to University of Colorado – Denver, but not much. I went from English to English Writing. I love editing with every fiber of my being and while I don’t really care for some styles of writing, I figure I should know how to write before I tell someone else how to.

For the last two years, I’ve been at UCD, loving every very challenging second of it. My GPA is the highest it’s ever been, even while taking a full-time student course load and working a9-to-5. I’ve even declared a minor again….Sociology (a previous major, if you’re able to keep up with all of this madness). I’d taken a ton of sociology courses previously so my current adviser recommended that I take the one remaining course I needed and officially declare it as a minor. “Might as well get the paper since you’ve done all the work!” he told me.

And here I am, four short months from a graduation that’s taken me 11 years, 5 colleges, and 5 majors (let’s not talk about the money right now) to accomplish.

I’ve been in school for so long that I often do one of two things: 1. wonder what I’m going to do with all my free time; or 2. flirt with the idea of getting my master’s/teaching certificate because I can’t imagine my life without school and stress.

I think I’ll just get a massage instead.

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One thought on “On getting from there to here….

  1. It's been a long time coming, but you're almost there! Bahhh! So exciting! Can't wait to celebrate with you!

    And it's interesting that our jr. high and high school stories are so similar but yet so different. I hated them both so much that I've actually blocked out a lot of it. It was that bad.

    Excited to see what 2011 has in store for you!


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