Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Supermom Goes Back to School- Part 2

I know every Monday will not be so leisurely. I know I'm going to have to do some work. But today, just for today, I'm enjoying the time.

After dropping my friend off at her car, I head back to campus to try and get my student ID.

It's a good thing pictures don't capture bad breath, because my french onion soup and iced coffee breath is very...fragrant.

The line to get IDs is behind a desk in front of the Fitness Center and it looks long-ish. I take my place at the end behind a woman with long dark hair and jeans. She smiles shyly at me and I take the first step in making Friend #2.

I make a stupid joke about driver's license pictures and mug shots and I find out her name is Rose. She has dark eyes and a few tell-tale lines on her thin face. Everything about her seems to tell me she has had a difficult life. She is in her 40's with three teenage boys. She decided to go to school to become a radiologist after working a factory job for years, putting rivets in appliances. She says she wants to use her mind.


I cannot believe this seemingly fragile woman has taken such a bold and courageous step. I am amazed by her resolve and I don't mind telling her so.

And then, the moment of truth. My turn to smile for the camera.

Ugh. I hate pictures. I was hoping to get my ID first thing this morning, when my makeup was fresh and my hair wasn't frizzed, but the machine has been broken. Now, my makeup is practically gone and I'm feeling less secure about the whole picture taking thing.

And when I get my ID, it isn't hard to see why.


I wish Rose luck, hoping I'll run into her again, and head upstairs to the bookstore. One more book to buy.

You're probably wondering, "Why didn't she buy it when she was at the bookstore earlier?"

The answer is simple. I am attending two different campuses and have to buy my books at the campus on which I attend.

Anyway, I have one more book to buy.

The dreaded class.

Dum da dum dum.

(gulp) Government.

I don't mind telling you, politics is not something of great interest to me. Anytime people start discussing politics, tempers flare and fingers wag and it just makes me all icky and uptight. I am not looking forward to this class. Not at all.

It would seem everyone else on campus had the same bright idea to wait until 5:00 to buy the book they need for their 6:00 class. The line is wound around to the back of the store. I quickly grab my book and get in line. No one is speaking. No one is looking around. Everyone is standing, silent and sullen, staring into space.

Granted, I've been holed up inside my own little corner of Suburbia, talking to people under the age of 10 for many moons. So, I may be a little out of the loop here. But why are people so gosh darned unfriendly? Do I look like a terrorist?

Well, based upon my student ID picture, that could be the case.

I stand in the line for 30 minutes before I finally get to the checkout. And the woman behind the counter has the same sadsack demeanor.

I go to the little cafe next to the bookstore to grab a quick bite before heading to...

Dum da dum dum.

...(gulp) Government.

I am greeted by a trio of lovely Lebonese people (family, perhaps?) who make me a delicious Rueben. Jalapeno chips and Pepsi to top it off, because the mint I had earlier made my breath a bit too minty fresh.

I sit down at a table overlooking the pond outside with the lovely fountain and begin to look at my notes.

"My what a good student she is!" you must be thinking. "Already taking notes!"

But, no. These would be my BLOGGING notes. I've been writing things down all day so as not to forget one teeny, tiny detail. Really, people. I know what's important here.

After scarfing down my dinner, I gather up my courage and head to...

Dum da dum dum.

...(gulp) Goverment.

When I finally find the class, I find it already almost full. I take a seat in the front row again, which is surprisingly empty. What's with these people? Aren't they afraid they might miss one tiny kernal of knowledge way back there in the back?

I take note of the room, very plain as classrooms go. In one corner is a map and projector screen. In the other corner is a wide, black metal cabinet. Next to it is the instructor's desk. I try to imagine what he might be like based upon his desk. It is cold, gray metal with only a computer on top. I imagine him to be dull and longwinded. A very no-nonsense kind of guy.

I am not looking forward to this.

To my left is a middle aged man, listening to an Ipod and reading, rather, devouring, his textbook as if it contained all the answers to life's mysteries.

Weird. I mean, who would ever voluntarily read such a book?

In walks a petite young brunette in torn jeans and sits to my right. She sips her water and bounces her foot so her flip-flop smacks her heel. Several more students file in, filling the desks one by one. And we sit.

In silence.

The door opens again and a man in a blue striped dress shirt and khakis walks in carrying a laptop case. No smile. No words.

That must be him. And boy, was I right. He is dull.

But to my surprise, he takes a seat on the front row, next to Smacking Flip-Flop girl.

So we sit some more, waiting.

Suddenly, the door swings open and a very loud voice booms "HOW THE HELL ARE YA?"

Meet my Goverment teacher.

He is a very tall man who looks like a cross between Willard Scott and W.C. Fields. His large, bulbous nose is red. His eyelids droop just enough to make me wonder if he is completely sober.

He picks up a wooden, tabletop podium that sets on the folding table directly in front of me and literally throws it on to the metal filing cabinet with a BANG! We all jump. He chuckles.

So, he's not Mr. Rogers. At least I won't be falling asleep in here. Anything to make the class interesting for me.

And interesting, it is.

He is very loud, very sarcastic and loves to sprinkle his language with profanity. But he is also passionate about politics and government, and there is nothing better than a teacher who loves what they are teaching. He held my attention. He made me think. And I enjoyed the class.


And that, friends, pretty much sums up my day.

It's been fabulous.

I feel so different, and I'm not even sure I can put it into words. Words like, metamorphasis and resurrection come to mind. That's not to say I haven't been happy staying home with my children. I have been satisfied. I wouldn't even think of giving that up. But I've been disappearing inside myself for years and haven't even known it.

Thank you, to my wonderful, supportive husband, who practically shoved me through this door. Who saw what was happening and intervened.

It's going to be an amazing journey. I simply can't wait to see what happens.


crazeemommy said...

Wow, all of that in just one day. I'm soooo happy for you. And just think, you have at lease 15 more wonderful Mondays left until the end of the semester. I loved college, the last time I was in class was when I was pregnant with my first. 2 classes into the graduate program, I bailed. You just might inspire me to return.

Melzie said...

yay for blog notes you make me as your reader feel special ;) double yay for enjoying the non-dull class! and triple yay for stepping out of your comfort zone! xoxo melzie

Heth said...

That was seriously fun to read.

jesprincess said...

You are going to have to tell me details about this teacher. You know how EXCITED I am to take gov.

Bttrfly1976 said...

I think I might actually be getting jealous of your going to school!?!

Michelle- This One's For The Girls said...

I think your husband must be an incredible person to insist upon you doing this.

What a great thing for you.

novaks8 said...

Don't you wish you could discreetly snap pictures for your blog?

Blogging notes? I love that!

Having a great college instructor is a JOY.

I have had a few.

I still remember all my good teachers!

Oh, and I would be the one who would talk to you.
I am not afraid to make new friends.

jjofar said...

isn't it funny how someone who so freely uses 'colorful' language (that we would only say in our heads) can be so fascinating?? i am so glad...that class could have easily been your dreaded one! hubby's grandpa is staying with us right now and i get my daily CNN education. YIKES.

Mama of 2 said...

SOunds like a hell of a first day. Here's to many more just like it.
What are you studying anyway?

I'm wishing you the very best and it does sound like your government class might be much better than you you said at least he will keep you from falling asleep.

Can't wait to hear more about your days at school as they progress.

Chris said...

My government teacher was straight laced, graying, monotone, and a closet homosexual. Beat that!

heartsjoy said...

I only got to read part two but it sounds like your day was amazing! I am so happy for you! I'm glad that dum da dumm dumm class is turning out interesting! I know you will do fantastic you little social lite you! ;)

Diana said...

oh, what an action-packed day. I love it.
Do you have any idea how much I love jalapeno chips? The only people who have those chips here is Subway, and I hardly go there...but those chips! YUM!

brooke said...

ok. loving your descriptions of your first day of class. i too am heading back to school this semester after only 6 years away, but i am so excited about it. it'll be fun to read your accounts of school-time!

But Momma said...

I busted out laughing when you told us your notes were blog notes!

I'm also a huge fan of the jalapeno chips. What a fun adventure!

Kristen said...

I'm so envious! You're making me want to go back to school!! I am so glad you enjoyed your government class, even though you thought you'd hate it! I would've felt the same way.

Jen said...

How awesome!!!! Good for you! Love the description of everything about your day! Good luck on your new endeavor! Can't wait to hear sequels!!!

LiteratureLover said...

I'm so glad your government class is going to be interesting! :) And, could I have a chip? No fair putting that picture up and not offering any.

swilder said...

I loved this post! I, too, am going back to college after...[drum roll, please} TWENTY years away. I am 38 and so, so, SO excited! My oldest child and I are starting college at the same time. However, sadly, he's living in a really cool dorm three hours away and me...well, I'm still here at home.

Christina said...

Congratulations to you! I know what you mean about disappearing inside yourself. You love being with your children and wouldn't have it any other way but it is a battle to keep that balance. How great that you have a husband to help you hold that line. I thank God every day for my supportive husband.

Chappyswife said...

Well, I was eagerly awaiting part 2, and you didn't let me down. Good job, again!

shannon @ rocksinmydryer said...

Wow, I can't wait either...

Shannon said...

Wow, I can't wait either...

Michelle said...

I'm jelouse! :-)
I already compleated my BA and if I could I would be a life time student. I love the whole deal! And yes, bravo for your intervining hubby and the shove through those doors. I plan on living vicariously through you and these collage days . . and enjoying the perspective now that your not a "fresman" anymore.