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.
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.
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.
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.
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.