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Friday, June 3, 2011

Being an older (& wiser) student

Okay, I've been a bit remiss with my postings as of late.  We can trace this delinquent behavior to a pesky midterm exam I've been studying for.  It's hard to be an "older" student--and I use that term very loosely.  I prefer the term non-traditional though it does not usually describe me very well in other categories.

I do like being a student now though.  I take my studies much more seriously.  I avoid all of the nasty bad habits of my former youth such as "cramming, cheating, all-nighters, no-doze, bribing the prof, cluelessly picking "b" on multiple choice guess tests, oversleeping, writing on my arm, and forgetting all content 10 minutes after the exam because...who cares anyways?"

So when my proctor opened up the packet and plucked out 2 blue books (remember those?) I sort of had a flash back to those hellish days of yore.  Believe it or not, I have a recurring nightmare that I never earned my degree from Michigan State because of missing an exam.  Which led me down a little road of regret as I thought about all of the time I've wasted in my undergraduate "career".  I don't think I'm alone in this area.  I talk to a lot of grown ups who also had no clue what they wanted to be in college and recognized later that they wasted a lot of time and resources as no-preffers and professional or amateur party-animals.  Is this wasted time?  Well, yes....but no. Some of us need to run out of road before we hop on another. Rather than wallow in the sea of regret, I'd prefer to concentrate on what the college experience opened up for me...25+ years later.

*The value of prioritized vocations (I am a mom and a wife first...student follows these)
*A thirst for knowledge and the ability to critically analyze a subject
*A desire to focus on fields of study that are better suited to my passions
*A heartfelt commitment to take my real studies seriously
*I am suspect of any need to rush or hurry
*Awe and wonder in the epiphanies of learning
*A sincere gratitude to Almighty God for having any cognitive capacities left!

I'm so glad to be a 40-something college student. It makes me appreciate beautiful expressions of Truth like the below excerpt from my professor's text, of all places...

"The heart really should not be seen as something essentially inferior to intellect and will; the heart has its own fully spiritual forms and ought to be recogized as a dimension or a faculty of the human person in every way the equal of intellect and will"  (Dr. John Crosby, Franciscan University of Steubenville)

1 comment:

  1. Whoohoo! Right on!
    As I prepared for my latest exam on the theory and history of my favorite subject, Music, I experienced the same feelings of satisfaction, wonder and contentment.
    Studying at a later age has its advantages, as you so aptly stated.
    The real reward comes in knowing you did your best with the gifts God gave you - and you are using those gifts, developed to the best of your ability, to advance His kingdom here on earth.
    May we all never cease to move forward learning and growing in His knowledge and service.