“Please, go stand over there to get your photo.”
“Down there, where the line is.”
Standing and waiting amongst mostly young people, I pondered whether my eager anticipation was realistic.
Finally, I sat down and the guy at the computer said,” Number please.”
I immediately rattled off 75…
I nodded. “Yes, 75…”
He interrupted me again. “75, as in you were first here in the year 1975?”
He dropped his eyes, seemingly embarrassed at being so rude.
It was then that I realized that this young lad was likely not even born in 1975.
Hesitating, he began again, ” Okay. So 75…..”
After getting my number and photo into the computer , he handed me my new university student photo ID.
In a tentative, prodding voice,he asked, “So, I guess you were here during all the student protests. What was it like?”
As the other interested students interspersed with their own questions, I felt like a celebrity!
What a lovely re-entry into the university world of heavy textbooks, lengthy essays, on-line courses and research,video conferencing,social media, and interesting keen young people.
An exponential learning curve challenged my mind and personal time constraints.
As did the intense grade competition I now had with two sons, who were also completing post-secondary degrees.
I felt immediate connection with most of the other students, likely because I had sons their age. Although, it was strange to argue with younger students about historical events they knew only through textbooks when they were ones that I had actually lived through!
It was a thoroughly exhilarating process, especially since I was given permission to take upper level courses without the usual required prerequisites.
After interrupting the pursuit of my degree with the first birth of my five boys, I celebrated my BA with my grown sons at my grad party.
I felt such a keen sense of accomplishment posing with the requisite bouquet and black grad hat perched on my head. It was not even so much about the degree, but the eclectic adventure of it all.
I continue to live James A. Garfield recommendation that ,”if wrinkles must be written on our brows,let them not be written upon our hearts. The spirit should never grow old.”
Or, as I like to say: always live life in crescendo.