What we have learned from others
becomes our own reflection.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Honestly, I never wanted to go back to school. My public high school experience was dismal despite a meager few academic bright spots. A couple of years out of high school, a friend convinced me that I needed to go to college, so I made a year-long effort in community college managing to glean enough skills to work as an office administrator. After proving to myself that I could pull straight As with a full load my last quarter, I figured I'd had enough and back to the workforce I went, with no degree.
I never looked back. Office administrative, secretarial and support positions came and went until I found myself in the ultimate administrative job; wife and mother. I was thrilled that I had enough college credit accrued to qualify for homeschooling my children (according to the State of Washington), but still didn't yearn to step back into a classroom, myself. In fact, I was happy to educationally torture my children, all the while smugly content to know that I no longer had to face tests, lectures and the challenging concepts and ideas imposed by those with the title 'teacher'.
Education is not the filling of a pail,
but the lighting of a fire.
~Wiliam Butler Yeats
However, everything changed the minute I stepped foot inside the walls of a synagogue where study, learning, debate and foreign language were the order of the day. I was immediately thrust into what I affectionately called 'turbo-learn'; I was desperately trying to catch up to the rest of the congregation in their understanding of Scripture, ancient culture, Hebrew language and Judaism. For about six months, I figure, I was swimming, almost drowning, in a real-life classroom of scholarly and spiritual thought. I didn't know it at the time, but it rekindled a flame that had long since went cold, a flame that thrived on learning, striving and reaching for more knowledge, even wisdom. For nearly a decade, I had the privilege of regular and consistent scholarly biblical teaching, synagogue life 'lab', and Hebrew language and dance immersion, causing that little flame to grow into an insistent and undeniable fire. Even with all that, amazingly, I still had no need or desire to ever consider going back to college.
The thing always happens that you really believe in;
and the belief in a thing makes it happen.
~Frank Lloyd Wright
The transition has been happening for about the last year, I'd say. Little inklings and whispers of longing wove their way through mundane thoughts, somewhat transparent daydreams of scholarly pursuits involuntarily taking up brain-space and a very wise doctor writing a prescription for higher education for 'folks such as myself,' all have pushed me to this point. Sure, I have still been able to engage in somewhat scholarly studies, but my situation had changed enough to create a craving for more - more teaching, more challenge. From the moment I first typed the word 'seminary' into the Google search bar, it has been a culminating wave propelling me to today.
Facing my first real test.
A test of study. A test of commitment. A test of...math skill?
Alright, so math and I don't really speak the same language, which is rather unfortunate. What is fortunate, however, is that my chosen field of study doesn't require a huge amount of the m-word. Perhaps my lack of proficiency in math will actually help me relate better to others, since very few actually enjoy it...yeah, that's it!
"It's just a simple assessment test for college placement. You can't fail."
Since I went to community college so soon after high school, I never had to take an assessment test; instead, I used my high school transcript as proof of my skill level. However, this time, I thought it best to take the placement test in hopes of advancing further than my college transcript would take me. Well, it didn't further me in math level, most certainly. But when it came to English skill, I knocked it out of the park.
My chosen field of study, psychology, is like slipping into a comfy, old sweater. I'm starting with community college, with plans to transfer to a university for my bachelor's degree. After that, my heart is truly set on working towards a master's degree in theology with a concentration in Old Testament, which means quite a bit of biblical language and culture. Oh yeah!! Just thinking about it makes me excited with anticipation. But, that's a long way, yet...I can't even see that far ahead. So, first things first - the first day of class.
And that is not until late September. But for now, I feel downright giddy. An advisor told us new students sitting in orientation that we were to 'now consider yourselves college students'. Alrighty, then.
I'm going to apologize ahead of time to my close friends and family, who will have to put up with my school stuff strewn about, my head elsewhere and my bloviating on subjects you care little about. It will happen and I'll try to keep it to a minimum.
(I can't thank you enough for your love and support!)
Great spirits have often overcome violent opposition from mediocre minds.