So, for the longest time, I couldn’t really pick a theme for this blog or this site. Which led me to writing about a weird variety of subjects, from raging wildfires, to politics, with a sprinkling of pop culture thrown in the mix. While this was a good exercise, it meant that my site was lacking direction. Not only did this make it harder to write, it also made it harder to follow and read as well. When you, the reader, visited the site, what were getting? Were you going to get a rant about the current state of American politics? Was I going to rant about an odd sporting event? Or was I going to babble about who would win in a fight, Wonder Woman or Green Lantern? I was struggling to find things to write, because my life has been somewhat unremarkable for the last few years. That’s going to change starting September 4th. I’m going back to school.
I just celebrated my 35th birthday, and I’m going back to college.
I graduate from the SAIT Polytechnic back in 2005, after successfully completing their Engineering Drafting and Design program. And the truth is, I was pretty immature at the time. I was 20 when I enrolled, and I spent a good chunk of my college days partying and playing video games (I actually took a week off of school when Halo 2 was released). Needless to say, I certainly didn’t live up to my potential.
With age comes a certain amount of wisdom. You get a sense of perspective, and if you’ve been lucky enough, hopefully you’ve picked up some humility as well. There’s gray in my beard, my metabolism is slowing down, hangovers last longer, and I look forward to getting up earlier rather than staying up late. And I love it! I look great with a little salt and pepper in my beard, I don’t need to eat four hamburgers in a sitting to feel satisfied, alcohol is expensive and overrated, and I get way more accomplished in the morning than I do at night. So even though I’m a little nervous about hitting the books again, I’m optimistic that I’ll enjoy the experience far more the second time around.
It’s going to be an odd experience, though. The oldest person in my class back at SAIT was 37, so there’s a chance I might be the oldest person in the class. I remember one of my classmates was 27, and he seemed like a paragon of wisdom. Looking back on it now, his advice wasn’t always the best and he wasn’t really that old. He still had the emotional tension that comes with youth. Soon though, I’ll be surrounded by a bunch of sprouts who’s eyes are wide open and whose bellies are full of fire, and even though I’m not sure I’ll be up to the task, there’s a chance I might be mentoring a few of them on life stuff, simply on the grounds that I’ve got more life under my belt. Not a whole lot more life, mind you. In the most extreme cases, 15 years if they just left high school. But fifteen years is still a considerable amount of time, and I’ve made enough mistakes to at least give out brilliant examples of failure.
And if I do befriend a bunch of youngsters, then there’s a good chance I might earn a ridiculous nicknames based on my age, like “Old Man C”, or “Gray Beard the Wise”, or “Papa Smurf”, or some likely variation of these names. I’m looking particularly forward to this.
So how do I feel right now? Tomorrow is the first day, and I start at 8:30 in the morning. I’m nervous. I’ve got butterflies in my stomach. I paced around the house for a good portion of the day. I made a bunch of food to prepare for the week. My new backpack (a birthday gift from my lovely fiancee, Kat) is teeming with new school supplies, ready to be used. But I’m terrified. What if it’s been too long? What if I fail? What if I don’t enjoy my program at all, and realize I’m throwing both money and time into something I hate?
This could be the case, but like everything in life, it’s smarter to tackle these sorts of things head on. I’m hoping I do well enough to garner some financial support from scholarships, but if that doesn’t happen, I’ll just have to work a little bit more next year. And although I might not ace every test, the likelihood of failure is pretty far off. There would have to be some sort of major life change, like a death in the family, or getting addicted to bath salts in order for me to drop my studies.
Still though, the last time I stepped in a classroom was over thirteen years ago. And if I’m calculating things correctly, it’ll be another five years before I finally get an engineering degree. I’ll be forty when I’m done school.
What I’m trying to say is this; Buckle up folks, because it’s about to get weird over here.
The Illustrious Mr. Charlton
p.s. I’ve got maybe an hour left before I go to bed and wake up a student. I think I’ll spend this time wisely by quietly panicking.