Right out of high school, I left for Bible college. I didn't finish the first semester because I couldn't find a job and my parents had some unexpected expenses that limited how much they could help.
So, I entered a "career path." I say that sarcastically, but it really was good for me. At 19, I moved 300 miles away from home and took a job as a paste-up artist at a company that produced school curriculum. I learned a lot on that job. Eventually, with on-the-job training, I became a typesetter and that skill still comes in very handy today.
I also met my Hero because of that job. I looked for and found a church home and there he was. We started dating 8 months later and married 10 months after that. So then I was not only on a career path, I was working on my PHT (putting hubby through). He was in Bible college at the time and we chose to make his training a priority with the idea that I would go back to school after he was finished.
And I did. Well, sort of. When we had been married for 6 years, I went back to school. This time I went to community college and I was a math major. I did great. I made good grades and I enjoyed my classes. However, one day, sitting in Calculus class, it occurred to me that while I was good at math, I did not want to spend the rest of my life in a career that required derivatives.
So after three semesters, I concentrated on family and career again for a while. Then, when my Hero actually began to pastor, I quit the workforce to become a full-time wife and mother. (For anyone who thinks that full-time homemaker is a leisurly job, think again. I was busier than ever.) I homeschooled as many as nine kids over a period of 16 years. I played church secretary in between teaching science and grading compositions. I loved every minute of it.
Then the inevitable happened and my kids grew up. I had time on my hands and in the spring of 2005, I went back to school to get my degree. This time I was an English major. I have stories to tell and I wanted to learn to be a better storyteller. I went to the local community college for 3 semesters and earned my Associates of Arts in English. In the fall of 2006, I transferred to the University of Illinois Springfield where I could finish my BA completely online.
The very first semester, I was sicker than I ever remember being. I almost died. Really. I wound up spending the entire month of December in the hospital at the University of Iowa and had surgery twice. As bad as that was, I was bound and determined not to let it interfere with school. (Looking back now, I must've been crazy but I perservered.)
In the spring of 2007, I took a full load again even though I was still recovering, was house bound, and had a visiting nurse every day to tend to me. In April, I went back into the hospital for another surgery and had a heart attack. Now, at this point a sensible person would have probably decided to take a break. If you've read my blog at all, you are probably aware that I am not necessarily a sensible person. I kept going.
I even made decent grades. Today, I finished my last class for my BA in English. If my grades for this semester hold up, I should graduate with honors and maybe even high honors. It's an accomplishment that has been 30 years in the making and I am so glad to be done.
Oh, the "I think" in the title: I'm never sure until I see my final grades. I'm funny like that.