January 16th, 2005

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11:38 pm - it's official
I'm a full-time college student now.  (Although also a full-time business owner.  Eeek...)

I've actually been attending for a week now; which means I've been to all of my classes at least once (and most several times).  But I didn't get the ID until Friday, which is my "day off" school (ha!).  By then, I'd gotten my classes secured by getting a deferment and paying the first galloping chunk of the tuition down, ordered a copy of my DD-214 (discharge paperwork from the military) so that theoretically EVENTUALLY Uncle Sam will pay me back for most of this shit, bought all my books, finished securing a student loan to pay for the rest of the tuition (while I continue to wait for Unk Sam, who probably won't get around to me until AFTER this semester is over)... so yeah, really, going down to the basement of Russell House and having a fantastically un-flattering picture taken and printed onto a card was pretty much The Last Step.

I've been avoiding this so long, and even having decided to do it - for the second time - have been through so much shit trying to get it all locked down, that it was kind of a shock to realize that There's Nothing Left In The Way.  Nope.  It's Really and Truly Official Now - a large part of my identity is now "college student", and full time college student at that.

It's a kind of sobering, but gratifying feeling.  I do feel a little out of place sometimes, but only a little, and I feel pretty respectable.  A couple of people who don't even know me have made a point of telling me how much they respect and admire the fact that I am coming in as a 30-something full-time freshman.

And I have to admit, my current load of required-freshman-classes tends to be kind of interesting sometimes in a sociological way.  There's so much fear and uncertainty, in this world of 18 and 19 year olds, that it makes me smile sometimes - hell, I remember what that feels like, I remember what that is like, but the fears you have when you're in your thirties are a lot different from the ones you have in your late teens and barely-20's.  Funny how they're exactly where they're supposed to be, and having started in the fall semester they've been there a good half-year longer than I have... but I'm still the one looking around and marveling at so much uncertainty, and my self-confidence in the midst of it.  It's a funny old world. (And to be honest, I'm confident now that I'm in the classes, but I sure as hell wasn't confident about getting there to begin with - without the love and support of friends and family (in particular, Emily and my mom) I don't think I'd have managed to get my sorry ass in there to begin with.)

Anyway, I'm pretty excited about all of this.  It's a big heaping dose of structure in my life, and a feeling of accomplishing meaningful things, and I needed both pretty badly.  Of course my first semester's courseload turned out to be entirely "freshman fodder" classes, but hey, what the hell - they have to get done, and it's a lot easier to accept that and smile now than it would have been back when I was seventeen.  Also, VERY unlike when I was seventeen, I'll be putting in my level best attempt at four-oh-ing those "gimmes" now, instead of just seeking to put in the minimum effort required for a reasonable return -  I want scholarships in the near future, dammit.  And hopefully dispensations, too, so I can start taking CS classes a little earlier than I would otherwise; and maybe even to let me dig into some of them without having to get all of the usual required pre-reqs, in light of my having been in the industry for so many years already.  This all feels good, but still pretty heady and uncertain; we'll see how it goes.

In unrelated news, I'm still in love, still frequently in pain, and still very much wandering through uncertainty and emotional miasma, not knowing what the heck will happen or when.  Wisdom would seem to dictate that I Just Move On from that - but while I'm not inclined to dispute that wisdom, I don't seem to be ready to listen to it either, and I don't know when - or if - I really will be.  In the meantime, I'm hanging in there, and hoping satori will carry me through to more joyful days.  And of course, luckily there is more in my life to focus on now; so I'm doing precisely that.

Current Mood: academic satisfaction; emotional satori
Current Music: Add N to X - Plug Me In

(10 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture] From: staringgoldfish
Date: January 16th, 2005 - 09:01 pm
Your last name must be insanely long to require that much photo editing.

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: January 16th, 2005 - 09:03 pm
middle and last name.

From: (Anonymous)
Date: January 16th, 2005 - 10:13 pm


Before I say anything else, I must say I was hoping USC would be using garnett ID cards by now... oh, well.

Congrats on your successful enrollment. I imagine you've found the whole process rather banal and insipid. Nevertheless, I applaud you for having done it. I hope you paid the $20 (or however much they're charging these days) for the parking pass. I incurred quite a few parking tickets for not paying the meter enough.

I must confess in reading your page that the thought of you having to attend a basic CPT 101 (or whatever the basic comp. course is) has had me amused. I distinctly recall hearing my professor say, "This course is designed for people who have never used a computer before." He then, during the course of the semester, proceeded to teach us about the fact that you could move the cursor around by moving the mouse.

Good luck, Jim! (And some advice... having known you as long as I have, I know you'll be bored to tears in numerous classes... don't embarrass your instructors too much as you are undoubtedly smarter than they are)

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: January 16th, 2005 - 11:04 pm

Re: Eu

(first of all... whodis? I hate it when people talk about how long they've known me, but don't say who they are. =)

Anyway, yeah, the first couple CS classes will be a little romper room, but no, I don't have to take a 101 course. Those aren't actually required for CS majors; thank god, the engineering college seems to assume that folks who want to be CS majors will very likely have more on the ball in regards to computers than that before they ever hit college.

From: (Anonymous)
Date: January 18th, 2005 - 04:32 am

Re: Eu

Mane si Zemkarna

From: zornog
Date: January 16th, 2005 - 10:42 pm

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: January 16th, 2005 - 11:06 pm
Heh. You might be "an upperclassman to me", but I could still kick yer ass. =)

And yeah... 27-28 wouldn't actually seem quite as weird. I sorta hate being older than the older guys, although, you know, I don't think it's like anybody actually thinks of me as "old." Still sorta odd though.

[User Picture] From: ravenword
Date: January 17th, 2005 - 05:14 am
except you look younger now than you did at 27-28, so don't be buggin'. :)

[User Picture] From: tawnyleona
Date: January 17th, 2005 - 06:21 am
How long did they tell you it would be before they sent your DD214? My very first "real" job was at the VA and they told people it would be six to 9 months before they received their copy, which I always thought was the most insane thing I'd ever heard. I was just wondering what they'd cut the waiting time down to.

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: January 17th, 2005 - 06:59 am
I hired a commercial service to retrieve it for me in about two weeks (so they claim, at least) by virtue of actually physically sending an agent TO the National Personnel Records office in person to retrieve them. The "standard" time is 4-6 months.

From: (Anonymous)
Date: January 18th, 2005 - 10:45 am
That's the advantage of having a father who was in the Navy before me...he told me to have a copy of my DD214 on file with my county of residence AND copies in my safety deposit box. When I started in college (fall 1992), it was just a matter of going to the bank.

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