Friday, March 27, 2009

Mission Accomplished!

I got some great news yesterday and since singing it from the rooftops is not practical, I thought I'd sing it from my virtual rooftop. (That way, more people hear it, too! And my neighbors can't throw rocks at me to make me shut up!)

I was looking at the UVU summer catalog, and was bummed that the English department is offering no night classes. I had decided to take the final science class for my general ed requirements, which I can do online, but Meteorology is nothing I can get too excited over. So I was looking ahead to the fall classes and found a lovely night class called Creative Processes and Imaginative Writing - fun! Knowing I am getting close to finishing up this Associate's Degree, I decided to email my advisor to get some advice. How close am I really? What do I do with all of those business credits that are just sitting around?

Here's the great news: After my science class, I have a grand total of ONE business class to take and then I'll have completed my Associates!! One business class that I can take online this summer! This kills so many birds with one stone that the Federal Wildlife Fund is going to be knocking on my door. First, I get a nice challenge for the summer. Second, none of the time I spent taking business classes is going to get wasted - it will actually count for something. Third, it clears up all of my conflicted feelings. And Fourth, by the end of the summer I will have a degree in my hand!

I cannot even describe to you the triumphant feeling I had when I realized that I was in the home stretch. The finish line is in sight, and in a matter of weeks, I'm going to be crossing it! I've been working towards this steadily for five years, and I'm not the most patient person. To go five years and still have nothing but my superior intellect to show for it, well, that's pretty hard for my superior intellect to take. :) With every goal you want milestones - you want to know that all of this work is paying off, and this is my payoff. I am so thrilled I can barely stand it.

I had an interesting conversation with my professor a few weeks ago. She handed out our midterm report cards, and I had gotten 100% on every quiz and 102% on the two exams (extra credit) so I knew I was in great shape. One of my quiz scores was marked as a zero, with a big fat F next to it. I had never missed a class, so I knew that was wrong and I talked to her about it after.

Dr. Vogel: I'll look in my files and see if I misplaced your quiz.
Me: Thanks, I appreciate it.
Dr. V: You know that I drop the lowest score, right? So this quiz isn't affecting your grade.
Me: I know, but what if I need you to drop a different score later?
Dr. V: You know that this entire group of quizzes and homework only makes up 10% of your grade, right?
Me: Yeah, I know.
Dr. V: And you know that you currently have a 99% in the class, right?

Here I was, making this woman search through her massive stack of paperwork for my one quiz that makes up about 1/2 of 1 percent of my grade. I felt kind of petty at that point, but all I could see was that F. Plus, I was thisclose to having a perfect score in this class. How often am I perfect at anything? Never! But I want to be, and I'm good enough at school that this is where my perfectionistic tendencies shine through.

The other thing, which I told my professor because she's a mom and must understand this, is that motherhood is without accolades. There is no cheering crowd, there is no stage to walk across, there is no fancy cap and gown and diploma. There is no graduation - in fact, there's no end in sight. If I worked a regular job, I'd get a paycheck as my reward for a job well done. But motherhood gives you 24 hours a day of work, and stress, and guilt, without anything tangible to show for it. I don't get praise - the most I get is commiseration, because everyone I know is in the same boat. I'm proud of the fact that we all do it anyways, without the fanfare, because raising children is such an important thing to do. But if there's something in my life where I have the opportunity to excel, to get an A or a perfect score, to feel that sense of accomplishment for achieving a goal, then you better believe I'm going to take it.

I hope this doesn't come across as self-centered or egotistic. I really feel like every mom needs some recognition of themselves as people - as an important person outside of their role as mother. I think this is the "Individual Worth" that they talk about in Young Women's, but it gets so hard to see yourself as a woman with value and worth when your job is caring for these children whose worth (or at least, potential) seems so much greater.

So next week I can apply for graduation. How amazing is that?! Of course, it's not the end of my schooling - I've got the Bachelor's degree in my sights now, without all of those pesky business credits dangling in my face, saying "Use me!" Instead of feeling like I've finished a marathon, maybe I've just finished one leg of a triathlon. Whatever - it doesn't really matter to me. I am feeling victorious, I'm feeling like I've achieved something, like I've accomplished something.

Maybe I'll still sing it from my literal rooftop, just for fun. That's how excited I am!

1 comment:

rachel said...

Wow. I remember a conversation not too long ago about how it was still going to take awhile. Congratulations. I think it is a great accomplishment. I agree with you on the Individual worth concept. I think that is why I love this photography class so much (well, and I like photography). It is something that has nothing to do with being a Mom. (well, except that 99% of the photos I take are of my kids). I would have made the professor correct the "F" too.