Monday, January 8, 2007

First Day of School

The last time I had a 'First day of school', I was twenty years old. My hair was black, my skin was still not quite recovered from the self tanner I had applied all summer long, and I weighed a healthy 125 lbs. I was a vice president in a committee at the LDS institute (though no one had told me it was the least popular committee), and had auditioned for the Folk Dance Team.
I don't remember the 'First Day of School' that year. But I remember how it felt walking to the Institute so early in the morning, there weren't any cars around. I remember feeling lucky and blessed and special. I had a sense of pride knowing that I had earned the money that paid for this sememster of education. I was proud of the way I looked. I remember practically (and sometimes literally) dancing from class to class across campus. I remember meeting so many people I couldn't remember their names ten minutes later. I remember looking for an attractive mate. I remember looking at boys looking at me. I remember most of all that for the first time in my life, I didn't care what they thought. I was so happy to be me in college and learning.
This "First Day" was different. My hair is a natural light brown. My skin is porcelain white. I weigh over 200 lbs. I have recieved a Pell Grant which pays for me to attend college. I'm married. I have two children. And yet, there was something deeply similar in these two "First Days".
The similarity is this: I still love to learn.
I sat in a math class - A MATH CLASS! - and was excited at the possibility that I might know more when I walk out than I did when I walked in. Most of the credit goes to the teacher, but I also give credit to my nature. I'm so grateful that I love to learn.
I was walking along familiar paths today. Paths I haven't trod in almost five years, and I felt reconnected with a simpler and purer part of myself. No doubt it is the same part that wanted this earthly experience: the part that yearns for moments of quiet, moments of beauty, moments to enjoy a good walk from one place to another, and moments of insight. How could I have forgotten this part of me?
How grateful I am for the sacrifices of my husband and my family that I may find rediscover these things. It is the wisdom of my husband that I have tried again. May I always remember that although it was mainly his idea, this was entirely my choice.
I look forward to my "Second Day of School" and all the ones that follow.

3 comments:

Ahenobarbus said...

That's great, C, my girl! Higher ed is a very important part of my life, so I always encourage those who want to continue. I'm very impressed and proud to know you.

What classes are you taking?

TheaterGeek said...

Well, thanks. I'm pretty excited about the whole thing. Taking Critical Lit, Modern British Lit, Pre-Algebra (hold the laughter, please) and Foundations in Nutrition. So far so fun!

Ahenobarbus said...

No laughter here: I had to take pre-algebra, too. I have since grown to actually (don't faint) LIKE math... at least, just a little bit. I surprised myself to the point of utter disbelief when my GRE score put me in the 52nd percentile for math. Go figure.

Anyway, that's awesome. Don't let the homework get you down.