BREATHE—–

Forge ahead, I think is a good place to start my manifesto. I earned an Associates Degree in accounting (who’s idea was it for me to be an accountant anyway?) in 1987. That was B. K. (Before Kids) – well, almost. Patrick was a baby. He actually graduated from college three times. I made him a little cap and gown and took him on stage with me when I was handed my degree. He went on to earn his own Associates Degree, then his Bachelor’s degree. And, we had more kids. Enough of that. My focus at that time was to rear my kids. Always in the back of my mind, I was looking toward a time when I could return to school to earn my Bachelor’s degree. But, to do what??? I was good at accounting, but I didn’t want to be an accountant. Fast forward to 2010 – the kids are out of high school by then, and it is my time! But, to do what??? I like so many things, so how do I choose? Most of you all are eagerly looking forward to all of the possibilities this degree can offer. I’m tempered by looking back and knowing that my time is limited. Yes, I’ll be eligible for Social Security before I get my degree. That won’t stop me. I’ve learned a lot about ‘me’ and that is what helped land me here – at UW-Stout – in the PCEM program – in the Digital Humanities and Technical Writing concentrations. There are so many things I want to do, but this I can do.  From anywhere. For as long as I’m able. You might say, it was serendipity. I stopped at a local coffee shop for lunch. Sitting at the next table was a professor from our local 2-year UW campus. She had taught all three of my kids. The conversation turned to my desire to earn my degree. She had just come from a conference where they were talking about this great, new program being offered at UW-Stout. And what’s more, I could take my classes online, so here I am. I come to this Manifesto from a direction that most of you haven’t experienced yet. I can look back at what I’ve learned about me. We chuckle over the fact that I probably have more than twice as much work experience as some of you are old.  Now, it is just making that experience meaningful – using this degree to enhance my experience and using my experience to enhance this degree. I love to learn. I love my classes. They challenge me, make me push my limits. And, they make me almost a master at juggling time. That one needs a bit more work!

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