Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Learning to Sail My Ship


rough sailing 8-28-12

                                                                                  Image Credit: cseward

“I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship.”

                                                                                  ~ Louisa May Alcott

So, I’ve gotten the first week of school behind me now, and my return to academia has been both easier and harder than I might’ve imagined.  Though even the easy parts have not come without some adjustment, and a little bit of rocking the boat through some rough waters. 

One of my biggest concerns going in was the age factor, though, as I mentioned last week, that part wasn’t as bad as I’d feared.  Since there were some other older students in my classes, and since most of the young ones weren’t just barely graduated from high school, I didn’t feel like an old granny sitting in a rocker, or anything.  So, I think I can cross that one off my worry list, a storm that never came to pass.

One of my other major concerns, though, was if I’d be able to get myself back into student mode and actually keep up, or if it would all turn out to be too hard.  I don’t think the material itself is going to be all that much of a challenge.  In fact, I’ve discovered an actual benefit to a life of avid television viewing: there has yet to be a legal term bandied about in the classroom that I’m not already familiar with.  Granted, I’m certain the lawyer shows don’t always apply the concepts with 100% accuracy, but they usually get the basic foundation right.  Bonus. 

But while the actual work may not be difficult, this first week has seemed fairly hectic, trying to make all the pieces fall into place.  I’ve read a few chapters of various textbooks, jotted down countless notes, churned out a couple of assignments, taken a few short quizzes, and outlined a paper that will have to be completed before Friday.  So far, it’s going okay, and the schoolwork is on schedule, but I’ve been tired, haven’t been exercising as I should be, and—like now—it’s been pretty late in the day before I’ve been able to sit down and write my blog post.  And, yes, I know, the blog is definitely a lower priority than school, but I think it’s still an indicator.  I don’t want to sacrifice every other aspect of my life.  Oh, and did I mention I’m still looking for work?  So as hectic as it seems right now, it will only be magnified once I actually become employed again.  That could turn out to be a storm of hurricane proportions. 

Still, I hope think this is just an early adjustment phase.  Another week or so and it’ll all come much more naturally, right?  The waters will surely once again provide smooth sailing.  For now, that’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it.  I really am excited about the idea of learning a new trade, and immersing myself into a field that has always fascinated me, so I definitely don’t want to focus on the negative, just trying to assess things realistically.  They say that you start to lose a step here and there as you grow older, and I know that I see that in myself in little parts of my life sometimes.  I guess for now, it’s just a matter of waiting to see how things go as the semester progresses, and riding out any storms as they come along. 

In the meantime, I’ll try to stay optimistic until I have actual reasons to believe I’m in over my slowly graying head.  And I’ll keep learning how to sail.