Monday, February 27, 2012

I'm Tired Of School (And How We Got Here In The First Place)

Last week if officially hit me: I am sick of this semester already. I know, I know...he'll be done soon, and for that I am very grateful. I am just tired of Jeff being gone two nights a week, with homework in between. The kids have been getting upset when he leaves for work, or when he has school. They want their daddy, and they want him NOW! I keep reminding them, and myself, that it will be over soon. Yay! And when that day comes, I plan on throwing a big ol' par-tay. I will invite you, and the mailman, and the termite guy (even though we don't have one). I will even invite my brother's neighbor's cousin's half-sister's goats ex-owner, for crying out loud! A few days ago, I told the kids that I wanted to plan something special for Daddy since he was graduating. Katie suggested a cake. Of course! James suggested 'renting a clown.' I think that is right up Jeff's ally...ha! Seriously though, this has been a long time in coming.

And while I'm on the subject, wanna hear how Jeff ended up in school anyway? Did you know Jeff never even planned on going to college? He wanted to join the Air Force, but he was too tall, or maybe too blind...one of those. His plan B was to work. Jeff's high school career was less than stellar in the grade department and he never liked school. He scammed his way through the system and graduated when he was 16. He got credit for living at the farm, shooting prairie dogs, drinking Mountain Dew and eating Fireballs. No joke. He also took two periods of Teacher's Aid where he was in charge of the attendance records. There was one or two kids who he didn't get along with for whatever reason, and he would carefully erase their attendance mark here and there before scanning the card, then fill it in afterward. The offending student would get a phone call to their parents for their lack of attendance. That is how he earned enough credit to graduate early. He moved out at 16 and lived at the farm, where he was living when we met in 1998. I was going to college, and around that same time, his grandpa told him he should go to college and make something of himself. No one in his family, aunts, uncles, etc...went to college. He decided mostly to pacify his grandpa that he would apply, knowing that they would never accept him because of his GPA. Guess what? He got accepted. No problem, he thought. I'll still never be able to pay for it. Guess what? He got a full ride to pay for tuition, books AND living expenses. At that point, he ran out of excuses about college. The only problem was, he had to declare a major. He had no idea what he wanted to do. He picked up the book, flipped through and saw 'Computer Aided Drafting.' He thought it sounded interesting, from the short description provided. He wrote it down and went with it. Well, it turns out that he loved it, and was (is) very good at it. He was working many hours at the farm, and taking 19 credit hours per semester. He kicked some academic butt, bringing home almost all A's. There were times he wanted to quit, like when we took Algebra together. (He managed to avoid Algebra in high school...not sure how that's even possible) I wouldn't let him quit. I actually tutored him through that class, if you can believe that. It was the blind leading the blind. He soldiered on, in the mean time saving money for a laptop. Back in ye olden days, laptops were quite expensive. He wanted to have one so he could do his work at the farm and get ahead. He saved up $2400 and I remember going to Circuit City with him to buy the thing. It cost more than both our cars put together I think! It also cost more than our wedding, come to think of it. It wasn't long after that his grandpa came into town to visit. Thinking his grandpa would be proud, Jeff told him how he had saved for the laptop, and how he had been working hard and getting good grades. His grandpa looked at him, rather unimpressed, and said 'Well, I hope you don't end up being a bus driver.' That made smoke come out of my ears to say the least. But Jeff didn't give up. He finished up his Associate's Degree in CAD shortly before we got married. Once we moved here, we realized that a two-year degree was not going to cut the mustard and he needed to go for his Bachelor's degree in Engineering. The past ten years have been one class at a time, two or three classes a year, working toward the goal of a Bachelor's degree. So there you have it, the life and times of Jeff as a college student. I know God has been working from the beginning to put Jeff where he is today, but I am glad that this phase of that is almost over. We are all going to enjoy not having to share him with homework time anymore!

1 comment:

Trish D said...

Wow, never knew the whole backstory there - way to go to BOTH of you for hanging in there!

And I totally think you should sew up clown costumes for the kids for the big par-tay :)