Thursday, October 21, 2010

My old school, blending and graduates

- The Georgia State University mascot - the panther. Purposefully walking the long way to an appointment in downtown Atlanta so I could go through this part of the campus of my alma mater. That's my purse and bag on the bench in the second photo - I stopped at the bookstore and bought a fleece pullover with the same growling panther on the shoulder.

- I had never finished college, so went back as a full-fledged adult when I had the opportunity to go full time. On a chilly morning in January 2003, I carefully dressed in black turtleneck, belted jeans and boots. Looking at myself in the mirror, I thought, "No one will mistake me for a professor." I just wanted to blend in.

- Of course I didn't blend in. My first class was full of sleepy-eyed freshmen and sophomores. A young lady, April, the child of parents who had her late in life, immediately attached herself to me that morning because she is "more comfortable with adults" and walked with me through the campus later. By the end of my two years there and graduation, I did blend in a bit with my sweat pants and t-shirts and came to love this place. And April? She went on to law school, marriage, and passing the bar when she was eight months pregnant. She is now the mother of a baby girl and a working attorney.


Fireblossom said...

Go, April! And, go you!

Louvregirl said...

Lynn~ What is your degree in? Koodos to you~~ for going back (and getting the job done.) When I went to school for Occupational Therapy, the most interesting, thoughtful and hard working students were 'Moms' who returned to school as adults. We all gravitated to them!
lg :):)

Jannie Funster said...

Holy cow! passing the bar at 8 months preggers. Quite a gal.

Your purse looks soft and luxurious. And big! :)

have fun in your fleece, my fave think to wear.


Lance said...

Very cool - going back to school!! And - I'm laughing, too...the idea of trying to blend in (amongst those "young" kids!!).

Lynn said...

FB -

Thank you! More of the "first day" story. April and I waited at the classroom entrance, chatting - the door was locked. A gray haired pony tailed man in rumpled clothes came up and stood with us and joined in our chat. He spoke so volubly that I thought "he'll be talking a lot in class." When a custodian came to unlock the door, we went in took seats and he made his way to the front - he was the professor. :)

lg -

My degree is in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations. I've never actually worked in PR, but use the skills I learned there. My minor was in Sociology and I loved it the most. Those were two of the happiest years of my life. I miss it there and keep plotting how I could go to grad school.

Jannie -

She is quite a gal. I made friends with a number of students, but have the most affection for her.

I got that purse at a consignment shop - it's a big cushy leather bag. So much in it that I think that's where the pain in my shoulder must be coming from.

Lance -

One of the best things I ever did. :)

desk49 said...

The panther still lurks within your mind
Tho not done you did again
And added quite a few new friends
That first class through sleepy eyes
With one, you seem to entwine
A young freshmen April who now shines

TALON said...

I love the panther statue. And I love that you know exactly what is up with April to this very day - that is why you're such a great person, Lynn. :)

sage said...

Congratulations on going back to school and graduating!

Jannie Funster said...

Yes, I've gotten shoulder pain before from purses. And heavy guitars. That's why I like to sit when I play gee-tar.

A cute snappy backpack might be just the ticket for you, distribute the weight. Some are actually quite dressy. And I like when I'm in a crowd I just sling it to the front to cradle like a babe. :)

I think Grad school IS in your future. Maybe start with a night class or two? That would be exciting! And why not?

Loved your story of meeting the professor. Cute!

And funny, I remember my first year college, age 18, befriending a nice married student in my histrory class who I thought was so "old" at 25. :) So relative, eh?

Well, I could chat to your loveliness longer,but off goes I to upload a photo from my iPhone for my 55 for later today.

xo (agin)

Jewel Allen said...

What a beautiful sculpture. I am like you, when I go to my alma mater, a flood of happy memories come back to me from all those years.

You were awesome to go for your goals and achieve them!

Maude Lynn said...

Passing the bar at 8 months pregnant? Wow!

The only thing worse than studying for the bar is living with someone who is studying for the bar.

Lynn said...

Ellis -

It was my third school - I am still so happy I finally finished. Thank you for my poem. :)

Talon -

Thank you for saying that. You are great, too, my friend. Yes - April is a special girl.

Sage -

Thank you!

Jannie -

Money - there's no money for grad school. I keep looking for grants, but nothing seems to apply to me. I'll figure it out someday. :)

Jewel -

I love that sculpture, too. And finish school - one of my proudest moments!

Mama Zen -

I know - I've heard stories. :)

Sparkling Red said...

I have always found that people who go to university as older adults get more out of the experience. As they say, youth is wasted on the young. ;-)

LL Cool Joe said...

What a great story. Sounds like April was one sussed young lady. And like Talon, I love the way you still know what she's doing now.

I'll never regret my years at college or university. I think they were life changing.

G. B. Miller said...

Very kewl indeed, and bravo for the lady in doing what she did in spite of it all.

Reminds me a co-worker whose daughter is due in a couple of months and still is going to college and working at the same time.

Sara said...

I liked this post a lot. I liked the pictures...rather terrifying mascot...I liked that you went back to school and that you've kept in contact with one of your fellow students.

I went back to school a few years after my first child was born. It was a strange experience because I was only on campus part-time, during the day so I didn't really get to know people very well. Still, I love school. I think I could be a permanent student:~)

Riot Kitty said...

Congrats to you! My stepmom's mom went back to school and became a corporate attorney at age really is never too late.

Snaggle Tooth said...

Nice Panther sculpture-
For me it feels strange to wander about the old buildings of college, n especially seeing old profs still pluggind away-
I went as an adult- a single Parent, a decade after High school. I don't miss those deadline crunches or Art History Exams either! I did that FT for 5 years. I'm an Artist- Don't try to blend at all!
Here I am working in a food factory for peanuts to make the rent! Maybe I should've done law like April- My Bros n 2 nephews did that- But I wouldn't like it much! Especially the court thing...

Hope the new Panther blanket keeps you warm!

Lynn said...

Sparkling Red -

I think I just appreciated the whole thing more as an adult. What a great thing - college. My niece took all these AP classes in high school and just raced through college - no one asked her to. She graduated in three years and then regretted it because she missed college life.

Joe -

Thank you. Yes - life changing for me, too. I went for a year when I was 18, then for a few years at night, then finally the lovely two years I wrote about here.

G -

Thank you - and I wish the best to your co-worker's daughter.

Sara -

I was going during the day these two years - it took a little while to get acquainted with people. But I still have April and another young friend, Ashley. I went to Ashley's wedding and keep in touch. Naturally the older students and I gravitated toward each other. I've gotten together with them here and there since graduation, but it hasn't been the same. School was such an intense experience that it gave us a lot to talk about, I guess.

Riot Kitty -

I agree. If I can't rustle up the money for grad school, I'll just wait until I am 62 - when tuition is free at Georgia state schools.

Snaggle -

I really feel that you followed your heart in being an art major, another niece did that, too. She was a fine art major. She is working at a pre-school now. I wish you could find something that suits you better than that peanuts job.

Anil P said...

First days can intimidate, and is made easier only on the second day.

That's a sleek mascot the GSU co-opted.

Lynn said...

Anil -

I agree and I am not certain why this concrete university merited a panther as its mascot, but there it is. :)