That’s a lot of bush.

Three days now, at least four or five hours worth of work, so far. What was I thinking? I’ve had issues with this bush in the corner before, that’s what I was thinking. And I had, it showed the scars of the cutbacks in years past, yet the last two years- oh, it had gotten ahead of me. Pictured above is the larger of the two main branches, the other side of the driveway was just as full.

The full shock is starting to hit me now. A plan has all but come together fully now. In the fall of 2023, I went back to college. Signed up for three full-time semesters to complete an Associate in Arts. I completed a few budgets today, short and long-term. As of now with funds currently available I will be solvent at least until Christmas, with several avenues available to improve my situation further.

Mostly, the simple reality. Ten am Monday, not tomorrow rather four more days, and I will be wandering around James McDevitt Hall looking for room 218. Thirty-two students registered for a common college core curriculum class, Humanities, HUM-131. Next, just as common, at three pm in the same building, room 209, PLS-141, American National Government. At this point, I can only imagine the format and the basis of the classes: lectures, open discussions, question and answer, show and tell, scream and shout.

The last time I took an in-person class I thought I was an “older student” and likely had a similar conversation as this, with myself I suppose, I certainly didn’t write back then. Thinking now though, that was Winter 2001, I was 22 years old to turn 23 on my birthday later that year? Now, wow… okay, I tabbed over to the days between dates site and found out that from the day I was born until the beginning of that semester, give or take 1/16/01, was 8,250 days or 1178 weeks and 4 days.

From that same day until next Monday, 8/28/2023, the beginning of my next full-time in-person semester at the same college is exactly 8,259 days or 1179 weeks and 6 days ago. Give or take a few days or a week, that was almost exactly half my life ago. The gap between the beginning of that first semester and the beginning of this next one is older than I was myself at the time of that first semester. Likely my first semi-public writing as an adult.

In my present perspective of time, I now realize that I did not need to worry about the age gap between myself and my fellow students, then. Also, if I am still working on this degree at 90 years old, I may then also realize that I don’t need to worry about it now either. However, for now, I do think that I do need to worry about it, at least for now. If the next three semesters go flawlessly, just one calendar year, I could enroll next Fall 2024 at the MSU Department of Psychology as a junior in their Bachelor program.

For this next year at Jackson College, I think I will be above the mean age and outside of the ‘normative’ student while offering an interesting perspective on it. If things go well (perhaps by then, either by insurance claim or disability, I may no longer need to seek work,) and I stay in school, the following years pursuing a Bachelor, Master or perhaps a Ph.D. in Psychology, would be interesting and I think over the four or five years that would likely take, the proximate student body would come nearer me in age and maturity by natural causes.

Ha. I’m not sure if my youngest is still reading along every day, I think it odd that a probability now exists (therefore, in some dimension, it does in fact exist, some might say,) that I could join him as a fellow full-time student for his junior year at our State University. Hm, if he ends up with a decent off-campus place in Lansing maybe I can crash on his couch some nights if I didn’t want to drive back to Jackson for some reason.

Almost done with the tree. It’s all out in the front yard now. I didn’t know it was so big. I thought I would drag it out and make a nice pile behind my car- no, it filled the entire driveway behind my car. Later, when I went to get a late lunch at Virginia Coney Island, I had to do a bit of double work to split and move the piles again, to each side of the drive so I could get the car out. Tomorrow I’ll have to call and see if Ben is equipped to pick this up (and if he’s got a small chainsaw to condense the brush pile,) and get rid of it for me. If so, I’ll clean out the rest of the backyard and basement- summer is over, time to get the yard ready for winter again.

Stable, that is how I feel. Unless I do something really dumb, I now have the assets I need in place to ensure I will double my college experience in the next four months. With just a few more pieces of the plan to fall into place, I will be able to give that assurance for the next calendar year that I will complete my first degree. That is a twelve-month plan and a plan that ends with one of my biggest lifetime dreams.

Thinking again about getting a dog. Cleaning up the backyard was a pre-requisite. Also, I have enough spare fencing stored in my backyard to fully enclose my backyard, another prerequisite if I were to get a dog… Granted I can’t say I will stay in Michigan for the next twelve months, as I will have all online classes next semester and could travel-

Maybe a reptile, I even have thought about a cat (that would be the easiest on the road I think,) or a pair of rats. Even that naked guinea pig made me think about it- not sure I could cuddle with that. Maybe a pair of rats could be my stress animals in class?

Ha, too tired. Finish the tree tomorrow, maybe finish a book, the list for the week is looking good.

Time to rest.

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