The schedule is up

Close to one am when I laid down in bed, this routine has gotten much better. No TV or reading when I go upstairs, just make sure the urinals are empty and my water glass is full then lay down, roll, and stretch a bit until I ask Alexis to turn on the ocean sounds, turn the music off in eight hours, then turn off the lights. It is really nice to be able to do those items after having rolled and found a comfortable spot.

Last night I also set an alarm for seven am. My appointment with a student navigator was scheduled to begin at nine am. I filled out an online appointment request two or three weeks ago and had received no response. Then a week or so ago, the topic came to the top of my list again and I was directed to the MLK center to register. No registration there, yet they did find my appointment request and get my appointment slot scheduled. I know the schedules are tight this time of year.

At seven am I woke and played snooze for the next ninety minutes. I recall always being aware of the time, every 10-20 minutes when I asked Alexa what time it was, and making a series of decisions, each being that I still had time to stay in bed with the lights off. At eight-thirty, I found it difficult to repeat the decision as I knew it would take 15 minutes to drive to the college which only left 15 minutes to get up, get clean, get dressed, and get out of the house. More than doable though, that is what I thought at eight.

It was fine, I got up and dressed (I had showered late in the day yesterday,) and got out the door. By the time I drove out to Bert Walker Hall, parked, and found my way up the concrete staircase and into the building it was nine oh four, just a few minutes late. Greeted and seated by the desk attendant, a minute or so later I was called and led into the complex. The attendant, Lauren is also attending to become a surgical tech, certainly not a surgeon as she has neither the time nor desire for that aspect of her field. Rather, she fancies herself as an assistant to those surgeons as a good way to make some money (perhaps even, meet a surgeon?)

Our conversation was natural and pleasant and she was almost walking side by side with me, just ever so slightly staying ahead and using her body language to indicate the turns. Down a hall, across a lobby, into an elevator, a few more turns, and hallways- so natural was her pace that I didn’t notice how deliberate it was until she handed me off at my location, bid me well, and returned to her station at three times the pace.

My meeting with Melissa, my student navigator was amazing. Not only was it my opportunity to get my schedule planned and registered for this semester (only one more quick addition that I’d like to make… adding a Monday ‘movie’ night, as she described it,) yet it was a really rewarding experience to meet her there as an individual. A conversation shared is not wholly mine to give away again, so onwards to what is still mine to give here.

I’m scheduled for five classes right now- fourteen credits (and I’m requesting to add another 3cr class.) As is, if- excuse me- when I complete the semester I will have doubled my college experience and be halfway to my degree. As it seems I will be taking ENG-132, I may try to see if I can switch to the class offered at the MLK center. Also, I’m registered for Humanities, Intro to Psychology, and American National Government.

Ha. The class I always wanted to take in High School and never got the chance, was government. Now, I have the chance- and what a perspective I could hope to bring to any group discussions. I do hope the class is of a participatory and discussion-orientated type, rather than memorization of history ‘facts’. In any case, I feel I am prepared to succeed in the class. Timing-wise, maybe these classes could help me succeed in government- I could have my Associate degree completed by the time of the next partisan primary in 2024 (a rematch with John Willis for County District 7?) I wonder what else might be on the ballot next year.

Somewhere, I remember hearing it was easier to run for president of the united states than it is to run as a council member in the City of Jackson- the presidential candidates do not need to collect notarized signatures. I think that is way over my current progression, yet if not my County District, perhaps the State House? If being a candidate brings light to a platform, now I have a platform to share.

The timing feels really good about this, I could receive my first degree, an Associate of Arts: in Behavioral Sciences/Psychology next year- if some things worked perfectly (the college accepting my ten-year-old math class,) I have the next semester online, then next summer in class. At worst, a fall class or two and still graduate in 2024, 28 years after I should have graduated high school: a twenty-six-year ‘gap’ to earn my associate’s degree. My gap is old enough to have earned an associate’s degree already.

On my now third attempt at Intro to Psychology, the bookstore wasn’t even sure if books were available anymore- the best she could do was find an ISBN number and wish me luck. I asked if she had any insights on where to order the book from. She said if she found the book she’d give me a retail price- the opposite of a discount- and strongly encouraged me to not worry about it. She said some people don’t like the online ‘Biblio’ books, some love them, and some don’t open their books either way; in all cases, just as many people keep getting their degrees and moving on.

Picked up the few printed materials needed and I am ready for next Monday, 10 am, Humanities 131, a quintessential college-level class. Is it a repeat of the “Everything I Learned in Kindergarten” poster? I don’t know, I’ve never been in this class before. Perhaps all the young working professionals I see and meet all the time have taken some class that unlocks a level of worldly wisdom that I simply don’t possess. Perhaps each person with a two-year degree and the inverse multiplier on my age should be earning double my max yearly income out of the gate.

Is a twenty-year-old with an associate’s degree worth more than a fifty-year-old with an associate’s degree? Should one measure production or performance, perhaps we measure a person’s potential for progression? Are some people readily able to progress more or less effectively? Is that efficiency measured in the time to achieve the change or the time of permanence of the change once made? Anyone can upset a status quo yet how quickly may that change made be unset?

Feeling good, I double-checked my schedule in the lobby before I left the college. Once I got home I worked all day on planning out my next two semesters. That much is not set in stone yet, nor is the one more class I want to add yet to this semester. If they will let my old math class ride (and I would need no more,) I would be finished in the Summer of 2024. After this semester in person, ending December 16 or thereabout, next semester I would have five half-length online classes the next semester. Two in the first half of the semester (Jan/Mar,) and three in the second half of the semester (Mar/May.) That would allow as much travel as I can manage – I could do a full repeat of last winter’s travel, or something completely different.

Then Summer of 2024- that would be the final push, 3/4 of the work behind me at that point, the last semester if the next year has gone according to my current plan. Possibly the hardest semester (though I think Spring of 2024 would have more typing required,) with science classes, the first ‘generic’ contemporary science class, and also conceptual physics. Then the three final classes to round my the requirements for my certificate, Cultural Anthropology, Principles of Sociology, and Human Sexuality. However, the two science classes are full-semester classes, and the three others are half-semester classes each centered in the middle of the semester.

So, I’ll start off for three weeks with two classes, have seven weeks with five classes, then just two classes for the last few weeks. If anything, the ending stagger might be nice to allow me to focus on the final exams for the two science classes apart from the other three.

Okay; I should stop typing and rest… soon. I’m scared. I’m worried I won’t be able to go through with this. I’m so worried that I’ll fail that I’m afraid I’ll ‘blindly’ (in a Freudian way,) put obstacles in my path- to calm the worry of “if” I’ll fail with the calm certainty of knowing “when” I’ll fail. An utter lack of confidence that really displays its self-perpetuating reassurances to the original self-doubts.

Well, I got word on the insurance money, the amount is set and shall arrive soon- more on that story later maybe. With that soon in the bank, there is no obstacle to my future other than myself- only I can stop myself from doubling my current number of credits before Christmas. From now until then, Christmas at least, I will be here on Cooper Street with enough money to keep the necessary bills paid, food and water as needed, and perhaps have a grand or so to put towards the five or six grand I would by then be behind on the mortgage.

God willing, even if I lost the house at that point, I would have enough cash to start up the next semester and could travel til May and then come back to Jackson- homeless then, living in Mustang mobile perhaps, if by God that is my situation then- and finish the final semester while living “abroad” on the streets of my hometown.  Haha. That would be one heck of a book. Who thinks of this stuff? Who writes it down?

Time to rest.







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