Monday, September 20, 2010

Confession: part II

(This picture was taken in the airport on the last day of our Call's in Cali family reunion. Quinn wasn't sure if he qualified as a carry-on or personal item.)

My friend Stacy Miller inspired me to finish this degree, sooner than later. She was in a similar situation with school: a husband getting his PhD, three kids, a busy life not looking like it would be slowing down. But she started back (and just finished this Spring), and I decided I could too.

Right after Quinn was born; (about a year ago) I decided to go back to school. I thought I might be able to do two classes per semester and I’d find out about those credits in Guadalajara (UAG). Hans was supportive and excited. I registered and paid for the classes, hoping that I might get financial aid later, purchased my books and got ready for my online classes. I had planned pretty well in taking classes when we were first married, so all of my required psychology classes were done. History of Psychology and Anthropology 101 were my classes of choice and requirement. They were just what I needed. My anthropology online lectures were hilarious. Dr. Jankoviak was one of those teachers who was trying to be funny, but was failing miserably at being funny and that made him even funnier. He also liked to say An-TRO-pology instead of An-Thro-pology. Good ol’ Dr. Jankoviak.

With a bit of momentum, I decided to revisit navigating UAG (in English) to figure out where my credits were and how they could be transferred. I called and tried to talk to the first person. I didn’t mince any words, “Hi, do you speak English?” So I got transferred a few times before I spoke to the right person. She was nice and knew what I was talking about and told me she would air mail them to UNLV ASAP.

And so I waited. I would call UNLV weekly to see if the papers had arrived, but they had nothing for a month. I emailed my UAG friend, thinking that they might be toying with their “Spanish-immersed”ex-student who only wanted to speak in English. Finally, on the day I found out that I would get financial aid, my counselor Valerie called and told me she had my UAG credits and that they would be transferring 8 credits. I think I screamed in her ear and was totally choked up. It was a miracle. That little event made the word graduation suddenly run away from the words ‘if” and “some day” to the welcomed words “when” and “this year”.

This past summer Quinn and I flew to Vegas to take the only class that required I attend in person (a lab) at UNLV. I also took two other classes. It was an intense month, but I got 2 A’s and a B, which was fine by me.

I am now in my last semester and I am set for graduation on December 14. Valerie said that I have exactly enough credits to graduate and not a “penny more.”

I’ve learned through this experience how much we depend on those around us to give us an idea of what we can do. I think that I probably would have graduated eventually, but I know that I gained confidence sooner because of the example of my friend Stacy. Part of achieving our goals comes from choosing with whom we spend our time. I also learned how I can fit a few more important things into our lives at the expense of some of the fun, but unnecessary things like “Lost,” “House,” “The Office” and other shows.

8 comments:

Shaunna said...

Oh Monica. Congratulations! You are so awesome. I don't know if I ever would have graduated if I had been married with children while I was in school. They should give you two degrees for that, since you have raised a wonderful family AND completed your degree. I wish I could be in Vegas to watch you walk down the aisle in your black robe and mortarboard cap. You have always been an intelligent, educated woman. Now you'll have a cute, little piece of paper to go with it. Way to go.

Jill said...

Yay, Yay, Yay!!! I'm so happy for you. And so glad that it means you'll be coming this way again so soon.

Jill said...

P.S. That photo of Quinn is so bright and colorful and fun and happy!

Megan Farnsworth said...

CONGRATULATIONS! What an amazing accomplishment.

Kristin Chesnik said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I love how your counselor said "and not a penny more"--that seems so very Rawhouser-frugal to me! Save that money for SHOES! Way to go girlfriend!!! So will you walk from UNLV in December?

...And that picture of Quinn is so stinkin' cute!

Stacie said...

Wow! You should be so proud of yourself!

Michelle said...

Well said. I am so proud of you! Although, I am sad that you were in Vegas last Summer and I did not even get to see you for a moment! Maybe in December?

Angie Larkin said...

Don't mess with me. I'm smack in the middle of Lost season 6 and it is all I care about! :)

CONGRATS mama! Hip hip hooray for you! I remember meeting you at the institute back in the (gasp) nineties! You wore cute khaki pants and a white shirt. You were perky and so in love with your Hans. It's been so long and I'm proud of you for your great accomplishment! You are one of the most interesting people I know!