The good, the bad, and the dreaded ring of fire

One of the comments from my last post mentioned that I should write about the up-side of being a university student…at…errrr….my age.
I thought this was a terrific idea because there are far more positives than negatives.

Let’s start with the obvious: money. I have some.
When I was 19. Not so much.
Now I can afford to pay for tuition and get a manicure weekly.
When I was 19, I was confined to a very small student loan, and a very big desire to rock ‘n roll all day and party every night.
The consequences: I was broke by November. And could no longer rock ‘n roll all day and party every night.

Going back to school now, as an adult, a wife, and a mother, I have mastered the fine art of multitasking.
Hell, for the past 14 years I’ve been changing diapers with one hand, packing 3 lunches with the other, while baking cookies with my toes (yeah. You might want to avoid my cookies).
So going to school during the day while my children are safely ensconced within the confines of their classrooms, I’m perpetually giddy with freedom. You mean I can sit here and just listen to the prof? I don’t have to do anything else? At all? Oh? You want me to take notes while leisurely sipping my Diet Pepsi? Ok! No problem!

And now, as an adult, I realize something I didn’t at nineteen.
I realize that in order to succeed, all I have to do is open my textbooks. And read them. That’s it.
When I was 19, I didn’t understand the concept of homework.
I was passing my classes. But barely. And yes, back then, at 19, for some reason I can’t seem to fathom
(because I’m pretty sure I wasn’t a complete and total moron), I never did homework. I never studied. I have no recollection of sitting by the light of my desk in my dorm room, and looking inside a textbook. Did I even have textbooks? I’m thinking not.

So I didn’t study.
But I had three boyfriends.
At the same time.
Oh sure, for boys I could multitask.
Valentine’s Day was a virtual multitasking extravaganza as I slipped out the back door of this restaurant where I had just thanked Date #1 for lunch, and slipped through the front door of the one across the street to meet Date #2 for a later lunch. Then at supper, I had to somehow excuse myself from Date #3 because Date #1 was waiting for me in my room with beer and chips.
See, I can’t remember doing any homework. But I can remember being so relieved when fucken Valentine’s Day was over because I was nauseous and exhausted.
I should have been getting credit for that. Look at me, I’m juggling. I have 6 balls in the air.

Going to school now, is far simpler. I’m not scared of anything. When I was nineteen, I never would have even attempted science courses. I didn’t think I was smart enough.
I still don’t think I’m smart enough. But I gave birth four times. Without drugs (you may hate me ). So the microbiology course, although daunting, was a spa treatment compared to that.

Dude, I went 2 straight years in a row without more than 2 consecutives hours of sleep a night. I can learn how to give injections and administer IVs.

Sure, there were times when I curled up on the couch with my statistics textbook and balled my eyes out because I hadn’t gotten one right answer during the four hours I had been doing practice questions. But after putting back an entire jar of caramel sauce, I refocussed and pushed through that badboy as though it were the dreaded ring of fire, and not only passed that asshole course, but got a B+.

So is going to school as an adult who stayed home with children for 14 years a challenge? Yes. Sometimes. But being around people who don’t wipe their noses with  their sleeves makes the challenge well worth it.

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59 Responses to The good, the bad, and the dreaded ring of fire
  1. Kristina P.
    September 13, 2010 | 12:44 am

    Where can I sign up?

  2. Alex@LateEnough
    September 13, 2010 | 12:50 am

    Yay! Love it!

  3. MamaOnDaGo
    September 13, 2010 | 12:55 am

    Being a mother sheds light to the world around us. Dammit, I could have been a rocket scientist if I knew what I know now. I could have managed more and pushed myself so much harder in college. With age comes wisdom. Somehow this new found wisdom could have been used when I was younger.

  4. Lil Bit
    September 13, 2010 | 1:20 am

    I LOVE this! It has taken me 4 years to get a degree that all of my friends got in 2. I am 21. My major concerns right now are my husband and wanting a kid. I want so badly to be a mom. I don't want to work (unless we can't afford me to stay home) so I can be a SAHM. This post reminded me, yet again, that you can do anything you set your mind to. :) Thanks!

  5. WannabeVirginia W.
    September 13, 2010 | 1:23 am

    I know, being in Uni at this age is far more exciting minus the alcohol and the boys… well minus the boys..not so much the alcohol…now in moderation…ahem.

    At least you ate well when you were 19.

  6. Confessions of a Closet Hoarder but you can call me Judy
    September 13, 2010 | 1:31 am

    You make me want to go back to school. :)

  7. Poppy
    September 13, 2010 | 1:54 am

    I would totally eat your cookies. They're probably safer now than they were at 19 with all your ball juggling and all. You crack me up.

  8. Theres just life
    September 13, 2010 | 2:33 am

    Stock up on jars of Caramel sauce and you will be fine. Just think now you can also say "Honey I have an important test you will have to handle dinner and the kids so I can study."

  9. Jason Brown
    September 13, 2010 | 2:47 am

    love your post!

  10. Jason Brown
    September 13, 2010 | 2:47 am

    love your post!

  11. Ash
    September 13, 2010 | 2:51 am

    lol – funny post! i'm going back to uni to get a professional diploma (not a degree – i dont think i can cut it!)….let's see how it'll go. kinda nervous but excited at the same time.

    ~ash's mum

  12. Sue at Dollytub Cottage
    September 13, 2010 | 5:10 am

    When I was a teenager, dating more than one boy at a time was one of my favourite pastimes. (The money I spent on breath mints and hairspray was equal to the economy of a small african country!)This didn't usually turn out well as I live in a small city. One time, both the boys I was seeing were on the same football team. Obviously, when they found out they both dumped me!

  13. Opto-Mom
    September 13, 2010 | 5:23 am

    I've gotta know if you gained any weight after eating with a different date every 5 seconds.

  14. Jessica
    September 13, 2010 | 5:33 am

    That's so awesome! Have fun!

  15. Snuggle Wasteland
    September 13, 2010 | 7:41 am

    When you put it that way…maybe I *could* go back to school.

    PS We had very similar experiences in college.
    PPS Except for the 3 boyfriends at one time. You're kind of my hero for that one.

  16. Julie
    September 13, 2010 | 8:37 am

    "Look at me, I'm juggling. I have 6 balls in the air." bwahahaha!!! that's going to keep me giggling all day.

    the hubby went back to school as an adult as well. and he to did so much better than the first time around. there is a lot to say for maturity in university.

  17. BeMistified
    September 13, 2010 | 9:24 am

    You go girl! I am amazed I got through my 2 year course. You are awesome and you will prevail!

  18. Suzie Que
    September 13, 2010 | 9:57 am

    I went back to school after a "wasted youth", myself, and found that my experience (past debauchery) made me smarter. It's like once I reached 30, my critical thinking skills were set on fire! Good luck and any day is a good one for a meltdown.

  19. Big Hair Envy
    September 13, 2010 | 10:08 am

    LOVE this post! I went back and got my degree after my daughter was born. Like you, I thought it was a cake walk compared to the everyday mommy/wife thing! Thanks for stopping by my site…I hope you'll be back for a visit:)

  20. ModernMom
    September 13, 2010 | 10:08 am

    Oh how I love this post! I KNOW I would have done so much better in school if I had actually treated it like a job. I kick myself for being afraid of the math courses I needed to get my Speech Pathologist degree. Boo me and YEAH you~! You go girl.

  21. Laura @ The Things I Said I'd Never Do
    September 13, 2010 | 10:16 am

    "Look at me, I'm juggling. I have 6 balls in the air."

    Bwahahahah! If you meant when I think you meant then thank you for making me laugh my head off. If you didn't mean what I think you meant, then I really need to get my mind out of the gutter.

  22. Big Fat Gini
    September 13, 2010 | 10:17 am

    It's nice to hear that it's possible to go back to school after being away for so long. I'm toying with the idea, because when I was 19, the freedom of being on my own was too much for me and school fell by the wayside…

    Good luck to you!

  23. nitebyrd
    September 13, 2010 | 10:24 am

    I have 6 balls in the air.

    Really? In the air? You had some mad skillz, girl! ;0

    You're a courageous woman for going back to school to become something that you desire. Good for you!

  24. Molly Malone
    September 13, 2010 | 10:28 am

    Awesome! I am desperate to go back to school, but the only thing holding me back is money… which is kind of important…

  25. SkippyMom
    September 13, 2010 | 10:45 am

    I don't hate you for the no medication thing – I think you nutz. heehee! I had epidurals [like those work, no.they.do.not. a bowling is still a bowling ball coming through that] but my sister always claims she had natural childbirth because she didn't have an epidural – and I just shake my head and say "Oh really and the demerol they gave you is natural?" [back in the day when they actually gave you drugs to get through delivery.]

    And I am in the gutter with the rest of your faithful – that six balls joke is going to have me cracking up all day. Thanks.

    You're doing a great job!!!!

  26. Blasé
    September 13, 2010 | 10:47 am

    B+ I'm so proud of you!

  27. bonnie 'Marilyn' parker
    September 13, 2010 | 11:30 am

    :) pretty awesome. i'd love to go to school for nursing. but somehow i just know i will procrastinate on every assignment. kudos for going, though. oh yeah, when i was in the army, they taught us how to administer IVs (along with applying tourniquets, blahblah) it's pretty simple. i was shocked that at the ripe age of nineteen, i was sticking a needle into somebody else.

    i wasn't so lucky though. the guy that administered my IV was shaking like he had parkinson's or something and ended up stabbing my arm a LOT. i ended up crying outside and that's how i met my husbamd. ha!

    GOOD LUCK. and maybe one day, i'll be sitting in a class one day blogging on my phone about taking notes.

  28. Chandra
    September 13, 2010 | 11:59 am

    This post truly makes me want to go back to school!

    I think your right, after having kids (both colicky at that) going back to school would be a breeze. I could pull an all nighter studing and it would't even phase me now whereas when I was 19…Lord if I didn't get at least 7 hours of sleep…

  29. Semi-Slacker Mom
    September 13, 2010 | 12:55 pm

    I'm so glad I made it through the 1st time, because I still don't think I could do it!

    I learned my multitasking skillz while juggling balls too! But I only had 4 in the air.

  30. ~Onreeone~
    September 13, 2010 | 12:57 pm

    Thanks for following my blog. Following you back. Your Title is awesome- I freaking love it. Look forward to reading your posts. Have a great day!

  31. McKenzie
    September 13, 2010 | 12:58 pm

    I loved this post! I am really hoping that I am able to go to college when my little guy gets a little older.
    When I read your title all I remembered giving birth.. ugh ouch.

  32. Ameena
    September 13, 2010 | 1:37 pm

    As someone in the middle of a career crisis, as someone considering starting out at the bottom at age 34, I am absolutely inspired by you! Thank you for motivating me and giving me a laugh too.

    I say this as I wipe my nose with my sleeve. :)

  33. SoccerMom
    September 13, 2010 | 2:06 pm

    So being at school is somewhat like being at home with your kids? lol

    I am sure you see all kinds of interesting things, at school.

  34. Katy
    September 13, 2010 | 2:12 pm

    I was in school while I was a mom, and while I don't have much to compaire it to, I imagine the fact that I knew that after college, I would HAVE to get a job and I would HAVE to support another human being, I pushed myself harder than I would have otherwise.

  35. Tylaine
    September 13, 2010 | 2:40 pm

    lol I almost fell off my seat with the 6 balls comment.
    That's wonderful that you're in school again. Growing up can be such a wonderful thing and make a lot of things so much more worthwhile!!
    (BTW uh what does Johnny Cash have to do with school….;))

  36. Jennie @ Modern Mamaz
    September 13, 2010 | 3:38 pm

    I give you props for going back to school as an adult. Seriously! I wouldn't be able handle all of the pizza and keggers anymore.

  37. MommaKiss
    September 13, 2010 | 4:53 pm

    I totally got that whole "6 balls in the air" comment, you're a funny lady.  And are you SURE 19 year olds don't wipe their noses with their sleeves? I'm pretty sure I still did

  38. MommaKiss
    September 13, 2010 | 4:55 pm

    FuckingAye! The balls and comments are still cracking me up!!

  39. Molly Malone
    September 13, 2010 | 5:38 pm

    Hey Sandra – go to my main page, scroll down and click on the beaver – think you'll like it ;)

  40. Matty
    September 13, 2010 | 9:06 pm

    Sounds to me like school is a piece of cake for you. Anyone who can juggle children AND a husband, can certainly handle genius level biology courses.

  41. Canadianbloggergirl
    September 13, 2010 | 10:46 pm

    I think you may want to check my blog, someone left you a message, hint hint.

  42. Lourie
    September 14, 2010 | 1:07 am

    I think you rock my friend! Woohoo!

  43. mintifresh
    September 14, 2010 | 1:42 am

    You had me at "Juggling 6 balls"! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Going to school as an adult is way awesomer! You actually know how to do it right this time around! I was going to school and had to take a break-well, give my husband a break, but I am eager to get back at it very soon!

  44. blueviolet
    September 14, 2010 | 5:31 am

    Oddly enough, I had more money at 19 than I do now! You're a brave woman to do this. I remember when I was in school giving the stinkeye (without them knowing) to the moms because they created the grade curves! LOL

    You go!!!!

  45. Deborah
    September 14, 2010 | 8:32 am

    I'm back in school as well and I'm an official geezer.

    The thing that hasn't changed for me is I'm still making notes about the people around me instead of paying attention. I'm bad to the bone.

  46. Busy Bee Suz
    September 14, 2010 | 10:14 am

    Great post on the positives!!!
    I positively love this. :)

  47. Queenie Jeannie
    September 14, 2010 | 10:56 am

    Good luck!! I tried doing online classes but either the online thing or that school wasn't for me. I'm not sure I care enough about it to go back, but may just take classes in the things I'M interested in, not just for a degree.

  48. Constar
    September 14, 2010 | 12:19 pm

    LOL!!! i told my dad i should have gone to university AFTER i was done rock n rollin all day and partying all night!!! and that valentines day story? your kinda my hero right now

  49. Holly Ruggiero, Southpaw
    September 14, 2010 | 1:47 pm

    That's great. Inspiring too.

  50. chele
    September 14, 2010 | 4:01 pm

    Totally agree. I also had my kids without drugs so I do NOT hate you. School just makes more sense when you're an adult than when you're 19.

  51. Phoenix
    September 14, 2010 | 4:13 pm

    OMG, that is hilarious! Sounds like this time around is a bit more laid back….

  52. Kristin
    September 14, 2010 | 4:19 pm

    Thanks for the great laughs today! I need it!!!

  53. tattytiara
    September 14, 2010 | 4:25 pm

    See it's simpler for me. I know I'd be a better student now than when I was 19 simply because when I was 19 I was a complete, certifiable idiot who couldn't be taught to tie her shoes.

    And now they have velcro.

    No wait, that wasn't my point. Dang. Lost it.

  54. Lijington
    September 14, 2010 | 5:31 pm

    wow….if there were only more females like you out there…sigh… se la vi I guess

  55. Jill
    September 14, 2010 | 5:41 pm

    Spot on. I was visiting my alma mater this past weekend and saw all the kids hanging out on porches drinking and it occurred to me that not only is beauty wasted on the young but so is education!

    When I went to get my masters, I was far more focused having just spent a few years in the "real world" working.

    I think it's amazing that you're in school. I can't wait to go back. Even if it's for a class here and there. xoxo

  56. Cyrene
    September 15, 2010 | 6:08 am

    You make me want to go back to school. If there's one area of my life that I wish I could do over, it'd be going to college again and doing it all right. I wish I pushed myself harder, I know I could have done so much better. Good luck with the rest of school and have fun!

  57. Pamela
    September 15, 2010 | 10:34 pm

    3 dates in one day? 3?!! Wow, that is impressive! I thought I was all that juggling 2 boys at one time back – well- let's not say how many years ago;)
    Seriously, you are a true inspiration for all us moms. Way to achieve your goals:)

  58. Busy Working Mama
    September 16, 2010 | 10:21 pm

    Good for you! You can do it…and wow, so jealous of sitting there sipping pepsi (OK I'd go for a Coke but I am in the land of Coke here in Atlanta, Georgia) while in class. I despised undergrad and hurried up to finish in 3 years so I could start working. What a follish child I was!

  59. Jessica B
    September 17, 2010 | 7:54 pm

    OMG Sandra. I could identify with far, far too much of this post LOL. You definitely have a new follower here! In fact, I am going to dig in and start reading right now…
    ps – thanks for checking out my blog :)

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