First Generation, Part 2
June 20, 2016
It wasn’t long before I began contemplating the next rung in the ladder of emancipation from ignorance. I found an acceptable online school, part of the Kansas State university system, and began pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Three years passed, which garnered experience in my somewhat “chosen” field, in addition to a Bachelor of General Studies in Human Services degree. The wife, have I mentioned her, said, “You’re done, no more school”. She didn’t have to hit me in the head twice, or so I thought. Before I carry on and on, none of this would have been possible without the angel I call my wife. I feel bad for her because I got the long straw on the deal.
I laid dormant in the fallow education field for a year, but near the end of that year, my brain got itchy again, and there must only be one way to scratch a brain. Against my lovely wife’s wishes, I found a master’s program to which I was accepted, and began pursuing a Master of Liberal Studies in Humanities. Graduate work consisted of history and english. I think graduate school was as difficult as raising kids. We’re on our 38th year of that, so I think I’m qualified to describe difficult. It didn’t seem to become terribly difficult until the final six months.
Unbelievably, I did graduate and the culmination of ten years was life-changing. An extra bonus, of which I hope I am not unduly grabbing credit, followed. Our youngest daughter received an associate degree—a highly proud moment for her and for me. She has since embarked on a career away from her major, but I know she is a better person for having achieved that
hard-earned degree. College may or may not be easier to complete straight out of high school, I will never know. Neither will my daughter. Finally, well, the most recent addition to college graduates and as close to high school completion then college as of yet, is our oldest granddaughter. She attended college as a PSEO, graduated high school, and completed an associate degree just this past May. Grandpa completed her FAFSA and applications for continuation towards a bachelor degree. While our daughter and granddaughter won’t be able to wear the moniker of “first generation” college graduate (because I stole it out from under them), I feel as much pride and accomplishment in their success as I did when I completed my postsecondary work.
Lessons learned: there’s more to life than a frickin football game, you’re never too old to change everything and start a new life, and there’s no limit to what we can achieve if we have no idea what we are doing and why we are doing it. Be the one to set your family on the path to a new future.