Ok, soak it up. I’m here at the university. It’s much more quiet than the last time – less frenetic. Most of the students, who were writing exams back then, appear to have gone home or have found jobs. They’re not here, anyway.
Everyone is very pleasant and helpful here; it’s a nice atmosphere. Even in the stores there isn’t too much of the “what the hell do you want?” attitude you find, main stream. I would guess that most of these people actually don’t mind working… or at least, they haven’t yet learned to resent it. Of course, it could just be an enhanced generosity of spirit toward the “old fart”, but I doubt it; there are in fact, from what I’ve already observed, quite a few of us around, so I don’t think I’m as strange a sight in these halls of learning as I originally expected. No, I think in general this is a positive place to be. There are nerves, of course, and pressure, but there’s also optimism and goodwill.
I’ve booked my courses for Fall and Winter. Or rather, I’ve nailed them down, checked their availability and at two o’clock this afternoon I get to click “go”.
First and foremost is the obligatory “Introduction to…” course. I’ve bought the text book for that one; at least, I’ve bought the text which has been the official book for that course over the past five years, one of a large stock of like-minded books with the words “University of Calgary, Comm 201” on the front. No one will tell me unequivocally that this will be the text for this course, but I think it’s a pretty safe roll of the dice, barring a reprint some time in the next two months.
I’m looking forward to clicking “Go” this afternoon. There will be something symbolic about it – with everything I’ve been through – clicking “Go”. Such a simple thing, but with so much meaning for me.
I’m not going to go too much, in this blog, into the whys and wherefores of how I got here. It’s been traumatic, you see – 23 years in an industry, then laid off and standing at the window watching everything I knew carry on without me. It’s been tough – hence the big life-change of going back to school – but it’s not really relevant: whatever I once was, that’s just not me, anymore… or, put more succinctly, “What was was, and will never be ‘was’ again.” (The Cheap Detective).
Anyway, I would happily trade 23 years in my last industry for even five or six years doing what I know I will love. You know how they say it’s not work if you enjoy it? Well, that’s me: I spent 23 years in the insurance industry, truly working my ass off!
Because of this, and because of the past year spent chewing the proverbial insurance cud, I truly believe that my upcoming studies will be fascinating for me – refreshing and galvanizing. I am looking forward to replacing all the old hurts with new information, optimism, and knowledge.