Climbing. There are moments where I feel like I have been climbing my whole life. There are also moments where I feel like I’ve finally reached a plateau. Those moments are few and far between since I’m always doing and working toward something.
I spent the beginning of my adult life wading through the trenches of college education. By the time I finished my Bachelor’s degree, I had 5 colleges or technical schools under my belt and I was 29. I look back and realize that finding the right place where I fit in was more difficult than I had expected. Actually, I don’t know that I had any expectations.
I spent a year at the local UW Extension. Of all the schools I attended I remember that year the most. I had some great classes, one was web design. The year was 1996. Isn’t that the year someone founded the internet? I also had an awesome public speaking class. I recall we had to work as a group and write a long paper regarding an event. Then we had to present our findings on stage in the auditorium. Our paper was about the effect Walmart had on small business in the Port Washington and Saukville area. The changes to the area were drastic.
The next year, I went on to UW Green Bay. I spent three semesters there, one of which, I was on academic probation and the other two, I worked just hard enough to squeak by. I realized later that working a little harder may have helped my GPA and my transfer credits. Although I have memory of many nights at the library. Maybe I just wasn’t ready. In November of 1998, I decided to quit UWGB after that semester. I would move home to live with my parents, get a full time job and take one (easy) class at Lakeshore Technical College. I was 21. Now, 15+ years later I am very vocal about the fact that having to decide what you want to be for the rest of your life at age 18 is an extremely hard decision and not everyone makes the right decision.
After one semester at Lakeshore, I moved on to attend Milwaukee Area Technical College. For a good part of my education there, I commuted from my parents small town to downtown Milwaukee. Many times spending an hour on the road after night class. I figured out that busting my ass at a full time job and part time school was the right fit for me. It worked that way through 2003 when I received my Associates in Applied Science emphasis Accounting. By then I was living on my own.
From there, I decided to keep climbing. I went on to peruse a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting at Ottawa University. What drew me to Ottawa is that they focus on the the adult learner. They know that most of their students are working full time and need a program that fits their needs. It was also an accelerated program so I was taking 8 week classes but covering the amount of material usually covered in a 16 week semester. I graduated in January 2006.
But I wasn’t done yet. After about nine months, I decided a Master of Business Administration: Leadership and Management Concentration should be my next step. I completed that program in less than three years, I handed in my final project on a Friday in early December and found out there was a bun in my oven who would later be named Sydney on the next Tuesday. Even though I finished my coursework in December, my graduation date was January 2009. I walked across the stage that May, about 6 months pregnant with Sydney.
Then I quit climbing in the formal education sense. I’m really not done climbing and working hard to reach my goals. I don’t think I’ll ever be done.
Day 10 of #500WED. I allowed myself a two day break and will now write like crazy again. Today’s prompt was: climbing.