School Day-by-Day

Intro

I am working hard to reboot my obsolete life. I found that I am an analog man in a digital world. It’s become something more, an almost a reinvention of myself.

I am holding my head above water at school, barely. I am not setting the world on fire but I am have an “A or B” in most of my classes.

Day by Day

Campus is a state-of-the art place with brand new computers and fiber optic (read: very fast) internet. Most of the tech-savvy students are half my age and twice as smart as me. I am learning a lot, it’s a very humbling experience.

This journey has made me face all my fears, anxieties and discontent in my life. Despite some setbacks (bad grades, the occasional anxiety attack) I’m going to keep going.

Ironically, all the chaos of my life has been brought into some sort of order because the schedule makes me set a routine. I go to obsessive lengths to get homework done and getting to class a priority. It has made my life more manageable.

I thought this project was going to smooth sailing and learning about something fun. The first couple of days was a baptism by fire. I struggled to stay alive but now I feel like I am really thriving as I get my legs underneath me.

Humble

Using a tiny kitchen table, an old laptop and some used books I’m learning about computers but I am really learning about myself. I hope my exploits can show anyone they can go back to school. I have a greater appreciation not only for education but for myself for doing something that I was afraid of.

At many points (almost daily) my journey in school has made me question my own actions and values. Nothing reminds you of what you believe in like adversity.

Writing

I really miss writing to you all. I don’t do it as much as I want. It’s one of my most favorite things.

Writing about my experiences offers me a chance to do a postmortem of what I am doing and ask myself why I am doing. Writing to you guys has helped me to understand and appreciate the experience of me returning to school.

I think this experience would have gone very differently if I didn’t write to you.

A Liberal Arts Guy and a Computer

I am a liberal arts major with two useless degrees in history. Future liberal arts majors be warned- these are fun degrees to get but not very useful unless in you do something else…there, I said the unspeakable.

After leaving the army I embarked on a ten year foray into a dizzying wealth of temp jobs all over America. I spent a decade desperately searching for myself. Now I am back school for a serious and real (read: not fun) degree in Computer Networking.

I tried to make a living writing from a home. In a pair of cargo shorts, t-shirts and my witty poise I tried to be a “real” writer. A year later, very broke and a little heartbroken, I went back to school.

My long-suffering wife encouraged me to do whatever I wanted. What I really wanted was to make sure she didn’t to worry about paying our mortgage or bills.

I needed a job so I went back to school on the GI Bill. I’m glad that I did. I discovered something much more than a job- my happiness.

Never Quit

With fierceness and an unbreakable resolve I’ve taken a vow never to quit or give into despair even when I bomb a quiz (happened twice!). No matter what, I’m going to keep going.

The most important lesson of all maybe: to live with gusto. This project has allowed to reclaim my life. I am so blessed to share it with you all.

In the end this isn’t really about getting a degree at all, it’s about me reclaiming my life despite TBI, PTSD and depression. Know all of you are missed, loved and thought of often.