Apr 27, 2015

Well - That Was Awkward

Let me preface this by saying - I am not humble bragging. Like I've said before, I write to get things out of my head. What happened on Saturday has been keeping me up nights and I figure once I get it out - it will go away. J


I don't know what made me think going back to college was a good idea, especially since I was in the midst of the biggest crisis I've ever experienced. But... I did.

Friends have seen (and laughed) at my various posts about my college experience ver. 2.0. If only I had worked this hard the first time around, I wouldn't be doing it now.

I still suck at Algebra, but discovered I'm not too shabby in Statistics. I still love all things Psychology (yes, I am diagnosing all of you in my head) and I am mad my Sociology professor reverse psychology'd me into accepting a B in his class by teasing me and saying I wouldn't be able to not get an A. Every time I see that grade it grates on me.

I've managed to strike the fear of God into anyone who has participated in a group project with me. But I bet they're thankful for the A's we've always gotten on them.

I've had high honors in every term except one (curse you Algebra!!) and still managed to make the honors list that term. One term I decided to set the bar to not only get all A's - but to have more than 100% in each class. I met the goal too. Yes, there is something wrong with me.

I think it has been tremendously valuable for my kids to see me working so hard in school. Unlike most parents who are done with their education before they have kids, mine are seeing me practice what I preach. Of course, since they are my children, they will ask what I got on an assignment or a test and if it's anything less than 100% they will tease me horribly.

Ahhhh, my little mini mes.

As proud as I am of my accomplishments, it still makes me incredibly uncomfortable to get outside recognition. When I post my grades on Facebook it's more so my friends who know me best can rag on me for being an overachiever than for people to tell me I'm doing great. I don't think I'm doing great - I think I'm working hard. It's weird, but in my head what I am doing isn't worthy of any special recognition.

Since I've gone back to college I've won several scholarships. It has been somewhat of an impersonal experience mostly. I applied for a bunch, was sent a letter that I won, had to write a thank you note, and the check was applied to my tuition. Easy peasy.

For one scholarship, I had to be interviewed. That was a little more intimidating but, at my age, I've been on enough job interviews that even that was a walk in the park.

A few weeks ago, I received an email from my professor with the subject line "Hey Loser" informing me I had been nominated for, and won, the outstanding student in education award. I didn't know there was such a thing, and was humbled and honored to have won... but I really focused more on the way in which my professor informed me. It makes me laugh every time I think about it.

Last week was my "award acceptance" week. I had a banquet on Thursday to accept my recognition award, and then on Saturday I had to go to another banquet to accept a scholarship I had been awarded. My teacher, advisor, mentor, and friend Professor Lisa Morley presented me with the recognition award. Her speech was hilarious, she embarrassed the heck out of me, but I was also stunned to hear the words of praise from three of my peers, as well as another professor, one I regularly butted heads with. I wasn't expecting that, and still can't quite get my head around it.

On Saturday we had to drive to Ferris to attend the awards banquet. It's not like I wanted to go - but if you don't, you don't get the scholarship. So if I have to waste most of a sunny Saturday to get a few grand, I'm going to do it.

This was a more formal affair than the ceremony I'd attended on Thursday. A few awards in it dawned on me - holy crap everyone is making thank you speeches. Oh hell no. I wasn't prepared for that. But... okay. I'm pretty good at public speaking. I can do this. I jotted down a few notes, and with growing anxiety, waited for it to be my turn.

When the time came, I walked onto the stage feeling fine. The presenter read the blurb about who provided the scholarship and what it was for. They gave a bit of background information on me, and then it was time to say my thank you.

"I am what they call a 'non-traditional' student, which is a polite way of saying old."

(audience laughs)

"All I ever wanted to do was be a mom..."

...and my voice cracked. I started to cry. Those who know me best know how much I hate to cry. I don't know where the tears came from but once they started I panicked and couldn't find a way to make them stop. I choked out a quick thank you, and practically ran off stage left. They made me stop for a photograph. Ugh.

I grabbed Peter and we left. Immediately. It was horrifying. Embarrassed doesn't begin to cover it. But what is bothering me most is that I didn't thank the people who gave me this scholarship, and the people who supported me to get this far. So this whole long-winded blog post is just so I can do this:

"I am what they call a 'non-traditional' student, which is a polite way of saying old. All I ever wanted to be was a mom. Then two and a half years ago my daughter was diagnosed with a serious disease and I realized I wanted to be an advocate for children with differing abilities within special education. Thank you to Dr. McCorriston's family for providing me with this opportunity. Thank you to the Ferris faculty and advisors for guiding me. And most especially thank you to my children and Peter for supporting me and what I really want to be when I grow up."

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