Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Oh wait, I'm supposed to be running a blog...

You know what I’m pretty much, almost completely, for real just about done with? School.

Last fall I switched my degree from an associate of science to an associate of arts, took 15 credit hours (including my 5-hour physics class, which should have been worth WAY MORE than 5 measly credits), and basically ran on a weird mix of adrenaline, coffee, and late nights that were only appropriate for my early 20s. And I passed. I passed everything. I even got out of physics with a B.

Last fall, my husband deployed and my son later spent a week in the hospital.

Last fall, I had to take a temporary leave of absence from work. And I love my job.

Last fall, I felt like I lost myself.

Bob Ross gets life.
Because guys, last fall fucking sucked. Like, for real. Big time. But it was OK, because I finished my associate degree and was going to start University of Arizona (with a conservative 9 credit hours because fuck anything else). Then I saw the tuition. My husband and I had been saving for a year and a half to avoid taking out student loans that we just can’t take on, and tuition for a single semester was well over $2,000 MORE than we’d managed to save.

What. The. Fuck.

So hey, fun news! I have an associate of arts aaaand that’s about it for the foreseeable future. Sorry creative writing major, more than $10,000 a year is more than anyone can afford, much less a small family with two young kids and childcare bills and, oh you know, the desire to buy groceries and toilet paper.

But all isn’t lost. At least not yet. Instead, I’m sticking around my community college with its deliciously reasonably priced classes. This semester I’m enrolled in the advanced fiction writing workshop so that I can hammer out a few solid short stories complete with feedback and enforced by deadlines.
Next fall? Next fall won’t suck, and here’s why.

I’ll be in the advanced novel writing workshop, I’ll still be at my job, I’ll be writing still, pushing forward with submissions, and my husband will have his adorable ass back home, right where it belongs.

Plus side to saying “Fuck this” to moving on toward a bachelor degree? My reading time has pretty much quadrupled. What do you mean I don’t need to figure out the acceleration needed to safely stop a vehicle from careening into a raging river of death? (Bonus points if you get the move reference.) Oh fuck yes, I’m reading.

And what else? Words are flowing out of me like never before.


  1. Emperors new groove! Love the movie.

    You need to do what's right for you. I'm a big fan of learning, but not all learning happens at universities. While there are good things that happen there it's not always the right place to be. And reading is most important anyway.

    1. And bonus points to you! Sometimes I'm not sure who likes the movie more - me or the kids.

  2. My family is big CC fans. We all work, or did, at CCs. The savings is phenomenal. And you get a good education. Have you checked with financial aid to see if there's any grants out there you could get? You probably already have but I thought I'd throw it out there. It is so unfair that folks have to go into debt to get an education. Hopefully that will change in the future. Wishing you all the best.

    1. I didn't realize before I returned to school just how important community college is. I've explored through grants and scholarships, but the total tuition just doesn't always add up. I think I'm content for now, and just happy that I reached my goal. :)

    2. I'm glad you reached it:)
      Hopefully, getting an education will become easier.
      Have a relaxing evening and a good day tomorrow, Caitlin.

  3. I'm sorry about the tuition issue, but congratulations on earning your associate's degree; that's an important achievement. College is definitely too expensive, and I can understand your desire to avoid student loans. I took out a couple loans for my last two years of graduate school, and it's going to take me more than a decade (at least) to pay them off. The interest just keeps getting bigger and bigger, so that it's like my attempts to pay off my loans are like sprinkling drops of water on a bonfire.
    And at least this way you can focus on taking the classes at the community college that interest you, rather than classes that are less interesting but that are required.

    1. I hear you! My first attempt at college we ended up paying off over $10,000 for a degree that I never actually earned.

  4. Oh wow, you've had a lot on your plate. Sorry your plans got cut short, but hopefully not forever.

    1. Thanks! Right now I think though it's setting me towards a slightly different course. We'll see!