20 years and 200 lbs.

Since I haven’t written a post since before I left Argentina, I felt it necessary to pontificate upon the final semester of my academic career. Before I begin, I should say that Argentina ended great, I don’t know if I would live there but I could easily travel all over that country again.

My mom had to go through some pictures of me recently for my wedding. Carmen’s stepdad was putting together a slide-show of Carmen and I and he needed some pictures of our youth. There are two pictures from my past that got me to thinking about where I am today. One is in my memory. It was the first day of school of either Kindergarten or 1st Grade. I was wearing my turquoise “Alf” shirt. Alf was riding a Chopper style motorcycle. I loved Alf, I don’t know if it was because he ate cats or not; it was just a good shirt.

The other picture is one of me and my brother Ryan at my graduation… from La Petite pre-school. It’s quite obvious you can see the drive in my eyes, the determination and will that comes along with being a graduate (I think my eyes were fixated on some snacks that were being served and there I had to stand waiting for this bogus picture); I’m not sure what Ryan was looking at.

I'm pretty sure that was an adult-sized hat.

I

This is, in all reality, the final semester of my academic life. Unless I get filthy rich and decide to bail out of business and study the things I want to in a classroom setting like history, philosophy, or theology. What’s interesting about the timing is this… I started class today, exactly 20 years after my first day of class ever. Walking into Ms. Goure’s class was quite different than walking into class today. You can hide behind your parent’s leg when your timid. You know that you are about to do something different with your life, and your not under the protection of the familiar faces that you know… and it’s scary. Real scary, I know I cried a few times in Kindergarten. But eventually the scariness goes away and you settle into a life of comfort and complacency with the same faces in the same places. The world is your oyster and our little sponge-like minds absorb all kinds of information.

Fast-forward 20 years and here I am again. This time, the world really is my oyster and this oyster has two significant differences than the one in 1988: I can’t fit into my Alf t-shirt and there’s no way I can hide behind my mom’s leg. But why would I want to. Even though I’ve already worked full-time for quite a few years, it isn’t the same. I always had the academic setting by my side. Come December, I’ll be full tilt into work without an academic parachute. This is really where the last 20 years have been leading me. That once sponge-like brain is now going to be squeezed and all that information will have to ooze out in practical application. This wonderful oyster has gotten bigger but the difference is I have a bigger spoon.

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