Friday, January 18, 2013

From One Year to the Next

Going through my 2012 calendar to update birthdays and such in my 2013 planner. While in the process, I found March 28th circled in blue pen with a chicken-scratch note: "See Dad w/Dan." Dan is my brother, and that is the day I started talking to my dad again after a year of silence on my part. 14 days later, he died. I firmly believe that we must do everything we need to do to keep our self respect and sanity. But, when it comes down to it, don't let pride and stubbornness keep you from growing as a human being. I'm glad I did what I did for myself, but I am also glad I did what I did for my dad. He wasn't much of a father, by any means. In fact, he was a total asshole most of the time, but he suffered from PTSD as a result of all of the scouting trips he was head of in Vietnam. Not an excuse, but no one deserves to die as lonely as he did. No one. Sorry. Just had to get that off my chest.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Wow! Yet again, I've been gone for a while. I promise you, though, today's post is not a result of the new year's birth. That's just a simple coincidence. No, my reason for posting today is the fact that my life, regardless of the date, is about to change drastically. For, dear readers, at the end of this month, I will embark on a journey similar to one I had ended nearly eleven years ago.
The two will have similarities and differences, like all great stories with like plot-lines. Roughly eleven years ago, on a dreary Summer morning cum humidly sticky day, I graduated sixth in my high school class of ninety-eight. The class had started out together as one-hundred, twenty, but was whittled down from 1997 to 2002 by deaths, drop-outs and under-achievers. I was moderately proud of myself, but big dreams of a college education at that point had fallen by the wayside. I would not be interested in perpetual homework, in the hopes of maybe, someday finding a job that may or may not pay off school loans. Mark my words, friends, there would be loans. I would find no help from my parents, who spent every penny my mother earned (while my father went from job to job, if he felt like pitching in), then sunk themselves into deep, deep debt. No, thanks! So, full steam ahead into the workforce I went.
Now, more than a decade later, I feel that I have actually found my calling. Having left the worlds of retail and food service behind, I have been a barn manager and animal caretaker for five years. My heart beats for the animals. I have always nurtured a quiet fascination with my avian brothers and sisters. Now, I look forward to once again becoming a student on January 29. Having no previous college experience or credit, I will begin at the beginning. My entrance exam scores told the tale of my keen understanding of the English language, as well as my deep misunderstanding of maths. I was given the option to "CLEP" out of English Composition 101, and to retake the math portions. However, as I have not written a paper in such a great length of time, and I feel that my math scores could only be worse, I registered for Eng Comp 101 and Elem Algebra. Yes, I will be taking a non-credit, remedial math course. However, should I do well in class, and pass another exam (should I so choose), I may place into college math next semester. In English, I have no doubt, I will shine brightly. This, I hope will allow me to skip over Eng Comp 102, and get on with the courses I really want and need to take to achieve my Associate in Arts degree.
I spent the last three hours of 2012 pouring over webpages and webpages of the "best schools for Wildlife Biology." Where will I go once my I have my Associate degree in hand? I'm not certain, but I am certain of one thing: This is going to be one hell of a year! By the start of 2020, I will be a learned soul, on the path to making the world a better place for our animal and avian brethren. I am ecstatic and terrified in anticipation.
By the way, any of you have any suggestions for universities? So far, I've thought about Unity, ME; University of Michigan; Framingham State, MA; University of Alaska, Fairbanks; Utah; Kansas and Illinois. I'm not interested in Marine Biology, but Wildlife Care and Conservation with a specialization in Ornithology. Becoming a Wildlife Biologist makes the most sense for those careers. Guide me, Wise Friends!

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