On the Periphery

Things change. Life throws us curves and changeups. It's good to have a place to vent.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I'm starting grad school.

That might not sound so earth-shattering, but I am 54 years old, and nearly 35 years out of college. It is a big deal.

I applied as a lark--figured I'd never be accepted (it's a VERY prestigious school!), egged on by my husband who intoned, "The kids are done. It's YOUR turn! At least apply." Well, I did apply, and I got in, and now I face 2-1/2 years of classes taught by people younger than I, facing a new "peer group" (also younger, with a lot more brain cells!). Yes, it is frightening, but I comfort myself with the knowledge that I have certain advantages.

First, and maybe foremost, I am old enough to really appreciate education. I didn't the first time around--just thought of it as a means to an end. Now it is something for ME, and is the end itself. My grandfather (from the Old Country) always emphasized the importance of education to us, saying, "It's one thing that can never be taken away from you." Spoken by one who once had everything taken away, those words had an impact. I am heartened by the thought that even if I don't make it all the way to that terminal degree, I will have something more than I had before, something that will increase my personal worth.

Second, I have the advantage of experience. I am working toward a Master's Degree in Creative Writing, and I have years of developing into the person I am. As a writer--as a student of writing--that experience is invaluable.

Third, most important and perhaps tied to the first reason, I am studying something I truly love. I love to write. There, I said it. I have never had writer's block, I have never gone cold at the sight of a blank page. Indeed, there is too much to write, and too little time. I have written articles, poems, plays, songs, novels, short stories, reviews and columns. I taught writing in a high school, and now I write for a living, developing children's writing materials. I love, love, love to write. I hope these traits don't desert me when I am faced with assignments and deadlines, but I am confident I will get through it all. I want it, and I believe that if you want something badly enough, you will get it.

Time will tell. Meanwhile, wish me luck. I start next week.


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