Looking Back On Week One (And Brain Drool?)

The sum of it: I’m not who I was in 1986. I suppose that’s a no-brainer but the difference (besides the obvious physical!) is epic. In 1986, I dropped my philosophy class because I knew it would cause me to walk out of Christianity. I sat there listening to the professor dissect his outline for the course and my leg started bobbing up and down in auto-flex rapid-fire impatience and anxiety. No way. Get me out NOW. You know what you’re ready for, it seems. I wasn’t ready to change that part of me yet. I had some things to heal first. And Christianity provided the atmosphere to begin that depth healing work, believe it or not.

I couldn’t be more delighted with what I’ve experienced this week all things considered. My feet are the one big drawback. When I fell down the stairs in July, the pain was surreal but then I had wisdom tooth extraction and that pain was considerable enough to cause me to give in and take the meds. Those meds (narcs!) put me in the denial zone about my feet. I had no idea, basically. Now that all meds are gone, my feet are screaming their protest of everything from high heels to lawn care. By the end of Thursday, I was limping. I love to wear heels. I hadn’t. And I won’t for a long time. But that’s trivial enough, except when the backpack gets extra heavy and the half a mile trek to class with hairline fractures looms. The college is experiencing record enrollment this year. I have to get to school over an hour before my first classes of each day. I’m not complaining. Homework and pointillism time abound.

Here’s the biggest shock of the week. I love this class and was sure I’d loathe it:

Elementary STATISTICS!!!
Elementary STATISTICS!!!
My brain drools, if that’s possible, when I sit and listen and take notes in my statistics class. Then there’s lab. 2 hours. I was sure I’d drop it. So far, I’ve no desire to do that. In fact, it’s great. Go figure. I’m getting to know this Ruth. She’s full of surprises.

The biggest delight for me is the discovery that re-introducing myself to college at the age of almost 42 is wonderful. I have hands to grasp the material and the import of it all. The ease with complete strangers is another fun change. I was terribly shy 22 years ago. Now I have fun taking potshots at the public speaking prof as he says to me “back when WE were kids…” “WE?! Our childhood?! Now wait a minute…” He’s one of the “old” ones.

Then there’s the need for reading glasses far too big for even my big nose. That’s a change I’m not heralding with appreciation today anyway. I had no idea how ridiculous they looked since the store mirrors were smaller than a rearview mirror.

Foster Grant Ain't What it Was!
Foster Grant Ain't What it Was!
I’m especially pleased to discover so many women and men fresh from the fields of their own decades of life experience, encouragement coming at me from every direction. It is a little strange to be older than 3 of the 5 professors who have had life paths vastly different from  my own. But one gentleman, not my professor, kindly bolstered me as we both waited for the elevator. His grey beard seemed to explain the need to avoid the stairs and I felt a bit out of place. But to hear him share about his path to teaching, to watch him balk at my age (it’s official. i look much younger than i am. thanks mom!) and then bend over backwards to encourage, sharing his own story, was well worth the frustration of temporary disability.
Each one of my classes insists on participation. I’ve a great big chance to get rid of any lingering effects of my former identity as the quiet kid in the cubicle or corner with her nose in a book. I might just pull this off. Especially since I get to retreat to study and hug my kids.

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I live... for love... for truth that liberates... for growth... for beauty... for intelligent, soulful connection and so much else.

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