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I’ve been taking classes online.

This is what happens when you don’t complete your education when you are young.

Granted, I had my challenges. I went away to school upon graduating from high school. Shortly thereafter I got a letter from the man my mother had been with for the previous eight years, and in whose house we lived, that I wasn’t welcome back. He didn’t like me. It wasn’t that I was a bad kid. I was obedient, got decent grades, always had jobs and paid for my clothing, gas, insurance, much of my own food, etc. But I saw through him. He was a bad person. And I had reached a point in my life that he couldn’t manipulate me. So, I was kicked out. Some kids have the where-with-all to be entirely on their own and make it through school. I’m afraid I didn’t. I tried. But it was just too much for me to handle. I didn’t have the discipline or the direction. I also didn’t have a vision. I need vision. Literally. I learn from watching or picturing how something should be. I couldn’t get a picture for my future as far as school was concerned. I wanted a college education, but I just couldn’t see it. So I worked. And then I married. And then I had children. And I am grateful I did. I am not one of those women who wishes she had waited to marry. I really am glad I married and had my children early. I just wish that I could have found a way to get my degree at the same time.

Part of the problem was the things that I was interested in studying were best studied, for me, at a Church school. I really was drawn to the area of Child Development and Family Relations. We were not going to be living near a Church school, however. Rob was going to school in California, and he just needed to get through and start being a provider. And he was going into the Air Force upon graduation. At a later point, I attempted BYU’s online degree program. Then 9/11 happened and our finances were severely affected. When we eventually scratched and clawed our way out of that pit, BYU had changed their online program and I no longer qualified. What to do? Emma was approaching graduation, we would be empty-nesters. I needed something. I thought about nursing. It seemed like a good fit. It was useful, flexible, matched my personality. I never had a feeling like it was the thing for me to do. (My patriarchal blessing said I would know what I should study.) I prayed “if I’m supposed to do this, help me get a good grade in microbiology.” I got A’s. That must be my answer, right? Ha! I was admitted to and began the nursing program and hated my life. So I withdrew. What a LOSER.

A year or so later, I learned about BYU Idaho’s new online degree program. It included a, new to them, Family Studies major. My hang-up now was what do you do with a degree in Marriage and Family Studies when your children are grown? Turns out there are quite a few things a person with a degree in Family Studies can do. I do not know that I will ever earn a cent with a degree. I’m not sure I will ever need to. I just really want the dang degree. I can’t explain it.

So, here I am, taking classes online with BYU-I. I will be at it for another year. I buy frozen food from Costco to keep Rob fed. I take my walks and do my calling. I had to quit singing in choir (darn it, because that was a hard audition for me), but I will get it done. This week is my break between winter and spring semesters. I really just wanted to sleep, or go see Carol in Peru, but instead I will get a tooth crowned and figure out how to work Quick Books. And ready myself before taking the plunge again next Monday when classes start.

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