Musings of a 40 year old grad student

I'm wrapping up the third week of full time graduate studies at CTU.  I've been in grad school part time for the past few years, but I'm realizing that devoting all of your energy to the project is a different animal.  I haven't done this since I graduated from Lewis & Clark College (ahem ... 18 years ago!).  A lot has changed since then, in the world and in my own sense of self.

I was taking Russian language classes when the Soviet Union collapsed. I even had to fill out a State Department questionnaire as to why I was studying Russian.  Many of my international affairs and political science classes explored the subsequent shift in the geo-political landscape, really as it was happening.  Academics were just beginning to explore the meaning of the Islamic state.  Meanwhile, the explosion of the Iraq War (the first George Bush version) gave me my first taste of peace activism.

Flash forward 18 years.  The world has changed even more, but so have I.  Three weeks in, I am grateful to be 40 and embarking on this journey.

I know enough about myself to know when there's no point in pushing myself, and I might as well just take a nap or go for a walk if I want to have any hope of being productive at a later point.

I'm happy to meet new people but I'm also not concerned with popularity or what I'm going to do on Friday night.

I have real world professional and ministerial experience to which I can apply all the theory and abstract thought that I am encountering. This leads to many a ha moments, connections and insights that I never had as a 20 something undergad.

I'm not really at that place of trying to figure out who I'm going to be when I grow up.  I've already been a few things.  I know that I don't really know what lies ahead and for the most part, I'm ok with that.

Sure I wish my memory was as fresh as it used to be, not to mention my eye sight (a visit to the eye doctor will be coming up shortly!).  But as I spend time with many of my classmates who are one or two decades younger, and some my age or older, I'm happy to be my chronical age engaging these issues, thoughts, theories and methods.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Hey Susan,

The wisdom you have developed over the past 18 years since you were an undergrad seem to suit you well. I appreciate your insight to this, and you also give me hope that I may encounter a similar situation if/when I do decide to enter a graduate degree later in life.

Take care,