Sunday, January 23, 2011

First Mistake Could Have Been a Doozy!

I have made it through week one of school and, hey, I think I can actually handle this.  The day before I even started school I almost made what could have been a doozy of a mistake if my days weren't so flexible.  For some silly reason, I thought an "R" in the class schedules stood for Friday, and boy did I have my weeks perfectly figured out.  But after receiving an email from one of my teachers saying, "Classes will be starting this Thursday", I realized my error.  I am SO thankful for that email as I would have missed my first class with her and then made the trek out to Harper on Friday for no reason and wondered why on earth the class wasn't in session (or worse, been sitting for who knows how long in the wrong class that WAS being held at that time - that sure sounds like something I could have totally done).  Off to a great start, huh?!  Heavy sigh!

On the day of my first class, the weather was warmish (for January - it was hovering right around the freezing mark) and, thankfully, I left way early so I could be sure to find a good parking spot and find my way to class on time.  I got to school in 30 minutes, so that was great, and I headed to the lot I decided would be the best one to park in only to find MANY people milling around on foot in neon vests (and did I detect a bit of a smirk), there to tell us that, "Hahahaha, you silly fools, this fabulous lot is FULL, and I mean FULL - get to steppin'!"  So, I was directed to the next lot over that is of course, that much further from my class.  I find a spot, open my door to get out and see a swirling puddle of icky, oily slush that looked like it could have eaten me alive if I dared to step out into it (or at least would have for sure ruined by shoes).  I find another spot and get all settled to start the 1/4 mile trek (and I'm not exaggerating) to my class and immediately realize that this is NOT a day for cute shoes or cute hair.  It is winter humid out and windy, so any semblance of a decent hairdo I had going on would certainly be lost by the time I got into class.  As I walked, I realized how nervous I was and Satan was whispering a myriad of lies into my ears - "You're too old for this, you silly fool!  Who do you think you are, thinking you can go back to COLLEGE at this time in your life?  Your brain has become mush with motherhood, turn around while you still have a shred of dignity left - LOSER!!!"  Isn't it amazing how when we just might be onto something good in our lives, these lies seem to literally be shouting in our ears?  NOT GOING TO LISTEN, EVIL ONE - BE GONE!  I do have to admit that when I saw police people scooting around on Segways, the very real thought did come to mind, "Hmmm, wonder how I could become one of them instead.  I always DID want to learn how to ride a Segway".  OY VEY!

So, in my first class, Interior Design Studio, I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised to find that about 60% of the people in the class are middle-aged women just like me.  And, when I say "just like me", I mean it.  No fancy, artsy, design-type dressers (though there is one woman with tres funky glasses - note to self, get some cool glasses!), just a bunch of nice-seeming woman who were dressed nice, but not over the top.  Okay, I can do that.  The rest of the class was comprised of college-aged girls.  No guys in that class.  I found out that in this particular class, we will be drawing up room designs and layout boards.  What???!!!  I can't even draw beyond a stick figure, how on earth . . .???    But, after purchasing my drafting kit, I am realizing that so much is done with templates and, yes, perhaps I can really do this.  The teacher showed us some sample boards from the last semester and announced about the second one, "This one isn't as good" to which I asked what made it "not as good"? and she said it didn't have enough detail.  To my untrained eye, it looked really beautiful.  Wow do I have my work cut out for me!

Then, on Thursday, I started my Fundamentals of Interior Design class.  After my wonderful parking experience on Tuesday, I had looked at a map of the school and I did discover a different lot to park in and felt pretty cocky about it and that I would even get a spot close to the apparent path that leads to the far end of my building.  Ha!  Not only was there no spot close to the path, but no spot in that lot period and yet again, I had to park in an even farther lot from where I wanted to go.  Oh well.  Along the route to my building, there is an outside staircase of two flights of stairs down and instantly, the thought occurred to me, "Dang, I'm going to have to climb back up those steps on the way back to my distant lot".  I will for sure be getting my exercise out of this adventure!  Hopefully, this is all just part of the current weight-loss plan.

In this class, there were, by far, more college-aged kids than we older women, one of them being a young man and one of the girls, I recognized from Cary Grove.  Interesting.  I suddenly felt so much less self-assured than in my other class and after the teacher said we would be giving an oral presentation at the end of the semester, I just about broke out in hives.  Did I mention that I never completed an Associates Degree because I didn't take a speech class as I was MORTIFIED to stand up and give a speech.  Hope that fear has waned greatly!  The teacher asked us all to make hand-written nameplates on paper and mine was so wretched that I was already uber-exasperated.  I really do have quite a creative side, I just need to figure out how to blend it into this world of design.

So, week one is over.  I already have plenty of homework and reading to do, but I'm loving it all and am so far, still very excited!!!  In my second class, we were asked to say what our dream job is.  It felt REALLY good to say, "I hope to own my own Kitchen and Bath Design Showroom and Studio when I'm done with my schooling".  I hadn't actually verbalized that specific dream for this, but there it is, it's out there and I sure hope it's part of God's plan for me/us!

Thanks for sticking with me and reading this REALLY long post.  I promise from here on out, they won't be anywhere near this long.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I'm Going Back to College - Come on the Journey with Me

Hi Friends - I am so sorry that it has been so long since I've posted.  I spent two months doing a temp job for a friend who had a baby and the absolute next day after that was done, my dad went into the hospital.  After 3 1/2 days there, he was released with some much needed tweaks to his health and a week later, it was Christmas, then New Year's and, well, here we are, it's January 16th and I'm finally writing a new post.

One thing that came out of the time I spent doing the temp job was the chance to step out of our own office and to step back to analyze the next phase of my life as the mom of 2 college girls who will be spreading their own wings and getting on with the next steps of their lives.  So, with that job of raising them nearing it's end it's time to enhance my future with Randy and the work that we do, so I decided to head back to college myself to get certified as a Kitchen and Bath Designer.  During my first phone call to Harper College to sign up for this, the head of their Interior Design program said, upon finding out that I am a Certified Remodeler, "Well, let me take a look at your work, and we can clep you out of some of the beginning classes" to which I chuckled and said, "Oh, no, you don't understand, I know absolutely NOTHING about design, I need those beginning design classes".  My giftedness in being a Certified Remodeler is in running the company/office in general.  I am not at all in charge of any of our design work.  That would either be Randy or we utilize the talents of designers are our cabinet suppliers.  But, I do have a creative side to me and a HUGE passion for people getting the absolute most out of the use of their kitchens, so to be able to use that creativity and passion in doing our own designs is exciting beyond words to me!

So, I'd love to take you along on this journey with me.  I am anticipating some humorous stories to come out of this along with some realizations of who I am and who I hope to become.  Already, it has, well, I'm going to be honest here, annoyed me greatly that the majority of the people I have dealt with getting registered, getting my financial aid in line (have I mentioned that because of Chelsea being at Judson and Kylie now going to college, I qualified for a Pell Grant and, tada! get to embark on at least the first semester of this adventure for free - weeeeee!), getting my books, etc., have been people more than half my age who I have to say, are sorely lacking in the customer service department.  Come on younger generation, act like you are grateful to have a job; that you do, indeed, have a brain in those pretty little heads of your's and that you are happy to even be alive.  Seriously, if this is what our future generations think is acceptable at their jobs, we're all in HUGE trouble!!!  I have also come to the conclusion that the thermostats at colleges are not at all set for the comfort of premenopausal women.  I was so hot the other day that I seriously wanted to run outside and throw myself, face down into the snow.  I was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO hot!!!  Note to self, dress lightly or in layers (though, I have yet to find layers that I can wear that as I peel away, don't show off my unfortunately overweight body - but I am working on that, a story for another time).

So, come along on this new journey of mine, would you?  And, let's experience this middle-aged college adventure together.  It starts on Tuesday, so here we go . . .