Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reflecting on 2008

2008 was a difficult year for me. One of my classmates, another nontrad, died of a heart attack the week before Easter. In May, a good friend moved to Madison, WI, my only surviving uncle died and my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. My husband lost his job in July. Summer was a challange.

Some good things did happen in 2008, though. I passed one of the most difficult classes I had ever taken (Intro to Computer Science) with a B, thus fulfilling my math requirement (Halleluiah!). My youngest son got a 2.5 GPA his first semester in college - I was just hoping he wouldn't fail. I had my first 4.0 semester. My husband got another job. My daughter made the varsity team in both volleyball and basketball.

To me as a nontrad, it seems that even the smallest things mean a great deal - things like:
1. Cooperative group members for the group project in my History class.
2. Hearing the dishwasher running as I walk in the house after a night class. It means I won't have to do the day's worth of dishes in the sink!
3. Encouraging comments from the prof on the last paper I wrote for his class.
4. Clean sheets - my husband has done the laundry.
5. A good doctor's report from my Dad.

Being a nontrad has taught me not only to look at the big picture (what classes do I still need? how is this situation going to affect my financial aid? what can I do to bolster my chances of getting in to Grad School?) but it has also taught me to look at the small things (coffee at Starbucks with my daughter, encouraging emails to my college-aged sons, and that the dogs have already been outside, fed and watered before I get up in the morning - thanks, Mike!) and to appreciate both.

In the closing hours of the New Year, I am glad to see 2008 go and I am looking forward to 2009. In spite of the current global economic situation, the civil unrest in many parts of the world and the grind of daily life, I am blessed. My Dad is still with us, my siblings are well and my children are all home for the holidays.

May this New Year find us with friends and family, holding each other close and loving each other well. May this New Year bring us renewed zeal and strength as we strive toward reaching our goals. May this New Year teach us to be more kind and generous people. Happy New Year!!

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