Thursday, August 27, 2015

Back to School 2015: A year of Transitions Ahead

It always amazes me how quickly the summer passes and the school year begins again. This is a big year for the students in my house! Makaylah and my nephew, David are both seniors. Jeremiah is starting the 8th grade. This means in June 2016 there will be three graduations if everything goes as planned.

I am looking forward to a big year of transitions! It should be an interesting year with everyone in my home facing the end of one stage in life and a lot of new goals, situations, and excited anxiety. I am very happy that I managed to finish my degree before the year ahead. I wonder what I will be writing here this time next year?

The great part about Makaylah being a senior is that I will only have one more IEP meeting for her, and I believe that meeting will be all about closing the file! Yeah. She is not completely happy with the fact she will not be attending the main high-school full time, but we have been so blessed with the educational situation she has been able to access for her high school career. There was a time I wondered if she would be able to remain in the same school for a whole year. It wasn't easy and I had to move back to Oregon to find a school district that was actually interested in her success.

Thankfully, the Beaverton Oregon school district has treated Makaylah and Jeremiah like students they are interested in seeing become successful. Nearly the complete opposite of the attitude we found in Washington state, Evergreed school district. What a difference and I can only imagine the outcome had I remained living in a district that chose to "expell" both of my special needs children rather than accomadate the needs they have had. The impact of an uncooperative school district is at least 30% of the reason my marriage ended in divorce.

My brother John and I will be focused on our own transitions between now and the New Year. Our whole house is filled with members transitioning to a new stage of life. My dregee is earned and I am hopeful I will find a decent day-job. In February the "Safety-Plan" we have needed and used since October 2010 will no longer be needed. Makaylah will be an Adult and I will have successfully managed to help her make it here without any huge issues to face. All things considered a parent could not expect a better outcome than her life represents. We are however, very excited that the 24-7, line-of-sight, two adults at all times safety plan will be a non-issue in a few short months!

Co-parenting with my sibling has proven to be the best decision my brother and I could have made for all of our children. However, it feels like this little house has shrank over the summer and we are all looking forward to figuring out future living arangements. There is a real possibility it could be just Jeremiah and I living in this house together within the next year or two!

Now off to do some school clothes shopping!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Now that we have the "Why" matter Settled

Some people have asked me why I would bother to finish my college degree at the age of 52? While many of my cohorts plan for retirement and the "golden years" why would I be planning my career? From all outward appearances, I survived to this point in my life without my Bachelor of Science in anything. And, it remains to be seen if two-years of college life during my 50s will result in any amazing change in my circumstances.

Why, did I go back to school and finish my degree?

  • I was in a position in life that I could finish classes, study, and be at home with my children.
  • I was half-way there because of the college credits I have earned along my way in life. I like to finish the things I start.
  • My education and life experience are the only things that can't be taken away from me. I guess unless I experience dementia or Alzheimer in my oldest age.
  • To set a good example for my younger children, since my older children have already finished college.
  • Because, a few people in my past life have told me I couldn't do it, or that I was somehow not intelligent, or invalidated my wisdom because I didn't have credentials. 
Those were my personal reasons for returning to college and completing my degree at the age of 52. The real question is what do I plan to do with my college degree now?

  • I would like to find a "career" day-job so I can feather my retirement a little more.
  • I understand there may be unconscious age discrimination out there--in the working world. I might consider taking a few more classes for a post-bach in Gerontology. After 32 years mothering, older people might be a nice change.
  • Most of all--I have the qualifications to research and write on a New Level. My future will include more free-time to work on a variety of projects and advocacy issues.
  • I can network with professionals on a whole new level, I am not just another mother with a story to tell. 
  • I will be able to use my "full participation" ethnographic research and write creative nonfiction the way I want to write creative nonfiction.
I am looking forward to the Next Goals, Projects and Adventures that make New Memories in my Life.

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