For the past decade, I have been a college student.
As I wrote that sentence, I had to stop and calculate to make sure that it was correct. It was. Mostly. I’ve taken a couple of single semester breaks along the way. Aside from that, I have been in college for 10 years.
I feel a sense of “wow” knowing that for the past decade, I’ve been focused on school. On one hand, I’m amazed that I survived. At times, it was frustrating, difficult, discouraging and I wanted to quit. Yet, I was somehow able to persevere (with a lot of assistance from others). On the other hand, I feel like there were some wasted semesters which, if I had handled things a bit differently, could have been used to get finished faster. It probably shouldn’t have taken me 10 years to finish my two degrees. But that was my journey, and I took it knowing it would take time. To think of it in terms of a decade makes it seem like an enormously long time. Now that it is over, I feel a sense of accomplishment that I never imagined, and 10 years seems like barely any time at all.
Surprisingly, I am already starting to feel like something is missing from my life. I don’t have any classes for which to study. There is no longer a pending comprehensive exam to cause me stress. I am not searching bookstores and buying new notebooks for the fall semester of classes. (Though, there may be some of that, since I will be teaching a few hours.)
Yet, there is something, a feeling, maybe even a longing, to continue. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but when I am sitting in a classroom as a learner, I am content. There, surrounded by others who love literature as much as myself, I can speak as I wish, without fear of being mocked.
I don’t know what the next decade holds for me. But, I hope there is more learning. I hope there are classes to take and new books to discover. I hope there is rhetoric and poetry and prose. As long as I can be taught, I will always be searching for something new to learn.
So, what about you? What do you want to learn today?