Updated: May 18, 2018
It’s been a long road. It’s been a rocky road. But I finally made it to the finish line: next Friday is Commencement. Next Friday I’ll don my mortar board and rented gown, drape my blue and gold cord around my neck, and walk across the stage to receive an empty diploma folder (they send the actual diploma in the mail). In the audience will be my grown children and my husband. Other family members will be watching via live stream.
When that hard-earned piece of paper does arrive, it will say that I have earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver in Interpersonal Dynamics & Transformative Systems.
I can’t speak for anyone else who has earned a college diploma but it has been one heck of a journey for me.
Here’s a snapshot of the fiery coals I’ve walked over to earn this degree:
Length of time from first college semester to last: 32 years
Number of (recent) semesters completed in a row without a break: 5
Number of surgeries in the final three semesters: 3
- July 2017:
- fractured hip [repaired with a titanium rod the entire length of my femur and a pin through the femoral neck]
- compound fracture of my wrist [broke the ulna and shattered the radius requiring 3 plates and 21 screws and pins]
- suffered a TBI (traumatic brain injury aka concussion) [recovery was complicated and slowed by past brain injuries]
- December 2017:
- a follow-up surgery to fix the wrist as it did not heal correctly [removed the hardware at the same time]
- March 2018
- emergency appendectomy [on the first day of Spring Break, no less; so much for having a break to relax and get stuff done]
Credits attempted per semester:
- Fall 2016 – 16 credits; GPA earned: 4.0
- Spring 2017 – 18 credits; GPA earned: 4.0 (got the flu just after mid-terms; sick nearly 2 weeks)
- Summer 2017 – 9 credits; GPA earned: 3.67 (accident happened final week of classes)
- Fall 2017- 12 credits; GPA earned: 4.0 (classes began 3 weeks after getting out of hospital; still couldn’t walk and brain still badly bruised)
- Spring 2018 – 15 credits; GPA earned: 4.0 not yet calculated (included a challenging independent project and starting a business)
I won’t bore or insult you here with false modesty: I’m pretty darned impressed with myself for having survived the past two years. Now that the stress and chaos of finals are finally over for the very last time, I look back at my journey and I can’t believe I’m still standing. I’m officially nominating myself for a TOB (Tough Old Broad) Award.
Watch out world – this steel-willed, fire-forged, woman is now reinforced with titanium and armed with a college degree.
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