Back to college in my 40’s

September 14th, 2012

It is amazing what 25yrs. can teach you. When I was a young adult, my priorities were so different from what they are today. I think part of it was living from paycheck to paycheck. All that you focus on are extra hours, juggling bills, relationships, and when your boss will grant you a day off. I know that back then, I wasn’t as serious about my education as I am today.

When I graduated high school, I had a scholarship in hand for Art. I attended a few college classes, but supporting myself took precedence. Then, I fell in love, and my dreams of a degree were long forgotten.

Skipping through my life, I’ve accomplished what most women strive for. I married an amazing man. I had a career I loved. I became a mother, and have homeschooled him almost to graduation. I’ve taught art. I own my own mural business. I look back on my life, and am so thankful for the experiences I’ve had.

As our son will be an adult soon, I wonder where I will go with my future. Honestly, I would love to make art. I want to draw, paint, and create. I’d really love to be a children’s book illustrator. I want to write/draw stories that inspire children. I want to make them laugh. I want to make them wonder. I want to encourage them to be the best that they can be.

Just a few months ago, I decided that my art career needed to be important. I went back to college. At first, I was just going to take an art class or two. After talking with a counselor, I decided to get a degree.

Let me just make one gripe: Art students shouldn’t have to take so much math. The system is set up that I need several math classes BEFORE I can take art classes for my degree. Does that make sense? It is like telling a mathematician that he/she needs to take watercolor, sculpting, and basket weaving before they can take the math classes needed for their degree. See the silliness in it? Yeah, me too.

Anyway, my first semester was filled with Design and Pre-Algebra. I got an A in both classes. Now, I’m in my second semester. I’m taking Algebra and Life Drawing. The math class is a challenge for my brain, but my son is a great tutor. My Life Drawing class is amazing. For those that aren’t sure what that is, we draw nude models to learn about proportion, foreshortening, muscles, bones, etc. It is a humbling experience for me. I thought I could draw/paint before this class. Now, I know that I have A LOT to learn.

This week, I learned that there are abroad courses that you can take for Art History or Advanced Drawing. They are in Italy. Can you imagine actually drawing Michelangelo’s David IN PERSON? Learning about the master’s and their work in the city where they created it would be….AMAZING. Once I heard the presentation, I was entranced. This would be a learning experience of a lifetime.

I came home and told my husband all about the course. I read the details online and realized that the trip cost over $5,000. Wow. Not to say that the trip isn’t worth $5,000, but that is A LOT OF MONEY for a one income family. Then, I read that if I were to be accepted into the program, I would need to pay all $5,000 of the tuition within 60 days. Again, WOW.

My wonderful husband assured me that we could save for the trip. I didn’t want to take money out of our family budget, starve my family, or sell our son in order to pay for the trip. How could I do this? I know! I will paint, draw, do odd jobs, or whatever it takes to save up the tuition.

With encouragement from my friends and family, I posted on Facebook and homeschooling lists that I am for hire. My parents taught me to be a hard worker. I believe that if you work hard and save for a goal, it makes that goal even more sweet. My goal is to draw/paint/learn everything I can in Italy next summer.

Many of us dream from the couch, but never get up and DO. I once said that I would run a marathon. People laughed at me. Today, I’ve run 5 marathons and 8 halves. I want to be one of those people that look back on my life and say: I had some amazing adventures! I want to add Italy to that list. I think I can….I think I can…I think I can….

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