I wish I were going Back to School

September 5, 2010 at 12:35 pm (Life, Memoir) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

It is Fall. There is a crispness in the air. The stores are packed to the brim with pens, crayons, pencils, binders and notebooks. I want to stuff my shopping cart full. It is that time of year again. School is beginning.

I wish I were going back to school.

No, let me clarify that statement. I wish I was going back to university. I’ve been to three universities already; Mount Royal University, Concordia University and McGill.

I attended Mount Royal two years after I graduated from grade 12 and studied for a degree in Early Childhood Education, after having worked in the field for several years already. I never finished the degree as their concentration was on Day Cares and mine was not. I continued on providing child care until I turned thirty.

As a mature student, I decided to go to Concordia because it has an amazing mature student program and an adult focused course selection. All degrees can be obtained through evening classes or through a full day-time schedule. Concordia is very supportive of those returning to school after being in the workforce and of anyone wishing to further their education. In one of my classes there was an eighty year old there learning just for the joy of it. Someday, I want to be just like that eighty year old!

McGill was where I got my Masters degree. It is a more traditional university. The lower Quad is amazing and the architecture of the place can be intimidating for someone like me, raised poor and in a smaller community. I’ll admit touring St. Andrew’s University in Scotland was also a little intimidating; all those students in uniform. Thankfully, McGill was a little more relaxed than that. It was tough there but I learned and I excelled.

I enjoy learning new things. However, I didn’t enjoy school until I went to university. My first memory of Kindergarten is that the teacher got my name wrong. 😦  My grade two teacher was a sadistic bully and my peers saw me as strange, different and poor. I was invisible in High School. I starting working at thirteen and never was into sports which are a major small town recreational activity.

Looking back and knowing what I know now, I can see that I am probably on the low end of the Asperger’s scale. I was/am a shy person who has major problems with change. I’m working on it but it did make most of my schooling difficult. I survived by becoming invisible, reading a lot and being an average student. Nobody pushed me outside my limits and I preferred it that way.

It wasn’t till I went back to university that I discovered I was smart. Okay, there was that one time in grade eight that I got 98% and 100% on two consecutive quizzes. I was motivated, okay, self-motivated. I had a deal with my mom that if I aced my next two tests I could buy a record album that I wanted with my own money. Remember, I worked but my money usually had to go for necessities or into savings; record albums were frivolities.

What I discovered going back to university as a mature student, besides the fact that I am smart, it that I thrive in a safe atmosphere. Concordia allowed me to be who I really am, with all my faults and dreams and uniqueness intact. It was the perfect atmosphere and time for me to be there. Once I started university I never got less than a B and most of my grades were in the A range.

I wish I were going back to university. I don’t care what I study. Canadian History would be interesting.  A financial degree would be informative. Science or math might be fun.

I miss debating ideals, discussing philosophy, and reading up on sociologists like Jane Jacobs. I miss the long conversations about nothing. I want to meet people like the ones who posted the note in the window below (look right). Students are the same no matter where you go.

It is Fall. This is when the New Year should start. If I were independently wealthy, I would go to university until the sunset of my life.

I wish I were going back to school.



  1. Marion said,

    I have never gone to a real university…my higher learning occurred in community colleges. I love the way you write about your experiences. And I wish I were going back to school as well…the smell of erasers, new books, pens and pencils…the list goes on…is one I will never forget. The feelings the smells bring back are a mixture of anticipation and anxiety. Those feelings remain the same today as they did way back in elementary school.

  2. solitaryspinster said,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    I wish I could link smells to the posts the way I can link pictures (than again that might not always be a good idea – 🙂 -)

  3. Kathy said,

    I know what you mean~~about wanting to be back at school. I remember when we moved here to the woods and for the first dozen years all I wanted to do was be back at college learning, learning. I am glad you had good experiences at the university and learned that you were smart indeed. Grade school and high school can be brutal, especially for sensitive souls. I was really really shy before 15, and at age 15, suddenly started coming out of my shell.

  4. halloween spirit said,

    “If I were independently wealthy, I would go to university until the sunset of my life.” Me too. I love learning just for the joy of it. My university years were among the happiest of my life.

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