And so

While the beginning may be a very good place to start, I'm opting to start in mid-life. Or more accurately, restart. This fall I begin finishing my undergraduate degree at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. Some of you may be thinking, "Didn't he already go to college, back in the 80s?" You unkind some are correct. I did in fact spend four tumultuous years at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. I had the quintessential college experience: dorm life, touring the country with the college choir, mentoring freshmen as an orientation leader, coming out: everything that makes college, well, college.

Everything, that is, except a degree.

In my Hamline application essay (the first of many mildly humiliating tasks on this journey), I wrote:

. . . When I got to college, music scholarship in hand, it quickly became
apparent that I’d be able to slide by on talent again, especially if I practiced
just enough to keep my teachers satisfied. The same was not true with my college
classes, and having never needed to study before, I quickly found myself in a
mess. While I loped along, half-heartedly, for four years, and had some success,
I never really caught on to college. My “senior” year (quotations because one’s
fourth year is usually one’s senior year, but my academic record proved
otherwise), the anxiety and depression that went along with my recent coming-out
took more energy than I had, and academics fell completely away. I retreated
home to Montana, where once again my musical talent was more than enough to get
by. . .

Life goes by quickly. 1990 is but a speck in the rearview mirror of a car traded in long ago (see http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/), and it really has taken me all these years to feel truly ready for what I am about to do. More on that later. For now, wish me luck.


deb said...

I wish you luck, and anything else that would be helpful. I'll live vicariously through your suffering.

Eric said...

1) We're with you on this, Scott!
2) Great first post - I encourage and applaud your total honesty on this page.
3) The photo is perfect. It says "I'm scared but strong, and I know where to buy nice shirts."
4) 2.5 weeks to go! Yikes!!!!!!

Looking forward to post #2. And 3. To infinity.

Gretchen said...

How fantastic! While I'm navigating the much-too-young capitol hill crowd, I can check into your blog for some miserably loving company. Congrats!

Rolf said...

"Play nice"?

Yeah, right. If I were to post some supportive, encouraging word, you would know that I was worried about you. Which I am not. So.....

Let's get one thing straight (no pun intended). Sliding by on talent is a euphemism for allowing incompetent professors--such as myself--to crush your spirit and curiosity by making boring and irrelevant that which is interesting and important. We go to years of school in order to perfect this. The only revenge that you take on us is to refuse to let us suffocate interesting ideas under the weight of our narrow ideologies (and in my case, under the weight of my weight). So next time you are underperforming ("sliding by on talent") in some class, remember that you are letting the professor win--because when you do that, your sliding by strengthens her/his illusion of superiority.

Eric V. said...

You're going to rock those 20-year-olds' asses!

Jen said...

Wow, I think it is great you are going back to school. A good friend of mine in Dallas is pursuing her dream of getting a masters degree in vocal pedagogy. She starts Monday and will be 60 years old when she finishes. It is never too late!

Congratulations and best of luck.

Can we still have lunch if I meet you at the cafeteria???

Ann said...

Lucky you!

According to me, being a student is much more fun than being the teacher, which is what you have been doing with your life (albeit not always nominally).

Life as a student is so immediate: Show up. Listen to someone else telling you what to do. Do it. Show up again. Leave.

Someone else is distracted with crafting the right material and presentation for learning (this happens before the class).
Someone else decides the quality of your effort (this happens after the class).
Someone else suffers the back-to-school nightmares about teaching Shakespeare to a careening busload of distracted baseball players on a 30-hour drive to Orlando, with no texts or supplies. (TMI?)

As a teacher of those just a few years away from being your classmates, I smile. You have several advantages over them. You seem to have found an appreciation for your own role in learning. You have life experience through which to examine and filter new ideas. Most of all, you have a point of view.

If there’s one thing you’ve always had, it’s a POV.

Good luck with the plunge, and with the blog.

deb said...

back-to-school tip: the cover of the source section in today's strib has an article about how you make your dorm room look cute.


i'm just trying to be helpful.

Brian said...

I have added your blog to my favorites-and didn't someone once say "40 is the new 20." I hope so, because that would mean 50 is the new 30-which would be important to me.

phil said...

But a blog of a friend is priceless. Best of luck.


too many "https" on your link


mari said...

Thanks for sharing, Scott.
You have been entered for some malabrigo. Good luck.

Meema said...

Your blog was new
And you weren't old.
Then in the fall
You caught a cold.
Ah, yes - I remember it well.

Your name is officially in The Hat!