I’m 32 years old, never went to highschool, and basically only employable as a laborer – I have no real skills to speak of. I’ve worked as a hospice worker for something like 13 years, but that’s hardly skills that are hard to find in the workforce. Hell, a lot of people give them away.
I have a wife and two children. Not being able to provide for them was likely the worst feeling I’ve experienced to date. My best friend from gradeschool was finishing his PhD, and he is two years younger than me. The depression and feelings of hopelessness were getting out of hand, and I knew I had to do something.
Three years ago I went back to school at my local community college: I started night classes, taking writing and remedial math. You know… addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers by hand. The kind of stuff that fourth graders do. Studying subjects at 29 the rest of the world learned in gradeschool is very effective at making one feel very, very incompetent.
I persevered, working weekends and evenings while going to school during the day. My wife returned to school at the same time, taking night classes… we saw each other infrequently.
This June I will be finally be graduating: if all goes according to plan I’ll be earning an associate degree in mathematics and an associate degree in general studies. In the world of academia these accomplishments are small potatoes, but dammit, after everything I’ve put into this I feel good about it.
Two weeks ago I got a letter from Portland State University. I have been fully admitted as a Junior for the 2014-15 school year.
My program GPA is currently 4.0, my overall GPA is 3.36.
I received a letter a day or two later informing me that a private scholarship has awarded me a full-ride scholarship to the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science for a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.
I am beyond numb. Words simply fail me… I never thought I would make it this far, let alone be accepted to a real, accredited university.
So it looks like I’m moving to Portland! I’ll have to stay away from Higgins…