Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Prodical Student Returneth

The Senior Frampton

As if our lives were not busy enough.
As if our days were not short enough.
As if we SAID we were going to slow things down.

What do I go and do?

I apply to the University of Illinois as a full time student.

And what do those misguided folks do? They accept me. Really. What have I done? I start as a Junior this August in the Creative Writing Program. I plan to continue straight though and obtain my Masters in the very same field.

Why not? I'm going to get old and die anyway, I might as well finally learn the correct use of colons and semi-colons.  If I really want to write and be published then I best learn the techniques. Besides, spending the day in a library trying to sort out the poetry of Yeats is a day well spent in my mind. (well it would be better spent at Galway University but I'm still wading through the Study Abroad requirements.)

The desire for this end result has been a very long time coming but ALWAYS in the back of my head, since 1976 when after a disastrous first semester at the same University I was non-ceremoniously expelled for a grade point average lower than the ground I was passed out on back in those days.

Seemed I love attending all those Peter Frampton parties a wee bit more than I actually attended class. Do you do?  Well I did. To say my mother was pissed, sorry there is no better term, when she made that 3 hr RT drive to collect my sorry (not enough) butt, is a gross understatement.

She brought me back into their home and said "You got two weeks Madame Butterfly, to get a job and find a lace to live." She had four other children who needed her and as far as she was concerned I had already flown the too crowded nest. I was 17, part of the problem. I graduated HS after three years and had no more enough maturity for campus life than a new born calf is ready to produce milk.

Two weeks later I was living in a rented trailer and working as a nurse side, which lead me to South Dakota and nursing school and marriage and kids, a divorce, a wonderful remarriage,  36 years in health care and a farmer and BAM! here I am at almost 55 and ready for a big change.

So , you might ponder, how does this fit in with our Poor Farm plans? Very well I hope. At first, until this farm is sold and new house is built it will indeed be insanely busy. But the University is only an hour away and classes can be scheduled for three times a week.  Since I plan to actually ATTEND classes this time it's likely I'll get better grades than oh say 38 years ago.

That will allow me, outside of study and travel time, and I'm a big believer in listening to classes on CD while driving, 4 full days to work with my Keith on our new place, and continue to write free-lance articles as I do now for additional income.

I still believe the only reason they have accepted me this time is that my records were so old they had returned to dust, unable to place blame where it was due. In fact my old immunization records are so ancient (1959) I have to have new measles, mumps and rubella shots, a health requirement of the school.

I just hope I get a nice bottle of something warm and soothing to drink right after, like any good baby would.

Of course being the most brilliant blog followers in the world you might wonder "How is she going to pay for this little venture.?"

I'm not. My parents are.

You see, due to a  limited scholarship which grants full tuition waivers to U of I for the children of war veterans whose parents served either in WW2, Korean Conflict, Vietnam , Southwest Asia Conflict, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. I have been blessed with four years of paid tuition. I received notice of this award just two days ago. Here is the link in the event you are interested:

Even though my parents, both veterans of the Korean Conflict, who have been dead many years, who were never able to attend college themselves, never made more than $16,000 a year.

I believe my mother is up in Heaven right now hysterically laughing at the irony of this more than anyone.


  1. Good for you! I taught at both the high school and college level for 42 years. Now work as a sub, but limit my days to six. or so, each month. Everyone needs to be a lifelong learner. I blog, write, and do research edits for graduate papers, try to learn something new every day.

    1. Neil, you inspire me! Our kids especially the younger ones in their 20's just don't get it. But then again neither do I really ...until I entered the second half of my life!

  2. Talk about pursuing your dream! This is fantastic news. Good for you Donna. Everything seems to be working out beautifully. I hope you still have time to keep us updated on what you're doing and learning. :)