Saturday, March 20, 2010

MrsM v. Life

Over the time I've been blogging about changing my name to Mommy, I've gradually shared more and more with you guys about my pre-mommy life. I've mentioned to you that I had a less than fabulous childhood, and that I have lived on my own since I was 16, but there is something that I haven't shared with you all that I think (hope) you will surprised to find out about me-I am a high school drop out.

It wasn't because I didn't want to go to school-I attended three full quarters and one half quarter even after living on my own out of district and while working three jobs. It wasn't because I wasn't good at school-I held down a 3.4 GPA until the day I left, despite my chaotic personal life. It was just one of those things. I was working 60 hours a week at three part time jobs for minimum wage, and that only added up to just under $300 a week after taxes. I was barely scraping by paying for my rent, food, bus passes, and other supplies but school was still my priority so when one of my jobs switched me to day shifts I quit. I was living on about $150 per week, barely making it, when I ended up getting fired from my second job because I was always showing up late (taking public transportation across town in rush hour traffic is not reliable). I did my best to stay in school, but the truth is that I was living on about $90 a week at that point and I just couldn't afford the bus fare to get from home to school, from school to work, and then from work to home and be able to eat and put a roof over my head at the same time. As much as it pained me, I made the practical decision-I choose food and housing over education, and though I wish I hadn't had to make that choice I know that I would choose the same path if faced with that decision today.

I don't often tell people about the fact that I dropped out. I lied on job applications (for jobs that I was entirely capable of performing) and if they ever asked for specifics I just told them that I was homeschooled for my last year and a half of high school. The truth is though that most people never suspect that I didn't graduate. I could realistically go the rest of my life as a high school drop out and no one would know the difference.

Except me.

I have always wanted to finish school...and go farther...but until recently it remained a dream that I didn't even have the time to contemplate let alone put into concrete action. Lately though Hubby and I have been seriously talking about our long term plans and have come to the conclusion that we need to go back to school-if we want any chance of being able to send our kids to college, buy a house of our own, or retire instead of working until we die we're going to need degrees.

Hubby is going to go first because he is only a few credits shy of an AA degree in business. School is not really his thing (he is extremely smart, but not very academic) so he wants to stop there, but when he's done it will be time for the incredible journey to begin. I am going to go back to school and I want to go all the way-I'm going to be a lawyer. It's going to be a huge undertaking that I will have to do one baby step at a time-first I'll have to get my GED, then my Associates from community college, then my Bachelors from a university, then of course my law degree. Since I won't be able to go full time and homeschool three small children I estimate that it will take me about 12 years (as opposed to the normal 7-8 years in college for a law degree) I said, it will be a huge undertaking...but in the end it will be worth all the trouble. I have always been passionate about the law, there is good money in it, and if it takes me 12 years to complete my degree I won't have to worry about leaving little kids at home to go to work since the kidlets will be 12, 13, and 17 by then and Hubby will likely become a stay at home dad.

I am really excited about this. I've already looked into financial aid options and there are a surprising amount available. Because I will be a non-trad student (married, with children, beginning college in my mid 20s) who is also low income and a woman going into a male dominated field it appears that I may get away with only having to shoulder about 10-15% of the cost through loans-a price well worth it in the end to pursue a law career and eventually, if I play my cards right, become a judge which is my ultimate goal.

That's right-someday, 20 years from now, this blog very well could be written by The Honorable MrsM. It's a pretty cool thought, right?


Vodka Logic said...

wow that is some undertaking. I wish you only luck and a lot of enthusiasm.

Having gone the tradition route of HS then college I do admire the fortitude of those that persue school later when they have families. I don't know if I would have the same abition.

dusty earth mother said...

I am thoroughly impressed by you. Your openness, your humility and your determination. You are exceptionally cool and I pray that all your dreams will come true.

Low Expectations said...

That is fantastic! Having a plan like that is so exciting! I wish you the best on this big undertaking of yours. It will be totally worth it!

Kirsty said...

That's awesome! I too am really impressed by you. High-school diploma or not you are one of the smartest, most articulate, well informed, skilled and savvy twenty something's I've ever met.

You may as well have a law degree in 12 years then not have one right? I think people get hung up on the time education takes but in the end, isn't it better to have a degree at whatever age you get one then not to have one at that age? D'oh? ;) I only got my Bachelors degree at age 32. I will get my MA just not sure when.

I was a much better student with 4 little kids then I ever was when I was a full time student with no responsibilities. You'll generally find that the non-trad students do better then the frat boys.