I am thrilled for my beloved Spouse… as long-term readers of this blog are aware, he has suffered from a long-term illness that messed with his life severely in the form of significant pain — and worse — impact on his brain resulting in periods of “brain fog” and aphasia that were (and still are) quite puzzling and painful to deal with.
He has been to countless doctors and has given more blood for lab work than a 50-gallon blood donor (so it seems). He probably also glows in the dark from all of the imaging he has had done through X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds.
Despite all of this, for the past four years, Spouse has…
… participated in classes, read tons of books, wrote dozens of book-length papers, and maintained a 4.0 GPA.
Spouse enrolled in our state university’s remote (on-line) campus to pursue a second bachelor’s degree in history.
Because he wanted to. No other reason. He has always been fascinated with history. When he retired in 2013, he was looking for something to keep his mind busy and do something to continue his passion for life-long learning.
Our state university has a program for older residents that made his tuition affordable. Since I am a legacy alumnus, previously graduating with honors, he also qualified for an additional (small) tuition discount as my Spouse (another benefit of marriage!)
However, it wasn’t always easy to get the classes he needed because students admitted in the “Golden Age” category have a lower priority for registration — usually on a “space-available” basis. But by creative scheduling and being willing to take classes on odd offerings (such as mid-summer), he was able to get all of the classes required for his program of study.
The good thing about on-line classes is that he could do his classwork on his own schedule between bouts of illness and when he was feeling good (and no brain involvement from toxins produced due to his infection.)
Also, with my being out of the house all day on weekdays when I am at work, the house is quiet and he can focus on his studies without “Spouse Taz” interrupting him.
What makes me (and him) most proud is that he earned all As in all of his classes. He earned 122 credits of university-level work with such tremendous results despite his lingering illness. Amazing. Just amazing.
Spouse will be presented his diploma “Summa Cum Laude” — meaning “with highest honors” in a couple weeks. While he does not want to go to the graduation ceremony, I think I may find a way to have him honored in an appropriate way.
I am so lucky to be married to my best friend and smart dude! He definitely keeps me on my intellectual toes!
Life is short: celebrate major accomplishments of those you love.