the only thing you can't buy here is dignity

So it would seem that I am enrolled in graduate school again.  Who knew?

I spent the better part of the fall and winter filling out applications, calculating commuter hours to and from various neighborhoods in the Greater Boston Area (bit of an oxymoron, that), and seeking out all the grant money I could find.

At the end of it all, I got accepted to my first choice school.  And none of my grants came through.

Oh, sure, I could take out student loans.  But, see, the LAST time I went to grad school, they PAID me to go.  Seems I have to get over myself a bit.   Seems that ten years later, I’m not quite the hot draft pick I once was.

So the fact that I walked away from that free ride through grad school a decade ago, merely so that I could devote more of my valuable time to partying and loitering and carrying on, now this decision seems to have been perhaps the slightest bit rash.  Myopic, perhaps.  Idiotic and insane, sure.  I’ll buy that.

It was, shall we say, not my best moment.  For about seven years or so.

So now that I’m all settled down, liberated of those wild oats that were such an intolerably heavy burden to me back then, and ready to pursue a noble and reasonably remunerative career, it seems that the rules have changed ever so slightly.

They expect me to pay for it.

After I heard that I didn’t get that last grant, the big one, the one that I filled out so serenely to cover ALL of my tuition and book expenses for the year, after that fell through, I got a little piqued.  Sort of threw my hands up in the air and said OH WELL YOUR LOSS.

Am I not awesome?

Sometime last week I remembered that I had already sent in my tuition deposit, like, the DAY I got accepted, certain as I was that any minute now the heavens would commence to rain scholarships and grants on my humble, bowed little head. 

That would explain why I kept getting invited to these bizarre-sounding New Student Social Hours and such.  Didn’t they realize I wasn’t speaking to them?

So I realized that I should probably officially defer.  Just for one year, to give the grant-bestowing organizations one more chance to welcome me back into their loving bosoms.  I was sure they were already regretting not giving me the cash I needed, so I’d just apply again in the fall, and allow them to correct this egregious error.

Yesterday, I got an email from the registrar, asking me if I was going to register for a class or two.  Naturally, this made me feel pretty good — getting the old personal invitation, you know — so I looked into it.

Turns out, I could PROBABLY manage to scrape together enough of my OWN MONEY to take ONE LOUSY CLASS this fall.  It’s a stretch, but maybe if I spend a little bit less money on ego supplements and self-regard steroids I could make it work.

Turns out, I could probably maintain a pace of one class per semester indefinitely, until I piled up enough requirements and credits to get my degree.  Which is, incidentally, exactly how my mother got her masters degrees.  Both of them.  God, I hate it when she’s right. 

So last night, I enrolled in my first class.  I made my very first tuition payment online (things have changed in ten years!).  I got my confirmation email that I had, in fact, made a payment towards the class tuition, and I realized that that was the first time I had actually schecked out my own dough for my own damn higher education.

And then I realized what an entitled, pretentious, tedious snot I had been all this time.  And I made another online tuition payment. 

Maybe if it’s my own money, I won’t throw away the degree this time.

2 Thoughts.

  1. nice.

    congrats! the money will come. look into AAA loans. yup, the car people. i swear!

  2. Isn’t the knowledge that comes with age a little freaky? I mean, sure we love it but it means all this time our elders were right. Touche mom. Now they’re going to expect us to listen to them even in our advanced enlightened stage.

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