Erasers and chalkdust

Fear-of-God is a school in skilled living— first you learn humility, then you experience glory. ~ Proverbs 15:33

Today is my back-to-school day. It is difficult to enumerate the many blessings this education has brought me. Most people my age react with something like abject horror when I say I am a student again! Love of learning is common in my generation - but not love of schooling. I have always loved school, perhaps because I was "denied" some of the trappings of traditional schooling as a home-schooled child. I have always looked forward to that first day back with anticipation - "back to school" still conjures up the sensory pleasures of the feel of a flexible, grainy eraser in your hand...a brand new set of sharp pencils, scraping the page if you pushed too hard...the smell of chalk dust, that acrid, slightly sharp scent as the eraser banged on the chalk board...the stiffness of new clothes and resistance of the new binding on your notebook. Here I am, almost 30 years old, and back in class again, much to my delight!

Getting your PhD is a lot like going to a home school. The online format means I complete my studies at home, at my favorite coffee shop, or in the library...even on vacation, if I must! I work at my own pace and progress mostly due to my own self-discipline. It is a wonderful combination of home-grown education and the opportunity public education proffers - learning from those much wiser than you in your chosen field of study.

My education is a gift of God that came about due to my submission to my husband, odd as that may sound. I wanted to go back to work for years, longing for that sense of personal achievement and a very consequential contribution to the betterment of the human race that nursing offered. Working with your own children is so less...visible, estimable, quantifiable, recognizable! Aaron put his foot down years ago, saying we had agreed to this family and it's subsequent terms together - and we were sticking to it, whether I liked it or not! Tough to swallow, at the time. In the end it led to the pursuing of this advanced degree, which will hopefully aid us in our financial goals, our goals for our family, and future mission work.

School is in! I am content. Seven credits of statistics - that satisfying job of interpreting numbers, so easy to describe and defend. I am so excited to begin! Yet hanging over it all is the specter of September 2nd...