I Wish I Could Go Back To College (Blogisode Nine)

If you are new to Sharon Wheatley’s blog, welcome!  I write stories in “blogisodes”, and to start at the beginning of this story, go here:  http://wp.me/p1zRyr-j6
It’s happening again.

Just look.

The work started at 9pm and will go all night.  I’m not sure if you can tell from this sensational and high quality photo taken with my phone while leaning out of Beatrix’s window, but they are breaking up the asphalt.  If I could attach noise with this photo, you would all hate me.

I LOVE NY.

Speaking of phone and being in high places, let’s discuss Charlotte Meffe for a moment.  I sent the children outside with Ally Bo, the awesome babysitter (and fab singer/actress) to go to the park yesterday.  Why?  Because it was BEE-you-ti-ful weather and there was no school (AGAIN) and I wanted the young people away from “screens” and into “nature”.

So Charlotte went to the park, climbed a tree, spotted Beatrix running free, reached to send a text message to Ally Bo, and promptly dropped her phone from the top of the tree.  It smashed to smithereens.

The moral of this story–forget it–there are so many morals to this story I don’t even know where to start.  The point is, when she told me–all shaky and upset–I was (naturally) relieved it was her phone and not her neck.  The child loves to climb a tree.  Loves it.  Monkey blood.  Cut to tonight when we activated one of Rob’s old phones rather than pay $250 for a cruddy new phone.  Take THAT Verizon.  Beating the system one smashed phone at a time.

Speaking of children and parks, look at this Princess fighting off four rowdy boys.

She's more "Mulan" than "Cinderella"

Take THAT wild boys.

So I am still processing the poll results, but we do have one answer that is absolutely a dead even split.  I am going to ask just this question again, and I am going to eliminate two of the answers, so let’s see if we get more of a consensus.

So let’s go back to school!

We left off with Beaz in preschool, Charlotte at Staples shopping for her mother’s school supplies, Rob locking his office door to keep me from taking over, and me registering for classes.  With a big HITCH.

I was behind on paper work (past the deadline) and I needed to register for very specific classes.  Remember that I didn’t even make this decision and start the process until August, and by the time CCM and I had hammered out what they would accept and what they wouldn’t (along with that fancy quarter to semester algebra), it was only a few days before classes started.  In fact, thinking I’d be fine, I just hopped on the registration page and started to add classes.  I got a big ERROR.  After some panicked investigation with my Sister Wife Amy (which included us literally running from office to office to get to the bottom of it), we met up with my soon to be best friend, Nicki Foster (Bonnie Franklin), an administrative wiz.  We looked at the “tuition deferment” paper work, that was fine.  We looked at every facet of my registration log in.  Fine.  But still the error.

You mean, I had to do this?

It seems I may have–allegedly–forgotten one teesy eensy detail.

I’d never applied to Pace University as an incoming student.

Oops.

How important is that whole “filling out the paperwork” thing anyway?

Important.

Without getting into the bloody details, let’s just say I might owe Nicki a drink for stopping everything she was doing for the day and walking me though the process.  Then I was given marching orders, “Go here.  Get this signed.  File this in this office, and then do this online.  Get your ID.  Explain why you have to carry so many hours by filling out this form and sending it to this division head for approval.  This all needed to be done weeks ago, so do it now.  Good luck”  Everyone was incredibly friendly about it and I waited in lines with kids only a few years older than Charlotte.  Somehow they all had the paperwork done.  I was already the student making paperwork mistakes.

Time to clean up your act, Sister Sledge.  A BFA in Sticktuitiveness and follow through.  That’s what my diploma was going to say.

I got to work and registered for classes.  I was really short on history classes, so that

Me taking an online course

became my primary focus.  While tooling around on the registration site, I discovered a little drop down menu that lead me to the “online classes” registration.  What?  Do all my work in the livingroom in my pajamas?  Never have to see a classroom?   Woohoo!  Excellent!  Count me IN!

Oops.  Count me OUT.  They were all full, and many with a waitlist.  I sent a few e-mails to the professors of various classes–one was called something like , “Cowboys, Villains and other icons of the American West” –okay, I just made that name up, but it was some kitchy-catchy title that seemed like the professor was going to be John Wayne–asking for an exception, but no one bit.  Do you see how I am already trying to get out of going to class and I haven’t even been in school for 20 years?  A bad sign.  Finally, on the brink of chucking the whole idea of going back to school out of pure frustration, I found a history class about FDR and the New Deal and the depression.  In that moment if you had put a gun to my head and said name both Roosevelt Presidents, I think I may have said, Wait, were there two?  Here’s the point.  I didn’t know a thing about it.  And that seemed fun.

A problem.  It was a 3 hour class, once a week, in an actual building with a real live professor and in a classroom.  As in me at a desk.  No pajamas.  It had numbers next to it that was something about 300 and little initials next to the number that said, WE and I though, well that’s very inclusive and nice, to already say we.  Dr. Blumberg was the professor.  It started in three days.  There was a spot left.  I signed up.

Leave room in the schedule for the Holy Ghost and just in case you get a Sister Act audition.

As it turned out, I couldn’t take anything online.  I had to sign up for classes at the school across the board and sometimes find creative ways to make my schedule work with professors because I was trying to cram as many classes as I could into three days a week so I didn’t have crazy childcare costs.  I also had to take into consideration leaving room for auditions.  My agent knew I was going back to school, but he wouldn’t be super thrilled if I was suddenly unavailable for a Sister Act audition.  So I left some days open for kids and work.

I went to the ID office and picked up my “Pace ID” which involved getting a photo taken.  Naturally the woman thought I’d come for a faculty ID, so she wasn’t thrilled when she had to redo the ID to say “Student”, but she did wish me luck.  I asked her if she saw a lot of adult students and she said, “No.  You might be the first I’ve seen here on the New York City campus.  I think there might be more up on White Plains or Pleasantville Campuses.”

Great.

It was my first, "first day of school" in 20 years.

On the first day of classes, I had butterflies.  I packed my bag with a notebook, my ID, a pen, a snack and my reading glasses.  I packed Beatrix’s bag for her first day of school with just about the same thing, minus the glasses.  It was Rob’s first day of teaching and his class started an hour before mine, so he took an excited Charlotte to school (MOM!  I WANT TO HEAR EVERYTHING!!!  GOOD LUCK)  and he went onto Pace from there.  I took Beaz to her first day of daycare and left in tears because I could hear her yelling, “Mama” the whole way out.

Why was I doing this?  Ridiculous.  Idiotic.  For what?

Full of doubt and kind of embarrassed to have to walk into school with a bunch of 18-year-olds, I swallowed my pride and just did it.  I crammed into the elevator with a giant coffee in my hand, and walked to class.

And that’s where I met Dr. Barbara Blumberg.

To read the next blogisode in this series go here.


 

 

About Sharon Wheatley

Mother of Charlotte and Beatrix. Sometimes an actress. Sometimes a writer. I'm glad you're here.
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One Response to I Wish I Could Go Back To College (Blogisode Nine)

  1. Mary Jo says:

    I am living this with you!!

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