Thursday, September 24, 2009

In session

The heels I'm wearing were cool four years ago. The fluorescent overhead light beams over the graduate student teaching, surrounded by the five souls pathetic enough to sign up for Saturday class. A look of mild disappointment on his face is evident as he takes roll and looks up, issuing a request for us all to move to the front of the class to make things 'more personal'. The four other students slowly gather their bags, trudge heavy footed to the front of the room and sit, silent. Unamused.

Typical college students, I think. So entitled. Not even so much as a smile at the stand-in professor, as he awkwardly reads through the syllabus and nervously repeats, "Uh, does that make sense?" forty times.
Yes, yes, it makes sense. I singularly chime in. Or nod in gracious approval, batting the new fake eyelashes I've been trying out.
Forty times.
I used to be just like them. Unaware of the pleasure that time devoted strictly to learning can afford. The luxury of nothing else to do but further your credentials, expand your possibilities.
But not anymore! I am a mother. I know everything now. And not only that, I'm better than all the other everybody's who know everything because I am combining my all-knowing-everythingness and doing something about the everything that I now know. Just look at me, back at school. Staring a degree-less future squarely in the face and saying with brazen courage, "I do not accept."
Noble. Sacrificing. Forward thinking. I march.

I will earn a 4.0 and write a distinguishing thesis in grad school dismantling the credibility of Faulkner's Sound and the Fury with a few strokes of the pen. (Payback for being forced to read it.) I will be hailed by the New York Times as the most progressive conservative mother of six children who somehow learned to do and be all....I will retire in a cottage by the sea with jars of seashell collections sitting on my antique piano, and pen replies on personalized stationary to fan correspondence seeking advice, while wearing all white linen ensembles as Tyler samples the latest chocolate soufflé baked in the kitchen (a technique I mastered while visiting Paris when I was asked to speak at the global Women of Achievement conference)...Matt Lauer will interview me and comment, "You'll have to forgive me if I'm a little star struck, we've just never had the enormously exciting opportunity to interview a mother who went back to school"...and my answers will be uncondescendingly sweet and thought provoking and everyone will love and hate me more....I will....

"Please remember to submit discussion 2 via Webct by Wednesday of this week," the graduate instructs.

"Um, excuse me...when is discussion 1 due?" I raise my hand and confidently ask, nibbling on my new pencil in between words. Glancing down and side to side at the other students, You see this kids? This is called being proactive. Asking questions. Engaging the learning process.

"That was due last week. They were graded and returned, and you should have a printed copy ready to discuss today. This was laid out in instructions pamphlet you were supposed to read when you enrolled for the course. Um, does that make sense?"

Yes, I replied. No smile.

The students pull out their prepared assignments, and class begins.


Amy said...

Oh the horror! I hate when that happens. I kinda started sweating and getting anxious just reading this post. Anyways, don't be discouraged... I know if anyone can do it- it is you!! Better luck NEXT week.


Daron and Jamee said...

So what did you do?

jenniferoharra said...

Oh if anyone can do it Rachel - you can! Shaun has gone back to school too and will graduate next spring. Just be patient and you'll be fine!

Joan said...

Another perfectly penned "Rachel Post" that has me smiling and feeling nostalgic about our BYU days together. I miss you.

Amy said...

Love this post. Don't have time to go into the million reasons why. You'll also have to go back to the Today show set to discuss your own brilliant novel that is soon to be written. I can't wait to hold it in my hands...