My books arrived on Wednesday. I ripped open the box, admired the covers, flipped through some pages, took a look at the tables of contents and stood them up end to end on my work table. My fall semester at ESC = two GE courses, 8 credits = 'Intro to College Reading and Writing' and 'The Pursuit of Happiness in American History' (don't you LOVE that title?). One of my coursebooks came with a membership to MyReadingLab, a marvelous online class that follows one of my textbooks. I sat down and registered, navigating through the site, finally arriving at the Diagnostic Pre-Test which I hankered down and took. Reality set in on question three.
Let me explain. I am an optimist (see my blog http://negativeintopositive.blogspot.com/). When I left my job, sold all my stuff and said goodbye to everyone in my San Diego life ten years ago to move to Italy I walked onto that airplane with one suitcase and my cat Mary and did not look back. When people asked me if I was afraid of leaving my country and moving to a new place/culture without a job intact, well, the truth is, I never allowed myself to be afraid. Otherwise I probably wouldn't be sitting here today. So, I am on the airplane, over the Atlantic and I have a panic attack. Reality set in. I was MOVING. I was on my own.
I had been preparing for that moment for twelve years. It was not a whimsical, mid-life freak out. I trained to teach English, I saved the cash, I did my research. I had a reservation for my first night in a hotel room in Milan that took cats and a friend in Tuscany to stay with for a few weeks while I was looking for a job and my own place.
In the middle of my panic attack I repeated my mantra: "I am a wave in an ocean of peace" and tried not to think about the fact that I was flying over a big body of dark water, surrounded by snoring strangers , far from the familiar, heading into WHAT? And then, I BREATHED. (I remembered to BREATHE!). I put my hand in Mary's carrier and she started to purr.
In Milan I called my sister, best friend and boyfriend. My sister did her best to comfort me. My girlfriend reminded me that this was my dream. My boyfriend told me to get on the train and look out the window to remind myself of why I was there----------Reality set in. I was living my dream and I wanted to be present.
So, I am working on MyReadingLab and it hits me. I AM GOING TO SCHOOL. What does that mean? I will be reading and writing TONS, have to organise my time because I work forty hours a week and my brain is out of shape. Just as I was heading to the refridgerator to eat a large container of cherry yogurt, I stopped myself and made a list of what I know. WHAT I KNOW:
I know that I can read, like to read, am interested and curious and heck, I can do that. I just need to take breaks from studying, stretch, drink water, take the dog for a walk.
I know that I can write. I need to follow a writing structure, but, hey, I can do that. I like writing. I write everyday.
I am organized. NO, ORGANIZED. Working and going to school. That is why I chose to study online. I can study in my pj's.....
Yes, my brain is soft. But this is my chance to beef it up, leave behind my preconceptions, open my mind, think critically.
You see what I mean by negativeintopositive? I have decided to study everyday for three hours to get myself into shape. I start school on September 14th. I can do that.