General/College Update

It’s hard to write about gaming when I’m not doing it. Skill Training in EVE is proceeding, and by the time things are back up and running I should be able, skill-wise, to fly a Retriever with most of the necessary trimmings. And I’m looking forward to getting back to Champions Online. The new video card (same as the old one, but working) is en route. UPS predicts it will arrive on Tuesday, which leads me into my digression.

Many, many years ago, I was dismissed from Ohio State for basically being a tool with no goals. Fact is, I didn’t want to be there, so I put in no effort. Well, negative effort, really – I seldom bothered to go to class in that last quarter, and the result was the inevitable probation followed by “academic dismissal.” Can’t say I didn’t deserve it, and I’ve never held anything against Ohio State for throwing me out on my ear – if nothing else, my affection for the place has magnified over the ensuing years.

At that point, I needed some time to mature and gain the benefits of hindsight. The fact was that I didn’t think I wanted or needed college at that point. Well, nothing teaches you the value of a college degree quite like 18 years in the workplace without one. In that time, I have worked pretty hard and done fairly well, but I have also been extraordinarily lucky to have gotten many of the opportunities I’ve had.

I always wanted to go back to college, of course. But there was never the time or opportunity, and in the early years, probably insufficient drive on my part. Money, schedule, lack of available options in the Cleveland area stood in the way longer than a lack of willpower did, because one of the things people in the workforce do is accumulate financial obligations.

Two things conspired to change the scenario radically. The first one was meeting, a little over four years ago, the woman who is now Mrs. Ardwulf. She’s helped and encouraged tremendously, not least by her own splendid example (she too came to college late, and graduated this past May.)

The other factor was the consulting job I was recently laid off from. I might be sore about the layoff, but it was a tremendous opportunity, and the logistics of the job worked to help me shed myself of long-term financial burdens. We went from a condo to a rental, gaining us mobility. Because of the constant threat of layoff, we laid many layers of contingency plans, so that we were ready to move on short notice and had money saved up in the event of the worst-case scenario. Plus it paid a stupid amount of money, which is now serving us well.

The timing of the layoff was fortuitous – it hapenned shortly after Mrs. Ardwulf graduated, and about a month before our lease expired. It couldn’t really have been scheduled better. End of July we were packing up and relocating to Columbus, because fate arranged it so we could.

That Ohio State was the site of my previous failure is… important but not over-ridingly so. Had we been somewhere else in the country I wouldn’t have hesitated pursuing another education option elsewhere. But we were still in Ohio, where Ohio State is generally spaeking a respectable option for most courses of study, and well above average in many.

So I plan to start up classes with Winter Quarter, in the first week of January. Of course, I have to petition for reinstatement and the appointment is set for next Tuesday. I didn’t get in quite as much course work elsewhere as I’d wanted before petitioning – the layoff cut a full-time semester out of my plan, and I expect the University to set conditions (along the lines of “don’t fuck this up again,”) but all in all I feel pretty good about it.

I don’t know whether or not there will be a formal interview or not; the online documentation of the process implies one, but that didn’t come up in my meeting with the appropriate counselor a few months ago. (As a digression from the digression, I find it a little… weird that I now look up blog entries to find out exactly when stuff in my life happened. I now return you to your regularly scheduled digression.) I tend not to be intimidated by interviews and in fact interview extraordinarily well, so if there is that’s okay. And in any event I need to provide a written statement hat-in-hand about how I am now a Very Serious Person and will not screw up again.

So hopefully some time soon I’ll be posting good news. I don’t know that this will happen next week… but it’s probably next week that I’ll need the good luck wishes and karma and all that.

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