The big news around here is that Dan finally graduated with his bachelor’s degree!
He went back to school twelve years ago but was never very good at carrying a lot of courses and working full time, so it took him forever. For the last several years, he’s been just taking one class per semester, which at least had the advantage of being cheap since it was always fully covered by the university’s staff scholarship, which pays $1,500 per semester to any benefits-eligible staff member taking a class. So he graduates much later than I did, but with a considerably smaller debt load.
Those who believe in a life script with strict age-delimited timelines for doing certain things will of course say he should’ve gotten his degree decades ago. We don’t think much about scripts around here, though. Dan’s background is the kind from which young people, especially young men, are actively discouraged from seeking higher education. For an inner-city barrio boy who has roped cows from horseback in the mountains of New Mexico, lived at an ashram chanting and eating chapattis, and roadied for punk bands, to become a technology professional with a bachelor’s degree was the ultimate act of rebellion.
And now he’s talking grad school. I say take a little time off first and make sure you really want to make that kind of commitment. Ultimately, of course, it’s his road, his decision. He has one of the qualities I most admire when I find it in others—an openness to new ideas and the courage to reinvent himself when he finds the road he’s on has grown too dull or too narrow to hold him.