Becoming A Mature Student

[This is an entry in my project to write something every day in the 100 days before my retirement, reflecting on my career and life]

97 Days and I’m not counting down yet…
May 26, 2018

Today is a Saturday and I’m imagining that once I’m retired, all days will seem like Saturdays.  Most people think of retirement as one continuous weekend and maybe in a sense, that’s what I’ve got to look forward to: entire days and weeks and months that are mine, all mine. No employer to report to every weekday morning and no young children needing my attention and care.

For the first couple years of my retirement I will be going to Carleton University to expand my knowledge and have some fun.  Not fun in the sense of going to the pub on Thursdays and getting smashed (although, who knows, there are going to be a lot of “firsts” on my retirement-horizon, and getting drunk may be one of them). Fun for me right now is the thirst-quenching satisfaction of sitting in a classroom or lecture theatre, listening to a professor.  And taking notes, and studying for tests, and writing essays, and doing research, and getting lost in the tunnels and MacOdrum Library at Carleton.  This may sound like a job to some, but not to me.

When I went to public and high school, I was an average or below average student, who never tried very hard on the academic side of things.  The social aspects of school are what attracted me and most days, I was the first to arrive at school and the last to leave. I would be at the door, greeting people as they arrived.  By the second month of grade nine in my first year of high school at Sir John A. MacDonald H.S. in Ottawa, I knew every teacher and student by name.  (There were 1,200 students.)  People have always fascinated me and I think high school is where I learned to be a people-watcher and a student of human behaviour.  Such fun.

But now I’m much less social and much more interested in the academics.  I started taking courses last September and went to Carleton every Tuesday and Thursday after work to take two courses. They were hard but I learned so much and was just as excited as an 18-year old, first year student when I got my final marks (yes, I passed both).

What will September bring when I am going full-time and have a full course load? Somehow, I think my weekends will be spent doing homework!