A wise person once wrote, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”. Essentially, it says that even the greatest and most thought out plan can get derailed by life. Never has a sentiment been more true for me. You see, I started the ASL Studies Program at Montgomery College 10 years ago, with stars in my eyes and a grand plan. Then, life decided that I needed more excitement, which basically means that I got swept up in a whirlwind that included a marriage, a baby, lots of travel and meeting interesting people, and a career change. And while I would argue that the marriage and baby are the MOST important part of the “life whirlwind”, it’s the career change that has led me back to finishing what I started at MC, lo, those many years ago.
Now, making the decision to return to MC was an easy one. The college has done a great job with structuring so much of “college life” around a working person’s schedule, that I almost feel like I haven’t missed a bit. At the same time, I’m also 10 years older with a preschool-aged kid and a few more creaky joints and gray hairs. Walking around campus feels both nostalgic and modern, all at the same time. For instance, there’s a new garage that didn’t exist 10 years ago, and an entire new building being built. Parking permits are no longer the sticker variety (thank GOODNESS!), but are now a lovely little (REMOVABLE) hang tag.
But while some things have changed, there are many things that have stayed the same. Knowing the exact right place to park in order to get to and from class in a timely manner is still one of the most important pieces of information to have when starting classes. Raiding vending machines during break time for evening classes is still an acceptable “dinner”. And, of course, homework and studying are the 2 things that seem to NEVER change.
Even the ASL Studies Program, which I have returned to complete, has undergone a few changes. Several of the classes in the current iteration of the program were not around 10 years ago. The changes are actually amazing as they help to give a very well-rounded approach to American Sign Language as a language, and more options for exploring careers in the field of Deaf education or Sign Language interpretation.
Returning to school as a full-time working adult and parent is no easy feat, as my life is now a weird mix of crayons and group projects and finger paints and textbooks. While I know that my “free time” will be a thing of the past until I finish, I also know that this will be one of the most rewarding things that I will do for myself.
All in all, I am super excited to be back at MC and to be once again involved in the life of the school!