First Step.

When I decided to return to college to pursue a completely different career (but something I am very interested in), I was hesitant. I have to admit that I felt very ‘safe’ in what I had been doing for the telephone company. I worked with a great group of people, I had a handle on what my responsibilities were and tried to do my job to the best of my ability. While my work felt safe and comfortable, I didn’t feel challenged.

It was Earl’s prompting that convinced me that I should take that leap and go back to school for a degree in Civil Engineering. He has more confidence in me than I have in myself. I was convinced that I would be a lousy student, since I was a lousy college student the first time around 20 years ago. I was all worried that I would be this old guy sitting in a room of young folks that were avoiding me like the plague.

I quickly learned that there are a lot of adults heading back to school and that I easily connected with my fellow students. I was a little rusty when it came to studying and quite frankly I don’t know how the young folks do it these days; there’s so many distractions with instant messenger, iPods, cell phones and whatnot, during my first run at college I had a hard enough time dealing with Rock 102 on the radio and Bewitched reruns blaring on the television set.

Nevertheless, I tried my hardest at my five courses this first semester. I participated in class discussions and took the initiative in my drafting classes when I felt I had a handle on the drawing but others around me were struggling.

Today I got my first “report card”. I don’t like to brag, but…


I start my one summer class on Monday. It’s a math class I must take to catch up with the rest of my peers, since I hadn’t done advanced algebra in 20+ years and I needed to take a refresher course this past semester.

In January I was very nervous about starting school. Today I’m actually excited to be starting classes again.


  1. I couldn’t be more proud of my big brother. Congratulations…you have wroked so hard and your dedication certainly paid off. I love you.

  2. YAHOOOOOOOO!!!! couldn’t be more proud of you – and I know if your dad could use one of these he would be saying the same things.. We knew you could do it Patrick. No doubts – ever. You have worked so hard and so diligently, even with the distractions you mention… Go get them old man! Move over world here comes MY SON! I love you.. Go Celebrate..

  3. Congrats on the 4.0! One thing I found when I went back to nursing school at the age of 38, was that us “older” folk usually always got better grades than the young whipersnappers in class with us. Older students tend to be more focused and goal oriented I think.

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