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Eighteen days, and I’m done. Eighteen days, and I’m no longer a student. Eighteen days, and I can put homework aside forevermore. Eighteen days, and my free time is my own to do with what I will.

I won’t lie and say it’s been easy. I won’t lie and say I’m glad I did it. I won’t even lie and say it’s been worth it. I certainly won’t lie and say it’s been fun.

bscIt’s been hard. It’s been very hard. The first Associate’s degree I earned in December 2013 was easier. That makes no sense whatsoever to me. The first degree was in web design, something I knew next to nothing about. The Associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies that I’m wrapping up now has been much more difficult to get through. I’ve worked at law firms for 18 years. I’ve been in Intellectual Property law for 10 of those years. Paralegal Studies should have been more of a no brainer for me. Parts of it have been. Parts of it have been mind-numbingly complicated and just plain confusing.

Maybe it’s because IP law is a fairly narrow focus and it’s a specialized area of law quite unlike the rest of the legal arena. Two of my classes have had a Trademark infringement litigation case at the center of their multi-part Portfolio projects. My classmates have complained bitterly that Intellectual Property law makes no sense. All I could think was, “ahh, at last, something that makes sense (to me)!”

I struggled the most with the criminal law class and its graphic descriptions from an actual court case where a man killed his stepson. I won’t give details because I don’t know them. I was honest and told the teacher and my classmates that I wouldn’t be reading the case word for word. I couldn’t. It made me physically sick, and it made me cry. I didn’t read that case or any of its minute details, and I still passed the class.

My least favorite assignments have been the silly ones geared towards the younger students who’ve never had a job in the real world. I don’t need to know how to put together a resume, search for a job, research a company and practice interviewing. This week we had to research budgeting and paying bills. Please. I’ve been fortunate in that the instructors have worked with me and have allowed me to do alternate assignments when I ask for them. I’m paying for this, too. I won’t do assignments that are a waste of my time, and I’ve politely told them so. I get that most college students are just kids, but in online classes where the students come from across the country, they need to also consider the adult learners.

Throughout the second degree, I’ve also been busy writing. My novels (racy romances) may never see the light of day, but I have two full ones written, and a third volume is three-quarters complete. I love them. I have enjoyed every moment of researching and writing them.

With all this homework and working full-time in a mentally demanding, detail-oriented job and also spending all my free time (lunch hours and downtime at home) furiously scribbling down chapters in my books, something had to give somewhere. I stopped blogging because I no longer had anything new or original to say. This post itself really says nothing profound or new, but I felt like writing it. My sleep schedule has also suffered. I wake up at night, and I have a mind that I can’t shut off. It churns a million miles an hour non-stop. I end up grabbing my phone and jotting notes to myself, and then I’m wide-awake. Hubby comes home on weekends, and I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve stayed up too late, then come to bed and watch him sleeping while I’m awake. I’ve had a few nights where I’ve been up until past 4:00 a.m. Thank goodness, those have been on weekends and not on work nights.

My light at the end of the tunnel is finally in sight, and my reward is already planned and purchased. I finish school at the end of April. I’ve elected to forego my graduation ceremony this time around. I walked the stage in 2014. I don’t need to do it again. I felt silly at 54. I figure at 57 I’ll just look like someone’s Grandmother, and I don’t have it in me this time. It’s not special this time. My graduation gift to myself (and to hubby) is two tickets in a great location at the Lakeside Amphitheatre in Syracuse, NY to see Def Leppard the end of June. I bought the best tickets available the first day they went on sale, and I spent a lot of money on the tickets – way more than I should have. I can’t wait to see them.IMG_0049

I have loved Def Leppard for thirty-three years ever since I first saw the video for Photograph on MTV in 1983. I finally decided I’d waited long enough to go see them! Every year they toured, I wanted to see them, but for one reason or another, I never got there. At first it was no one to go with when my partner in crime (my cousin) moved to Texas. Once I got married, it was either finances that kept me from buying tickets or the kids were too small and we couldn’t get a sitter, and I never got to go see them. It broke my heart every time. As the years went by, I’d say every year that I really wanted to see them at least once. Well, this year is my year.

So in eighteen days, I will be done once and for all with school, and all that will remain is paying back the mountain of debt that is my student loans. I’ll try not to focus too hard on that. I have the end of June to look forward to. I can’t wait!!!!

To prove that Def Leppard still rocks, here’s my favorite song off of their latest CD released October 30, 2015.

Images courtesy of bryantstratton.com, defleppard.com

Videos courtesy of youtube.com