Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Back to School

This post is long overdue and I wonder if it the hubby shouldn't be the one to write it. While we never publicly announced it on this blog, Mike went back to school this fall. He is taking one online class through Park University. The class is "Disasters and Public Policy," and is part of Park's emergency management graduate program.

Most know and if not, it's quite apparent once you get to know Mike, that he is a MAJOR weather geek. While for the most part, this works in our family's favor -- I always know how to dress myself and the kids, hardly am ever caught off guard by a storm, continually prepared for the standard elevator topic of conversation, and you get the picture... However, now that we have children, I am just a touch more cautious when severe storms tear through our neck of the woods. What I find the most bothersome is Mike's desire to stand outside during severe spring storms while he is yelling at me to get the kids downstairs. When this is happening, I find myself thinking, "what the hell about you?" Of course, the more severe, the greater his interest, and if Lezak or Busby throws in the word "tornadic," I know I have lost him for the rest of the day. But to love him is to respect/tolerate/accept his love of the weather.

Earlier this year, Mike found himself unsure of his professional career path and his passion for his job. He was restless and started to consider other options. When Mike learned of Park's program, we discussed it over the course of a few days, and he came to the decision to give this a try. He was a excited but thought occasionally "what the hell did I just agree to?" My only complaint in the beginning was when he decided to enroll. If he had decided to enroll earlier in the summer, we could have applied for financial aid, so the savings account had to take a slight hit.

Having him take a class while working full-time has been challenging for him as he struggled to balance the demands of homework with the demands of a full-time job and a full-time family. While I have always supported him in this endeavor, I haven't always been the most accommodating or patient spouse. I admit it. He spoiled me. I was used to having an extra set of hands to help me during the evenings. When that went away, I got a little bitchy and quite whiny, but at the same time I did and do recognize the demands on him. I know he would rather be hanging with his family than doing homework. I get that, but it took me a few months to really appreciate it.

I can't speak to his overall experience. I am only a witness to it. He has been challenged. He has learned. He has adjusted to becoming a student again. He has had new experiences. Instead of wondering and romanticizing this idea of moving into the field of emergency management, he explored his interest. He hasn't decided if he will continue on this path or not. If he envisions or desires a career in emergency management, then I want him to continue and we will continue to adjust to the demands of school. If this experience gave him a glimpse into this type of work and he realizes his interest level is more as a hobby, then I believe he should close the book on this. Either way, I support him, and I truly am not leaning one way or the other. I am just proud of him for stepping outside of his box and taking a chance. He stopped talking and contemplating and took a leap. I respect that more than he probably knows.

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