Less than two weeks ago, I was shaking hands with and receiving congratulations from my master’s committee, as I had successfully defended my thesis.
A week ago, today, I received word that I had officially graduated from Weber State.
Fast forward seven days: I am now a student at Salt Lake Community College.
Forgive me, but that’s one hell of a demotion.
I have only myself to blame, really. As a student at BYU, I diligently avoided all language coursework outside of ASL (In my defense, I did successfully make it all the way up to ASL 402, before I stopped. How many kids do you know went that far in a language for which they never received a minor?). And BYU did not, at the time, require students to learn a classic language (derivations of Germanic, Latin, or Greek), to graduate in English. So I graduated and happily avoided learning a foreign tongue.
When I “Got into Weber,” I meticulously looked at the fine print, and realized, once again, I would be given a pass on the foreign language, as their requirements only stipulated that I had to have a BA from another university (If I had gotten a BS, I would have been required to take the language). They assumed if I had a BA, I had already learned my classic language (which would be true if I had graduated just a few years later from BYU).
Whelp kids, I’ve reached the end of the line. I can’t go one step farther in my education without studying a classic language. In order to successfully complete a Ph. D., I must acquire a third option for communication.
So let’s review. If you’ve completed your BA and your MA, and you don’t want to be hit up by any of your previous institutions for graduate tuition, where’s the best place to pick up language credit? That’s right, kids. You go back to a junior college, where you can still enroll as a non-matriculating student, without penalty.
So instead of peers who are professionals, I am now surrounded by students who barely graduated high school and have a permanent look of lost or, worse, vicious little puppies, with pins poking through their faces and black eyeliner.
"Yo necesito tu el lapiz y tu la sangre. Ahora!"
I can only say there’s one perk to going “back to high school,” as it were. I heard a phrase this morning that I haven’t heard in almost a decade: “There will be extra credit.”
Can you believe that?
PS BTW, I'm learning Spanish. I could cry.