Growing up it was easy to justify calling October the beginning of winter. There was the infamous Halloween Blizzard in which a 17 year old me was working at the store which will probably become his only place of employment until its time to wear trifocials and oversized suspenders while flagging down the sympathic high school waitress at a $2/$4 table in Arizona. Shoveling snow for two hours AFTER my shift of stocking toilet paper and 12-packs of Coke products for the weekend dollar days sale, just to get my multi-colored 85' Nova hatchback on Bass Lake Road and home to two worried parents since the wonders of cell phones were left for those who earned slightly more than my $3.25 an hour. The beginning of the month however is best that this barren Nordic land can offer. A breeze with a slight nip tickles the senses just enough as the sun does its job by keeping you warm like a blanket during a bonfire. A last call for frolfing and taking the garbage out barefoot at anytime of the day.
October used to be a resting time, time to recoop from the summer's go-go-go schedule and September's month of work-work-work. But, now since some "friends" woke the sleeping academic bear inside of me, I am in my third quarter of studies which include an Introduction to Lit course. My previous exposure to such lofty writing was back in high school with an English teacher I admired but unfortunately his demands at the time and my already stacked class load which included HP Calculus and Physics along with the rigors of two-a-day baseball practice and part-time job, I took the easy way out and slid over to a different English course whose final consisted of watching Blade Runner as Harrison Ford battled the replicants.
This time there is no such option and nor would I take it, while I don't take my "writing" seriously, I do appreciate the chance to pick up a few pointers from those long dead and maybe mesh their works into my posting here for extra buttery flavor. And as the leaves fall on a daily basis and 15,347 trips to the county compost site become a weekly occurrance, its one more step in the direction of obtaining that degree. The steps are getting steeper at this point which more advanced Accounting terminology being introduced and again the Lit course with its 900+ page tome of Shakesphere, Keats, and Plath. All this as the breaths are starting to show during my son's soccer games and hot chocolate on the sidelines becomes more of a hand warmer than a belly one.
We'll see if the college dream implodes now that the subjects are brand spankin new and if the 35 year old freshman is up to the challenge of juggling school with family, work, and play. My only hope is to come out of this with a little more knowledge, little more tolerance, and a little more self-awareness in finding out just who am I besides some goofball that enjoys an adult beverage or seven at a card game.