Back to School!

August 28, 2009

This time of year always brings a smile to my face because when I was little, I used to LOVE to go back to school.  A few days before school would start, my mom would go up to the school office and get my supply list (yes, I grew up in the dark ages before the internet).  We’d go to the Piggly Wiggly and load up on supplies:  pencils (remember in 1st and 2nd grade they made you use those extra-fat pencils?), paste (I could hardly wait to be in 3rd grade where they used actual Elmer’s Glue instead of paste!), and my “Big Chief” tablet of paper (anyone else remember the “Big Chief” tablets with extra-thick lines for learning to write your letters?).  I loved those tablets…they had a very distinct smell…and for years I’d associate that paper-smell with school. I’d march into class wearing my “first day of school” outfit (my mom always made sure I had a special outfit for the first day) and carrying my bag of supplies.  I LOVED school.  Loved my teachers, loved the classwork, heck I even loved eating lunch in the school cafeteria, where I paid a whopping 35 cents for a hot, homemade meal and a cold carton of milk.   And maybe because I had such wonderful experiences in those early elementary years, my good attitude about school and learning continued all through high school, where I graduated in the top 10% of my class, and all through college, where I graduated magna cum laude. 

It’s been 22 years since I graduated with honors from James Madison University.  I still go back to visit every few years, and every time I do I think about what an unforgettable, life-changing experience college was for me.    The classes I took, and the life-lessons I learned have served me well as I’ve pursued my career and personal goals.   Over the years, I’ve toyed with the idea of going back to school to get my Master’s Degree.  It’s certainly not a requirement for someone in television news.   But I’ve looked into the different programs offered by local colleges and universities and I’ve always wondered “Could I do it?”

I’m going to find out!  This year I’ve enrolled at Lourdes College to get my Master’s of Organizational Leadership.  It’s a relatively new program described to me by someone as “an MBA without the numbers.”   We look at how people make organizations work in the corporate and social sectors, and how to be effective leaders in those situations.    It will take a little more than 2 years, and it’s pretty intense:  for my first class, I have to have two textbooks read, and be prepared to dissect a chapter and lead the class in discussion.  But there’s something incredibly exciting about continuing my education and when I went to my student orientation last week, I couldn’t stop smiling.  While I do occasionally bat my head against the wall and say to myself “what are you THINKING?  When are you going to have time for schoolwork?” I also find myself completely looking forward to learning the material. 

As a 40-something wife and mother, it’s also a bit exciting to have a college ID in my purse.  Now, if I could just find myself a “Big Chief” tablet…



  1. WTG Chrys!

    I too will be returning to school next semester, and as coincidence would have it, I too will be attending Lourdes! I’m a bit older than you (55 – cough) so don’t let that whole “am I too old to be doing this” thing get you down… although with your love of learning, I don’t think that will be a problem. 🙂

    Maybe we’ll meet in the cafeteria (I hear the food is great there – lol) and if not, at least we’ll both be rooting for the Wolves. 🙂

  2. Good luck to you Chyrs, some how I think you will do just fine. God bless you.

  3. Thanks, Lawrence! I’ll be looking for you in your Gray Wolves T-shirt! 🙂

  4. Thank you Mary!! I’ll need those blessings! 🙂

  5. Hi Chrys,

    I, too, loved school but never pursued anything past my high school graduation.

    I dedicated myself to becoming and wife and mother (age 19).

    You are an inspiration to all that watch your TV news and I know you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

    We watch you every evening and look forward to your wisdom.

    Good luck to you in your new endeavor !!!


  6. Thank you for your encouragement and kindness, Marilyn!! My first class Saturday was awesome! 🙂

  7. Chrys, I know you will do well–I went to college the first time at 24 and then again I graduated last year with a certificate in a whole different field–trying to change with the times–I am 54 and still have 2 teenagers at home and I made it and it make for soem great family bonding when you all sit down to do homework together–enjoy

  8. Good for you, LaVonne! Thanks for being an inspiration!!

  9. Good Luck! I am sure you will do well. I too have always loved school and I too went back to school 20+ years after graduating as a RN. I obtained my Bachelor’s degree, went on for a Master’s and all I have to do is figure out a subject I can write 150 pages ono and I will have my PhD. I wish you the best, God bless.

  10. Thank you Sue!
    I appreciate your kindness…and WAY TO GO back at ya! Now write that dissertation and get that PhD!! 🙂

  11. Oh, come on, that second textbook was just a tiny little monograph. 🙂 It was fun to teach the class, so I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  12. Hi Dr. Jen! Okay…maybe a little creative license for the blog, since I can’t use it in my school papers! 🙂

  13. Well, isn’t that something! I tried to look up the company and found they had been bought up by Mead Corp. years ago. Thanks, Marj!

  14. Way to go! I love learning new things. Sure it’s not easy but the best things in life never are!

  15. Welcome to Lourdes College. I am a 40something married with two kids working on BS in Social Work. Good luck

  16. I think this is GREAT Chrys! Good for you! Plus this is a good example to many wives and mothers. You will do an awesome job! Best wishes 🙂

  17. Way to go Chrys!! I went back to school after 29 years too. I lost my job last summer and had to make a career change. I love getting up and going to school! I absolutely love learning! I am double majoring; going for an RN degree first, then while I wait for clinicals, I’m obtaining my Psych Degree. I was an average student in high school as I just wanted to have fun. Now, that I’m paying for my own schooling, I’m taking a different approach and am actually on the deans list!! It will be tough, but with the support of your family, it’s an awesome feeling!! Good luck in all you do. Prioritize and DO take those times for the family. I have a 9 year old son and sometimes I just have to say no to school work! I have loved following you on the news and wish you nothing but the best!!

  18. Hello Chrys,
    So did you look at the links and are you going to buy that cheaper one?
    Good Luck at school.

  19. Thank you Greta! I’ll look for you around campus!!

  20. Thanks, Shirley!

  21. I didn’t realize they were considered antiques!

  22. Brenda…what an inspiration you are! I will take your advice to heart! Way to go for both of us!! 🙂

  23. Way to go, Chrys!

    After working full-time as a secretary for 13 years and then being a stay-at-home mom for eight years, I decided to pursue my college education last year! I am taking classes at Owens. I will be 40 this month and I am loving school just like you are! My ultimate goal is to get a Bachelor’s degree (not sure in what yet) and then a Masters. I’m just taking this all one step at a time. Good luck to you! You can do it!

    -Angie Mintz

  24. Wow! This post/comments gave me chills. I have been at my job for 10 years and find it recession proof, I told myself that when my last kid went off to college I was going to make a career change. My child has been in college a few years and even changed her major and moved back home instead of a dorm. I don’t want to use her as an excuse for not continuing my education but, (there is always a but), I am scared. I am 42 and once again, I am scared of change. I am so comfortable where I am in my life, even though I know my calling. I thank you all for your comments and I just want to remain a “toys r us kid”, for now. I am not ready to grow up and accept my calling of being a “teacher”, and a adoptive mom right now. I know there is a class room that I was meant to teach and a child waiting for me and my husband to adopt. I have been blessed with having my own kids and kids have adopted me and my family. In typing this I know that I have to do what I have to do. FIND THE FUNDS TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL. If I can get some of my kids off my payroll I might have enough money for me to go back to school. I am 42. Me and 2 of my kids had the same second grade teacher that lives a few blocks away from us. She was a great teacher along with my freshman English teacher who was Mexican. Kudoes to Mrs. K and Mrs. G. I never want a teacher to know that what they taught did not matter. My child who is not living in a dorm but back at home changed her major from Pre Med to Early Childhood Education. I am so proud. Not every mom wants their child to be a doctor. I truely do belive that me and my last born were born to be teachers. We are both teachers everyday in our neighborhood and outside. A mind and a gift is really a terrible thing to waste and you can teach a old “willing” dog new tricks. Teachers rock and do make a difference in a kids life. I am living proof of that. I have 3 great kids and even the ones who adopeted us years ago when we bought our house makes us better neighbors and vice versa. A community it not a me but a we.

  25. wow, full time job, parenting and now school! you are impressive. miss you.

  26. Miss you too, Beck!

  27. Hi Chrys!

    Good job in returning to school. It doesn’t matter our age, our minds are never too old to learn. I’m 38 and working on an associates from Owens with plans to transfer to BGSU to complete my bachelors. I have teenagers at home and work full time so it does get challenging. Good luck with school and take it one day at a time. Look forward to hearing updates 🙂

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