I am very exited right now, but also I want to throw up in my mouth ever so slightly! The whole premise of this little exercise is to chronicle my efforts to make the world a better place through service, education, and lifestyle changes. In doing that I have made the decision to change careers, after nearly 10 years in my current field, and get into Environmental Science/Biology/Engineering. Which means I’ve gone back to school. Now, I’m not sure if I’ve explained this, but I also currently run my own business, so this has become quite the juggling act, and this fall I will add a few more balls in the air. Hence the aforementioned trepidation-induced nausea! I am in the process of obtaining both my Associate in Science, and my Associate in Arts from the local community college. Since I have a wealth of previous credits, I will actually qualify for both these degrees by taking only a handful of classes. This will absolve me of having to complete any Gen. Ed. requirements, should I matriculate to a four year University, which is the ultimate goal. So that’s the manageable part. Where I’ve thrown a spanner into my own works is; I have also enrolled at a community college about 45 minutes up the road, because they have an Associate Degree of Applied Science in Environmental Science Technology. Therefore, this Fall, and next Spring, I will be taking classes here in town, and online through the school just up the road. In Spring of 2018 I will have earned my Associate of Science, and my Associate of Arts from the local community college. I will roll right into the Summer semester of 2018 taking classes full time, on campus, up the road, and will continue to do so until Spring of 2019, at which point I will have earned my Associate of Applied Science in Environmental Science Technology. In two year’s time I will have earned three degrees, which is exciting, except for the part where I have to take 17 credit hours Fall of 2018! Que the gut punch sound effect! All the while remember that I have a business to run, volunteer work to perform, and a personal life to live in there somewhere. The pay off is that I will have two degrees that transfer to a four year school, and one that qualifies me to actually begin working in my field. Keep in mind that on top of all of this, as if it’s not enough already, I am getting my Environmental Educator Certificate from the NC DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality), and my Volunteer Hunter Safety Instructor Certification. The former requires several upon several work shops, that I do student teaching of sorts, quite a bit of travel, and culminates in a community project that I am to design, and execute, in conjunction with a local organization. The latter is nearly complete, but once finished I will be leading Hunter Safety Courses, which will be another item to add to my already full schedule. I’m hoping that all of my volunteer work will provide me with not only valuable experience, but also with contacts that could lead to employment once I graduate in two years. I’m not going to lie, it’s a lot; it’s a lot of time, energy, money, and brain power to pull all this off, and I’m sometimes fearful that I can’t do it. I’m very lucky to have an excellent support system here at home, and am immeasurably thankful to all the wonderful people I have in my life who encourage me, and reassure me that I can do this. Now I’m making this cockamamie scheme public on the world wide web, and that makes me accountable, which is another layer of both anxiety and motivation. I may have to, in the immortal words of my father, “fall back and punt”, but once I make up my mind that something is going to happen, I generally make it happen. I’ve pulled through some major set backs in my life before, and will continue to do so, as nothing ever goes exactly according to plan. But for now, that’s the plan, it may have to change, but I intend to see this through. Here goes something!