Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Incredible Woman #3 - LoriAnne Spear. Tuesday's questions

Kara: "Lori, I know education is very important to you. Can you tell us about your experience of going back to school to earn your degree when your kids were all older? Was that a hard decision to make? Talk about what you did to make that work.:

LoriAnne: "Going back to school was something I always wanted to do. I was one of those school nerd girls, who loved the first day of school, new pencils, new books, new teachers. I love to walk into a library and wish I could just inhale all the knowledge and stories in that place. When my husband called me from work one day eleven years ago and told me he was being transferred to an office in Utah County and that we should probably move there, the second thing out of his mouth was that now I could go back and finish my degree. After we were settled and the kids were in school, except for 3 year old Melia of course, I started looking into even seeing if it was possible – getting readmitted, the cost, what to do with Melia, all that seemed overwhelming, and I hadn’t even started thinking about papers and tests and stuff like that. But it was like eating an elephant, just start with one bite, just do one thing that moves you toward that goal. I called admissions and asked some questions, and before I knew it, an admission application and instructions arrived in the mail. So I just continued to take one step at a time. Get the ecclesiastical endorsement interview, look at what classes are offered, and before I knew it I was registered for an evening class. I started out small, just one religion class, I figured I hadn’t lost all knowledge in that area. I gained a little confidence with that first A, and I remembered how much I loved learning. The next semester was fall, but I didn’t want to leave Melia with sitters while I pursued this. So I applied to have her attend the preschool on campus, and she was accepted – and we both got to go to school. It was a great time for the two of us. I’d drop her off and go to two or three classes, then sometimes we’d go to the Courgareat for lunch, both of us with our backpacks on. Sometimes I’d see other students from my classes, and they were sometimes surprised that I had a kid. What was more surprising was when we’d see a student Melia would know, one of her student teachers, and they’d call out to her, and she’d call back in her little Minnie Mouse 4 year old voice “Hi Mr. Ben” or “Hi Miss Kim.” We’d have long walks back where I had to park the car, and she was always tired by the time we’d get home and take a nap (yay!). Then I could get a couple things done before the boys got home from school. During her kindergarten year, I couldn’t go to day classes; you can’t really do much when you have a kindergartener, so I just took one night class once a week that year. When she started 1st grade, and my oldest was 13, I figured I had a small window of time to hurry and finish while she was old enough for me to be gone, and my boys weren’t old enough to get into too much trouble, before they were teenagers. That was 2002, and I crammed as many credits into that Winter, Spring and Summer terms as I was
allowed to do, also doing a research internship that semester (thanks to Kara and her family for being my test subjects!). It was careful planning, but it was possible, but then I had to actually do all the work for that credit load. To that I must give credit to my husband. I was like a teenager in the house – I didn’t do the laundry, the grocery shopping, the dishes, hardly any cooking, never knew what the checking account balance was, didn’t worry about the monthly bills and budget. I rarely could help the kids with their homework. I went to school, came home, interacted a little bit with other family members, and then I studied and wrote many papers. Steve took on all of this, so I could finish. I will always be grateful to him for handling everything those crazy, stressful 8 months. I graduated on our 16th anniversary, and I feel like that was a gift he gave to me. I will always treasure the memories of those family members and friends, even Ellen who traveled from California, who supported me and believed in me, especially those times when I was so overwhelmed I wanted to give up. It was one of the hardest, but most rewarding things I’ve ever done, and I was so happy for myself that I finally did it."

: "As a mom of both boys and girls, can you tell us which is easier to raise? Why?"
LoriAnne: "From my experience, boys are harder on your house and cars, girls are harder on your emotions and checking account!"



Brenda said...

I don't have a son, but yes, I agree, girls really do a number on the emotions.

Micki said...

I agree with that...boys are harder to raise. It was a great interview!

Jan said...

Happy, Happy Birthday ... I'm a day late, but I hop it rendered many blessings :)

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