Monday, March 12, 2018


I haven't told my son that the reason I was able to graduate from the University of Colorado was because I was able to crutch my way to Music Appreciation on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for a semester. There are a number of other reasons that I eventually found myself out of the maze of higher education, not the least of which was the bushel of English and Film Study credits that I had amassed during my stay at that ivory tower. It was only after a visit to an academic counselor, who looked at my transcript and insisted that I stop taking all those literature and movie classes, and was put on a path toward graduation.
It turns out that you need to have a certain amount of a certain amount of credits in order to receive a degree. Simply cobbling together a bunch of learnings that seemed to make sense at the time that I filled out the registration form was not the way. As it turns out, I needed a plan. Part of that plan included me getting some vegetables to go with that cheeseburger of a transcript I was creating. Stop taking creative writing workshops and take some kind of art other than language.
I picked Music Appreciation. This was only after I spent the period I would have attended summer school flat on my back recovering from knee surgery. Once I was back on my feet, with the aid of the aforementioned crutches, it was time to begin the Fall Semester. As the Autumn leaves began to fall, I endured the traipse across campus with the vision of a diploma dancing in my head. It was a marathon I was willing to hobble through to finish up my undergraduate degree.
Then came the ice and snow. The path I traveled took me from my apartment across a shopping center parking lot, then a short hop to the music building. On two good legs that parking lot became treacherous once the drifts began to pile up and melt. And freeze again. With my backpack strapped on tight, I waddled out into the expanse sometime in November and began to make my way across the tundra. First the left crutch flew up, then the right. I stood there for a moment or two, extended arms pinwheeling in the air for balance before I fell over backward in a heap. The backpack broke my fall. After a moment or two, I struggle back to my "feet" and began my trek anew. Twenty yards further on, up went the left, up went the right, and down I fell once again.
It was the third time that I stayed down a little longer. I figured eventually the cadaver dogs would find my body, and only kind words would be said about me for making all that effort just to get to Music Appreciation.
I did make it to class that day. On time. A little worse for wear. And I did pass the class. Consequently I appreciate music as a college graduate. Priceless.

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