Monday, August 2, 2010

Trying something new

On Saturday, I'm going to graduate from college. I'll finally receive the bachelors degree that I've been spending the better part of my twenties working on. I took the "road less travelled" approach to college. I spent a semester at a private school in West Palm Beach, Florida. It wasn't really my thing. So, I dropped out and came back home to Bradenton, Florida. I enrolled in Manatee Community College. Mom and Dad wanted me to go to college. My attendance there was sporadic at first, but then I found the school newspaper which gave me a reason to go to class. Graduation came swiftly. I had an associates degree. That's when I took time off from college and went to broadcasting school. It was a ten thousand dollar image of something better. My segue into outdoor television taught me not to believe in everything you see.

I also married Christopher, he's the love of my life, and without him I would not be inspired to write some of these things down.

My outdoor television experience led me back to the restaurant industry where I went back to slinging scrambled eggs and mediocre coffee to old people for about a buck a head. It was good money, but completely unfulfilling. The idea of finishing my degree was lingering in my head. And one day, after dropping off a plate of pancakes, I decided it was time to go back.

I enrolled in the 2008 fall semester at University of South Florida St. Petersburg into the department of Journalism and Media studies. The next two years were a whirlwind of activity. There were papers to write and things to design. There were laws to learn and ethics to understand. The cycle seemed endless. There were so many classes to take, and so much to absorb that when this last semester ended everything in my life seemed to come to a screeching halt.

It was over. I'd reached the end of the process. There were no more classes to be taken. All academic requirements had been fulfilled. And here I sit today, waiting five more days to officially be done. A huge void developed in my life that was not ready to be filled with a career or starting a family. I enjoyed going to school, and now that this part was ending I needed to find something else to do.

During my time at USFSP, I had the chance to take a sports journalism course taught by, in my opinion, an excellent sports writer. It was there that I learned to appreciate athletics, and athletes for training to be great at something. It was in that very class that I found my love for roller derby.

As I finished my course work I thought about what I would do to fill my time when I was done with school. What was going to take up that 25 hours a week I spent in class and studying? The idea of being a derby girl began to pop in my head. Why not?

So tonight, I went to my very first practice. I borrowed some pads, a helmet and some skates. I stepped out onto the same wood floor I skated on as a child and let the wheels take me. It was time to become a Bradentucky Bomber.

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