A brief higher education journey

Today’s Bloganuary question is “What colleges have you attended?”

My answer is simple and long, if I care to make it long. College was a weird thing when it was approaching as I neared the end of high school. Neither parent went to college, and many of my extended family had no experience with it, either. I also was a decent baseball player, and was sure I would be playing baseball beyond high school. I was a poor student, due to boredom and interest in many other things, despite the fact that I was capable of handling anything high school teachers threw at me. I was a horrible test case for seeing what could happen in college, but it was what I was supposed to do, so I did it.

I applied to one school—Washington State University. I barely even know why. I had some friends interested in the place, but none of them went there. I just figured it was like the jobs I had gotten to that point—you apply and if they take you, yo go there. Well, that lack of adults with experience—including my high school guidance counselor telling me I should consider New Mexico State because it had a decent baseball program (he went there)—meant I had no idea what was next. All kinds of stuff got filled out by my parents and I eventually got accepted, but it was going to cost way more money than we had any business spending on college for a B-minus (generous, maybe?) student.

In the meantime, I had checked out a junior college where I would play baseball. The town was awful and the school had nothing that would interest me. I was quickly over that track. By this point, I had no idea what I was doing, and it was July of 1993. I should be starting classes in just over a month. My only option at that point was to drive to Reno and apply at the Admissions Office in person. It was my state school, so getting in should be no issue and it wasn’t. But I now was in school and signing up for classes using one of the most frustrating phone systems known to man. A few friends of mine and I can still remember the sound it made when you signed up for a class that was already full.

That was it. I attended the University of Nevada, Reno, met my wife, had a child, and didn’t finish my undergrad until 2004. During that time I worked part time on campus, had a mini career as a banker, had a second child, began work at the local PBS television station, and found what I wanted to do with myself for the foreseeable future. After finishing my degree, I was almost immediately interested in more, and I was accepted to an accelerated grad program in 2006. It was just over a year working in an active newsroom to create places where our journalism could be interactive. We were using blogging to build a news site. That program finished in 2007.

Since then, I have been on that same campus pretty much continually. I work today at the same university in my second department on campus. I spent a few years doing video and technical work for the athletics department, including directing live game feeds and in-house video feeds (scoreboards). I’m now at the School of Medicine in the IT department. I plan to retire from here in a few years.

This school has been great to me, and I see my path as exactly what the school is supposed to do. It should be taking in the state’s young adults and helping them find a way to contribute back to the state in a meaningful way. Where would I be without the ability to walk in and apply in to the school a month before classes begin? That should be available to everyone, and I am happy I get to be in a place where those values can be expressed and I can actually move things in that direction.

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January 03, 2024
Tags: education | college | bloganuary
Categories: Bloganuary