This is my twenty-fifth and final post, for age 25, of the October Memoir and Backstory Challenge hosted by Jane Anne McLachlan. My previous posts: Baby Speed Eater, Two Tales, Curls, Most Magical Christmas, Kindergarten, Places, Mental Health in 1969, The Boxcar Children, The Little House Books, Too Thin, Four Square, Curls: Take Two, Scouting, Schools, Sophomore Year, 1979 Book Review, Library Assistant, College Food, Dear Santa, The Muny, College Graduate, First Job, Cancer, and Book Review: The New Diary.
It took ten years to get my first Master’s degree. Except for teachers (who got more pay for more degrees), most people were in no particular hurry to complete the Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) program.
When I started my first class, I was still wearing a wig. MLA was my compensation for delayed plans of extended travel in order to hold on to my health insurance and live near my doctors until I was in remission. As it turned out, at that time, I was better suited to taking classes than world travel.
With the MLA program, I explored Greece in the 5th century BC, Europe in 1848, and Southeast Asia in the mid-20th century. I read fairy tales and essays. I appreciated the art of Michelangelo and the music of Richard Rogers. When I finished my undergraduate work, I had an engineering degree but not an education. MLA filled in the gaps.
In the time it took me to get my MLA degree I was married, divorced, and married again (I got the right guy the second time). I went through four offices and two titles at my first work place. I quit that job and started two businesses (neither particularly successful). I lived in two different apartments and then our first house. In an odd way, then, MLA was a safe port for me, something that I could keep going back to and working on while the rest of my life was in flux.
What have been your safe ports that hold you through the storms of life?
This is the final post for the October Memoir Challenge, but I’ll be back in a couple of days with a wrap-up post of thoughts about it.