Life as a Learner

I have had many experiences in my life that have contributed to my life as a learner.  Being a non-traditional college student, I would guess that I have encountered different learning experiences than many of my peers.

It was a cold morning.  I was very nervous and about to head out on my first deer hunt as an of-age hunter.  I had been watching a deer through my rifle scope for twenty minutes before it came into range.  The sun was just starting to crest the horizon.  It was well past legal shooting light.  I tried as hard as I could to control my breathing, then I shot and killed the deer.  When I went to retrieve the deer, I learned what a valuable role hunters play in the ecosystem.  It was in that moment that I knew I would be a hunter for life.

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Photo CC-By Johnny G.

 

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Photo CC-By macinate

Growing up in the Catholic Church, I always knew what a role faith had played in my family’s values.  I knew that it was something I wanted to continue for the rest of my life.  I was 18 years old when I was confirmed into the Catholic Church.  This was one of the first “adult” choices I made in my life.  I always knew that having faith was important, I just didn’t know how important until I packed my things and moved from New Mexico to Nebraska to go to college.  Quickly I learned that when things are not going your way, you always have an extra set of ears listening to your prayers.

 

 

study
Photo CC-By Bill Selak

 

My first big college exam was an essay format exam for a history class.  I spent a lot of extra time and effort studying for this exam.  I ended up earning an A on the exam and was very proud.  I learned from that experience that whatever you put into something is what you will get out of it.

 

 

family

 

Becoming a father was probably the single-most incredible event to ever happen to me.  It was truly an amazing experience to be gifted a life that I am responsible for loving and caring and for showing the way of the world.  From this life experience, I have truly learned what unconditional love is.

 

 

Finally, we come to the thing I have learned most recently.  Last September, I was surprised when I was let go from a job I had been at for 8.5 years when the company I was working for did some corporate restructuring.  I had been making fairly decent money and had never really thought about going back to school to get my degree.  When the layoffs happened, I still wasn’t thinking about it.  I ended up getting another job within the company, but I just didn’t have the passion for it anymore.  I had been coaching my boys in their sporting events since they were very small and absolutely loved teaching them.  My wife and I had a discussion about where we should go from there…and now here I am.  I’m going back to college to finish my degree.  The one thing that I learned from this life-changing experience is that one door closes, another one always opens.

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Photo CC-By Johnny G.
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2 thoughts on “Life as a Learner

  1. You are most definitely right; when one door closes another one does open. You have a beautiful family, and I think you are making an excellent choice going back to school for both yourself and them. I helped my dad coach my younger brother’s basketball team for three years, and it does instill a strong desire to help others in you. I am in school for both English Education and Coaching volleyball, basketball, and track and field. I hope that this experience is all that you want it to be and more!

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    1. Thanks Jessica…I think they’re pretty great too. There have been times that it has all just been a lot to handle, with still working full time, taking a full course load, and then still having to be a dad and a husband. Then I just have to remember that it is all going to be worth it in the end.

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