School Dis-Orientation (August 9)

Last night I went to Transfer Orientation with two other post-novices at my school: St. Xavier University. It's a required seminar that each student must take before joining. But instead of being oriented with the school I realized the disturbing reality of returning to school as a 35 year old.
Back in Novitiate, the thought of returning to higher education was exciting. I have a lot of regret about how I misused my last college experience, and there's a huge part of me that wants to be challenged. I realize that I am the type of person that likes to learn, and that my weakness comes from a lack of patience more than anything else.

So coming in, I felt that being older would give me a distinct advantage. Well, it also proved to be a reality shocker for me as well.

While I don't think I was nervous going into the orientation (I was with 2 others that I already knew!), I realized the age difference right away. It seemed like those my age were the ones in charge: the people working in Financial Aid, the people who were Department Heads, and even the head of security looked about my age.

It wasn't until we sat down and talked to some of the other students that I finally heard: "It's nice to meet you, sir."

"Sir!?" I surveyed the other transfer students, and realized I was the oldest student.

There are several different struggles I will have to tangle with as I return to college. While the age difference was only a slight embarrassment, I realize that my interactions with students, faculty, and staff will also be shaped by my age difference. I'd like to think it's a good thing, but I've already had a few experiences where I feel the need to remind people that I'm not a "regular college kid."

Since I haven't identified as a Capuchin with many people at the university; although I don't forsee that as being a big issue at a traditionally-Catholic school. But it is still a part of this experience of returning to school.

And I haven't even started to discuss what it's like for a celibate man to return to college! I don't think I need to go into details.

Needless to say, the journey back to school proves to be just as intriguing as the rest of my vocational story. Who knows what will happen, but I'm sure it will all make for great blogging throughout the year.

I'm sure there's a movie about this somewhere.

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1 Response to School Dis-Orientation (August 9)

August 22, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Br. Vito, it could be worse. Think pre-Franciscan: you're in a club and you go up to a girl and ask, "Don't I know you from somewhere?" And she cooly responds, "I don't think so, SIR."
Hey, it's all relative. (You get use to it.)