Monday, August 26, 2019

Night Before Returning

I wrote this yesterday.


I’m scared.  There- I said it.   

I have many emotions returning to Penn State to study for my PhD.  I graduated from PSU U-Park in 1989: a lifetime ago.  So much has changed in my life since then.  Time and Pain will do that to a person.   

Then there was Transition.

The University changed as well.  The Penn State I knew exists only in the memories of those of us who were there.  Now, children of my classmates have already come and graduated, and their youngest children are now here.  Penn State tends to be a family tradition. 

Not so for my daughter.  She is only eleven and made her first visit to PSU (that she remembers-she was here as a toddler) when she helped me move up to State College on Sunday.   

My daughter is one of my Fears.  I usually saw her once a week.  Now I might see her once or twice a month (her mother and I lived apart).  I’ve already missed her childhood.  What else will I miss?  

Will I make her proud of me? 

Will anyone even care? 

Monday, August 26, 2019.  An hour early for my first class

All my life, people told me that I’m smart.  I’ve relied on my brain to keep me alive despite it wanting to kill me.  Now, for the next five years, I will be testing whether I’m as smart as so many people thought I was.  It’s not a given that I will succeed- I've failed at so much in my life.  I define myself not by what I know, but by what I do not.   

Tomorrow is the first day of classes.  First step.  I know I have a support network, but in the end, it’s up to me to do this thing.  

I’m so scared. 


  1. You can do it Sophie. It’s not a matter of simply being smart, the world is full of smart people. It’s those with passion, determination and commitment that make the difference. As Bob Dylan recently said... “The only meaning in life is the creation of yourself as who you are...”

  2. Yes, you will make your daughter proud of you, Sophie. At some point, perhaps in six or seven, she will be be going to college and she will be thinking for herself without - dare I say - editorial comment from her mother. You know she'll be proud of you.

    Calie xx

    1. Her mother isn't the issue. It's her grandmother.

  3. Just saw this, Miss S - best of luck, and here's hoping your first week was a smashing success!