After The Diploma

What happens after the diploma? I have memories of my 12 years of public education ending with graduation from Westbury High School in Houston, TX. I think I said something like,

“I am so glad this is over!”

TAMUGood attitude for someone who was about to start as a Freshman (FISH) at Texas A&M University in Collage Station, TX. I was ready for freedom from all the ‘restrictions’ of high school and freedom from living at home. I was a member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. I had arrived.

And I fell in love with my soul mate. We got married. I left Texas A&M and joined the US Army to “Be All You Can Be”. That was in 1967.

Fast forward to 1978

U of HAfter a 10 year span of serving in the US Army, I remember thinking that I really need to go back to college and get a degree in something. All the cool jobs required a degree. Off I went, in hot pursuit of my degree. For the next 5 years, I gave up everything for a college degree. My wife and kids stuck with me through this time even though I was an absent husband and dad. My focus was on ‘getting the degree’. Goal accomplished in 1983. I graduated from University of Houston  with a BSET (Bachelor of Science in Electronic Technology). Now I can go get one of those cool jobs. I went from one cool job to another. Moved my family from Houston, Texas to West Lebanon, New Hampshire, to Dayton, Ohio and back to Houston. Then one more move to Corpus Christ, TX for one more cool job – only to lose it like many others before.

Fast forward to 1995

After my last job loss, I did some major soul-searching. Eight months later, I had an Epiphany. God literally shook me and said,

Reflecting back on my life and education, I realized I had not applied any of my education to my life. So I did that.

Fast forward to 2011

I retired from my dream job. You could say I graduated – not from school, but from work, full of book learning and experiential learning. Now it was time to apply my experiences. It was time for me to transition from success to significance.

Fast forward to today

So what happens after the diploma? What happens when a student completes a course? Application happens. That’s right, application. The diagram below calls it Steady State Phase.

If we do not apply what we’ve learned, we lose what we learned. The Steady State Phase falls flat.

To my classmates from Blogging101, I encourage you to keep on keeping on. You may be behind on some of the assignments. Do not let that keep you from finishing what you started.

I wish I had learned that lesson way back in 1966.

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.


13 responses to “After The Diploma

  1. Great post Jerry, A lot of our lives parallel each other from starting college, then entering the service, then returning to college after the service, until today of living fulltime in an RV. By the way I did sign up for the Blogging 101.

    I did get my wife to read Carol’s post as she quilts as we travel. Hoping I can get here to post once in a while.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks for the feedback Dave.
      Maybe we will cross paths one day. I have lots of on-line buds that I would love to meet face to face. The Happiness Engineers at WP have a great support team to help you wiht the course. I am also available to help. Take photos of your wife’s projects and interview her about the project. That should give you fodder for a “new paper article” about her quilting work. It only took three years for Carol to write a post.

  2. Great Post! Congratulations on a life that has been so rewarding. And yes… as we graduate from blogging 101 we must take all that we have learned and keep on applying it.
    But what was really neat… was how we were all there to help each other out when it was needed. This blogging community is awesome.
    I will stop by here and then… just make sure to keep a pot of coffee going! 😉
    Oh and I Hope we get to see some pictures of your wife’s quilts!

  3. Congrats on finishing blogging 101. Will you be taking part in 201?

  4. Hindsight would be great right? This is a great post Jerry. I’ve had so much fun with these courses. I intend to apply all my learning! So you were a band nerd? My husband is a band director and I have a daughter who is a band director and my son is in music education in college and wants to continue on with a performance degree in percussion. Your instrument? ~Elle

  5. Sometimes the most valuable degree is the one earned while marching in the college band or just hanging around, and an education is one of the perks. It is definitely more difficult to be a student when there are adult responsibilities like working for an income. L-)

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