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  • Okay, I know, it's just a piece of paper. It and $2.15 will get me a venti dark roast at Starbucks. No Big Deal, right?

    I started the quest for this piece of paper in 1984 at Cuyamaca College in La Mesa, California and transferred over to Grossmont College to receive my Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts in 1987. From there I transferred to San Diego State University when I pursued a Bachelor of Arts in English, but a job offer came up I couldn't turn down. In 1989, I left San Diego for Las Vegas, with a start up company called Re-Search Networks, a head hunting firm. They folded in six months.

    From Las Vegas I moved to Peoria, Illinois as a Regional Manager with Professional Resume and Writing , Inc. Three months later, it was sold to CareerPro, Inc. It lasted two years.

    Through several other positions, I ended up working for Caterpillar, Inc. as a Specialty Grinder, a factory position running several types of machines producing clutch plates. As an employee there, I had access to the Caterpillar Tuition Assistance Program. In 2005, I began a year of studies at Bradley University.

    In 2006, I was told, while I had more than enough credits to be awarded the Bachelor of Arts in English from the standpoint of required classes, I lacked a Foreign Language. Folks, I have tried to learn Spanish and Russian, both of which I truly suck at. I can do the basic greetings, and know enough to let others know that is the extent of my knowledge. Call it fate, kismet, karma, whatever. But a foreign language is not in my forte of talents.

    About two months ago, I ran into a former professor, now the Department Chair of the English Department, outside the Credit Union. After speaking with him for a few minutes, he mentioned they had changed the degree requirements and were now offering a Bachelor of Science in English. A B.S., as you may know, does not require a foreign language. After a quick moment of realization, Professor Prescott said, "Hey, that affects you!".

    After a few emails, I was told by Patricia Hill in the Dean's office that I was qualified and would receive my diploma.

    Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, family and friends. I MADE IT!

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