However, there's something that stands out in this dream: I dreamt about Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It's one of those odd things, because what I see in the dream looks nothing like my memories, or photographs, of Aquinas. This is where I experienced my Freshman and Sophomore years of college, my first two years away from home (even though Dad still paid for the majority of it), before the money ran out and I did my stint as a Federally Subsidised Tourist.
What is a Federally Subsidised Tourist, you may not ask. Well, the ad said, "Join the Navy, See the World." I did, and I did, at least parts of it. And when I finished my stint, and resumed my Academic Life with something of a prolonged Sophomore year because I switched my educational directions, I did so at a very different academic institution, and in a very different place, namely North Central Baja Jorja and at the University of Fl...Baja Jorja. In Nursing. Paid for about 98% by myself either directly or through the auspices of my rich Uncle, Sam, in return for that stint.
My major at Aquinas was pre-Engineering. Halfway through the second year it became obvious that I wouldn't be finishing up at AQ, yet still I continued with my pre-Engineering curriculum. Thus, some of my electives on my final college transcript (Bachelor of Science of Nursing) include "Strengths of Materials", "Structure and Design", "Engineering Graphics", and "Vectors in Design." Also on my electives list is the only formal art, and photography education that I've got.
So it's somewhat bemusing that when I experience this dream (it's happened before), the visuals are not from my memory, yet I am absolutely positive that where I am is at Aquinas. This time, my purpose there included working on a combined Masters, a Masters in Fine Art/Masters of Science in Nursing. This, despite the fact that I know I'm much closer to the end of my clinical nursing career and really don't need to get another degree at all.
Aquinas, as I said, measured the beginning of my academic career. And I can tell you that as an 18 and 19 year old student, academic performance did not list at the top of my priorities unlike after my stint as a F.S.T. This is quite obvious if one ever compares the two, separate, transcripts and grade point averages. I provided a great deal of frustration to several of my teachers then, and I know which ones: Mr. Sedlecky my engineering teacher, Sister Caroline my math teacher, and mostly Mr. McCormick my chemistry teacher. Now, my engineering grades were never bad, and in fact I recall some "B" grades in there, but I barely passed math and chem.
And in years much later, with such barely passing grades, amazed myself at my recall of principles and facts from both of those latter two courses. Simply astounded at how much those two teachers managed to force-feed me. And in once case, chemistry, terribly grateful that I did manage to pass because at UF at the time, Chemistry was one of the "weed-out" courses for the pre-Med students, very tough, and with little help from either faculty or grad student teaching assistants. In the other case, my prior math education also provided me with the only time in my life when I've "set the curve," a long story in itself involving a designated Algebra and Trigonometry pre-requisite class for the College of Nursing which could not be CLEP'd nor avoided by having higher math on the record already (the higher math also counts as electives).
I know what the source of these recurring dreams is. They don't recur frequently, and they always carry a certain feeling with them. I know I'm not likely to be involved with AQ again, despite the dreams and this feeling they bring. Herself is not interested in living somewhere that experiences any kind of regular snow accumulation, and Grand Rapids does. It's that I started off moving in one direction, started learning that meaningful relationships can be built, started picking up some formal background in one of my major passions in life, and then it stopped. When it resumed, it did so in a completely different direction, elsewhere.
Aquinas feels like unfinished business to me.