Wednesday 1 January 2020
So what is it the first day of, besides 2020? Well, it is the first day of the rest of our lives just like every day is. What is the first day of my life? It’s an acknowledgement that it is up to me how my life unfolds or plays out. The First Day of The Rest of My Life is also a long past due ambition to make a difference for myself. The question can be distilled down to, “What do you want?” Today is your day. Whatever it is you want, go and get it. There is nothing stopping you except, … everything! That’s right. Good decision making does not exist in the changing winds whatever is currently popular.
Be careful where you hang out. That is a principle of life. The best place I have ever hung out is Université Concordia. The place is full of people whose main importance in life is being the best student they can be. Being the best learner. It has been a very eye-opening experience for me. These fantastic people are there to succeed. They are fine examples for me. If you have to consider education for yourself or somebody else, think of Montréal. For English university students the choice is limited to McGill, Concordia and Bishop’s. So Montréal more than likely. Bishop’s is a small university. A big part of the appeal for me to come and work and study here was for Montréal itself. I have loved this city since 1964. But I was always a transient, a temporary resident. Finally after fifty-four years I moved here. I am a Québec resident. I even pay Québec taxes. I moved her on purpose. I plan to live my life here. There is more than I need or want for my life here.
Early this year I went to a talk by Chief Justice of The Québec Court of Appeal, Hon. Neil Kerserer. His two hour talk seemed lie only twenty minutes. But I sat in a very, accomplished successful audience. Judge Morton Minck who was (convening?), the event said the room was full of the top fifteen per cent of Québec Family Law practitioner’s. And me … in my jeans and tie-dye t-shirt looking like I may have gotten lost from the kitchen.
This is what happened. During a short break in the talk the lady lawyer sitting one seat away from me inquired as to who I was. She was asking if I was a lawyer. I explained my lack of accomplishment, that I had never even graduated high school. We only spoke for two minutes. Her advise to me; twice, was to become a lawyer. She was serious, sincere. She was very focussed when she told me that. She also lowered her eyes and her voice. I would not ever recognize her but this person made a large impression on me as to what really is available for a mature person like me who is going to get a degree. There are two types of law degrees in Québec. One of them is affordable. The other one is more expensive but renumeration for teaching and TA’ing can be significant also. Agreeing that I accepted the counsellor’s good advice, I still need to proceed as I am. The one thing I can ascertain is if I could speed the process up a little. But everything hinges on clearing this debt that is slowing me down. That’s why we should avoid debt; it slows us down. I mean those of us without resources. She was, is right. Because I am retired with a decent pension I don’t need to get an education to support myself. My education needs to allow me to become a scholar. Even if I go ahead and attain a law degree first I have to have that undergrad to qualify me or make me an eligible candidate.
Education can be a very fulfilling vocation for a person in their third life. It is for me. It is showing me a whole new reality. So that is the one side of me. The other side is the writer side. That is extremely important to me as well. Those are my two jobs. Writer and scholar. I will be back in school this coming Monday and then it will be a relentless 13 weeks of Latin 2. I can hardly wait. I really want to improve my ability this semester. I still have to decide on a second course, if that is what I want to do. I could do the one Latin 2 and then push my writing work. But if I am not going to do the writing then I should take another classics course. Or a writing course! Now I am distracting myself. I am so hungry for writing that I might just do it. Writing and publishing knowledge. Writing can be monetized. That can support my writing job. Good writers get paid. Maybe not a lot, but some do/can. With writing there at least exists the possibility to develop more than one income source. There also exists the possibility of “passive” income. Those I would have to research and learn about.
The other convenient pro about writing is that I can write whenever. I finished yesterday’s writing this morning at 0325. Here it is almost 1130 and this is my first post. I’ll finish this one and then go and work on the next one. The next one will also be about an hour or hour and a half. And it feels so good. That is what I like about it. It is becoming a habit. I wander around the kitchen in the morning asking myself, “What am I going to write about?” I don’t know in advance in my head what I will write about. But it is coming. I am starting to build things in my mind by asking that question, “What will I write about?” The cumulative aspect of the experience pays off. It would have been very uncomfortable for me to weasel out of writing today just because I went until three this morning. This is what matters. This is what makes a difference in my life.
Time to go.