Back up plan

OK, I know I screwed up my essay.  I know that Teresa isn’t happy with my choice of major.  I know a lot of things that go against going to WGU.  So, I made an appointment for Friday morning with an advisor at DMACC, the localish community college (35 minutes or so).  Yes, DMACC actually costs a little more.  Yes, it’s not as convenient as having as many classes that I can cram into a term.   Yes, I would be giving up my #2 dream to be a teacher.

That being said, I have looked into and talked to a couple medical schools.  Yup, if you are gonna dream, dream big.  My head shakes, but my hands are actually pretty solid, and the head shaking is mostly when I am nervous.  I have asked 3 medical schools if bipolar and head shaking would rule me out and they all said No.  That it’s mostly grades and MCAT and extra curricular stuff.  So, I am gonna talk to an adviser at DMACC about pre-med.  Yeah, I would be the oldest guy in school to be a doctor, but its not unheard of.  And the #25 in the nation med school is in Iowa City.

I have no idea where I am going with this.  I sincerely want to be a doctor…  Family Medicine Doctor to be exact.  Wanted to be one all my life.  Before teacher, before race car driver, before anything, I wanted to be a doctor.

So Friday, I talk to my adviser at DMACC and see what options there are to be had.  Who knows 11 years from now, when I am 57 years old, I might be Dr. Jeffrey A Campbell.





I finally took the readiness test.  I think I did well on the math and grammar parts.  But I am sure I totally bombed the essay. Most embarrassing really, I could write a 10 page paper on the subject now, but when the clock was on, I froze.  Total blank as to what to write.  I am sure it was all incoherent babble that finally got put down on paper.  I just hope they take into consideration I haven’t written an essay in 25 years.  But it was long enough, it was in balanced paragraphs, it did have a hypothesis and it did sum up at the end.  It’s just the middle that sucked.

So, I talk to Katie tomorrow.  She is my entrance counselor for Interdisciplinary Studies (K-8).  Hopefully she will have the answer for me if I am gonna get in with that essay or not.  If I don’t get in this time, I can retake the essay part in 2 months, which would mean May testing for a June start.  June to November, December to May… not the best set up since I am not around the end of November ever (Thanksgivingfest).  But if I start in June, I am still on the 2016-2017 financial aid I believe.  That is what I want.

If I find out tomorrow that I am not getting in, I may talk to DMACC again and start there this summer and pick up some credits (which would all transfer to WGU).  Who knows, if I pick up some science credits I could switch to a High School Science teacher major, those are needed EVERYWHERE.  Apparently, nobody likes to teach science anymore.

Nah, I want to stay with Elementary Education.  But I would like to take some serious science classes (elementary school science just doesn’t count).  I already looked at DMACC’s summer schedule.  If I want to haul my butt up to Ankeny 4 days a week, I can take Intro to Biology and Intro to General Chemistry.  They of course meet Monday Wednesday and Tuesday Thursday just to be annoying. But I don’t know if I would want to handle 2 science courses in the same summer session.

Let’s just hope that WGU forgives my horrible essay and lets me in.  Then I don’t have to worry about anything else.

Oh, by the way, I texted my therapist today.  She has been up in Rochester, Minnesota with her husband who has Leukemia (of all things).  I texted her just asking if she planned to be in town any time soon or if not, was there another therapist at her place that I could see.  The last thing I expected was for her to say, I will come see you.  I didn’t want to take her away from her husband, but its been 6 months or so since I saw her, and I kind of got a lot going on and could use someone to talk to.  I will have a serious talk with her about seeing another therapist cuz she needs or rather he needs her more than she realizes.  I know.








It has been decided

After a long talk with Teresa, we have came to the conclusion that she has no faith in my ability to go thru school.  Yup, none what-so-ever.  It’s ok, I know where she is coming from, as I have stated before I don’t have 100% confidence I can do this, but dammit, I have to try.   I have to try for several reasons.

  1.  It gives me something to do besides sit on my butt playing computer games and reading Facebook posts all day.
  2. I need a purpose for living.  Yes, I love Teresa and my family and friends, but some days a person needs to think, “I live to do this or because of that.”  Not just for someone else.
  3. If I succeed, I will be able to become a productive member of society again.  Something I can’t claim and haven’t been able to claim for many years.
  4. I will be able to actually contribute to our household.  Yeah, I get my disability check, but that isn’t much and being on disability sucks.
  5. And finally, if I succeed, I will get a job and actually leave the house with purpose.

And I have decided I am going to major in Interdisciplinary Education (K-8).  Which is basically elementary and middle school general type studies.  Yup, I am going to try to become a teacher.

As I said before, being a teacher was dream #2.  Since dream #1 is impossible now.  Dream #2 is best choice.  I want to pay homage to all the great teachers I had growing up… Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. Bedell, Mr. Still, and those teachers I can’t quite remember the name of.  I was lucky.  I want to show Mr. Halashack that an asthmatic kid who couldn’t graduate normally from high school can eventually make a comeback and become a teacher.

I know that some of you who know me don’t think I can hack it as a teacher.  Well, you may very well be right, but there is only one way to find out and that is to try.

By the way, the starting salary for a teacher in Des Moines in $32,685.00.  Which is chump change.  Good thing Teresa has a good job.

My sister-in-law said that I should only do this if I felt it was a calling.  Yeah, its calling and dammit, I am gonna answer the call.

Heh, I will be 52 when I graduate, giving me roughly 10 or so years to work before retiring.  Then again, that would be the same with any job I got now.  Yeah, I could do the computer degree in 3 years probably and the teaching one is probably going to take 5.  That is fine, a couple years makes no real difference.

In the words of the Animals…  “It’s my life and I’ll do what I want”  Yes, this is what I want.







I didn’t take the Readiness test today either.  More TV with the wife.  Shouldn’t try to get anything accomplished on the weekends. It’s all good, there is always tomorrow.

But I have been thinking… About my major.  I am set to major in Information Technologies- Network Administration as of now.  Teresa, however, has stated that the odds of me getting a good job or rather decent pay in Des Moines even with a Degree and 8 certifications is pretty low.  So, I have been kicking around another idea.

OK, so anyone who knows me knows I want to be a doctor.  That’s never going to happen.  The biggest reason is that I have the shakes most of the time.  Not my bipolar.  Stupid lithium I took for 3 months totally messed me up.  Plus by the time I finished Med School I would be in my mid-late 50s, and doing residency at that age would kill me.

So comes dream #2.  Yeah, being a doctor would’ve been cool.  But what about being a teacher?  I think Mr. Campbell would be a great teacher.  The program at WGU is 5 years for a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (K-8).  Yeah, I am not up for high school aged, but I think I would rock at 5th grade or so classroom.

I haven’t talked this out with Teresa.  She has agreed to let me go to school, but she isn’t happy about it.  And when I tried to talk to her about it, she said she didn’t want to get into it tonight.  So, I think it’s going to be ultimately up to me to decide.

Yes, I know that teachers make chump change for pay.  But the benefits at the Des Moines School district kinda rock.  And I would feel that I would be a productive member of society again.  And I can totally mess with young kids minds… no serious, help mold young kids into upstanding youths.

WGU works to help students set up their student teaching, they say within 2 hours or so drive from where the student is located.  I would guess for me it’d be more like 45 minutes or so, the drive into Des Moines.  I am sure there are teachers in Des Moines that would just love to have a student teacher for a few weeks.

Then when I graduate, I would have credentials to teach in Utah.   A couple tests later, I would have my license in Iowa.

I like this idea.  I don’t care about the money, really I don’t.  But I really need to talk to Teresa about it.  It would mean 5 years in school instead of 3 or 4.   More student loan debt.  But it would pretty much guarantee me a job anywhere she might want to move.  Everywhere needs teachers it seems.

So, It’s either a job which may or may not be BORING and pays 45k ish to start.  Or a teaching gig which I doubt is ever BORING (except grading papers would get BORING I think) which pays 36k ish (in Des Moines, starting).  I think not being bored would win out.

So I pose this question to my teacher and ex-teacher friends and family….  Do you think that Jeff Campbell would make a good teacher?









Heh, I didn’t take the test this evening like I planned to.  I watched TV with Teresa instead.  Not a big deal, will take it tomorrow for sure.  It’s not that I am chicken, it’s not that I meant to put it off, just sort of happened that I didn’t take it today.


Woot and Argh

Teresa finally said it was ok for me to try school again.  So, I sent in my application to WGU.  They normally charge 65 bucks to apply, but they sent me a free app code, so its all good there.

Anxiety has already started though 😦  Anxious about taking the Readiness Exams.  You know the tests to determine if you know enough for the basic courses.  When I went to start at DMACC I did ok on the math, but sorta bombed the English part.

Dealing with new anxiety and my therapist is out of town.  Hmmm, I think I may need a new therapist to help me get going on this.  I need somewhere to vent and talk thru what is going on inside my head.  I think I will text my therapist (and hope I don’t disturb her too much, she is with her husband who is being treated for leukemia) and see about getting a new therapist from the same place.

Anyhow, at the last moment of the application filing I changed the security emphasis to network administration.  Not sure why.  Just seems right.  Again, its all good, I can change my major at any time during the first 3 terms because classes are the same for all IT majors.  Judging by the jobs available at, there are about 50 times more network admin jobs than network security jobs available in Des Moines.  And besides, Teresa can help me with a lot of the network admin stuff.

So now, I am hoping to be a 46 year old Freshman.  And hoping to finish my first Bachelor’s degree at age 50.  Just roughly 30 years later than originally planned.  But a school like WGU didn’t exist 30 years ago.  So, I am gonna try this now.

Like I said before, I am hoping to start on May 1st.  It will mean my terms are May-October and then November-April.  Since its all self-paced, they start people any month they want.  I like this setup.  I know they hold commencement ceremonies in Utah twice a year.  My mom had declared we have to go if I do graduate.  It’s all good, I look good in purple and white (the schools robes are a deep purple color and the tassels are white).  But I am getting way ahead of myself.  Have to start school before I think about graduation.

Let me see, tonight I will force myself to take the readiness exams.  I sure hope I do ok on them.  Would hate to be told I can’t attend because I am too unprepared for college.  It has been a long time since I have solved for x or even figured out what 1/2 of 2/3 is.  But I can figure this stuff out.  And I get to write an essay.  First essay I have written in over 20 years. FUN FUN FUN.

I grumble, but I got this.  It’s all good.  Seriously, if it is meant to be, I will pass these readiness exams, upload my resume, and get admitted to school.  If its not, then I am no worse for wear.  If I can’t get in, I just give up and go back to the original plan (well, the original of a couple weeks ago).

And so I come to another entry in my blog.  Sorry for boring you few who are reading, but this is how I am dealing with the anxiety.  Writing about it has always helped.  My old livejournal blog was driven by anxiety.  I hope this blog becomes full of goodness and rightness and not just anxiety driven blather.











More on School

Well, Teresa hasn’t said No to me going to school.  Lack of no means I am treating it as a yes.  I will be starting school hopefully in May.

Which will have my terms going May-Oct, Nov-April.  I can handle that setup.

Have been trying to do my FAFSA to get student loans but the link to the IRS to pull tax info for the FAFSA is down for maintenance…  for 3 days now.

Its all good though, I talk to Kelsey, my enrollment counselor tomorrow at 2:40 or was it 2:45, oh well, doesn’t matter 5 minutes, I will just be sitting on my butt anyway.

Tomorrow I will also be filling out my application for admission, WGU gave me a code to wave the 65 dollar fee that normally is required.  That was mighty nice of them.

I have decided I am going for a BS in IT-Security.  It was that or Software Development.  I thought about it, and I don’t see myself as a programmer.  Sitting at a desk for 8+ hours a day sifting thru code would probably drive me more insane.  Cyber Security really interests me.  So that is where I am gonna go with this.

If things go as planned, I should graduate in 2021.  Heh, I didn’t think I would live that long.  Leukemia odds are very against it, but hey, I am doing well there.

Anyway, I hope to get my FAFSA done today or tomorrow.  I may have to fill out the tax info myself (with help from my mom) on the FAFSA.  And hoping I get my application in tomorrow.  And I hope I get all my ducks in a row so I can get started in May… application, acceptance, financial aid, orientation class, all of it.

I will be exceptionally happy if I can pull this off.  Not just getting set up to start in May… I am talking the whole thing.  Finally getting a degree.  Despite everything that has put this off for oh so many years.  I think it might actually happen this time.  And if it does, I will traipse all the way to Utah to walk in the graduation ceremony.  LOL.  Make my mom proud.