I'm a student again.

I am officially returning to York University to complete my Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in September.

In 1997, my fourth year of my undergrad, life had some upheaval. A bad break-up. My parents, split since I was 8 years old, decided to finally divorce and sell the house, leaving me paying rent. YorkU had one of its now-infamous strikes, which lasted about seven weeks and went to the end of the school year. I remember after classes were over, we were asked to "meet the professors" in the common area outside. 40 000 students milling about looking for hundreds of professors in a rabble.

One course teacher was on loan from another institution, and a number of us couldn't find her. A huge portion of our mark rested on the final studio assignment. We dropped the course, not knowing what else to do. I left, missing a 3rd year studio course.

I tried to go back the following fall and take a computer painting class, but the gruel of paying my bills, rent and student loans was killing me, and I dropped it. I spent months eating plain pasta with soy sauce and leftover low-fat muffins from my coffee shop job. I biked over an hour to get to that job, and was built like a rock. My family never had much money, and the idea of finishing my degree drifted away.

I'm proud of some of my choices. I've helped my wife get through her education and she is now a certified teacher with a specialty working with children with special needs, mainly in the autism spectrum. I have a good day-job at a company that treats people well, and I'm proud of my work there.

But the unfinished degree has always rankled. Like part of my life has been on hold. And I always enjoyed school, got good marks and felt like I applied much of what I learned. Studio courses at York require such a high time commitment you may only take 2 each school year. Hopefully, in one more calendar year, I will have my BFA and be annoying and put it after my name everywhere. "The Flying GlendonMellowBFA Trilobite Blog".

I enrolled about 30 minutes ago. I'm scheduled for a half course in Drawing and Narrative, and another in Painting 2-d & 3-d. Already a weight is cast off my shoulders.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite
Copyright to Glendon Mellow under Creative Commons Licence.

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