My Mama Didn’t Graduate on Time

Little things I learn about my mom through the simplest of conversations can be my biggest lessons in life. A random afternoon conversation while I was traveling from one job to the next diverted from talk about the weekend to the statement, “Did I ever tell you I didn’t graduate from college on time?”

“Huh. What?” was my reaction, but I held it in as my sweet, almost 70-year-old earthly inspiration told me the interestingly, funny tale of how a beloved professor her senior year, who had entrusted my Mama to teach her Shorthand Class (Google it) in her absence, and often used her as a representative, gave her a “D” resulting in my Mama’s inability to graduate with the Alabama State University Class of 1968. I listened as my Mama told me how she tried her best to sway the teacher into a better grade. Not only did this professor give her a big, fat D, she and the college leader turned down the smooth talkings of my grandfather as he tried to convince them through subtle name dropping to graduate his oldest daughter. They both succeeded in being unsuccessful.

On the verge of truly feeling sorry for the 20-something year old who must have been devastated and embarrassed to no end by not graduating on time, my flirtation with pity on her was quickly interrupted by her sweet, reassuring voice and the confident phrase, “Oh well! Everything worked together for the good of those who love the Lord! It all worked out for me. Had I graduated on time I wouldn’t have gotten that GREAT government job that ASU selected me to work for in Federal Court that year. At my Daddy’s advice I finished the retake of the course I got a D in. I was assigned to do student teaching in the great Robert E. Lee High School and my teacher, Ms. Dixie Hicks ADORED ME. She got married and recommended me as her replacement… and I got your Daddy. The rest is history!”

And just like that, I was served up a mighty lesson from a seasoned teacher in the classroom and in life.

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  • Oh well!(That pretty much sums up a lot of things which hurt, but will end up helping.)
  • Father knows best.
  • Things don’t always turn out the way we want them to. (They often turn out better.)
  • Sometimes an A, B, or C can’t compete with a new career. (Regardless of a D.) (And by the way, guess who wrote her recommendation for the job…yep, the professor:))
  • The thing you think you fail at will be used to help others. (My Mama went on to teach Shorthand (Google it again) to high school students for decades. Like literally, decades.)
  • Sometimes a Bae or a Boo end up lasting MUCH longer than an A, B, or C, and certainly the sting of an ill-fated D. (My parents are officially 46 years married in June 2016, still hold hands and still go out on diabetes-approved hot dates!) (Ha! Take that D!)

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@AngelaMMoore316

Deuces Sallie, Deuces

If you’ve read any of my blog posts since I started you’ll know that I’ve tried to be very honest about the different seasons the Lord has had me in in life. With that said, it’s no secret or even shame of mine to say that I have struggled financially the last few years like never before. I won’t go into reasons now, as I’m still waiting for the final testimonies of this long-enduring test. (And when I tell you it’s coming…oh boy, it’s coming!!!) But today, in the midst of it all I have a praise report. God saw fit to allow me to FINALLY PAY OFF MY STUDENT LOANS!!!!!!!! Yep, you read correctly. I’m officially on the outs with Sallie Mae, or Navient as she now calls herself. No more letters, no more automated phone calls, no more “pay me now” emails, no more rolling my eyes as I tore the little paper out of the payment book, no more emails to my old Hotmail account (cause that’s how long we’ve been in this love/hate relationship). Nope… nothing, nada, zilch!

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I’m thankful for my stellar education from The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. My degree, and associations rooted there have certainly served me well. I recognize that many weren’t blessed to even be able to take a loan out to pursue education. I’m also aware that many aren’t in a place yet to pay or pay off that debt. However, if someone would have told me the route to pay off my portion of that academic honor would take two decades I probably would have sold some plasma (or something), styled hair in my dorm on the side or worked five part-time jobs just to not have taken this journey. But I didn’t and that’s life.

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So yes, it took 20 years to finally pay off and the timing came when things were as financially tight as a pair of brand new Spanx, but God was faithful to me even when I wasn’t faithful to Him. And He was certainly faithful to me when I was NOT thinking about being faithful to paying that doggone bill every month. He did that!!!

All glory goes to my great God!

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@AngelaMMoore316

It’s Never Too Late to Learn

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Earlier this year a story was published about a 99-year-old woman who, against all kinds of odds, went back to school to obtain her associate degree in social sciences. Doreetha Daniels made it through strokes, hearing and sight issues and the loss of her driver’s license to be able to become the oldest graduate of College of the Canyons in California. At 99-years-old, she’d done this after also overcoming the Great Depression, WWII, the Civil Rights movement, and the rest of history which happened as whatever else was going on in her life was also happening. As only someone who’s had to live by her own personal mantra, when asked her advice for others, Ms. Daniels offered words of wisdom to others simply saying, “Don’t give up.”

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Just this week I was having a conversation with a friend about school. We were talking about how far she’d come and how close to the finish line she was, as obvious by the pressing thought of her taking a break being so pronounced. She’d done so much and accomplished so much that it was only natural, this close to the finish line, to want to plop down on the bench for a spell. Sometimes we have to do that. Some other times we have to just keep on pressing. There are only two people who can make the final call of which way to go…God and you. Anywho, after talking to my friend I thought about myself. At age 43, and primed for some new, exciting career and civic experiences, I questioned if I too, had plopped down on the bench for a spell, not knowing my time there had long ago expired. I’ve had many amazing jobs in life, and many opportunities for unconventional, continued learning since college, but I have a feeling, thanks to my dear friend, that the time is now for more. Like Ms. Daniels, I think it’s about time for me to get back in the learning game. I don’t know how that looks. I don’t know where that will be. I don’t know if it will be in a class, in front of a computer, some simple research, obtaining certifications, some seminars, webinars, conferences or retreats, studying a mentor or intense shadowing. I definitely don’t know how I’ll do it, but I do know that there are new passions within me ready to be put into certified action. I lied. They’re actually not new. They’ve been simmering on low for quite a while. I’ve just been on the bench sleeping, and sleeping on them. It’s time for them to wake up and make me some money, and more importantly some impact in the world around me.

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When I was growing up I had a larger than most head. (Take a look at any of my fabulous photos and you can see that the same remains.) When children would say I had a “big head” I would reply with my hand on my made-up hip that, “It was because I had a big brain so I could learn a lot” #Boom Don’t ask me how I came up with that reply to prove my point to them, but it worked. I would shut that adolescent banter down like nobody’s business. Now, with hands on my real hips, it’s time to put that little quip into action, expanding the knowledge in my brain and proving a point to no one other than Angela Michele Scott Moore (until I get a new last name one day). It’s never too late to learn.

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@AngelaMMoore316