Yesterday, I started my Chemistry 201 class, the next step in my long journey to eventually get a Pharmacy degree. I'd had to talk to a counselor to get out of the prerequisite-- either Chemistry 121 or a basic math course. I'd had both, nearly 30 years ago. In fact I'd sweated through ten semester hours of Calculus as a freshman at North Central College in 1979 and 1980.
In order to check to see if we were really ready for the class, our teacher put six algebra problems on the board. Suddenly, after a 30 year absence, algebra reappeared in my life.
Surprisingly, it all came back to me. Thankfully, the kid sitting next to me was a math major, and with a few kind reminders from him, I was able to do all six problems.
We took a break and spent the rest of the first day of class choosing a lab station and checking in our drawerful of lab equipment. The professor also checked that we knew how to safely light a bunsen burner.
The class was fascinating. The ages, genders and ethnicities were mixed. I'm pretty sure that at 46 I'm the oldest guy there. But there was an enthusiasm and sense of the future that was fun to be part of. Sunday night, I'd had a lot of anxiety about the class. Yesterday, though, I knew I was exactly where I needed to be.