November 15, 2013

Revolution Begins At Home

(Or, another one of those up-close-and-personal posts that pal Roger enjoys.
Outside of DePaul, Jackson & State
Because I haven't written one of these in awhile)

In the midst of everything, there's an ending coming in my life....and I hate endings.

I don't think I've mentioned it before, but I was fortunate enough to receive WIA funding to attend classes at DePaul Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. My focus has been on its Integrated Marketing Communications program, and yes, it's been geared towards finding work.

In many ways, it has been an unusual experience - much of it has felt familiar, since my undergraduate experience at Loyola was one of isolation, frequent use of the CTA, talking with friends via Prodigy, and focusing my attention solely on on schoolwork. (Thankfully, my graduate experience was a bit more open and social, focusing on beginning my professional career with a Harvard School of Public Health research project). Thankfully, being slightly older and more seasoned, my experience at DePaul has been much more positive and rewarding. Revisiting such tasks as getting my student ID and dealing with a tough class (especially an online class that has dense content with an instructor with seemingly little knowledge of how to teach) feels....well, let me put it in perspective: as a 20-something, I was surprised to be dealing with school matters when a lost Doctor Who story was found. As a current 40-something, I felt similar feelings - dealing with school matters when two lost Doctor Who stories were found.

On a strange level, I also feel more connected with my father, who has been gone for seven years now. Ironically, my father was a DePaul alumnus, having received his bachelor's and law degree from DePaul. In addition, my father and I had a very difficult, tumultous relationship. One of the great differences was that Dad wanted me to avoid some of his experiences having to juggle a family and schooling. Although I did not have a family, schooling was a challenge....but balancing after-hours schooling with professional efforts requires a strength of will - as well as time management acumen - that seems to have lasted into my current situation.

Ultimately, my experiences remind me not just how far I have come, but how much I've grown and am continuing to evolve. As a 20-something, my overall professional goal was to be a program director and work on chemical dependency prevention programs. My time living in St. Louis, working for both the Salvation Army and NCADA provided professional opportunities to work on both, allowing me to finally do what I always wanted to do when I grew up. My passions now lie in marketing - hopefully in the non-profit/social entrepreneurship space, but with a heightened awareness of crafting messages and knowing my potential audience. My returRevolution begins at home - preferably in the bathroom mirrorn to Chicago was motivated by my mother's precarious health, but now she's doing OK (with plenty of medical care) and celebrating her first year at her new bachelorette pad in a far south Chicago neighborhood.

Without indulging in melodrama, much of my life is in flux with little foreknowledge of the potential outcome. But it's reassuring to know that the old cliche is true, and to quote liner notes from one of my favorite albums, Revolution begins at home - preferably in the bathroom mirror.

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