The vice president for student services bent Sam's ear at a graduation reception for NCTC's TRIO students earlier this month, and convinced him that an associate's degree was within his grasp.
Sam had given up a few years ago and started pursuing the certificate, rather than a full degree, after he took American Government (more on that in a minute).
We learned that he no longer needs American Government to get the associate's degree. NCTC has since changed its core class requirements and the history class he took fulfills that humanities requirement.
Just a few more computer classes, probably all online, and he can file for the associate's degree. In Texas, that degree is some serious higher education currency. With it, he can transfer all 30 hours to any public, 4-year institution and be halfway to a bachelor's degree.
And that might mean something some day.
I was devastated when he made that run at American Government two summers ago, because it was the last non-computer class -- the last real hurdle -- to an associate's degree. Similar to college algebra and one of his other core classes, I thought he would take it all the way through to the last possible day to drop, drop the class, and try again.
It's not the best way to go at a class, I suppose, but it worked for Sam.
When he got to the last day and dropped, I asked him when he would take another swing at American Government.
Came his answer: "I don't care how many times I take American Government, Mom, I'll never understand it."
Amen to that, Sam. Amen to that.