Today was the first day of what will be a year-long process for me. The end result will be another degree (as if two are not enough) and another certification. By March of 2016 I will have an AAS in Environmental Horticulture and I will be eligible to sit for the Certified Professional Horticulturist exam via the Washington State Nursery and Landscape Association.
I was so nervous about starting school again that I didn’t sleep very well last night. I kept dreaming that I couldn’t find my classroom and that everyone was laughing at me because I didn’t know anything about horticulture, plants or anything to do with pruning or soils.
And I didn’t. No kidding.
I’m in class for six hours every day. This quarter we are studying soils, pruning, Winter plant ID and working in the greenhouse as part of the horticulture lab. My first quiz is on Friday and I am going to attempt to grow four crops for the big plant sale at the end of April/ beginning of May as one of my graded assignments. I’m just hoping I can actually grow something!
I used to love working in my yard and with my houseplants. That all changed when the WASband became ill and we couldn’t have any soil in the house for fear of exposing him to molds and fungus. I pretty much gave up on anything green and extracurricular activities at that point. Besides, it wasn’t fun for me anymore.
Things change, thank goodness for that. My passion for green growing things really hasn’t changed. I still love them. Now I get the opportunity to get back into growing things and working toward my dreams.
We were asked to introduce ourselves today and answer one of three questions. As a new student, the only relevant question for me was “why are you enrolled in this program?”
I didn’t want to go into too much detail, but I did explain that Fred and I were preparing to move back to the village to live and this program would help me learn what I needed to know to be able to feed myself, and my family. It will also allow us to learn what we need to know to become self-reliant.
Don’t get me wrong, I am still terrified that I will not do well. It has been a long time since I have had to memorize or learn anything even remotely biology/ botany related. I am required to learn eight to 10 plants, trees and shrubs per week for the next 52 weeks. That is, of course, in addition to all of our other curriculum. I’m excited though!
Wish me luck. I see a lot of long nights ahead of me…