After a false start as a draftsman he was hired as a night-shift computer operator at the age of 19. By the time I met him he was the 25-year-old manager of that data center. As the years went by he steadily advanced in his career, becoming the VP of Information Systems for his second employer in 1991. When that company's ownership made some seriously bad business decisions causing the company to flounder three years later he was quickly snatched up by one of the largest medical concerns in the Houston area where he has remained. He is very good at what he does and extremely well respected not only within the organization, but also throughout the the information systems community at large. Because of this, the question of his educational background never bothered anyone. But him.
Throughout the first 20 years of our marriage he sporadically attempted to attend college. However, the demands of running 24-x-7 technology departments would always take their toll on his efforts. Even so, he never gave up on the dream of getting a degree. The advent of Internet-based distance learning provided him the opportunity to finally reach for that previously unreachable sheepskin-shaped star.
We did loads of research and finally found Kaplan University's on-line degree program. While they are accredited by the same folks as the University of Phoenix, their tuition costs run about half or less, and include free shipment of any books and/or software that may be required to complete the classes, but cannot be made available online. Their course structure and scheduling allowed great flexibility and was ideal for students who had to work for a living while attending school.
With the enthusiasm of a starving kid set loose in a cookie factory, in mid-2004, at the age of 50, Hubby threw himself, heart and soul, into his studies. For the next 3-1/2 years through all of the trials with my Girl and some pretty enormous changes at work he kept pushing himself toward his goal. His normal routine involved getting up at around 5:30 a.m. to arrive at work by 6:30, leaving work at 6:00 p.m. (or later) in time to get home for whatever seminar he was supposed to be attending online or to work on homework. He rarely hit the sheets until well after midnight. He rarely took time off even on the weekends. For that 3-1/2 years there was virtually no family time. And I would not have had it any other way because I had never before seen him feeling so good about himself. I was honored to be the behind-the-scenes support that helped put that smile on his face every time he got an assignment back with a 100 on it.
In March 2008 Hubby completed his courses, earning a his Bachelor of Science in Management with Information Systems Emphasis. He not only accomplished this in 3-1/2 years, he did it with a 3.99 GPA. (Would have been a 4.0 but he challenged one professor on a paper. He won that challenge, but then on the final, when an essay question could have been interpreted either of two ways, the professor chose the "screw you you insulent, impudent, peon" interpretation. While Hubby again challenged the decision, this time the dean chose to defer to the professor's decision robbing Hubby of that 1/10 of a point that would have allowed him to graduate with the highest honors. I don't understand why some people have to have that type of god-complex control issues! But that's a topic for another day.) This accomplishment makes Hubby the VERY FIRST male in his entire family - uncles, brothers, cousins, 2nd cousins.. you get it - to graduate college. Sadly, not a one of his family members has bothered to send their congratulations. Again - that's a whole 'nother topic of discussion.
On Saturday, August 2, 2008, at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall, Hubby finally took the walk of a lifetime. I cried like a baby. So here, I proudly present the man of my dreams as he finally fulfils his:
Congratulations, honey. You never let anybody shake your will to succeed and I could not be more proud and honored to be your wife. Your example of never giving up and always believing in yourself is a gift to all who know you.