A quarter too far

In September 1944, the Allies conceived of an operation to quickly end World War II by launching a massive, combined airborne and ground offensive in the German-held Netherlands to seize several bridgeheads across major European rivers and thereby expose the German heartland to the threat of Allied attack. The operation, code named Market Garden would culminate in the seizure of the bridge over the Rhur in the Dutch town of Arnhem.

As retold in the book A Bridge Too Far (and later in a classic movie by the same name), the operation proved to be a disaster for the Allies that stranded the British 1st Airborne Division deep inside German occupied territory without relief for ten days before what remained of it could finally be evacuated by Allied forces. The failure of Market Garden represents one of the classic warning tales of overextending mechanized combat forces by over-emphasizing their strike capabilities.

Since January 2007, I have completed 11 consecutive quarters of college work, resulting in 3 degrees. This January, I attempted to start my 12th quarter toward completion of my 4th degree, but it proved to be one quarter too many.

As a result, I dropped all of my classes and plan to take at least the rest of winter and probably also spring quarter off from college.

There are many reasons why this proved to be necessary, but the most significant is probably my ability to sustain the pace. Twelve quarters is equivalent to the amount of schooling most people complete in four years, but I tried to cram the same amount of work into three years. As a result, my willpower is tired, my mind is tired, and my checkbook is tired.

What I plan to do now is take a strategic pause and reassess what I am doing and why I am doing it before I decide what I need to do next. As things currently stand, I have three classes to complete at Sinclair for my Art associate’s degree and, depending on how Wright State awards me credit, I may have as little as 20 hours of specific coursework remaining to finish an English bachelor’s degree. It is entirely possible that I will resume taking classes in the fall, but I will just have to see.