Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Going it alone, not really.

Dustin Seelinger

Still from Swingin' Man

Still from Swingin' Man

Last week my wife was able to present at an international conference for mental health counseling as part of her graduate program at a neighboring school. Super proud of her. Her triumph meant extra challenges for me. Since it’s pretty much just her and I most of the time with the kiddos (our families are super busy and don’t live close) it meant that I was sole care provider for almost a week. Right in the middle of finals.

So I did what I had to. I rose to the occasion. The first few days were a walk in the park. Literally, we walked in the park and played on swings and slides. It was great. I didn’t really get any work done during that weekend. It was kind of a mini vacation before the major struggles were going to happen. Luckily I didn’t have any presentations to give during that time, but it was still stressful in its own right. On Monday, my mother-in-law was able to come by after she got off work so that I could go to class to be there for the half of class that did have presentations.

Tuesday was another throw away day. Thankfully, my Tuesday teacher was very understanding about why I had to miss class. I have found that the faculty at Columbia College Chicago are very respectful of professional conferences.

The only thing that I was extremely stressed about the whole week was making sure that I wouldn’t have to find a substitute for my Papermaking class. I haven’t missed a single day of teaching and I really was not sure if I would even be able to find someone to sub. Again, I had a family member step up to help me in my little sister-in-law. She came by to stay with the kiddos on Wednesday morning. I’m so grateful.

The reason I’m writing about this for Marginalia, is that I have a new found respect for any student that has children and is going it alone. I’ll admit, that it take my partner for granted and I don’t know how I would be able to do all of this without her for more than a week.

The one downside to going to Columbia College Chicago is that there is not a daycare on campus. Honestly it’s a big downside, but… There is a big but… I love this program. I made the choice to come here knowing that there wasn’t a daycare or preschool on campus. It has pushed me in directions that I never even considered. I just made two videos for a class final. Videos! If I had gone to any other of the programs I was interested in, there is every likelihood that I wouldn’t have pushed myself in as many new directions as I have gone this last year.

I also want to take this time to thank everyone that has helped me take care of my kids while chasing down this dream. Thank you!

Going it alone, not really.

Last week my wife was able to present at an international conference for mental health counseling as part of her graduate program at a neighboring school. Super proud of her. …

Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts MFA Dustin Seelinger, dustin.seelinger@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605