Seven Years

Tommy: Did you hear I finally graduated?

Richard Hayden: Yeah, and just a shade under a decade, too, all right.

Tommy: You know, a lot of people go to college for seven years…

Tommy Boy

They say you never stop learning, and I am the epitome of that adage.

I graduated high school in ’82, received my Associates’ Degree in 2009, and am currently trying to get my Bachelors’ Degree through OSU-Tulsa. I’ve taken Spanish courses and marketing courses and continuing education courses in micro- and macro-economics. I was a MAS-certified trainer for a short while. I’ve been on leadership retreats, and even took piano lessons for a time. The fun never seems to end.

I’ve taken painting lessons and drawing lessons and guitar lessons and driving lessons. I learned how to coach young boys playing flag football and how to get little kids to play soccer. I know how to cook and load a dishwasher and put the dishes away. I was born knowing none of those things – I had to learn them as well.

I believe my constant desire to do new things – actually, my constant vacillation between what sparks my interest and what bores me – is the driving force behind my being a jack-of-all-trades (but master of none). Once I accomplish what I set out to do – whether it’s painting a tree or recording an album or writing a book – I’m ready to move on to the next thing.

I went back to college in 2004, after the twins were born. My wife and I were both working, and with three kids, one of us would have been working just to pay for daycare. She had the better benefits, so I quit my job and became a stay-at-home dad. I chose accounting because I already had a few credit hours, and that was the quickest degree I could get. I went to school at night, one or two classes at a time.

Seven years after the boys were born, I had my degree.

Fast forward a few years. I began taking junior-level course at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa back in 2013, taking a class here and a class there. Then I encountered marketing, and a new passion was born. I am leaning towards changing my course of study from business administration to marketing. In fact, I have a call in to my OSU-Tulsa guidance counselor to discuss making this change.

Regardless of which degree I pursue – business admin, marketing, or some other discipline that hasn’t yet piqued my interest – I should be able to complete the degree program by 2023.

Seven years after I started.

What I’ve Learned

I’ve learned that, for me at least, the process of learning new things is just as satisfying as having learned the thing.


  1. This is interesting. This is great that your university enables you to take classes at night. I studied business too but it was in France and the system there is pretty different.

    Liked by 1 person

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