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Back in Michigan! I’m home. I’m chilling in Saginaw on a Friday night at my house right now. It feels like my life has been a revolving door of big adventures that have kept me uprooted and unable to settle. I’ve been back in Michigan for probably 5 weeks now and it’s weird. I’m here and I’m living a normal life again, or at least what constitutes as normal for me. I do know that there will be another definite uprooting adventure for me in the future. I’m waiting on a top secret security clearance, which typically takes a year, and then I’m off to military intelligence school for close to 5 months. That’s more like it. Typical Sam. However, in the mean time Saginaw is the spot apparently!

So what am I doing with my time? In keeping with always trying to stay busy and living life with a good sense of urgency, I’ve dived head first into a master program. What’s it in you ask? It is a Master of Science in Administration with a leadership concentration. So it’s essentially the most generic degree I could have chosen. So why did I chose it? Another good question, but I’ll tell you why. I get $6,000 an academic year for schooling through the Michigan state tuition assistance program. I can also get a 40% tuition discount at my alma mater Central Michigan University (FIRE UP CHIPS!!!) as a military member. So with a 40% tuition discount, my tuition rate is $340 a credit. That means I can essentially take 15 credits (well 17.6 credits, but most classes are 3 credits so really 5 classes for 15 credits) an academic year at zero cost to me! So I don’t know what I may need a master degree for, but I’d rather not be 35 and find out that I have to relearn how to school. Since I’m not that far removed from taking classes and it’s free I’m taking advantage of the benefit! But still why such a generic degree? Wouldn’t an MBA look better? Yes, I see your point but there is no 40% discount on the MBA credits. So there, that’s how I made that decision.

The summer semester is the last semester of the academic year with it resetting for the fall semester when kids typically go back to school. So in order to take full advantage of that $6,000 of state tuition assistance for this year I am cramming five 3-credit grad level classes into my already busy summer. This summer I have two 2-week training periods for the National Guard as well as weekend drills. I’ll be locked up in June at some point and then in August at another point for some good old fashioned Army training. Oh, I didn’t mention all my classes are online, and could potentially be at the global campus in Saginaw. So what am I doing to live? To stay alive and keep the lights on I’m back to work at the guitar shop. I work 10 hour days on Tuesdays and Thursdays and that gives me enough (so far) to support myself if I’m living frugally.

If that wasn’t enough, I’ve started a new hobby! I’ve been going to Jiu Jitsu 4 times a week since I got to Saginaw 5 weeks ago. With my wrestling background and other martial arts background it’s a sport that really suits me. I became pretty comfortable with the pace and technique almost right away. That doesn’t mean there still isn’t a lot to learn! If I roll with anyone who is more than a beginner it feels like I’m playing checkers and they’re playing chess! In Jiu Jitsu a black belt can often take over 10 years to achieve. There is just so much technique and muscle memory involved.

I started going because of a high school buddy who has been going for the last 3 or so years. He kicks my butt, but him and all the guys there are really great and easy to get along with. I’m really appreciative of being accepted into the gym culture pretty quickly. It’s nice to have a new group of guys to hang out with who have a similar interest. Also, my boss from the guitar shop goes a couple of times a week! How many employees get the opportunity to try and choke out there boss after work?! That’s pretty cool!

And that is what my summer will likely consist of! I had a couple of wedding to attend, but it looks like my National Guard drill weekends fall on both of them. We’ll have to play those weddings by ear, but that is part of the commitment I made! I’m excited to keep progressing in Jiu Jitsu, but I’m probably even more excited to finish these classes! I’ll update the blog with more adventurous things that will hopefully be happening in the future!

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