he did it

I guess it’s been around four or five years now since the time I got sick of listening to the same complaints over and over about his job.

He was so unhappy and it was falling over into our home life.

It had started to go downhill after his dad died in 2005, and by 2008 it was getting tougher and tougher for him to leave work and all the crap of it at work.

As I was finishing up my Master’s Degree in the spring of 2008, I said to him, “Why don’t you go back to school?”

“For what? Business? Sales?”

He was thinking narrowly about getting better at a job he hated.

“What if you could do anything?  Anything at all.  Seriously. If you could get paid to do anything what would it be?”

He didn’t have an immediate answer, but after some thinking he said, “something with computers.”

I had a feeling he would say that since he had always been the resident “geek” in our family and group of friends.  He was self-taught so far–tinkering with old hardware and figuring out how to fix all of our gadgets by himself.

“Babe? That is totally a thing, you know.  Like a well-paying thing. You could totally do that.  Go to school for a degree in nerd…I mean computers.”

He smiled. “I’ll think about it.”

(He’s not a spontaneous decision-maker.  Which is good, because I am.)

That fall I was knocked up and Cort was taking his first college classes.

He was also laid off from the job he hated and never had to go back (Thank you, Bernie and Justin, for the job he now has that he enjoys!).

It’s been four years since the end of that first semester.

Four long years of Cort gone a number of nights a week.

Of weekends spent on homework.

Of worrying about grades and due dates.

Of arranging pick up from daycare.

Of needing evening babysitters when his class schedule and my work schedule overlap.

Of saying “no” to things we would like to do because Cort has class or homework to do.

Of solo-parenting Eddie…and then also Charlie…while daddy is gone.

Of doing everything we can to help Cort not just succeed, but do so brilliantly (can you say Dean’s list EVERY semester?)

He has been working toward this for more of our life together than not.

My only regret about the past four years is not looking into when the college held commencement.  They do not have a winter ceremony, therefore Cort has chosen not to walk (he feels like it will be weird to come back and walk in May, and I have to say I sort of agree with him).

I wish he could put on that cap and gown and walk across that stage.  He deserves it so much.

I wish I could tell you how proud I am.

At 18, he entered the university where I was.  He had no direction and no idea what he wanted to do.  Not surprisingly, he was distracted by other things and failed.

The following year he entered the university where his girlfriend was.  And again failed because of lack of direction and motivation.

He decided he wasn’t college material.

He was only partially correct.  He wasn’t college material then.

He had no motivation or direction.

But this time he did.

He surprised himself over and over with his grades, his study habits, his writing skills.

And I beamed.  Because I knew he could do it.  To watch him prove that to himself is a joy I can’t really put words to.

He has a tendency to be humble.  To push attention off himself…even when I know he feels good about what he has accomplished.

(From what his mom tells me, he has always been a spotlight avoider.  I do not understand this behavior! Ha!)

I asked him what he wanted to do to celebrate.  He wanted nothing.



I don’t do “nothing” when it comes to an achievement like this.

So because he doesn’t have a stage to walk across or a cap and gown to put on (I did offer one of mine to him to just wear around the house or maybe to the office.  He declined.  Such a weirdo.), I decided to have a little get-together.

Just our family.

Just some appetizers.

No gifts or banners or fanfare.

But he deserves to be recognized for all his hard work and accomplishments.

For the TWO associate degrees he earned in the past four years.

Cort? I am so proud of you. So SO proud.


Yeah you, good-looking.

Way to go.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. TheNextMartha says

    Yeah. Way to go Cort. That is great.

  2. Congratulations!!!

    You’re celebrating him here, which is super awesomesauce.

  3. Congratulations Cort!

  4. Congratulations to him! It is quite the accomplishment and something you both should be quite proud of.

  5. STANDS UP AND CHEERS !!!!! That is awesome and what made it even easier for him was having someone remind him in his corner that he absolutely COULD do this..

  6. Congratulations to Cort!

  7. WOOTWOOT!!!! So so so amazing, Katie!!!! Go Cort!

  8. Congrats Cort! I so wish I could go back to school. I wasn’t college material back then either and ended up dropping out. I love hearing when someone starts to live their dream! I am a geek too. I also happen to work for an IT company, even though I don’t do any of the technical stuff. 🙂

  9. Congrats to you both for making it through. It takes guts to put yourself out there and try again.

  10. I have many friends who went (or are going) back to school later on in life and it makes me tear up EVERY TIME including this one. Congrats, Cort.

  11. Way to go indeed. It is hard as hell being an adult student but it’s also immensely worth it. Congratulations, both of you.

  12. CONGRATS! I have a husband in college right now and I know the toll it takes on him in so many ways, so Cort – amazing job. Really.

  13. Congrats, Cort! What an awesome achievement. You should be very proud of yourself. Tip of the hat to you sir.

  14. Yay!! Congrats to Cort! What an accomplishment.

  15. You did celebrate – in just the right way – with a get-together and with this post.

    But more importantly, Eddie and Charlie will be celebrating the lesson Cort just taught his sweet boys for the rest of their lives:

    They can achieve anything they set their minds to – with commitment, hard work, love and support.


    Congratulations to Cort and to all of you.
    What an achievement.

  16. This is so awesome. Congrats!!!

  17. yay, CONGRATULATIONS to both of you for all the hard work, the compromises, the sacrifices for one another for Cort to do this.
    I didn’t graduate until I was 28..and so I know how Sweet that success is, especially after you’ve “failed” what a horrible word.
    You don’t fail. You’re just not ready.

    and my dad went back to school when I was 5 and my mom got her BS and her MS during my childhood. I am proud of both of them for all that hard work…for bettering themselves for our family.

    I know how proud everyone is of you Cort, I sit here just as happy for you.


  18. As someone who hates his job, day in and day out, I’m also proud of Cort.

    At some point, I’ll make a decision for a change — part of me thinks that I’d be happier as a physical therapist. Part of me thinks that “the computer stuff” is just fine, I just need a better situation. Either way, at some point, the need for a paycheck will be beneath my need to be happy. And then we’ll see what happens.

    Way to go man, way to go.

  19. Good for him! What an accomplishment! And good for you for celebrating that and him. 🙂 Nice to read some happy tonight.

  20. Congrats to Cort!! So much hard work and sacrifice goes into what he did (my hubby has been in school for 3.5 years prepping for and then starting medschool). It can be hard on the family and the student but the delayed gratification is SO WORTH it! Most people aren’t willing to go through all that so major kudos to your man!!

  21. Awesome! Congrats man!

  22. Woot! Way to go, Cort! That’s awesome!

  23. So awesome!! Way to go. And yay to you too for standing by your man. xoxo