Last week my wife took our daughter to Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Neb., to learn about the veterinary technician program.
As I've mentioned in this space before, once Claire graduates from Wayne State College next year, she'll pursue a career working with animals.
She can't wait.
Right now, college can't get over soon enough for her so she can go after what she really wants, a career taking care of small animals.
It took working in the office with her dad to make her realize, sitting behind a desk and working on a computer is not for her — or maybe it was working with her dad that turned her toward animals. I don't really need to know.
There was a time when I was out of work that I faced going back to college.
Since I originally went to college to become a teacher, my wife asked how far I was from that degree.
A long ways.
And the farther away I got from my school days, the further I got from wanting to be in a classroom.
I doubt whether I have the discipline anymore to sit with books and notes in front of me and study for tests.
I commend educators who go back to school in the summer to enhance their education.
I marvel at anyone, who after being away from school for years, finds the inner strength and drive to go back and try and learn something new.
I have no idea what I would have gone back and studied if life would have taken me down that path.
Instead, I landed back in journalism, and even though I never thought of owning a newspaper until the opportunity arose, it's been a natural fit.
That is the feeling I have about Claire and her career with animals.
If there is a person who loves animals more than Claire, I'd be surprised.
Our dog, Millie, goes into a little bit of a funk whenever Claire goes back to college. After a weekend of being pampered by "Millie's girl," as we call Claire, she's exhausted and a little down.
Claire is looking at about two years of schooling to become a veterinary tech., which will probably fly by for her since she'll know she's working toward her career.
It's different for her now. Even though she enjoys college, she's working toward a degree she does not plan to use.
Then again, who knows what the future holds. Maybe holding two degrees will help her land a job when the day comes.
Maybe her graphics design degree will come in handy. It couldn't hurt.
I've never met anyone who said they were too smart or knew too much. I've met plenty of people who thought they knew it all, but they didn't know they were wrong.
When Claire receives her diploma and turns her tassel at WSC, she'll know those four years were well spent, even though it is just part of her educational journey.
Then she'll spend her summer at a desk, sitting behind a computer, working with her dad, looking forward to school starting again.
This time it'll be a different school that will lead her in a different direction — the direction that leads to her career, and that's exciting.
Patrick Murphy, of Humphrey, Neb., is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.