More than nine years ago, on May 1, 2007, I posted the image above to my old site. Since then, I’ve started and stopped my work on the Home Study Course in Bird Biology at least a dozen times. For nearly a decade, something more pressing regularly presented itself, and I took comfort in the website note that while some folks finish the course rapidly, there is no completion deadline; in fact, one student took ten years to finish! (I should be so lucky.)
Even so, at the eight-year mark, last summer, I called the Cornell Lab to ensure that my course materials were still valid and was patched through to Kevin McGowan. (Insert my daughters and I mime-squealing with nerdish delight at my encounter with a birding world rock star.) He kindly assured me that my text and test materials were fine, although the new edition would be out in 2016. His warm encouragement nearly jumpstarted my efforts, but other cares, concerns, and pursuits soon supplanted my studies, and the Handbook was reshelved. Again.
And here we are, about seven months from the ten-year mark. The new Handbook has been released, and mine still looks brand new. Well, color me recommitted. I have been assigned approximately sixty-four hours during early voting, and I have vowed that the Home Study Course in Bird Biology will be my sole companion (apart from my fellow election judge, of course).
Maybe this time, eh?