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They say the family that plays together, stays together. But what about the family that learns together?
Nicholas and Mindy Morbitzer, a married couple from Grove City, will both graduate at Spring graduation on June 8. Nicholas is graduating with an Associate of Arts and Mindy with an Associate of Science – a general-purpose transfer degree that fulfills the first two years of a bachelor's degree.
The couple went to high school together, but didn't meet until a blind date shortly before graduation. Nicholas went to the Navy, and Mindy started as a Math major at Ohio State University (she already had some college credit from Columbus State through the Post-Secondary Options program). Mindy left school when Nicholas was stationed in California, then had their first child.
The couple moved around due to Nicholas' 10 years in the Navy, with Mindy eventually settling in Grove City to be near family. Nicholas drove home on weekends, even from Virginia, the couple says.
Mindy got a job as an underwriting technician at Motorists Insurance. She thinks her associate degree may put her in a better position for a promotion, and definitely puts her closer to a bachelor's degree.
"It's definitely empowering to go back to college," Mindy says. "I feel better about myself. Even just taking one class a quarter, it's great to be learning new things."
Nicholas came to Columbus State on the GI Bill, which was expanded after 9-11. He said it's unlocked talents in writing he didn't realize he had. His English teachers encouraged him to be a writer, and he's considering transferring to a four-year school to get a bachelor's degree in creative writing.
Their joint college project has been a welcome change for the couple, who were long-distance for years due to Nicholas' Navy deployment.
"We talk about school a lot. We bounce ideas off of each other. It's nice having someone there to talk to about it," says Mindy.
"It's been good for us because we'll share things we learned that day in class," Nicholas says. He's stronger in English; she's stronger in Math and Science. As they talk more about school, the couple begins finishing each other's sentences.
"Your spouse is a person who understands exactly how to explain it to you," Mindy says.
"... how your mind works ..." Nicholas adds.
"... how you process information ..."
"... and when you're taking a test, you can remember those conversations."