Eight hours. Seven people. Three checkpoints. One near robbery. Welcome to Ukraine, boys. What happens when you’ve taken a 10-year hiatus from school and have established yourself elsewhere, but want to go back? You do it.
Thirty-year-old Jordan Wolfe did. For the past 10 years, he has dedicated himself entirely to music.
He’s spent more months on the road than at home, seeing 46 states, 15 countries and more cities than one could ever even begin to remember.
However, he’s not a lone Wolfe. Many people take this route for one reason or another. Some start families, some travel the world, some land jobs right out of high school, and some never even graduate high school to begin with. Contrary to popular belief, this is not the point of no return.
“You just remind yourself that you have to do this to get yourself here,” says Wolfe in reference to his decision to return to City College.
In fourth grade, Wolfe started his fi rst band. However, this band had no members, and he didn’t know how to play any instruments.
“I just fi gured since I had the idea and a name already, I would just fi nd some other kids and go from there,” says Wolfe in reference to his first band, The Motherf—ers.
At age 15, he fi nally picked up the bass guitar. It was all over from there. After playing the Sacramento scene for six years, Wolfe embarked on his fi rst tour in 2004.
After countless U.S. tours, Wolfe took his passion beyond the border. First up was Canada, followed by 15 European countries. He tells of good shows and bad ones. Small towns and big cities. Hostels and emergency rooms.Amsterdam and the infamous Ukraine.
“We see this little Huckleberry Finn raft coming over with one little guy manning it,” says Wolfe. “He smiles and says, ‘How many?’ We pull the van up and he rafts us across the river.”
After two failed checkpoints, a perilous journey across a large body of water and a near robbery by a border patrolman, Wolfe and company made it into Ukraine.
Ten years of adventures such as these would make school seem trite for some, but Wolfe takes a deep breath and jumps into the deep end.
“Jordan is a man that is dedicated not due to goals of success or wealth, but due to sheer love for what he does,” says Joshua Littell, a friend of Wolfe and witness to his endeavors.
This trait bleeds into Wolfe’s new-found dedication to school.
“He’s a hard worker,” says longtime friend Joe McKinney. “He knows how to get stuff done. He sets goals, and he achieves them.”
In his first go-around, Wolfe didn’t exactly make the honor roll. This time, he strives for a solid GPA to get him into a good four-year university so he can pursue a career in writing, which to him goes hand in hand with music.
However, this proves to be a challenge.
“The hardest thing about returning to school is caring a lot more,” says Wolfe. “Not doing well is frustrating.”
He says being an older student doesn’t affect him. While at school, everyone is on the same level.
He says that although he has lots of worldly experience, others are better at math. He believes that everyone has his or her strengths and weaknesses, but everyone is here to learn.
Although music has taken a back seat for the moment, it is not forgotten. Behind every late-night study session and droning lecture lies this extreme passion that pushes him forward.
Until his next big break to take the show on the road, Wolfe will be trucking along here at City College.