So now I’m a student. I don’t know how it is with you but there are always certain realms and echelons to life that we observe from without even as we’re making our way toward such. And we might not understand the seriousness it takes to truly matriculate into said spheres but we certainly would like the benefits that come along with being a card-carrying member of those, uh, clubs (there aren’t any fraternities at Rogue Community College, but there are “clubs” and there’s an open invitation to start your own, whatever it may be). For instance, I would wonder as I had heard that students get a discount on a new Mac or, say, a cheaper movie ticket. And I told myself upon starting school that I would look into all the icing that comes with this new cake of college. But as I find myself three weeks in and just having nearly ascended this week’s mountain of homework (more of a hill, a nunatak, really), there isn’t any time to worry or wonder about the ancillary (some would say tertiary) benefits to being a college student. Because it isn’t all about the bennies, it’s actually about the grants (Hah!).
Growing up, as I was homeschooled (see part 2 of this series), my dad and I would mull over what I wanted to do and be and he would admonish me with this bit of wisdom: if what you want to do doesn’t require a college degree, don’t waste your time. Now, this is my paraphrase and he worded it a little more precise. But I see what he’s saying. The irreducible distilled wisdom that he won remains with me to this day. And yes, before he passed away in July, he knew what I wanted to do, to become. But I can’t just step out of my full-time retail job and into a classroom to “teach children”, no matter how passionate I am. This world doesn’t work that way, and thank God for that. But that passion: it’s what drives me to think however many moves ahead in order to plan, not just a future among the academe, nor, really among a teaching union. But a place where my gifts will be put to the test and pass. Yes, there has already been doors and horizons opened before me having been in school, like I say, for just three weeks, towards integrating into my chosen group: educators. But even that in itself may turn out to be stifling if I don’t sense in anyone the kindred drive to simply inspire understanding. Real quick, that’s what teaching is to me. The ability to explain. One of my favorite quotes comes from the late Edward Koch, former mayor of New York: “I can explain it to you, but I can’t comprehend it for you.” I feel that I can help people to comprehend. That’s my drive, that’s my passion and that’s what moves me ahead.