Who knew?

It always strikes me when little things or comments come together to make me see something in a totally new way, in this case to realize value in a set of experiences that I had not seen before. In Bill’ s Basic Writing course today we were having discussion about what makes one a valuable job candidate to community colleges (since Whatcom has a full-time position open that several of us are going to be applying for, though it is a long shot as we’ll be freshly minted grads). Turns out that my undergrad work with minority lit and Minor in Women’s Studies were great choices. So was attending community college, although that’s not a surprise. Certainly someone who attended a community college is going to have a jump on understanding the way the community functions over someone who went straight to a four-year. But I’m sure my eyebrows nearly jumped off my forehead when Bill said that having a GED would be a plus. A GED? A plus? So I’ve never been ashamed of my GED – far from it, I’ve always thought it was a smart choice for me and just the ability to move on to college was hard won — but an asset? Yup. Just like the community college experience, the minority lit, the women’s studies….it means that I’ve got diversity of some kind under my belt. My experience is one that might say to a selection committe that I have the ability to relate to and understand people whose education experience has been somehow other-than-the norm.

In talking with another professor the other day, she mentioned that perhaps my circutious and independant route toward education that had me nearly entirely self-educated through junior high and high school and earning a GED might account for the way I go about education in general, the way that I approach projects, writing, teaching. I hadn’t thought of it that way before. While I’m proud of the fact that I’ve gotten to where I am, I’ve always thought of it as being despite my earlier experiences. I usually think of it in terms of lack (for instance, the fact that I cannot answer a single question on a grammar quiz correctly. I’m not kidding!). But that those experiences of roughing out my own terrain for learning might have created the framework for my approach to learning, is something I need to ponder more. What use I might make of tracing the origins of my way of approaching the institution and way of learning, I am not sure. But its worth some thinking about.


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