Daily Prompt: Another school semester will soon begin. If you’re in school, are you looking forward to starting classes? If you’re out of school, what do you miss about it — or are you glad those days are over?
I have been out of school for almost twenty years now. My classmates from law school are all over the place — one is a Mayor, one (or maybe even two) are lawmakers, several are very successful lawyers. The same goes for my college friends. And in high school, we just celebrated our Pearl jubilee this year.
I have always been happy in a classroom, even during that brief period during my freshman year when I was besieged by a momentary lapse of confidence during my first semester at the state university. (I looked around and wondered what made me deserve to be in the same space as these “scholars”, forgetting I had earned my place beside them.)
I spent some of the best years of my younger life in college where I found some of my closest and dearest friends who still are dear in the present time. But those friendships have been enriched by the years that have passed, and those tried and tested friends have continued to be a part of my life. I learned more about life during those years in Rizal Hall and those life experiences carried me through what would be a very challenging couple of years after I left college. More than just making me part of the real world — being immersed in a very liberal and diverse academic community — my way of thinking and viewing school and life as a whole changed dramatically.
I sat in classes where the author of the required book reading was the professor. History was no longer just a narrative of events but an analysis of the emergence of a counter-consciousness that leads a class to resort to upheaval to effect change. I couldn’t completely shake off the sheltered life that saw me being brought to and from the university by a driver , but I learned to challenge the limits imposed upon me by my parents.
Law school proved to be even more challenging because I suddenly found myself having to work to help support my education. By then I was commuting, trying to juggle work and school, yet somehow I made it.
When “work and school” became “work” alone, I started to actually miss the routine of lugging my books and reading and sitting in a classroom. It didn’t quite hit me as hard, though, until I moved here to New York in 2000. It wasn’t so much all the fun times with the friends and the people that came and went into my life during those years. I find myself missing the challenge of reading and getting into the very core of a concept or subject matter, reading about it, fleshing it out and feeling enriched by that knowledge.
As a mother of an incoming fourth-grader who was born and raised here, I feel a real need for me to educate myself about American History and have started listening and viewing an “online lecture series” sponsored by Yale. I have thought about physically attending a class and perhaps enrolling for audit courses, but finding a way to carve out real time for it is out of the question. I guess I have to stick to e-learning for now.
Yes, I do miss school. I miss being in a classroom. And my brain cells are all raring to get at it if given the chance to get back to work on text books and tomes again.