I Am The Eternal Student…but I am not alone.
When I was seven year old my mother took me to the doctor due to stomach pain. He told her I worried too much about school (I believe I was in second grade but, don’t quote me), and getting the gold stars from the teacher. I was one step away from an ulcer. I ate baby food for two weeks and will never forget that experience. I enjoyed the banana flavor but, the vegetable ones, not so much. The sense of striving to get A’s (but, would accept a B) from my educational studies appeared innate. My mother tried to reinforce that no matter what grade I received, as long as I tried, that was all that mattered.
She instilled in me how important it was for me to get a solid education through college. As I progressed into the teenage years so did my desire to learn and I discovered within me a new characteristic, that of being a perfectionist. The more classes I took the more I wanted to know. My single mother found the time (I don’t know how) to graduate from Empire State College with a Bachelor’s degree in social services. When I was eighteen and after attending three different high schools (my mom and I moved a lot) I graduated and went right into college for my Associate degree. No rest for the weary or the student. Upon graduation I was accepted to two four year colleges: Baruch College and FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology). It was a difficult choice but, at the time I was working in an accounting position in Manhattan so it seemed natural to follow my business side instead of my creative part as I was an artist too.
I had one class to take before graduating from Baruch College when my mother needed me as a primary caretaker. Her health was failing and I was her only child as we had no relatives. After a year her health resumed and I was not living in New York but moved to New Jersey. I researched Empire State College and found they offered distance learning. I jumped at the chance to take courses through the mail. Back when I began attending Empire everything was done through snail mail or in classrooms, there was no such thing as taking courses on line. We have come a long way, baby. I know it’s hard to believe. For 12 years I was taking classes and dropping some due to my mother’s health and her reliability on me to be her primary taker. My mother graduated Empire State College in 1978; I graduated in 2009 and unfortunately, she passed over a year before she could see my Bachelor’s degree. I am back at Empire for a second Bachelor’s; the first was for business, but this one is more creative since I wrote a novel and wanted their educational guidance to make it perfect prior to publishing.
Always remember: where there is a will there is a way.