Perspective

June 16, 2005

Michele is teaching an on-the-ground (as opposed to online) class Wednesday evenings this summer. The facility is a rural elementary school, complete with pint sized chairs and desks. Some of the taller students literally have the desk between their knees when they sit down.

As I thought about this I realized that my college experience was vastly different than the one people looking for a second career have. I went to a medium sized midwestern university complete with varied building architectures and a quadrangle. A significant part of my university experience was the setting; for the students hunched over tiny desks in a refurbished Quonset hut the focus is truly on the education.

My wife went back to school after working for ten years to get her degrees and a second career. Now many of her students are having a similar experience; an experience that I can only imagine. Having contemplated changing my career on more than one occasion I can and do respect the courage it takes to dedicate yourself to night school.

Having visited her classroom and seeing the challenges people will endure to gain an education, I have a new hope for the future of our society. Real change always happens from the bottom up and these students are making a difference by changing themselves.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.