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.