Day 16: Your Views on Education
The most important thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.
My hometown growing up had three schools. Elementary school encompassed grades K-3, then we went to the Intermediate school for 4-6 grade, and finally we ended in the Jr/Sr High School which was for grades 7-12. My hometown was a population of approx. 10,000 growing up and my graduating class was only 94 students large. Our schools, while having smaller class sizes than some did not have an extraordinary amount of bells and whistles. In fact in high school, my friend and I shared custody of our psychology book!
Education has always been very important to me. From an early age, I have always been interested in learning all the things. My mom definitely encouraged my love of knowledge, and if I asked questions that she didn’t know the answers too we would take a trek down to the library to find a book on the subject. (This was the pre-google days people, practically the dark ages). I can still picture the cover of the book that we read to explain why the sky was blue! I’m really grateful that my mom was able to admit when she didn’t know something and that she took the time to show me the process that I would need to find out the answers.
On my first day of Kindergarten I was so excited! I still remember the dress I wore and wearing my name tag. When I came home from school, my mom asked me how my day was to which I replied terrible! My mom was very concerned, immediately assuming the worst. Was I bullied? Mistreated by the teacher? Calmly she asked “Why?” My response: “I didn’t learn how to read today.” (To put this in perspective, I was only 4 years old).
Later on, I got the stigma of being “the smart one” and was bullied throughout my school years. Whenever I would get down about this, my mom would remind me that education would open doors for me. She also would always tell us that what was in our brains, the knowledge that we collected was the one thing that no one could ever take away from us. I do not have children, but I have hosted exchange children and this is a lesson that I try to impart on them as well.
It makes me very sad that there are a lot of people in the world who want to learn and do not have access to learning opportunities. I truly believe that education should be a right and not a privilege. We have seen throughout history that education has been reserved for the upper classes and the wealthy. I feel lucky that I grew up in a country where education was “free” (save taxes) for all. I will say that I do have concerns that it will not continue to be that way, but that’s a topic for another day.
Always seek opportunities to learn.