I was lucky to grow up with a family who read together, a lot. Both of my parents went to college while I was growing up so I was able to watch them as they learned, and strived to get the degree to help them be whatever. I think having the opportunity to watch them and their conviction to finish out even with 3 kids at the time was powerful to young me. I knew if it was important to them, then it had to be important to me.
Then I was blessed to have a kindergarten teacher who went above and beyond for us all to learn as much as she could pass on to us. I went to a country school so we had a lot more freedom that some of the other schools. There also was a lot more 1/1 time for all of us students. Which helped each and every one of us in turn as we adapted our learning styles to growing up.
I had always had a love for anything English. Whether it was grammar, reading, or writing. Now math on the other hand… not so much. I am not bad at math, I just don’t like it. I prefer a subject that allows critical thinking and creative differences when it comes to the answer.
I could sit and read for hours upon hours at a time, and get lost in a book. All of the characters, and information soaking up no problem. There was many a night that English kept me up beacuse I was too excited about a book or something I was writing to put it down and go to bed. Math was a very different story.
I remember many a night crying over a problem in math that no matter how hard I tried I could not get. I would sit there glaring at it until my mom told me to go to bed. The next day it would be magically done in someone else’s handwriting (she didn’t do this often I promise).
What is ironic to me is I actually like Algebra, but I hate, no, loathe story problems. This is important to who I am as a learner because I think finding a passion that you can stand learning about is important, but it is also important to push through those subjects that don’t come as easy to you.
When I took this class it was the bane of my existence. For those of you who took it, you know I am right, and for those who have yet to take it…Good luck. The class itself was interesting to say the least. We all would leave with a head ache, but also a new joke for the week.
The basic reason it was so hard is because it is philosophy. It makes you really think outside the tiny box we all live in. Once you get to mid-semester you start to question if anything exists at all and why are you bothering to do anything with your life.
Not only was the reading hard, but we had to take what we learned and apply it to a 15 page paper. I wrote my little heart out and was over half way done when I was able to have the teacher look over it. He told me I was not even on the right track. So I started from scratch. I had no clue what I was even talking about, but I somehow made it out with an “A”.
I had never had a class challenge not only my brain, but my existence in such a way that I am truly a different person that before I took that class. I learned more than just about literary criticism that semester. And though it was tough, I made it out the other side a better person and student.
This summer I was lucky enough to go on a week long trip to DC for my job. I worked with Upward Bound, which is a group of high school students who take classes in the summer. It is much more than that, but to make a long story short. The students who had done the program for two or more summers got to go to DC.
This was amazing for me because I love to travel, and I enjoy history. DC is full of history. Two of my girls from my team were able to go, and we had a blast touring the city together. We had a tour guide, but did have some free reign over what we looked at.
We saw more places than I can count, but a couple of my favorites were the 9/11 memorial, and Arlington Cemetery. We also were able to go on a dinner cruise (which was awesome!) and to a dinner theater for the musical Hairspray! The trip was very action packed, but allowed for a lot of learning.
It was a blast to be able to travel to another part of the country, and see so many different things. It was a new way to learn, because I had never been able to travel for school in this capacity before. So learning at all of the museums, and all of the places full of history was a time I won’t likely forget soon!
My first, and favorite teacher is my dad. He started me young with reading, and teaching me how to think critically. He is a professor at Summit Christian College in Gering, NE. He is the one that I looked up to growing up. He was always studying, and learning a new skill whether it was chess, or guitar he is always picking something up. He is one of my inspirations for how I learn and the passion I learn with.
I had great teachers all through elementary and junior high school, but I don’t have anyone to really point out that I know that made a huge difference. In high school I had around 4 teachers who made learning fun. I have always loved learning, but these teachers were able to make what I was learning fun. One of them was even in Math, and I hate Math!
In college I had 3 teachers who all made an imprint on my learning. They helped me realize things about myself, and changed how I learned. They made the process of learning and homework a challenge which isn’t always the case. I love a good challenge. Though each teacher does teach me something there will always be those who make a difference.