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    • #16668
      Bailey Vincent

      Question: How has CF impacted your education and would you ever go back to school?

      I know we have talked about this before, of course. Some of us left school when we became ill, much to our dismay. Others finished and thrived. Many more- caretakers and family members – sacrificed their own timelines for those they’re tending.

      Recently, my husband text me this article from Dance Magazine and I almost lost my marbles. It is a completely online, Dance degree, specifically for former dancers who’ve had to retire (or current dancers who couldn’t finish their college career), and it’s done completely on your own time.

      I talked in exclamation points for the rest of the day.

      But after sending the link to my sister, she pointed out: “Would you go back to school because you really need this to benefit your life, or would you go back purely because of the social stigma?”

      And she’s right. I am already doing what a lot of people dream about in the dance world. And the business world. And the nonprofit world. I have more experience “in the trenches” than most are fortunate enough to build in a lifetime (because it truly is good fortune, to say the least). I am doing what I love… so how would this actually “help” me?

      Going back to school wouldn’t help me earn more or go further in my field at this time… But it would help my pride. So what does that say about me?

      Why, after all I’ve accomplished and love doing, am I so darn ashamed of the fact that I wasn’t able to finish? Some could be that I loved school (4.0 club for life!) and some could be that I am from a culture/family/background that expects nothing less.

      I don’t have any wisdom today or some catchy point at the end… I was just wondering- sick person to sick person- Do you ever think about this? Pros, cons? Benefits, hinderances? Do you, like me, worry you’d have to drop out due to a long hospitalization or crazy complication? Curious who else feels this torn, if at all.

    • #16674
      Jenny Livingston

      Well, the timing of this question is oddly perfect as I have spent the last week or so gathering information and doing the work to apply for graduate school. Very few people know, so I guess this is an announcement of sorts.

      When I went to college, it was with the intent of getting an education and, like you, to do something I could be proud of. I was in my late 20s, recently divorced, wondering what the hell I was going to do with my life. Going to college felt like the first thing I had done solely for myself in a very long time. Graduating was indeed something to be proud of, but I’ve done absolutely nothing with my degree since.

      Over the last year or so, I’ve been contemplating going back for a Master’s degree. I’d always thought the idea was off the table; why go into debt if I didn’t plan on having a career afterward? I’d been able to complete my Bachelor’s degree without incurring any debt (scholarships and grants for the win!) and couldn’t imagine how I’d ever pay back grad school loans. But I’m a at a point in life, with improved health and my daughter growing older, that I want to work my way into a career.

      I’m applying for a Master of Social Work program. So many of my passions and things I’d like to do for a living fall under the umbrella of human service. I asked my CF social worker to write one of the required referenced letters to which her response was, “You’re already a social worker, just without the degree.” This is my second favorite compliment she’s given me. My top favorite is the time she told me I’d make a wonderful Canadian (she’s from Canada).

      Anyway… I’ll jeep you posted. I don’t know if this program is the best fit or if I’ll even be accepted. But I’m really feeling the drive to do this, so if not this program, hopefully I’ll find another. Wish me luck!

    • #16679
      Tim Blowfield

      Go for it! Yes even by moderating this you are doing a great job. Thanks.

    • #16688
      Paul met Debbie

      Schooling is always fun. Learning new skills, insights, knowledge and wisdom.
      I don’t know though if I would apply for an official schooling, that is following some standard prescribed curriculum in an institutionalized system.

      My personal experience with official schooling is good, but this is mainly because I could always follow my own way and was able to study and do what I liked, not only the prescribed stuff, but more or other things as well. I even attended a university that applied a (then) revolutionary system of problem-guided-learning – there were no standard prescribed books or notes. Guided by case-studies, the students formulated the problems they thought worth of solving and dived into everything they could to find the answers. I loved that freedom of learning to ask the right questions and than comparing all that was known about the problem, and slowly coming to a satisfying answer. Later I also taught this at the same university, but I also worked at another university that operated a more traditional system and I always found that more limited and inferior. Also learning to play the piano was 90% selfstudy and -doing, interrupted by relatively short moments of instruction and evaluation.

      So I would certainly promote a life of learning and finding out, but always would first try to find out things myself. I am convinced that self-study is more organic and fruitful – it allows for circular learning in stead of the linear systems of most official curriculi. If you go in for yourself, you can determine your path more intuitively and will find out a more holistic and comprehensive sort of knowing. Or find some school that uses and promotes these freedom of learning in its curriculum, there must be some by now that have abandoned the industrial system* of learning we developed in the past and replaced it for something with more freedom and intuitiveness.

      Good luck on your new journey!

      * Watch the lively talks of sir Ken Robinson on youtube about education pittfalls

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