Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 9: How Important You Think Education Is

Hmm... I agree with Tia about the grammar of the Day 9 title. I might reword it to say "My Thoughts about the Importance of Education." :)

High-quality education is definitely emphasized and expected in my family.

Me with Dad & Mom :-D
 
Mom and Dad both achieved undergrad degrees and went on to pursue graduate degrees. My siblings and I were all academic achievers (nerds!) in K-12, and we all went to college and beyond. We attended public grade schools.  Several of my family members and close friends are either educators or involved in the school system in some regard. I have a great appreciation for what they do. With all this, it should come as no surprise I'm a huge proponent of education.

At the same time, I know what it feels like to want to give up.  When times were hard in undergrad (Chemistry, ugh!), I used to look at this image -- a poster hung on my apartment wall for inspiration:

Norman Rockwell's "The Problem We All Live With"
I'm thankful for the generation of people, and ground-breakers like little Ruby Bridges pictured above, who battled for equal opportunity in public facilities (including schools) during the middle part of the last century. Before I could attend the University of Texas, Heman Sweatt had to fight to get into the UT School of Law.  With the help of Thurgood Marshall, in 1950 he became the school's first black student.  His case was referenced in the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case.

Despite the work our parents (or grandparents) generation did to see that we could even have a chance to go to almost any school we want, some people simply opt out of education or don't see much value in it.  It's disappointing to hear stories about kids who drop out, especially when they have the resources around them (caring parents, teachers, counselors, church family, etc) to succeed.  I know hardships come and life is tough sometimes, but we have an open door in this country to walk into almost any career we want. Some people choose to sit at the threshold of that open door, watch the world go round, and let in the flies. Not every child on this planet the same access to opportunities as those of us in the US. What some of us may think of as sub-par here in the states would be considered a huge step up in other countries.

We need to encourage our young people -- and in some cases, our peers and older adults -- to keep learning. If taking a few classes is going to help you toward your goal, go for it!  It doesn't have to cost you a ton of money. You can take classes at community college, vocational schools, or online. You can do personal studies on your own to earn a certificate. Classes are offered through local libraries and city/county public services.  You can save up for school, apply for grants, scholarships or other financial aid, or utilize the tuition reimbursement from your job (if you're blessed to have it). I'm also a huge fan of spiritual education at Christian theological schools like Maranatha Christian College & Theological Seminary. I've learned so much from classes like Apologetics, Hermeneutics, and Systematic Theology (Angelology, Satanology, and Demonology).  For example, there is no evidence in the Bible to support the idea of "baby angels."

Cute... but I don't think they exist.

Keep pushing forward toward your education and do your very best. With God, all things are possible. Press on!

1 comment:

Tia said...

When you mention the ground breakers it really makes me feel very grateful for being able to get the education I have. Maybe I need to keep that in mind to keep me motivated to do something with this education.