Communities [Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2005, 10:52 pm]
Hard to believe Thanksgiving is next week, but I'll be glad to have a break. Fall semesters tend to be harder in terms of fewer breaks, and a butt-load of work to get done right before Christmas.
Anyway, I realized something about community colleges. I think going to one really has taught me something non-academic: don't postpone college. There are a lot of non-traditional students at this school, which usually means women in their 30's or 40's who are going back to school, or finally trying for a degree they never got after finishing high school. Many of them have children and jobs and houses to take care of on the side, so listening to some of their conversations just makes me so glad I'm getting a degree now rather than later. I couldn't imagine having to go back to school after so many years in the first place, but added to that, trying to juggle kids, work, life, etc. I'm just thankful I decided to go now and get it done.
And I'm realizing that another good thing about community colleges is the huge amount of diversity as far as ages go. I know a lot of schools seem to think that a truly "diverse" campus means having an even mix of skin colors, but I believe that age diversity is just as important. Because in real life you don't spend all your time working with people who are around the same age and grade level as you. All of the other people in my Longfellow group project are adults with children, and so I'm not always working with people who are at the "same place" in life as I am. And I think it's been good for me. Come to think of it, I've never been in a long-term environment surrounded by people my age, like many others have - I was homeschooled as the oldest of 7 children, and now attend college with people of just about every age. Which is pretty much how the rest of life goes too, I suppose.
Speaking of Longfellow, I came across a poem of his that I love. And not just because it's one of the shortest he's written. "The arrow and the song":
I shot an arrow into the air,
I breathed a song into the air,
Long, long afterward, in an oak
Vitality - Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009