Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Non-Traditional (Part 6) - A Bit About the Students

The end of my first semester back at school was a busy time, what with all the running around, studying, writing, reading, staying up late, waking up early, and ignoring this blog… and that’s nothing on what most of the students I know do.

I was so frazzled that when I woke up, I’d have a mug of coffee with breakfast, or for it. I’d stop at a 7-11 about two hundred feet away, fill up my mug, and stop again at the one across the street from SWC. Then and only then did I feel fortified to start thinking.

Don’t get me wrong. I had a lot to do outside of school, but I saw a lot of students working their tails off to ace those finals and get those grades up. I am impressed. They impressed me, and by and large, they were those students who were here for an education, not a degree.

I say again – I was impressed.

I did well. I pulled some high grades on some finals, turned in some tremendous work, and now have a GPA floating at about 4.0. I’ll be honest. There’s some strutting involved. (But only because this is the first time in recorded history that I’ve rocked a 4.0. In fact, I’ve got some teachers back in the days of yore who would have laughed their rumps off had I told them I’d ever do that well.)

I’m going to show restraint. I’m going to keep my strutting to a minimum. Because I’ve seen students do a lot more, a lot better, and with a lot more obstacles. I know students who have kids and families, are carrying an insane number of classes, who have to travel from campus to campus, who are holding down overtime jobs while they go to school, and who are taking classes and writing essays that make me say, “whut?”

That’s impressive.

Now that I find myself jumping through the same ridiculous hoops that they jump, and digging out exactly what forms the admissions and financial aid people want, and dealing with SWC’s insanely rude and backwards computer systems, and trying to do everything the administration demands, I realize…

It’s really damn impressive. Not me. Them.

I’ve got some things to say about things, believe me. But it only took me a moment to realize that I didn’t want to use this space talking about them. I wanted to use this space for something better.

There are students that still drive me crazy with their laziness, their inability to arrive on time, their dishonest, and their willingness to cheat their ways to that degree.

Like this guy.
 But this isn’t about those people. This is just my way of saying how good it is to know students who do care, who strive to succeed, who work hard, who are never late and never miss a class, are honest and honorable.

This is my way of saying, “Wow, you folks really and truly impress me.” You are the reason that professors like doing what they do. You set an example for your classmates and your colleagues. You make coming into class a joy. You are helping to make the world a better place.

Keep it up.

And speaking as that non-traditional guy who’s gone back to school to improve himself, and who probably watches you and what you do more than you realize… thank you.

1 comment:

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