Recently, my husband linked this post: Academically Adrift in his Google Shared items.
I read it with great recognition, in that it talks about how college is supposed to develop critical thinking skills, to be academically challenging.
I went to a school of nursing right out of high school, and noticed within days of being there that I was not willing to work as hard as was expected.
I was away from home for the first time, my roomie was very often at her desk being the studying type, whilst I was across the hall chattering and getting to know the neighbors. Deciding who to sit with during meals in the cafeteria meant much more to me than getting five pages read in the next chapter of the Psychology book.
Also, my mother had her last baby the first week that I was in college. Our family was thrilled with the new arrival, but with ME as oldest daughter away, well too many changes resulted in much drama. My mom and my sisters were having an uproar across a screaming baby, dad was escaping to overtime at his job.
My dorm had a pay phone at the end of the hall. Three times in a day I was summoned to it, being asked to be mediator of bickering. Blessed are the Peacemakers, but I had never thought of myself in that role before.
I managed to make it through classes and clinical observations of the first semester, but was notified that my grades were not in the upper percentile, so I would be on Probation when returning after Winter Break.
That should have been a warning sign, but I really wanted to be a nurse, and so I went back to live in a dorm and be miserable in several of my classes.
By Spring mid-term, I knew it was over. The nursing instructor who gave me the news that I had flunked out was rather mean about it,
saying I was not devoted enough, “Miss S, you will never be a high quality nurse”.
If I hadn’t been dragged to Sunday school for all my life, getting lessons about gentle spirits, I would have reached across the desk and slapped the smirk from her face.
My roomie said she was not surprised, I had so many other things I was interested in. We remained friends and in contact for years in spite of that little jibe.
So I went home, doing household stuff I’d been doing since I was 12.
A few weeks went by, someone said that a new restaurant was opening and where to apply to work there. I went in, was hired as a waitress, trained in a class for the opening crew. Carrying a tray was so much easier than slogging thru page after page of terms.
And I had a job I was good at, chattering to earn a better tip, going home with coins jingling in my pocket.
I filled a mason jar with tips that first week, then sat down to roll them to take them to the bank where I had opened an account.
Echoing in my ear was that nursing instructor’s words
“Miss S, you will never be a high quality nurse”.
So I applied to the community college nursing program. I’d heard there was a waiting list, but I was willing. After all, I had a job, was helping with groceries.
But I got accepted into the Fall class. The manager of the restaurant was disappointed when I turned in my notice, so I agreed to work weekends awhile. My mother was not happy that I wasn’t
helping get the baby ready going to church, but Sundays was the best tips day after all.
The community college program was only 14 months, for Licensed Practical Nurse, with the curriculum not quite so rigorous as my previous Registered Nurse program. I could live at home, was encouraged to car pool with others due to a small parking lot, which really helped with making friends.
I did graduate from there. and here’s an SPN story
What started all today’s thinking was reading that article at the link about college expectations. I live in a town with a big state university. My spouse, and many of my friends and neighbors have jobs there.
I might maybe someday decide that I would want to take a class towards a Bachelor’s degree. Maybe. After all, I do have my AA degree
But I don’t think of myself as a brainiac college student, in need of critical thinking upgrades.
I am a Do-er person. Last summer, on 6 days notice, I was chief in the church kitchen for a funeral dinner that served almost 100 people and earned a standing ovation from those who ate the meal.
Awhile ago, the phone rang from SubFinder, with a request for me to work a day next week as Teaching Assistant Substitute in the Autism classroom (that is not its official name) at a junior high school. I am the most trusted Sub for that room, since I get along just fine with the students and their little quirks.
I’m crocheting a doll blanket for the children’s table at a church fundraiser next month. I happen to know that several kids got new dolls for Christmas, so a new blanket (and a few other of my handmade treasures) might be nice to spend their allowance on.
I can sit here in my comfortable position because I was blessed enough to marry a man who grabs on to critical thinking, whose being able to stay a step ahead of need has squelched many a crisis.
He’s paid well for his ability.
Which is good, because the animal clinic got Dollar$ Many these last 10 days.
Oscar is holding his own, yet wants to be cuddled some more.
~~love and Huggs, Diane