Have you considered going back to school? Possibly to finish high school, brush up or even to get a degree? Whether it is learning a new skill in a one-time situation or an on-going endeavor, making learning a priority will set an example for family and friends, as well as open unimaginable opportunities and avenues for happiness and possibly monetary benefits as well.
Learning is important to pursue in any form; and there are so many ways to find free or low-cost education. One is Kahn Acadamy which offers classes for FREE and include: Math, Science, Economics and Finance, Arts and Humanities, Computing, Test Prep, Coach and Resources = all for free for anyone. What a tremendous opportunity! Find out all about this amazing site HERE Stan and I attend BYU Education Week every year we can, taking classes in a wide variety of subjects (hundreds of subjects and over a 1,000 classes are offered!). Delsi came along this year. I’m amazed at how it has opened our world, even helping us to be closer as a couple. I would like to share three experiences with you. First is my mom Connie Rasmussen. She dropped out of high school and married young. At the age of 54 she wanted to give her parents a special gift, so she completed the courses to obtain her GED. I am so incredibly proud of her. It has not only been advantageous to her, but an example of not taking the ‘I’m-to-old’ attitude to learn and finish her goal. Way to go Mom! When my mom married her 2nd husband we moved a couple of times and landed in Manti, Utah for about 5 years. I made many great friends who were such a wonderful influence for good in my life. One was Scott Frederick. He is very generous to share his story of why, and how, he attended college (for the first time) at the age of 46. Thank you Scott for sharing with us.
Scott’s Story: No matter how old you are, now is a great time to go back to school The house was still smoldering when I arrived. After living in it for only three months, one of the coolest houses I ever lived in was gone–as were many of my earthly belongings. With six weeks left in the summer work season, my escape to Moab was in jeopardy. In the spring of 2006 I lost my job in SLC and three years before that, my wife. After much deliberation and another job offer in SLC, I accepted a photographer job at Moab Action Shots and started by shooting the week-long-Easter-Jeep Safari.
Upon arriving in Moab I slept in the back of my truck and showered at the Lazy Lizard Hostel. After 11 days, my work-mate Ben asked me if I would like to sub-rent a room in the house he was living in–I moved in that same night. Now I looked at the smoldering remnants of that house and my burnt up stuff. As shocking as it was to lose computers, my bed and my roof, it was also liberating–like a forty pound stone removed from my backpack on uphill terrain, although I was back to sleeping in my truck. Fast forward to the end of the season when my job was ending and my insurance claim for $6000 came through. Also, my friends and family had thrown a “fire party” for me which added a few thousand dollars to the insurance money. I was still sleeping in my truck when I decided to take my step- mother’s advice and enroll in college. 46 spins around the sun and I still had no idea what job or work I wanted. But I did know the jobs that seemed interesting usually required a degree so I decided to get started.
I enrolled into the College of Eastern Utah, (CEU, now USU Eastern) for the fall 2006 semester. On my way to the adviser’s office I walked past the lunchroom in the student union building which was bursting with excited students wishing so much I had even one friend on campus. Classes had started two weeks before so I was required to get permission from each teacher before I could be admitted. Three of the four seemed happy for me to join their class. English teacher Larry Severeid glanced up from his desk and asked why I was two weeks late. “Well you see, I just lost my job, house and…” I didn’t say any of that, I don’t remember if I even answered. Then he asked if I could write a paper in three days, a paper his other students had been working on for two weeks–I said I could do that. He signed the paper and so began my college career. I had one goal: to do all the things I was too timid to do in high school. Like study hard and work hard for good grades, be a bit rebellious towards authority, be a part of every class discussion and most importantly–be engaged in campus activities and involved in what traditional students do. I jumped in and never looked back. I did all those things and more.
One of my strategies for staying involved was to write and shoot for the school newspaper which enabled me to attend many school activities as a writer and/or shooter (photographer). Unlike high school I cared about my grades and more importantly, I cared about learning. It was deeply satisfying to learn concepts in geology and math. Geology because it’s so fascinating and math because it’s so difficult. It was also enlightening to read great literature and exciting to explain and defend an argument in a paper. During that first semester Larry Severeid and I became good friends and ate dinner at his house every Sunday evening for over three years. Susan Polster, the newspaper instructor became my advocate, friend and helped me, among other things, secure scholarships. Without exception, my teachers at CEU were amazing.
College is hard make no mistake but trust me, when it comes to succeeding in college, wits, boldness, and dogged determination are what you need most. The hard work that propelled you to where you are today will drive and facilitate your successful college career, if I can do it, so can you. For me, I graduated from high school then attended LDS Business College on a scholarship. I was married to Stan three days after I finished my certificate in the Executive Secretarial Program. A year and a half later we had our first of five children and I chose to be a stay-at-home mom. I have considered going back to school many times over the past 30+ years since I graduated from LDSBC, but for one reason or another it was not right. I recently happened on the LDSBC website and found a course was being offered, for the first time, in Multi Media Marketing. Anyone who graduates from LDSBC gets to take a class for free, anytime. Finally, the timing was right and the exact class was available for my blog, books and other avenues I hope to pursue. I am so elated and grateful I have the opportunity to take this class and start school this week! Is there something YOU want to learn? A subject YOU want to know more about? A course YOU have thought about taking? Is NOW the time? With so many free and work-at-your-own-pace educational options, is this YOUR time? When we expand our world, stretch our comfort zone, learn new skills, develop talents, take a challenge – we profit in countless ways as well as promoting these values to our family and others as we lead by example.
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.