Monday, April 19, 2010

Why School? Then and Now...

I have had a passion for learning for as far back as I can remember. School attendance was an expectation in my family. My mother was the first in our extended family to receive a master's degree and I suspected that very few in the family would expect less from me.

From very early on, in Catholic grade school, I felt called to the monastic life and knew that solid academic performance was a requirement as well. In addition to high school, I knew that there were eight years of preparation for the priesthood. Nevertheless, I felt pulled to learning and never experienced any difficulties outside of mathematics and physical education. I saw the possibility of formal education going on well into my adult life. With the conscious awareness of "the call" in a Catholic school, you can imagine I did quite well in that environment. It was, for the large part, a very protective and nurturing environment, although some of my greatest psychological handicaps stem from those early years. Who am I in relation to all of this? I wasn't always successful in langing myself on top!

Leaving graduate seminary put a 10 year gap in my formal education but as I was working in social services, I entered an MSW program at Rutgers in Newark. I left it behind when I came to Florida and my career transition to Human Resources took place by coincidence. After my MS in HRM, I felt that UIUC's EdM in HRD would help me in my new role as Director of HRD at my company. There is a strong vocational aspect to my preference for schooling because I view education as not only developing in what I do but in who I am. I simply can't conceive that the need of ongoing education will ever leave me, short of a brain trauma or illness. But, I am a fan of informal learning, too! I dream about hitting the lotto so I could enter a life of leisure and study. I do have to confess that I'm simply not disciplined enough to make a serious go at academics. I also can share that nothing I ever learned has come back to haunt me. Simply put for me, there is a greater freedom for me on the path to knowledge than off of it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Your Last Vacation Experience...?

A very good friend of mine took me out to lunch the other day and helped me with my blogging on vacation experiences. I never intended to blog in the form of my personal travel diary so I wanted to keep the conversation going. She suggested that everyday I ask a certain number of people a couple of questions. Questions such as:

When was your last vacation?

Where did you go on vacation?, etc.

My friend thought that I would not run out of content for a long time and I secretly suspect she was right. When our waitress returned to the table, she asked her "When was your last vacation?" The waitress laughed and said it had been too long ago. Without the need to ask any further questions, she volunteered that her last vacation had been on her honeymoon and that she had gone to Orlando. She said they had a great time (as we would all imagine...she was on her honeymoon!). However, she also told us that they had gone to Universal as well and that they really enjoyed the theme park.

My friend and I volunteered that we both worked in the vacation industry but she didn't seem to be in need of an explanation for our question. As I'm not a journalist and usually don't just start talking to strangers, I think this is a great way to start a conversation with someone you are not that familiar with and perhaps do a little good for them by reminding them of how much fun the break in the routine can be.