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.

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