Monday, February 27, 2012

On Education

I wish I would have listened to my dad years ago when he emphasized the importance of doing good in school. It was a topic he brought up several times during my high school years, and each time I simply heard the words without the importance sinking in. I didn't really see the need.

I didn't understand how much of a difference it would be to get an 'A' instead of a 'B'. The former would require effort to obtain, while the latter I could get without studying or applying myself beyond showing up for class and doing homework at the last possible minute.

Then I went to college for a semester. One miserable semester where I felt overwhelmed and inferior. Suddenly those 'B' grades were becoming 'C' grades. I didn't get dumber overnight. The material and the grading standards simply increased. I did not return to Simpson College for the Spring semester in 2003.

I kicked myself for years after that. I tried to succeed in life with what skills and opportunities presented themselves to me. I did manage to thrive for a few years until I had a life-changing realization: I hated my job and the industry I was working in.

I needed a change.

At the time I was single, living with my best friend, so I really had nothing to lose by taking a pay cut and returning to the college world. I enrolled at the local community college and came to another realization: "just enough" wasn't good enough for me.

My dad's advice finally made sense.

Over the past three years I've been paving my way toward a college education that I could have obtained years ago. Last May I graduated from Des Moines Area Community College with an Associate of Arts degree. I was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. I graduated with honors.

All while working full-time.

I decided last fall to return to Simpson College. Yes, the same place I departed from after a lackluster 2002 Fall term. Then I learned I would retain my GPA and the credits earned from that semester. Yikes!

But I've viewed this as an opportunity to repair the error in my past and finish what I started. And I fully intend to finish in 2013 with honors, in spite of the obstacle.

With this resurgence of focus on education in my life recently, I've paid particular attention to that topic with Obama's current presidency and what the possible Republican candidates have said. And something I read tonight really bothered me.

Rick Santorum came out and said that Obama is a "snob" because he encourages everyone in America to go to college.

An article on Forbes quotes another part of Santorum's speech: “There are good, decent men and women who work hard every day and put their skills to the test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor… That’s why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image,” Santorum said. “I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his.”

Wait a minute, Obama wants us to go to college so we can be remade in his image? Really?

 And then I do some more digging into Santorum's educational views. I don't like what I'm finding. He believes that we should reduce government funding for public education and revert to homeschooling.

I don't want to see the quality of education decline.

I value education. It is a value that I hope to foster in my children when my fiancee and I begin to have a family. It is something I encourage everyone to value, because I feel it is important. It is something that President Obama supports, and it is something that the current governor of Iowa supports as well.

And I like that.

What I don't like is being hearing that a possible candidate for the Presidency does not value it. He would probably not get my vote if he beats Romney.

Because I think a quality education is that important in today's world.

1 comment:

  1. David, congratulations on returning to school! It's a difficult choice and a difficult road, though it looks like you have met with success.