Archive for 20 February 2010

Survival of the fittest

Posted in Education on 20 February 2010 by jason

As many of you know, I work at a local technical college. If you know anything about academia, you’ll know that community colleges, especially Technical colleges, are kind of…well…laughed at by those who go to more reputable schools. OK, now that we are on the same page, I want to tell you about my job a little.

First, if you go back to my last few posts, you’ll see that I complain a lot. I’m a whiner. What can I say? You’ll see that I whine about not getting the internet, about my neighbors, about about a girlfriend breaking up with me.

Well, in the last two weeks, here are some things I’ve encountered from students who got my “expert advice”:

One student asked if, instead of writing about a person who influenced her, she could write about an event that influenced her. She asked this because war came to her village in her home country and taught her that everything you own can be taken away in an instant.

Another student told of how his adoptive father physically abused him and molested (and, in some cases, raped) his entire family.

That same day, yet another student told of how his daughter was born brain-dead, and how, when he and his wife made the decision to take her off life support, he watched her die. For 45 minutes.

I hear stories like this every day. I usually don’t talk about them, and in fact, I could lose my job talking about them here. But I had to say something.

These students come to me for knowledge…to learn from me. Seriously, though, they could teach me so much more than I could ever teach them. I mean, how can you go through what these students have gone through, then sit in a classroom to learn about commas? How does one do that? How does one even get up after going through that?

I have no idea. I doubt that I could.

Like I said…a lot of people in more reputable schools look down on these students. However, you want to talk about survival of the fittest? I meet them every day.