Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sufrir un Examen (Taking the Test)

Columbia College Chicago graduation 1998
I am determined to go back to school.  I've been trying since I finished my M.A. from Columbia College Chicago back in 1998.  But I think now after all these years, I've really grasped the importance of what education means to me.  You see, for the longest time, I thought being in school was about suffering.  I mean really just racking my brain over a test and coming out victorious.  I took physics, advanced math, chemistry, and biology for science majors while in undergrad all in the name of proving I could figure it out and "suffer" through the course (I say that because in spanish "sufrir un examen" means to take a test or "suffer" through a exam.  Spanish was one of my majors in college :-). Most of the time, I failed.   There were a few courses that I kinda breezed through (Dance wasn't one of them.  I suffered through those also, secretly jealous of all the beautiful ballerinas who seemed to turn flawlessly on a dime)  with developmental psychology being the most interesting.  I remember my brain just opened up and absorbed all of the information the teacher threw at me.  I thought that it was just an easy "A" and not a real challenging class.

Fast forward 2014 and I have to take a Tests and Measurements (psychological assessments) class online.   Everyone is scared and worried about the difficulty of this class.  Most of the students are working adults and/or busy parents going back to school.  I was homeschooling my son and had my youngest was in school part time so I didn't always have my days free.  Yet, I managed to do very well even with the challenges of writing a literature review.  Some days were tough, as I poured over article after article, nervously hoping I doing the right thing.  However, meticulously organizing notes and ideas and carefully writing in APA style pushed me to the point where I felt like maybe I had been viewing education all wrong.  It wasn't about suffering but about stretching my mental ability. It was about the curiosity of learning something new and like the butterfly in the cocoon, growing until I can work my way out and stretch my wings of knowledge to help make the world a little bit better.  I don't think folks see education as the gift it is anymore.  It's about tests, making money, and a controlled citizenry. But for me, I want to learn because for the first time in my life, I've found something that clicks with my brain.  I've come to realize that people are successful at the things that click with them.  So those who click with science are just as cool as those who click with music.  We all have our gifts and I have learned that it's not about suffering, but growing and expanding in ways which awaken the corners of the soul.