Odors, Aromas, Fragrances, Stinks, and Stenches

Mamacita:  I am really sensitive to odors.  From pleasant aromas to soul-destroying stenches. . . I just can’t deal with strong odors.  I’m a mom, so I do, but I don’t like it.  However, I also deal with lots of people every day – classrooms full of students of all ages and from all kinds of backgrounds, and sensitivity to strong odors is something I have had to suppress for many years.  How many?  Ooh, look over there!

Okay, I’ll get to the point.  Farts.

I am not a fan of the public fart.  And by “public,” I mean doing it when others are present.  An awful lot of people seem to think farts are hilarious and that the resulting stenches are laughable.  I don’t, and I can’t.

I wish it were socially acceptable to wear one of these on my nose, especially on really hot days.

I wish it were socially acceptable to wear one of these on my nose, especially on really hot days.

I don’t mind a light fragrance.  I love flowers in the house.  I wear a light cologne, myself.

But getting into the elevator with women who are wearing the entire stock of Dollar Tree  cologne all at once is killing me.  Equally stinky are the people wearing too many spritzes of Chanel Grant Extrait.  It doesn’t matter how much you paid for your artificial scent – you stink.

Cheap or expensive:  Equally stinky.

Even worse?  People who spray themselves with scent to cover up the sad fact that they haven’t showered for a while.  The combination of cheap strong cologne and dirty, sweaty bodies is a killer for me.

When you add the distinctive stench of the nicotine-addicted body to this equation, we have a time bomb, because guess what – the professor is close to jumping out of the window to get away from the smell.

However, that is a problem that isn’t on my top ten list, so I just breathe shallowly, grin, and bear it.

Whenever a lot of people are in a room, there will be odors.  It’s really the way people are dealing with the odors that is the difference between class and classless.

But I digress.  The topic is farts. Stinky, smelly farts.  And people who think it’s okay, and even funny, to smell up a room with other people in it.  Adults, even, who lift a leg and let it rip and laugh and expect others to laugh, too, and who mock anyone who doesn’t like it.

Image result for oh, the horror

Inside my head every time someone farts where I am located.

Let me illustrate.

Differences between middle school students and college students, part 8,999:

One of my classrooms this semester has several chairs that make farty noises whenever someone shifts in the seat.  The teacher’s chair is loudest of all.  When I get up or sit down, the chair sounds like a drunk in a state park port-a-potty.  When the students are writing, the room is silent except for the sounds of shuffling papers, scratching pencils or pens, and keyboard clicks.

And the occasional little ‘farty’ sounds when someone moves even the slightest little bit.

Fart sounds in the classroom, and not one student turns a hair about it.  Imagine the reaction if my middle school students heard a farty sound, even one mild farty sound.  Yeah, that.  But at the college level?  Meh.

I’m sure they do their fair share of belching and farting and otherwise gassing up the universe, but they don’t do it in the classroom, where others are also present.  They don’t do these things in the presence of others.  I compare the classroom to the workplace, where it is also not cool to let your body produce anything that negatively affects anyone else, however hilarious you might think it is.  You leave and do it elsewhere, in an appropriate environment.

Coughcoughcoughrestroomcoughcough.

Here is where we do the stinky things our bodies need to do.

Here is where we do the stinky things our bodies need to do.

My college students understand this concept that seems to be so very difficult for others to comprehend.

I love my job.

But people who love to fart in public and expect everybody in the room to laugh?  Not so much. Go ahead.  Laugh.  My family does.

My college students?   In the classroom, at least, they gots class.

“It’s The Equinoctial Storm,” said Ma.

Mamacita says: This year, there was no equinoctial storm.  In fact, this year, we haven’t had enough rain for quite a while, but last year at this time, the rains poured down as though they would never stop.

Whenever we have a lot of rain in the fall, the words “equinoctial storm” cross my mind, and I think about Caroline Ingalls – she was Laura’s Ma, you know – because the rains came down hard and steady.  Torrential rain.  No thunder or lightning, just rain, but still.  In Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Long Winter, Chapter 3, page 27 (hardbound), she tells us that

       For three days and nights the rain fell steadily, slow, weepy rain, running down the            windowpanes and pattering on the roof.

      “Well, we must expect it,” Ma said.  “It’s the equinoctial storm.”

      “Yes,” Pa agreed, but uneasily.  “There’s a weather change, all right.  A fellow can feel it in  his bones.”

Now, an equinoctial storm is a storm of violent winds and rain, occurring at or near the time of an equinox, either spring or fall.  The 2016 Fall Equinox was on September 22, but, you know, close enough.

Laura’s storm occurred just before the Long Winter blizzards began, and if you remember (and of course you do!) that those blizzards that began in October didn’t let up until May, you’ll understand why severe autumnal storms of pretty much any kind really creep me out.

The forecast for the coming winter is harsh, according to all the woodland creatures and persimmon seeds, and those things know.

Persimmons. In Indiana, they're everywhere.

Persimmons. In Indiana, they’re everywhere.

I love the chapter, still in The Long Winter, where Pa explains to Laura about the wild things knowing what kind of weather is coming, and why humans don’t have the same instincts about such things as animals do.  It’s in Chapter One, if you’re curious, and on pages. 12 and 13 if you want to turn right to it.

Here in southern Indiana, we like to predict our winters with persimmon seeds.  Cut the seed of a ripe persimmon in half and look at the image on the inside: If the image is spoon-shaped, expect a lot of heavy snow; if the image inside the seed is fork-shaped, expect a mild winter; if the image is knife-shaped, expect icy, cutting winds.

So far, most reports have been spoons.

Uh oh . . I'm pretty sure that's a spoon.

Uh oh . . I’m pretty sure that’s a spoon.

Persimmons are good for pudding, too.  If you’ve never had persimmon pudding, you’re missing out big time.

But I digress, which is something I’m very good at.

I’m expecting a cold, snowy winter.  Or, as I prefer to think of it, a white Christmas. Continue reading

9/11/01: Memories of the Fall

9/11 tribute Mamacita says: I’m guessing that many most bloggers will be posting tributes today, and telling the blogosphere ‘where we were’ when the planes hit the World Trade Center. Here is mine. This is actually the twelfth time I’ve posted this on 9/11, so if it seems familiar, you’re not crazy. Well, not on this issue, anyway.

==

The morning began like any other; we stood for the Pledge of Allegiance, and sat back down to watch Channel One News, which had been taped at 3:00 that morning in the school library, thanks to the timer. But Channel One News didn’t come on.

Channel One News, a news program aimed at teens, did not come on that day.

Instead, the secretary’s voice, over the intercom, told the teachers to “please check your email immediately.” We did. And we found out what had happened.

I scrolled down the monitor and read the end of the message. The superintendent had ordered all teachers to be absolutely mum all day about the tragedy. We were not to answer any questions from students, and we were especially not to offer any information to them.

The day went by in a blur. Many parents drove to the school, took their kids out, and brought them home. Between classes, frightened groups of students gathered in front of their lockers and whispered, gossiped, and cried, and begged us for information. By that time, the superintendent’s order had been seconded by the principals, and we were unable to give these terrified kids any information. In the computer labs, the MSN screens told the 8th graders the truth, but they, too, were instructed NOT to talk about it to the other students. Right, like THAT happened. The story was being repeated by 8th graders, and it was being told we’re-all-going-to-die style.

At noon, many of the students were picked up by parents and taken home or out for lunch. Those few who returned had a big tale to tell. The problem was, the tale was being told by children, and few if any of the facts were straight. The atmosphere in the building got more and more strained. We are only a few miles away from an immensely large Navy base, where ammunition and bombs are made, and we’ve always known it was a prime target, which means, of course, that we are, too. Many of my children’s parents worked there. The base was locked down and those parents did not come home that night.

frightened children

Administrative stupidity did this.

Reasonable questions were answered with silence, or the statement: “You’ll find out when you get home.”  This, to children who weren’t even sure they still had a home to get to.  A rumor mill can be a horrible thing.

This, added to all the rumors and gossip spread by children, turned my little sixth graders into terrified toddlers.

As teachers, we were furious and disgusted with the superintendent’s edict. We wanted to call all the students into the gym and calmly tell them the truth in words and ways that would be age-appropriate. We wanted to hug them and assure them that it was far away and they were safe. We asked for permission to do this, and it was denied. Our orders were ‘silence.’ We hadn’t been allowed to hug them for years, of course, but there are times and places when hugs ARE appropriate. No matter, the superintendent stood firm: no information whatsoever.  Other administrators in other school systems were doing it right – calling assemblies and explaining calmly to their terrified children exactly what had happened, and assuring the children that they were safe

Not our administrators.  “Tell them NOTHING” was their edict, and we had to follow it or face the consequences, and the consequences for insubordination in this school system are devastating.

The day went by, more slowly than ever a day before. The students grew more and more pale and frightened. We asked again, and again he stood firm that no information whatsoever was to be given out.

By the end of the day, the children were as brittle as Jolly Rancher Watermelon Stix.

Jolly Rancher Watermelon Stix.  Brittle as a traumatized child.

Jolly Rancher Watermelon Stix. Brittle as a traumatized child.

A few minutes before the bell rang to send them home, a little girl raised her hand and in a trembling voice that I will never forget, asked me a question. “Please, is it true that our parents are dead and our houses are burned down?”

That was it. I gathered my students close and in a calm voice explained to them exactly what had happened. I told them their parents were alive and safe, and that they all still had homes to go to.

The relief was incredible. I could feel it cascading all through the room.

I was, of course, written up for insubordination the next day, but I didn’t care. My phone had rung off the hook that night with parents thanking me for being honest with their children. That was far more important than a piece of paper that said I’d defied a stupid inappropriate order meted out by a man who belonged in the office of a used car lot, not in a position of power over children’s lives.

I'm the superintendent and I am stupid. Very, very stupid.

I’m the superintendent and I am stupid. Very, very stupid.

The next day at school, in my room, we listened to some of the music that had been ‘specially made about the tragedy. I still have those cd’s and I’ve shared them with many people over the past few years. It is true that kids cried again, but it was good to cry. It was an appropriate time to cry. We didn’t do spelling or grammar that day. There are times when the “business as usual” mindset simply is not appropriate.

I wish administrators would realize that kids are a lot tougher than we might think. Kids are also a lot more sensitive that we might realize. It’s an odd combination, and we as educators must try our best to bring the two ends of the emotional spectrum together and help these kids learn to deal with horrible happenings and still manage to get through the day as well as possible.

9/11 tribute torch

We will always overcome.

Ignoring an issue will not help. Morbidly focusing on an issue will not help. Our children are not stupid, and to treat them as such is not something that builds trust. Our children deserve answers to their questions.

How can we expect our children to learn to find a happy medium if we don’t show them, ourselves, when opportunities arise?

I’m still so very sorry, children, that I was forced to participate in that dreadful conspiracy of silence when just a few spoken words might have eased your minds.

September 11, 2001 – September 11, 2016. God bless us, every one.

Female Comic Book Heroines!

Mamacita says:  As an immensely huge (shut up) comic fan since before I even learned how to read (comics are wonderful for helping little kids learn to read!) I never really noticed the lack of female super heroes because there always seemed to be some.

The Legion of Super Heroines

The Legion of Super Heroines

If the males were in the majority, it didn’t bother me because the stories featuring the females were my favorites. I also didn’t envy or resent seeing men solving problems sometimes. Wonder Woman (and her former selves Wonder Teen and Wonder Tot) and even her mother, Queen Hippolyta (Queen of the Amazons), were all awesome.

Wonder Woman and Hippolyta

 

Batgirl was cool.

Batgirl

Batgirl

 

No kid who loved the vintage Legion of Super Heroes saw problems of that kind. Supergirl, Saturn Girl, Phantom Girl, Triplicate Girl, Shrinking Violet, Light Lass, Dream Girl, Princess Projectra, Shadow Lass, the White Witch. . . and these were just DC women.  I knew their real names.  I knew their planets of origin.  I knew their crushes.  

When their costumes and backstories were changed, I was furious.  I might still be furious.

DC comics logo

DC comics logo

The Marvel women were equally awesome, but I was a DC girl.  I didn’t fall in love with Marvel until years later.

Marvel Comics logo

Marvel Comics logo

But I digress.  We are discussing the DC heroines.

Who were allowed to grow up, marry, and have children, by the way.

And when they grew up, “girl” or “lass” was replaced with “woman.” Saturn Woman. Phantom Woman. Teachers used to forbid comics and Mad Magazine, but for my generation, these are the things that made us WANT to read, because Tom, Betty, and Susan just didn’t cut it as far as interest went.

Tom, Betty, and Susan

Tom, Betty, and Susan: horrendously boring family of elementary reader fame

Too many elementary level stories are ridiculously boring and not worth bothering, in fact.  But we won’t go there.  Not with this post.

Later, we will.  Just not now.

Quotation Saturday: Back to School

Too hot to be in school!

Too hot to be in school!

Mamacita says:  It is a sad and sorry thing that most public school children have been back in the classroom for a week or two, or more, by now.  Even though many schools are still not air-conditioned, kids have been sitting in crowded rooms, sweating together and looking longingly out of the windows – if they’re lucky enough to have a school with windows – and wishing for a breath of fresh air, in more ways than one.

The decision to start school so early was not an intelligent one; I would go so far as to say that the decision to put our children in school in August was the decision of a moron, an idiot, someone with no children, someone who probably weighs 500 pounds and lives in his mother’s basement, a person completely devoid of brains and common sense, a loser, a social dimwit a big poo-poo-head dummy.

Why do we allow this to happen?  A simple thing like starting school after Labor Day would make such a monumental difference for people’s vacation plans, the State Fair, and, in many locales, several degrees of heat and humidity.  People who run motels and tourist traps and zoos and theme parks would make more money.  It would tack on a week or two at the end of the year instead of the beginning, but what difference would THAT make?  Back in the day (you kids get off my lawn!) school always started after Labor Day.  When did this change?  Why did it change?  Why do we permit it to continue?

Besides, “those people” who remove their kids from school and take them to Cancun would do that any damn time they felt like it, anyway.

But, since the stores all still have their “Back to School” signs up – you know, right next to the Christmas displays – today’s Quotation Saturday is all about Back to School.  Enjoy.

1. Being a child at home alone in the summer is a high-risk occupation. If you call your mother at work thirteen times an hour, she can hurt you. –Erma Bombeck

2. Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day. It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken. –Bill Dodds  (Sigh.)

3. The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. –Sydney J. Harris

4. You send your child to the schoolmaster, but ’tis the schoolboys who educate him. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

5. The simplest schoolboy is now familiar with truths for which Archimedes would have given his life. –Ernest Renan

6. The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives. –Robert Maynard Hutchins

7. I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework. –Lily Tomlin as “Edith Ann”

8. The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book. –Author Unknown (In this day and age of worshipping the almighty standardized test score, the best teachers are usually in the rubber room.)

9. What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child. –George Bernard Shaw

10. I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. –Mark Twain

11. You can get all A’s and still flunk life. –Walker Percy

12. Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. –Albert Einstein

13. Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army. –Edward Everett

14. Education would be much more effective if its purpose was to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they do not know, and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it. –William Haley

15. Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught. –Oscar Wilde

16. Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants. –John W. Gardner

17. I think everyone should go to college and get a degree and then spend six months as a bartender and six months as a cabdriver. Then they would really be educated. –Al McGuire

18. Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know. –Daniel J. Boorstin

19. The one real object of education is to have a man in the condition of continually asking questions. –Bishop Mandell Creighton

20. You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives. –Clay P. Bedford

21. You learn something every day if you pay attention. –Ray LeBlond

22. All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind. –Martin H. Fischer

23. The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live. –Mortimer Adler

24. Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one’s self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily.
–Thomas Szasz

25. If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher’s job. –Donald D. Quinn

26. Sixty years ago I knew everything; now I know nothing; education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. –Will Durant

27. Learning is not compulsory … neither is survival. – Henry Ward Beecher

28. In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards. – Mark Twain

29. All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth. — Aristotle

30. Education must, then, be not only a transmission of culture but also a provider of alternative views of the world and a strengthener of the will to explore them. — Jerome Bruner

31. Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes. — John Dewey

32. Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and however early a man’s training begins, its probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly. –Thomas Henry Huxley

33. It was in making education not only common to all, but in some sense compulsory on all, that the destiny of the free republics of America was practically settled. –James Russell Lowell

34. The principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done; men and women who are creative, inventive and discoverers, who can be critical and verify, and not accept, everything they are offered. — Jean Piaget

35. It is only the ignorant who despise education. — Publius Syrus

36. Education … has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading, an easy prey to sensations and cheap appeals. — G.M. Trevelyan

37. I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday. — Abraham Lincoln

38. The happiest two-job marriages I saw during my research were ones in which men and women shared the housework and parenting. What couples called good communication often meant that they were good at saying thanks to one another for small aspects of taking care of the family. Making it to the school play, helping a child read, cooking dinner in good spirit, remembering the grocery list,… these were silver and gold of the marital exchange. — Arlie Hochschild

39. Dad, if you really want to know what happened in school, then you’ve got to know exactly who’s in the class, who rides the bus, what project they’re working on in science, and how your child felt that morning…. Without these facts at your fingertips, all you can really think to say is “So how was school today?” And you’ve got to be prepared for the inevitable answer—”Fine.” Which will probably leave you wishing that you’d never asked. –Ron Taffel

40. In one century we went from teaching Latin and Greek in high school to offering remedial English in college. — Joseph Sobran

41. A child educated only at school is an uneducated child. — George Santayana

42. Going back to school is like going back in time. Immediately, for better or for worse, you must give up a little piece of your autonomy in order to become part of the group. And every group, of course, has its hierarchies and rules- spoken and unspoken. It is like learning to live once again in a family- which, of course, is the setting where all learning begins. — Alice Steinbach

43. We have to abandon the idea that schooling is something restricted to youth. How can it be, in a world where half the things a man knows at 20 are no longer true at 40 — and half the things he knows at 40 hadn’t been discovered when he was 20? –Arthur C. Clarke

44. There are many people who reach their conclusions about life like schoolboys; they cheat their master by copying the answer out of a book without having worked out the sum for themselves. –Soren Kierkegaard

45. The shrewd guess, the fertile hypothesis, the courageous leap to a tentative conclusion – these are the most valuable coin of the thinker at work. But in most schools guessing is heavily penalized and is associated somehow with laziness. –Jerome S. Bruner

46. I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school. They don’t teach you how to love somebody. They don’t teach you how to be famous. They don’t teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing. — Neil Gaiman

47. America’s future will be determined by the home and the school. The child becomes largely what he is taught; hence we must watch what we teach, and how we live. — Jane Addams

48. The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next. — Abraham Lincoln

49. It’s a mistake to think that once you’re done with school you need never learn anything new. –Sophia Loren

50. It is not so very important for a person to learn facts. For that he does not really need a college. He can learn them from books. The value of an education is a liberal arts college is not learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks. –Albert Einstein

51. Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree. –Marian Wright

52. Don’t ever dare to take your college as a matter of course – because, like democracy and freedom, many people you’ll never know have broken their hearts to get it for you. — Alice Miller

53. You should have to pass an IQ test before you breed. You have to take a driving test to operate vehicles and an SAT test to get into college. So why dont you have to take some sort of test before you give birth to children? When I am President, that’s the first rule I will institute. –Marilyn Manson

54. College is a refuge from hasty judgment. — Robert Frost

55. Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run. –Mark Twain

56. A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions. — Anonymous

57. The highest result of education is tolerance. — Helen Keller

58. Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.
— Robert Frost

59. It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. — Aristotle

60. Education is not received. It is achieved. — Anonymous

I could go on with these forever, but it’s almost 3 a.m. Besides, I can sense that I’m starting to get my snark on, and when I’m in that kind of mood, I tend to be more than just a little bit mean when it comes to schools and the American educational system in general. And, by “mean,” I mean “MEAN.” As in, it all sucks because it likes sucking and intends to go on sucking as long as the American people continue to allow such suckage to continue. Permissive suckage is actually permitted suckage. Why do we continue to permit it? Our children are too important to entrust to a system that thinks August is a good time to herd kids into small crowded un-airconditioned rooms and expectsthem to be all Yay! and Whoopee! about drilling for standardized tests. And you really don’t want to get me started about self-esteem and behavior. Seriously, you don’t.

Community College: Overcoming the Odds

Mamacita says:  The community college is one of the best things that ever happened to higher education.  Go ahead – turn up your nose and be all snobby about it – but it’s true and you know it.

So many of my students are overcoming tremendous odds to be in school right now. They’ve got families and mortgages and spouses/partners, some of whom disapprove of the whole “college” thing; they’ve got needy parents and in-laws and overdue bills and a sad lack of daycare options. On top of it all, most of my students have no job right now, and the defunct factories and Workforce are both being poopy about promises they’d previously made concerning tuition and books and actually coming through with things because education is the key to the future and you can count on us to back you up.

And yet, most of them show up, day after day or night after night, homework done, papers David beat Goliath. You can, too.written, knowing exactly which page we’re on and ready to begin again.

The majority of my students are fine, hardworking, upstanding people who genuinely want to better themselves: not just so they might get a better job at some future time, but also just so they’ll be, well, BETTER.

Sure, there are some clunkers. In any group there will always be losers. But the vast majority of my students this semester are prime. In their prime, and prime.

Follow your dreamsI love a mixed-age group in an academic setting.  The young have so much to offer the older, especially older students who are not responsible for raising them.  The older students have so much to offer the younger students, especially since (see above).  I firmly believe that all young people need older people to be mentors, people who are not related and who demonstrate love and friendship and genuine liking that are not required by blood.  In a community college classroom, there is a healthy mix of ethnicity, age, sex/gender, and you name it – it’s sitting there, notebook ready, pen in hand.  Usually also with cell phone silenced but turned on, because adult students have responsibilities beyond that classroom, a fact which many instructors and institutions choose not to acknowledge.

There is no shame in working a low-end, minimum-wage service believe in yourselfsector job – don’t misunderstand me.  NO SHAME in that.  But I do hope my students, many of whom are working such jobs, understand that this college degree, even more than many four-year university degrees, will open the door to better jobs.

Yes, that’s what I said.  Ofttimes, a community college degree will open more doors than a fancy university degree will open.

Community college degrees represent real life.  They represent practical, actual knowledge that the world not only needs; it requires.  I am not referring only to the many awesome and necessary skills that the world needs, truly NEEDS, such as air conditioning/heating/ the many vocational degrees that represent real abilities, nursing, etc; the community college offers many of the same academic classes that the university offers.  Students can take all kinds of math, from algebra all the way up to finite and calculus, and every math in between.  Students can get almost all of their English credits at the community college, with many of the same professors they would have at the expensive university.  Psychology, sociology, philosophy, most of the sciences. . . .  the community college is a COLLEGE.  And we will gladly welcome students the university rejects, knowing that most of such students just needed a helping hand to get them well on their way to the same and often higher standards met as the student who had the money to go to university.

I am not in any way putting down university; that’s where I got all my degrees and I loved it.  But after twelve years as a professor in the community college, I have come to understand that THIS is where it’s at.  This is where the groove thang resides.

Look closely and analytically and lovingly at your child.  Higher education is a requirement for almost every job that pays enough for basic survival, but there is more than one kind of higher education.  Explore them with your child.  Check out all of the possibilities and opportunities.  I highly recommend a year or two at the community college; those credits will transfer to the university.  Community college costs so much less than university; those savings will also transfer!  Some students need a little time to learn without stress.  Some students have been out of school for so long that they, too, need some time to get back in the learning mode.

In a community college classroom, students will come from all kinds of backgrounds.  There will be a mix of ages from 17 to 90.  There will be all kinds of lifestyles, all sorts of ethnicities, all manner of appearances.  The community college classroom is a rainbow of color, of wonderful everything, of wonderfulness in general.

The community college is one of the best things that has ever happened to education.  I will fight you on this one.  I will win.

I will win, because it is true.  It is wonderful, and it is true.