When I was in high school, I had no ambition towards higher education. I planned to stay in Manhattan, Kansas; where I was born and raised. Several generations of my mom’s family had done the same and several generations of my dad’s family had settled and stayed not too far away.
Then when I was a senior, I decided I had to get out of town. There’s nothing wrong with Manhattan, I had just begun to feel that there was more for me elsewhere. I applied to one college, the Kansas City Art Institute; and was accepted. In August I packed up and headed for Kansas City.
I made it through my first year at KCAI, though just barely. The next year I attended a local community college and then came to the conclusion that college just wasn’t for me. I worked full time, first as a short order cook in different places, then as a photo lab technician; a job I was certain I would have “forever”. That is until I was unexpectedly given the “opportunity to seek other employment.”
In 2007, I went to work at a University. In 2008, I was enrolling in classes for the Bachelors in Business Management program. I enjoyed the liberal arts electives so much, 2 years later I was enrolling in the Masters in Liberal Arts program. 20 years after deciding “college wasn’t for me”, I had earned two degrees.
And, now… 4 years later, I’m in school again. I’m working on getting my welding certificate. The classes are fun and I love learning all the different welding techniques! Even stick welding, the one we learned today. Unlike the other techniques, stick welding took me the better part of 3 hours to get. It was humbling, but, I finally got it.
I’m also taking a ceramics class. I love having my hands back in the clay and throwing on the wheel. I hadn’t realized how much I had missed this particular medium!