Apparently Handraising is Taboo in College...
Did you know I have never attended college?

I thought, when I was in high school, that I wanted to go into elementary education. I shadowed the kindergarten teacher and I very much enjoyed being in the classroom. I had known for a long time that my parents weren't going to be sending me to college. If I wanted to attend I was going to have to figure out the financial aspect on my own. My Dad encouraged me to go to vocational school during my last two years of high school; he wanted me to have a way to support myself and put myself through school. That made sense to me; I decided on the cosmetology course.

At age 17 the end of my second year of cosmetology was fast approaching; one day we had a business owner by the name of Scott Miller come talk to our class. He talked about working in his salon, doing hair etc. I was convinced by the end of the session that his salon was the place for me. Plain and simple. It was high class, the employees were a family, the pay was good, and the requirements were stringent. I knew I would excel under his high expectations. The higher the better.

Scott invited us to come and talk with him at the end of the session if we were interested in interviewing for the job. It took all the courage I could muster to go and talk with him. I nearly fainted after opening my mouth in an effort to make the words come out. I was scared to death of what this job might mean I would have to go through, but the opportunity was way to fantastic for me to pass up.

I interviewed a few days later with his wife Helen. I was intimidated by Scott, but Helen nearly reduced me to tears. Helen had my respect from the get go. What a business woman she is!
I knew that taking this job meant I wouldn't be going to college. The training and work load would be far to great. But the opportunity was more than I could imagine so I decided this was my future.

I learned far more in those three years than I could have ever learned at college. I learned about life, about working hard, about integrity, diligence. I had fun, I made great friends, and I got some flaming red hair. I became a salon snob and I decided, after leaving there to marry Daniel, that I could never be happy doing hair anywhere else. If I couldn't work there then I wasn't going to work anywhere. And I haven't. Maybe someday I will be able to go back. That's one of my secret dreams.

These thoughts bring me to last Wednesday night - my first day of college... ever. At 27 years old I set my foot in my first college classroom. I was nervous, you guys. I really didn't know what to expect. I haven't had any experience with education since high school and we all know how fabulous high school was.

Ahem.

I sat down at the table and for two and a half hours listened to my teacher talk about photography and the like. I was handed a syllabus, thankfully I have heard Daniel talk about this stuff so I had a clue what it was. I took a few notes, because that's what you're suppose to do, right? And then came the fatal moment.... I raised my hand to make a comment on something my teacher said.

Apparently hand raising isn't done in college. My teacher looked at me like I had four heads. I almost stalled but I pressed on and made my comment. But, after that uncomfortable hand-raising moment I paid attention to other's way of commenting to the teacher. Apparently you just say what you want to say. No hand raising, no waiting until it seems appropriate to comment, you just say it.

So, my first college experience went fine. I feel like I have a better handle on things than I would have had when I was 17. I know what I want, no wishy-washyness. I am determined and motivated. The money it cost me to take the class will not go to waste and I want to do well.

Knowing all this has made something I long suspected very clear. I wasn't ready for college at 17. I didn't know what I wanted, I was too short-sighted to see what I was really good at. Too immature and clueless. Now I am not, now I am ready. College is a great, great institution. And for some kids it is the perfect and natural next step for after high school plans. But for some, time under the belt is better.

Ten years was just the ticket for me! I look forward to showing you all I learn...

*Post from 1 year ago today: Illusive
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