Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Athabasca University

Athabasca University is Canada's Open University and I am a registered student.
Some people may say I am forty years too late but I beg to differ. Let me tell you a little story.
In the nineteen sixties I was in high school. While my girl friends were thinking of getting out of high school and getting married, I was thinking about going to university. My marks could have been higher I just needed my goals confirmed to give me that added incentive. My plan was to go to the University of Toronto, major in Anthropology and then go to work at the Royal Ontario Museum. I have alwasy been fascinated by puzzles and history. What greater mystery is there than why cultures evolve and why are we different and yet so much the same? The mandatory appointment with the guidance teacher arrived. I was ready with all my information. I laid out my plan before her and this is what she said,"You can not possibly expect your parents to send you to university. You have two brothers who will someday get married and have to support their families. They should have the opportunity to go to university. You will only get married and stay home anyway." My hands shake as I type this. I never told my parents what happend. You see, in our house teachers were treated with respect because as my mother would say, "Never criticize a teacher they have an education you do not." My mother eventually found out about 30 years later when she over heard me talking to my cousin. All my girl cousins have post secondary educations. I always felt less intelligent than everyone else because of my lack of a degree. I can remember visiting the Museum of Anthropology in British Columbia and looking at the the students walking around the campus and I said to my travelling companion, "I wonder if they know how lucky they are to be here?"
Now it is my turn. I am registered in my first two courses, English Composition and Introduction to Archaeology. It is not likely that I will ever work at the R.O.M. or participate in an actual dig somewhere. I will study. I will learn more. I will be content knowing that I do this for myself. This is a life goal for me. We all need to have something to attain to.
Remember that Guidance Teacher? Well, her daughter became a lawyer. You do not want to know what I think of lawyers in general.

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