Education, a very valuable concept to humanity, is defined by Dictionary.com as “the process of instilling or receiving general knowledge as well as the nurturing of reason and judgment and the preparing of oneself and others for ‘mature life.’”It is the very reason many have fared well in the modern world and for the world itself to advance and prepare as the Earth ages and progresses over time.
Personally, and I am only speaking from experience, the benefits of education are vast, and it has proven to present me with opportunities to survive and be capable of living in a modern era where computers and the Internet are some of the main focal points.
And it is once again graduation season throughout the United States and its territories. Therefore, this term and idea hit home as I think to myself of how I came to be “educated” and instructed with all the ins and outs of the many facets of the world.
How someone of my background and ethnicity came to know how to speak, read, and write in the English language and be aware of distant regions and places I probably will never come to set foot on.
My mother is the main reason why I am “educated” today.
Honestly, I did not want to have anything to do with school as a young boy.
I refused to leave the comfort of my home to attend elementary school because I was shy, awkward, and deeply attached to my mother.
I had this mentality back then that others of my age will be hostile and unwilling to open themselves to me.
I would be sent to school by my mom with her thinking that I will be in school throughout the day, alas, this was not so.
I would have this strange habit of hiding in the woods instead of going to school which was very intelligent for a young kid of my age now that I would think back to it.
I spent the entirety of the morning in the woods beyond my family’s front yard, keeping to myself and watching neighbors go about their business.
Oh my!I am kind of embarrassed to talk about it now, but this was the childhood me.
Anyway, I was eventually caught and was taken home to a beating (back then it was permissible).
And as I was crying, my mother warned me of a future of hopelessness.
How being uneducated will make me limited to the rural way of life and how those who are my contemporaries will go on to become successful moneymakers while I would be confined at home without the capabilities of reading and writing and making my own money!
Long story short, from that day onward, I was determined to go to school and “learn” all the areas required to be a normal, skilled student.
When I was an elementary student, my mom would be so adamant about pushing me to attend school and not to miss any days.
I would make up excuses like, “oh my stomach hurts,” “I have diarrhea,” to “mom it’s rainy outside and I don’t feel up to it to attend school” to which my mom would sometimes relent and other times did not.
As my older brother who was an excellent student entered high school, he would become awarded with opportunities to attend summer school in Washington, DC as well as get selected by his educators to represent his class at science fairs and other academic competitions. All of that made me reflect upon my own life and yeah, concerned about my future.
I began to become aware of the disadvantages of those without education, and I also wanted to be like him in making something of myself who was definitely not from wealth.
I became concerned with what the future will be like for me, and I did not want to work at a local cannery where most of those without a decent education would go to for employment.
I also wanted to see the bigger world itself as I was indeed an island boy who caught glimpses of the magnificence of the mainland USA through the television set and magazines that my older sister would receive in the mail.
In high school, I had many wonderful friends that it made that period in my life so much fun and memorable.
I however still felt depressed at times and would sometimes miss school days but not too much.
My mother by this time has ceased her scolding, but she would warn me about the consequences of excessive absenteeism. I assured her that I knew what I was doing and that I will not miss fifteen days or more that I will get my notes and homework details by calling some friends over the phone. And I will always be in gratitude to my friends and schoolmates in high school because what an era, what a period in my life.
I was always looking forward to going to school and attend events like school assemblies, speech festivals, pep rallies, football games, etc. This was a time when life was a butterfly for me when I went from a lame to a sociable person. That’s the beauty of high school. Besides education, you will be involved in extra-curricular activities like sports and clubs and academic competitive teams.
By college time, I became matured and responsible for my own actions.
An advisor assisted me in registering for classes and in performing certain tasks for me like talking to a professor for me or by recommending suitable courses for my major’s requirement list.
The professors in college do not act the way my high school and elementary teachers did back then in the way they present their instructions and the way their assignments are conducted and their grading systems are done. Personally, I prefer their way to my educators back then because it is so simple and promotes independent thinking. I also enjoy writing essays and research papers rather than taking quizzes and tests that are not multiple-choice.
By college time, I have learned all that I needed to learn in terms of reading, writing, critiquing, researching, and reviewing from former teachers that college went by like a breeze. And when it was time for graduation and for me to receive my long overdue Bachelor’s degree, I was so thankful to my Mom who was the initial impetus for me to become educated.
Now that I am grown and knowledgeable of the basic necessities of education, flashbacks of those days of me hiding in the woods and refusing to go to school haunt me and make me chuckle to myself. What would life be like for me right now if my mom did not care to push me to go to school?
I guess I would probably be back in the islands working as a farmer. I probably would even be having a hard time writing sentences and proper English grammar to my friends on social media. I probably would not be skilled in the English language and would be exempt from the various employments I have had on my journey up to now.
I must tell you that my current situation is much better than if I had not been educated.
I am very much thankful to the Lord above and my own mom who drilled it into my stubborn little mind back in my childhood that education is the key to getting by in the new millennium.
Thank you Mom.
And thank you God too.