Saturday, May 21, 2011

EDITORIAL: The Personal Power of Education

By Erika Martin
Education Columnist

I have always enjoyed learning. Ever since I was a young girl, I craved stories from times gone by and loved reading biographies. I wanted to know everything and so I read anything I could get my hands on to stash away tidbits of information that I hoped would some day become useful. School was something that most kids looked at as a chore, but it was something I looked forward to every day. I took on any extra credit projects and essays, I loved filling in the blanks on worksheets and I often had my homework done before school even let out for the day. All of the information that I learned and gathered made me feel smart. It made me feel confident and useful. I still feel the craving for knowledge at 34 years of age.

There is no doubt that there is power in education whether it's in our community or globally. But, I have found that there is immense personal power in education. When I was in grade school and high school, I felt smart when I learned new things and retained the information. I felt confident that I could raise my hand with the answer when the teacher called on one. I knew that I could walk up to the front of the classroom and execute the math problem on the chalk board. It wasn't something I flaunted but it definimtely gave me a feeling of personal power. Of something that I had control of when it came to my mind.

Even though I never went to college or earned my high school diploma back then, I was always on the lookout for something to read, something to learn, something to challenge my mind. I never stopped learning when I was no longer in school. With each small bit of information I have gathered along the way, that small measure of power wells up inside of me. It has been a rather gradual ebb and flow of the years of getting married young, having my babies young, raising a family and taking care of a household. Lately, though, that ebb and flow has turned into a tidal wave.

In the process of earning my high school diploma as an adult, I have experienced a new craving for knowledge. The thrill of working towards something that has elluded me for many years has taken over. Filling in the blanks, researching different subjects, writing papers; all of these have rekindled that feeling of power inisde of me. The feeling of completion of my diploma, getting ready to start some college courses in the fall, knowing that I'll be marching with a cap and gown in just a few short weeks, have all given me a confidence, a control and a feeling of power that I have never felt before in its intensity and I've become addicted to it. I don't just feel smart, I feel empowered. I feel in control. I feel invigorated, motivated and determined. I feel like the dreams that I have in front of me are only a few steps away from reality.

Education enables society as a whole to do so much, but never underestimate what education can do for you personally. I want to do so much more. I CAN do so much more. I WILL do so much more. I will hold onto that power I feel inside of me and run with it!

About the columnist:

Erika Martin was withheld from attaining her high school diploma and a higher education due to living in a spiritually abusive upbringing. She is currently working towards attaining her high school diploma and plans to pursue a degree in Psychology after graduation this June. Erika will highlight relevant news and information that relates to education as well as chronicle her journey toward her diploma.



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