Sunday, June 12, 2011

[Day 9] Knowledge Really is Power

Day 9: How Important You Think Education Is

Education is, undoubtedly, one of the most important and powerful tools that any of us could ever acquire in life. As I type, my 8 year old is passionately going page by page through her school math book explaining the problems that she's done and telling me which and why they are her favorite kinds of problems to solve. Did I mention that we are now officially on summer vacation? No matter how old you are, education - the ability to learn new things and apply what you've learned to life - never gets old. And the true beauty lies in the fact that education comes in so many different forms. Each new day brings with it the opportunity to learn, to apply, and to share that knowledge with others.

I remember having that same level of passion for learning that my daughter has. I'm not even sure how the importance of education was shaped for me, because honestly, I don't think I ever received the 'education is the key' parental speech, but rather, I was raised by a great-grandmother who didn't mess around. She wasn't raising a street girl, she was raising an independent woman, and if you weren't in the streets, the only other place to be was in school. In school I was, and I loved being there. I was good at it. I don't think there was a time in elementary that I wasn't on the honor roll, and I later graduated from high school with honors. I never viewed school as a forced requirement (until a few years in college). I knew that from elementary you went to jr. high, and from there you went to high school, and in my mind, from high school you went to college. It was just the next step on the academic ladder. I am so grateful to have had that kind of interest and the opportunity to do so. By doing so, with a child, I have now indirectly instilled the value of education into my child. She's barely getting her feet wet in grade school and is already thinking about and seeing the beauty of what college holds because it's just what she's become accustomed to. I will work feverishly to make sure that never changes.

I have to say that I am not pleased at the direction that education is now headed. The opportunity to higher education has been placed in jeopardy for so many with all of these budget issues. It makes me sad to know that some hard working and deserving young people will be robbed of this opportunity or have to delay it due to financial reasons. I am very proud of everyone who is currently busting their asses to find back doors and hidden purses to get as many into school as possible. And although a degree is awesome to have earned, its not the only way to grow within academia. If you can read, and if you have the courage to ask questions, you can self teach! If you've ever met a challenge and kicked its ass, you already have the tools!


  1. wow...go 'head emma! that natural propensity towards education and/or educating oneself is definitely noteworthy.

    i agree with you on the self-teach part. while in college i learned that i'd be at a serious disadvantage if i relied upon the university to teach me *everything*. some there were somethings they were just not going to teach due to time restraints or simply because it wasn't in the best interest of the US educational structure. this was apparent in the many history courses i took as well as design. hell, i wouldn't be doing what i do now if i hadn't taught myself to sew, cause they surely were not teaching *that* in the program along with many other things that i employ in my work!

    it's my belief that supplemental education outside of "formal" education is almost a necessity, and *is* one where particular topics are concerned.

    i kinda went off on a tangent, but great post!

  2. @ Tie: Not off on a tangent at all! You're absolutely right! When I was studying Gender & Women's Studies I was always irritated with the fact that, during the entire time I was in the program, I never once was instructed by a black female professor. We cover some aspects of Black Feminism, but it would have been great to have been lectured to by an actual Black feminist, lol. I believe June Jordan used to teach at Cal, but there were no black professors in my department while I was there.

    I think it's great that you taught yourself to sew, and that you are sharing your gift with others both in garments and in the "classroom" :)

  3. I've always loved learning, too. I plan to pass that on to my nephew as well because I want him to know the sky is the limit when you really love learning.