Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Perpetual Student


I've never been happier than when I'm in school - both in front of the class and sitting in one of the seats. Teacher or student, school is my happy place.
I wanted to go to college as a young adult. I told my then boyfriend that I wanted to go to Clackamas Community College after high school. He was baffled. He said all he wanted from life was to go to work, come home, eat dinner with his family and watch television. I was baffled by that. That sounded terribly boring (as a sixteen-year-old). I can appreciate the simple life now that I'm older and have children of my own. But I still love school.
After high school, I enrolled at CCC as a full-time freshman. I didn't tell people at church though. I knew that college was viewed as unnecessary at best, and more likely dangerous. My parents told me to forget college - it was no place for a girl. It would turn me into an atheist. It was a waste of money to pay for college when I was just going to be a housewife. 
I finished one semester of college, but couldn't afford any more school and really didn't have the fight in me. Instead I went to work - and I really enjoyed working in the business offices of car dealerships. By the time I was twenty, I was promoted to Office Manager. But I still wanted to earn a college degree.
After I left church, I went back to CCC and earned my Associate of Arts degree in one year - summer included. I was a straight A student - the one who always sat in the front row and spent hours every evening on homework. I went to Portland State and earned my Bachelor of Arts degree two years later. I thought I was done. I never dreamed I'd get into graduate school. That was beyond reach, I believed.
But in 2005, I earned my first Master of Arts degree. I'm now in the last few months of another graduate degree - my Master of Fine Arts in creative writing, and I know that I'm not finished. I am already looking into PhD programs. And, even if I need to wait a few years to begin the  next program which will finally earn me the right to put a "Dr." at the front of my name, I will enjoy my work teaching undergraduates, in the meantime.
I’ve figured out why I love school so much. I spent so much of my life in a group without an elder or leader. There was nobody with definitive answers. Nobody to give us hope or explain the big questions of life. I’m still looking for guidance – a chief or elder. Someone with the answers.
            I am looking for truth.

6 comments:

  1. I always knew you would go far. You are a strong woman and I'm proud of you for getting beyond your early teachings.

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  2. There comes a point, Suz, when you have to admit to yourself that you have become the elder.

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  3. yes.
    awesome.
    we need to find truth and teach our children to find the truth.
    education and learning is the way to find truth. well said.

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  4. Jesus said "I am the truth".

    But besides that I would to see you again someday and call you Doctor Shumaker.

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    Replies
    1. Like to... sorry, fat fingers.

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  5. Suzi I'm like you, I can't stop learning. My niece and I were joking last summer when she went back for her master's, about people's reaction to her decision. The were asking her "why?" when it really wasn't a career move. She said, "Why? Oh, I don't really have a reason. I just like school." Lol. I totally got it though! Our family learns just because we like learning.

    Chris Bodnovits

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