on Education

Thursday, March 15, 2012


On my way back home from Lafayette a couple of weeks ago, I was by myself, drizzly Sunday day, so I decided to stop off at my old college campus. To just walk around, sit on that old bench outside Rougeau Hall. Walking from building to building, most things were the same, some were different. Retracing steps from here to there, remembering friends, professors. Looking up to that corner 2nd floor room where I spent many a night with classmates studying our brains out, over way too much caffeine, thinking it would translate into an 'A' ... if only I'd have figured out at that time that less coffee + more sleep would = that 'A'. That would come several years later, but at least it came.

Yes. You're more likely to find me writing and thumbing through fabric these days, but my background is engineering. It actually fits with the way my brain works. I decided to pursue it mostly because I knew it would take me places. Anywhere I wanted to go in the world really. Possibilities were infinite, and there was a good chance I'd always have a job. So I kept at it when many nights I just wanted to throw in the towel. It was tough, and let's be real, I didn't make the best grades. There was a time, and holy, I remember it like yesterday, walking into a class to pick up my grade, and it was an 11. As in an 11 out of 100. But I wouldn't give up. (And I did end up passing that class) I was a 'B'/'C' student amongst the brainiest of the brains. If only I would have had the wherewithal back then to step back with a birds' eye view of things, to realize that even though it may have been a 'C' at the end of the semester, I still passed with the rest of them. I'd still walk across the stage at graduation to get the exact same degree with the rest of them. I'd still get a great job after it all with the rest of them. I'd still excel and climb the proverbial corporate ladder beyond the best of the rest of them.

And no one would ever ask or care if I was an 'A' student, or a 'C' student.



It's good to go back to places like this with a whole new perspective. I wasn't thinking so much about that 11/100, rather more about the fact that I finished. I wish the same for more women. To challenge themselves, to pursue what seems impossible. To push themselves beyond the box those around them have labeled. To realize that if they have an education, no matter how difficult it may be to obtain - even if they come in damn dead last - finishing is what counts, and the rewards will be reaped for the rest of their lives,

-lila

6 comments:

  1. You're an engineer? Delightful! Glad to find a kindred spirit on so many levels (food, travel, tech-minded, blogger).

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  2. i am, i am. by degree. i still manage projects, but spend more time writing and pursuing a few other passions. burning out at the age of 30 will do that to you, in a good way :)

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  3. Been there, done in a meteorically spectacular way.
    I'd love to chat with you more and compare experiences!

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  4. oh hi here, Im an (construction) engineering student myself - second course haha. But I still think grades do matter. Mine aren't high enough... =*

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    1. hi Anonymous,
      Well that's true, you've got to pass so grades matter in that regard. In the grand scheme of things, if you've earned a C but you've taken a photography course that semester or you've volunteered every afternoon tutoring grade school children in math, I think the C is fine. You're gaining much more than you would have had you just studied in seclusion for that A. My humble opinion.
      Best of luck in Construction Engineering! As our infrastructure ages in this country, this field will be very lucrative in the years to come.

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  5. Finishing is what counts! "The path to enlightenment is seeing one thing to the very end." I occasionally revisit the moment I got my first D.E. test back: 7/ 100. At least you were in the double digits ;) Keep writing, keep traveling, keep designing, keep formulating... It eventually all comes full circle.

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