Let’s get one thing out of the way upfront — I’m not a Notre Dame alum.
Heaven knows, I wish I were, but all I am is the mom of a Domer — that, and a huge fan!! Shoot, I’ve even considered the possibility of enrolling in, say, the Graduate Program in Creative Writing, just so I could be a Domer, too!
I’ve always had a passion for education. I was one of those “weird” kids who simply loved school, not just because my friends were there but because in school, you learned stuff. I love the smell and feel of a book; I love being able to string words together so when folks read them, they go, “Yeah!”
When I was a kid, every week in the summer I’d go to the Library and check out a stack of books — as many as I could carry — then hurry home and immerse myself in wonderful, magical stories. Even today, there’s nothing better than getting lost in a novel and forgetting there’s a world with problems outside.
My undergrad education was at Ole Miss, the University of Mississippi (Go Rebels!!), and my feelings for Alma Mater run oh so deep. I had a four-year Band scholarship, so participating in halftime shows and supporting the Red-and-Blue became deeply ingrained. Perhaps it’s the growing-up one does during the four years between 18 and 22; perhaps it’s the friends one makes at college. Whatever, I (and most of my fellow Rebs) feel an intense pride, unwavering loyalty, and profound gratitude to Ole Miss.
As the late Frank E. Everett Jr. (a UM alum) put it: “The University is respected, but Ole Miss is loved. The University gives a diploma and regretfully terminates tenure, but one never graduates from Ole Miss.”
When My Favorite Domer was in elementary school, I returned to college (community college, this time) to pursue a new career in Web Design. I found, to my surprise, that I was an even better student than during my first go-round as an undergrad. I seemed to have an intuitive awareness of what material was important for me to learn, how to study and budget my time, how to access the help I needed, and I wasn’t afraid to approach my instructors, spend time in their offices, and soak up their advice.
Today’s buzzwords are “lifelong learning.” Yep, I’m a firm believer in that. As a Web Designer and Writer, I often run into something I’m unfamiliar with, and I constantly find myself having to learn new code and techniques or new ways of solving old problems. I pity people who don’t find learning enjoyable, or who think that once they’ve got a sheepskin, they’re finished.
So, while right now I can’t justify returning to academia for another degree, don’t count me out — I just might, one day!