Sometimes I think my education mediocre at best and traumatic at worst. From kindergarten through high school, the Albuquerque Public Schools chose my school based on geography, my class schedules and teachers, with an algorithm, or perhaps a dartboard. It was an era when one went to school where assigned, not to the “best schools” in the district. Like just about everything else in life growing up, school was, get in, shut up, and hold on.
But I often call upon my education. Just today, thinking about the collapse of the economy from the effects of the Corona virus, I remembered a line from Richard II,
Down, down I come; like glistering Phaethon, Wanting the manage of unruly jades. In the base court? Base court, where kings grow base, To come at traitors’ calls and do them grace.
I took a well-taught Shakespeare course in high school from Mrs. Sanchez and learned Greek mythology and poetry from Mrs. Girgus in middle school. Yes, there were terrible and average teachers. But somehow these schools and teachers just down the road left me a solid foundation. I was fortunate
I went to college hoping to be a professor and had the same experience there as I did in public school; I learned a lot about what I wanted to learn about, and not much about what I didn’t.
Graduate school was a disappointment for me, and I am sure I was a disappointment for it. It was not the intense place of mentorship and tutoring – I wanted Hogwarts – but a vocational program. “Yes,” I heard, “that’s interesting, but will it get you hired.” I failed my French exam. I didn’t get into Princeton’s Ph. D. program. If I were going to change the world it wouldn’t be in academics. So I left.
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