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OK!  I see that my message was not complete enough, pressing the hot button on
this issue.  My appologies, Susan Andrien.  We are not that far apart on this
subject.

I went through my first few years of college on the system as a single parent
of a severly disabled child, and was disabled myself.  In my second semester of
college I was homeless.  However, the system did not get me through college,
I did.  In fact, any assistance I received I had to fight for.

Yes.  I have experienced the frustrations of getting paid less than I needed to
survive.  In fact, no one would hire me because I had MS.

Yes.  The system will provide job training, not education.  However, if an
individual decides to pursue an education, the system must continue to support
them up to, and 6 months beyond, their first degree.  What most self-respecting
individuals on the system will discover is that education is a means of escape
from the system.  Yes.  You may need the money they have available (rarely is
it offered) to get through college without starving, but it does not pay your
tuition, buy your books, pay your fees, etc.  It is those students that take
advantage of this because it is an alternative to having to get a job that are
frustrating to me.

What I did as a student then, and still do today is confront these people.
What they do not acknowledge as they show up to class and display their
contempt for those that "want" to be there is that someday they will have to
pay back that "free" money.  I have not met a student like this (yet) that
simply settled for the Pell- and other- Grants.  They soon discover that they
now qualify for bank loans, despite their credit history or actual need.  So,
there you are.  Yes, there are those that become success stories, like Susan
and myself, but it does not change the fact that there are those that waiste
the money that could be used for those success stories not-yet-told.

Yes! Nearly all students that walk through the door have (at the least) a
glimmer of hope that the instructor will see that they have value.  I have not
seen a student, or any human-being, that did not have value or some sort.  And,
there are certainly those instructors that display, more openly than others,
their dislike for certain students, or ignore that silent "golden-child" in the
back of the room.  However, are we to assume the "total" responsibility for the
empowerment of students?  At what point does it become the student's
responsibility?  Maybe I am just from a different school of thought, but I
believe that the student has to take responsibility for their education FIRST.

I do not believe that we can continually blame the system for the problems we
face in education today.  Yes, we need to find the means to motivate our
students toward education, get them to find their own "hunger" for education.
I do not believe that education is designed to change the world, and I do not
believe that any one person has the power to change the world.  What I do
believe is that we have the power, through education, to help change the way we
look at the world.  Anyone that believes that they can change the world, is a
fool.  What we can believe, is that we can help to change the world...one
student at a time.  I would have ulcers if I had to spoon-feed an education to
every student that came through that door.

What I have seen are many that do not have enough "value" -based respect for
themselves, expecting others to discover this for them.  The bottom line is
this:  "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink"  The
response to this timeless fact...you must make the horse thirsty first.  But,
always keep in mind, that not every horse drinking from the pool is thirsty.




                        "WHEN GOD GIVES YOU LEMONS, MAKE LEMONADE!"



CARLA CHAPMAN
Learning Center
(308) 865-8214