They knew I was not ready for a four-year college. They knew me better than I knew myself, if I had gone straight to a university I would have made the same mistakes I made here at Imperial Valley College. My first year here at IVC I had no interest in classes, I was mostly interested in hanging out with my friends. It took me a year and a half of messing around to figure out what I wanted to do. When I had a moment of enlightenment on my future it was in my elected human relations class.
They wanted us to receive an education they never had since they lived in poverty in Laos. When they arrived in the United States in 1980, their economic situation had not change. They lived in poverty in Oakland, so when it was my time to go to college, they were struggling because I was the 7th child of nine. After high school, I attended College of Alameda, but I dropped my classes after a semester to work two jobs, so I could pay my way through college. I thought that financial aid, Cal Grants, EOPS, and work study would help me through my college career, but they didn’t becaus...
I finished off my second semester at UCA with one A, two B’s, and one C. My last semester at UCA I did not put forth any effort. I did not know if I wanted to be a public relations major any longer so I took a bunch of random classes to see if I would find anything that I might like. I started partying less and tried to focus more on school but I still devoted most of my time to the person that I was dating. I thought that my love life was more important than school because I did not know what I wanted to do and I did not see the point of going. I finished off my last semester at UCA with two A’s and three B’s.
When you’re in college you’re basically independent, nobody is there to hold your hand, and tell you everything is okay. It’s mostly being independent without your parents to backing you up, also you’re forced to join a whole new environment, and meet new people. College is not what I expected. Well I was expecting to go to a four year university, and dorm, meet new people, befriend my roommate, go to college football games, and have a great college experience, but since I didn’t have enough money to go to a university I decided to start in a community college, and work my way up. Going to Middlesex feels like high school again, but with a dash of independence, and many gaps in your schedule.
I took current events as a freshman and a junior, neither time was it mandatory to take and I didn’t need it for graduation, but I thought it was important to keep in touch with what was going on in the world, and even learned which news sites lean towards liberal and which ones don’t. It would have been effortless enough to cheat in a class like that, but I didn’t; I read numerous different articles to choose which one I wanted to summarize and turn in every week. Others in the class would share their summarizations of their article they chose so the others could just change a few words and turn it in. I also took psychology in high school, which was not needed, but it interested me, and I’m delighted I get to expand my knowledge of it here in college
Unlike many people who attended college after they graduated from high school I was not one of them. I chose to be a wife and a mother of two; later after my children were grown and my first marriage was over I realized I needed a change. I decided to attend a community college taking the traditional classroom courses. It was a major struggle for me because I was working full-time and part-time jobs while working on an Associates Degree. What should have taken me only two years to complete it took me four because I was not able to work in all the classes needed to graduated in a two year time period my work crazy hours and take care of my family would not allow it.
I also feared that I would not be able to get into the university I wanted. My parents sacrificed a lot for me so I hope to get a decent job and support them later in the future. Upon seeing the F’s and my low GPA, my mom was disappointed in me because I’ve always tried my best in school; but not this time. In order to bounce back from this fiasco, I retook the class
The whole first year, I was in ESE classes, which meant I was too slow to be in regular classes, which hurt my self-esteem, growing up, I didn’t quite understand things explained to me and in elementary school, I was in a class that had 35-40 kids with only one teacher. I tried to keep with the other kids in the class, but I never could keep up with them, so my parents pulled me out and enrolled me in a progressive school because they thought that would be a better out for
My aunt told me that it had to do with my tongue placement when I was born which I used as an excuse for when I would mispronounce a word. It took a conscious effort from my part to pronounce my r’s correctly even after my therapy ended. Today, it is extremely rare for me to misspeak and I no longer have to think about pronouncing my r’s. My view of speaking dramatically changed after my dad forced me to take speech class in high school. At first I was resistant and as most teenagers are, I did not like to do what I was told, but after the one-semester class was over I felt confident and enjoyed speaking publicly.
These state tests have become a barrier to my learning system because my English courses in high school taught me nothing about critical thinking or rhetorical reading. The school was too focused on EOC and TSI and the STAAR all for state exams that didn’t even prepared me for college writing and reading. Students graduate come to college and the professors expect us, incoming freshman, to be experts at writing critically and reading rhetorically. My AP classes taught me a lot, but not the certain skills I needed for college. Even though this might be my barrier, I’ve learned other strategies to improve my personal learning system.